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Need some honest opinions about Sprint/Verizon in Oregon areas.

Discussion in 'Western US Wireless Forum' started by kjo, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. kjo

    kjo Bronze Senior Member
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    Hello everyone

    Okay so I need to ask some questions. I was down visiting my folks in Salem Oregon. They have Verizon wireless... the family plan with 1400 anytime minutes, Unlimited N&W, start at 9 for 89.99 a month. My mom's phone is all digital ,,..my step dad's is a tri-mode. He drives all over the valley...with his job. There are some areas that he doesn't get reception.

    They are eligible for updgrades on their phones on June 7th. Their contract is over August 7th.

    We were looking at phones,etc. Verizon has the buy one LG 8100 for 49.99...get one free. The Lg's are sturdy enough and loud enough...especially for my step father that is in a noisy truck all day. But of course if they take this they will be renewing their contract again for another 2 years

    But here is where the questions come in.
    We were checking to see if other carriers have cheaper rates.. My folks don't really use the full 1400 peak minutes a month. (but these phones are their only phones...they don't have a landline)... Mostly they call themselves and me and family, and the occasional calls to whoever as needed. So I started checking into Sprint which has the fair and flexible plan for 69.99 for 800 peak minutes and unlimited to each other ..night and weekends that start at 7 (which would be nice) and 5.00 for minutes over 50 minutes..and then 10 cents additional if it exceeds 1300 minutes. I was looking at the map of coverage for Oregon for Sprint and it sure looks like they have better coverage than Verizon.
    My parents both like simple to use loud flip phones...with a camera..doesn't have to be the video phone, etc. just a good talk time and battery life. I was looking at the LG 225 phone from sprint.

    SO my questions are can anyone give me honest opinions about Sprint in the Willamette Valley or for example... LARRY....I know you have had sprint forever... My parents aren't unhappy with Verizon..I'm just trying to get them the best deal for what they need and maybe try to save a little money in the meantime. The map sure indicates that sprint has better coverage for rural areas etc. but I would need to get a tri-mode phone for them I'm sure. I'm not too familiar with sprints plans, etc.. so what I would need to do is get some specifics. I don't want any roaming charges at all. I don't care if they roam just so they don't get charged. (we had this issue with verizon ..before they got onto the America's choices after 2/21/05!) not good.

    Like I said my step-dad's job is all over the valley... maybe even up towards detroit, idanha..etc. within a 100-150 mile range of Salem...360 degrees around.. and well my Mom..all she's worried about is that when she comes up to visit me that her phone works up in the Portland Metro area... going west as well towards the beach etc. on Hwy 26.

    I had a virgin mobile phone before (which I know runs on sprint towers) and didn't have a problem here in my home...unlike Verizon which you all know I had to go to a specific corner in my house to hold a call.....

    So I'm wanting some help please..if anyone can give me some good advice on where to go with this. phone wise and service wise.

    Thanks so much to all!
     
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  2. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    I could give you a referral for the Sprint SERO plans which include free roaming and a lot of other good stuff.

    I would avoid the LG PM-225 because the battery life is very poor. It starts out ok but after a few months of use it seems to decrease little by little until you have to charge the phone every day.

    There are some good Sanyo and Samsung phones that are low priced, get better battery life and have a camera. The Samsung A580 and Sanyo 3100 are good choices.
     
  3. Scrumhalf

    Scrumhalf Bronze Senior Member
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    kjo, Dan Albrich, who is arguably the most knowledgeable person around on Oregon cellular coverage (see his site http://cell.uoregon.edu) has expressed his dissatisfaction with Sprint in an earlier thread. Don't look at maps - go with first hand experience.

    I suggest you pm him (dalbrich) - or maybe he wll read this thread. He has a lot of first hand knowledge on coverage down the Willamette Valley and all over the state in general.

    He has some comparisons here: http://cell.uoregon.edu/best/index.html. If you get a Sprint plan that allows you to roam on Verizon, you may be ok, but I don't know if they have restrictions on how much off-network roaming is allowed.
     
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  4. kjo

    kjo Bronze Senior Member
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    Thanks for the information. I'll be sure to check it out and talk to my parents to let them know.
    kjo :)
     
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  5. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    No matter what anyone else says it's alway best to try out the service on a first hand basis and see if it works everywhere you need it to. Second hand info is just someone else's opinion and not necessarily relevant to someone else.
     
  6. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    If your parents are happy with the service I think it's best to stick with Verizon. By the way if you are considering the LG 8100 just get the new LG 8300. The LG VX8300 is also $49.99 and is buy one get one free. It's an upgrade to the 8100 though and in my opinion looks a lot better than the 8100.
     
  7. dalbrich

    dalbrich Junior Member
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    Yes, if Larry can give your folks a SERO referral, that will make the most financial sense. With Sprint, you have 14 days to make up your mind, so they have to be careful to test the phones in places they need it to work.

    I'm a big Verizon fan in terms of quality of coverage in Oregon, but I'm not adverse to a good bargain. Sprint can be a really good thing if they work where you need them to. I'm a bit concerned about your comment about roaming all over the valley (which I also do). Sprint's fair and flexible plans (including SERO) include free roaming, but one will lose an active phone call when crossing between a covered area to a roaming area.

    Let's put it this way, if money is no object, Verizon truly is the best in Oregon and the areas you mention (i.e. Salem and surrounding areas). Being that money is always an object, Sprint can deliver a much better value if they work where you need them to.

    Best of luck to you and your family,

    -Dan

    PS: For me personally, I'm a 5% guy. I mean I really care how well my services work, and a 5% decrease in my ability to make or receive calls is very significant to me. This is because my cell phone is my link to a large family, many of whom are elderly and I need to be in contact with. The 5% decrease in reliability between Verizon and Sprint has been very noticible to me. Not everyone would care about that. In other words, I'd rather pay more money for more reliable communication, and not everyone feels that way. i.e. I experience dropped calls, voice quality issues, and calls going directly to voicemail about 5% more with Sprint than Verizon.
     
  8. TProphet

    TProphet I *am* a mobile phone
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    It's worth pointing out that Dan is in Eugene. VZW is hands down the best carrier there. However, if you primarily use your phone in the Portland area, there isn't much difference between VZW and Sprint. Larry's advice is the best: try out the service and see how well it works where you need it. The SERO plans are hard to beat, and most users won't see enough of a difference between VZW and Sprint in Oregon to pay the double (or more) that VZW charges. :)
     
  9. kjo

    kjo Bronze Senior Member
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    Wow...thanks for all the info!

    Okay so I thought I would just say what the "valley" is.
    My step father drives a ready-mix concrete truck. He's based out of Salem., but he goes to all the little surrounding areas. Stayton, Silverton, Turner, Aumsville, Detroit, Idanha..(all the way up Hwy 22 /Santiam Pass...) Mt.Angel, Woodburn, St.Paul, Brooks, then West Salem, Keizer, Amity, DAllas, Independence, etc. He doesn't usually make it to Eugune or anything like that...but I know there are always exceptions occasionally.


    I knew there wasn't a huge difference up here in Portland between Sprint and Verizon..except for obviously here in my house. Sprint works great, but I have problems with Verizon here.

    I too like the looks of the LG 8300 phone, but I don't think the stores have it down here yet. so i would wait for that, but the SERO plans??? not sure what those are? but I'm all into saving them some money. after taxes etc. they are paying around 100-105.00 a month with Verizon. The majority of the time they are around home and never have a issue. My step-dad has a company truck radio...but he's like to be able to contact my mom, etc.

    So coverage in their home where the majority of the calls are made shouldn't be a issue. If they were to try Sprint...they can't get out of Verizon until August 7th anyway. , but I suppose they could always try Sprint out with different numbers at that point and then if they like it, they could always port the numbers over correct???

    I think Part of them would like to just stick with Verizon, because they know it and understand it... but like I said I'm just trying to maybe save them a little bit of money. But no one says cell phones are cheap . And I'm also somewhat concerned and hoping that they wouldn't have issues with All digital phones with no analog to fall back on., but then again..I have had all digital phones and my mom's current phone is all digital and there hasn't been a problem. My experience with analog was usually...yeah I get a signal., but it was so bad you couldn't carry on a normal conversation anyway. It was kind've useless in my opinion.

    So if we look into the SERO plan thing.. it can't be until August anyway, but they are eligible to upgrade tomorrow with Verizon.

    oh what to do , what to do! hee hee:loony:
     
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  10. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Let me chime in here(and I know you guys have all been waiting for that :) ).

    Your parents know exactly where the Verizon network is strong and where it is weak and you know exactly how much they pay for their Verizon service every month. I'm not sure if SERO gives you a 14 day trial, but if not just sign up for normal Sprint service or get a Virgin Mobile phone and have your parents drive EVERYWHERE they would, and don't only look at the signal strenght, but be on a call and see how the quality is and if you have dropped calls. Of course Sprint allows roaming on Verizon in the area and vice versa, but your call will be dropped when you move out your native coverage area and into roaming coverage. If such a situation is on your daily route this may become annoying. Sprint SERO plans are hard to match, so my suggestion would also be to keep the Verizon phones and compare them with a Sprint phone side by side, making as many phone calls as possible to make sure the Sprint network lives up to your expectations.
     
  11. kjo

    kjo Bronze Senior Member
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    Okay thanks Andy...I'll keep this in mind too. I thought about doing this as well with the trial period. I think I'll also stop by a sprint store and get some up close and personal information as well instead of just online. see the fine print they say.
    THANKS FOR ALL THE REPLYS..I truly value everyone's input! Now for myself...can anyone tell me why my stupid usb drivers won't load for my phone so I can use P2kman! arrrghhh!!!!!! :banghead: it never says phone connected!:dunno:
     
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  12. larry

    larry Sprint loyalist and former mod
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    One other negative thing I forgot to mention about the LG PM-225 is that you can't force the phone to roam digital. On the new LG LX-350 you can force digital roaming mode.
     
  13. kjo

    kjo Bronze Senior Member
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    Okay so I had to go do some errands and I swung by the phone kiosk at a Fred Meyer and grabbed a current Verizon add for plans. The same plan my parents have for 89.99 (1400 minutes) is now up to 109.99!!! they are getting it 30 dollars cheaper!

    I'm starting to think they should just stick with Verizon and get newer phones and keep their plan the way it is...because if they try something else and then port and a year later decide not to keep it and go back to verizon....they are going to be paying a HECK of a lot more it looks like.

    Just what I'm thinking right now.... ????? that's nuts that it has increased so much!
     
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  14. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    You must have seen something wrong because the 1400 minute plan is still $89.99 for two lines, the $109.99 plan includes 2100 minutes.
     
  15. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    You must have looked at the plans wrong. The $89.99 family plan is still for two lines sharing 1400 minutes, Unlimited N&W, and Unlimited "IN" Calling. As Andy stated above the $109.99 plan is for 2100 shared anytime minutes.
     
  16. kjo

    kjo Bronze Senior Member
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    Okay so your right. I went back to the flyer and re-looked over it ...They gave me the one with the PUSH TO TALK. It's 1400 minutes for 109.99! family share..

    the regular one is still 89.99!
    not my fault...they gave me the wrong one..but I about died just the same:loony:

    My mom sent me a email and she said after I left they talked and pretty much have decided to stay with Verizon and just upgrade the phones.. So all I can do is give them the info and let them make their own decision. I guess they don't want to deal with all the porting/activation, etc. so Now I just get to help them pick the best phone. If they have the 8300's those are good...but the Motorola E815's I'm also looking at???
    analog, etc. basically I want one's that they get someone decent battery and talk time, etc. and sturdy..my step father is a klutz at times..

    thanks all for checking on that plan for me. I thought something was fishy.
     
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  17. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Both the Motorola E815 and the LG VX8300 are Digital only phones. That's not a problem for 99% of this country anymore as analog phones really aren't needed anymore. Since Oregon though has some very rural areas and the rural areas outwest seem to have spotty coverage you may indeed need a phone with analog capability. I've never been to any part of Oregon though so I can't say.

    I have the Motorola E815 and it's a great phone. The audio quality on it is top notch and signal wise it picks up better than any Verizon Wireless phone I've seen. I always hear from my local reps that the E815 is the best phone they sell and from my experience I would have to agree with that. Be warned though the battery life on the Motorola E815 sucks for about a week or two until the battery is properly conditioned. For the first week or week and a half my battery was pretty crappy on the E815. The battery on it is rock solid now though and I'm very happy with the battery life on it.
     
  18. dalbrich

    dalbrich Junior Member
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    Yes, my main reservation for your family choosing Sprint is all of the travel to surrounding towns. Verizon, for example, has native coverage everywhere you mentioned, so there would be no crossing of roaming boundries.

    In terms of phones, the Motorola's tend to have a great reputation on Verizon, as does modern Nokia phones. These ones tend to hold signal even in weak areas. I still recommend tri-mode phones for Oregon, but I admit the places where having analog matters are very limited.

    The Moto E815 tends to get good reviews (and several of my friends have and like it). Alternatively for flip you might look at the Nokia 6255. For candy bar style I'd look at the Nokia 6235i.

    www.phonescoop.com has lists of phones by carrier, including user reviews which can be very handy.

    -Dan

    PS: I find the degree of variance with Verizon phones to be quite limited, to the point where you can choose whichever one you like without getting screwed. The only exception of course are special requirements like living in an extremely signal challenged area, or needing analog, etc.
     
  19. kjo

    kjo Bronze Senior Member
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    Yes they should be okay irregardless of whatever phones. Their area doesn't have much analog anymore.

    I hear good and bad about the Motorola e815. My concern is that the earpiece volume will not be loud enough and although not complicated to me...the menu system of the Motorola e815 will be too difficult for my parents to understand, especially my step father. I got him a LG 6000 off of ebay luckily for around 20 dollars about 4 months ago...and he figured it out..worked great...but then about 6 weeks ago ..what do you think he did! Well the first phone..the kyocera 2325 went through the washing machine....! :mad: the second phone I loaned him was my older Motorola v120e phone... (which is still intacted) But you guessed it folks! he lost the LG. has no idea where he left it. has retraced his steps everywhere. we turned it into verizon as reported stolen/lost and had it flagged....so now he's back to the motorola 120e phone.

    But he wants the flip back. ,...which is why we are even discussing them upgrading in the first place. My mother is absolutely mad at him and says no way is he getting the new phone that he just loses because he's careless.. so I'm not sure what they are going to do. I told her if she's that worried about it that she could get the new phones and verizon will activate them both, but then to go home and reactivate her samsung a670 that he has been using for my step dad (as he can understand that one and it has a loud ringer/extremely loud earpiece! and if he loses it it's not the brand new phone) and she can use one of the new phones and either keep the other, or sell it off to make some money.

    So now my Mom is trying to decide if he is worthy of having one of the new phones as he is just simply too damm careless. and we all know that money doesn't grow on trees and it's not like you can just walk in everyday to verizon and get free phones. So she's also thinking at this point perhaps she'll have me find another lg 6000 cheap and they will just keep it the way it is until it gets to the point that they have to upgrade because equipment is failing.

    anyone know of a cheap LG?? ha ha ha
    I swear I don't know anyone more cellular challenged than my step father. My phones have never been lost, stolen, scratched, gone through a washer, etc. !

    sorry now I'm just rambling...:loony:
     
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  20. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    The earpiece on my Motorola E815 is very clear and the volume level is fine. Honestly I find the audio quality on the E815 to be excellent. I like the menu system of the E815. I find it easy to use for the most part and laid out well. I don't care for the Verizon UI that most Verizon Wireless phones have today.

    As far as a cheap LG goes my neighbor has the LG VX5200 and seems to like it. I know Verizon is selling it for $29.99 and the second one would be free. I don't know much about the phone but I've heard mostly good things about it. By the way the LG VX5200 does have analog capability.
     
  21. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I have also never had a problem with the earpiece on the E815. I also think that it is very loud and clear. No problems at all here.
     

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