Prepaid phone services can be a great way to save money. Lately we’ve noticed many of you coming to the site for information about the prepaid cell phone service, NET10 Wireless. To save you some time (and money), here’s what people are saying about Net10 and how it compares to other prepaid providers.
The basics of NET10
NET10 Wireless is a no long-term contract, no credit check, no activation fee, no age-limit service.
It offers three different types of plans: family plans, 30-day monthly plans and pay-as-you-go plans. The cell phone provider‘s family plan rates start at $90 for two people and go to $170 for up to four people. Monthly plans begin at $15 for 200 minutes per month and $65 for an unlimited plan that includes talk, text messaging, data and international calls. The pay-as-you option gives you the choice to pay $20 for 200 minutes up to the highest option of 1500 minutes for $100.
The service has numerous Android phones ranging from basic flip phones ($30) to an LG Optimus Black ($330). NET10, however, allows you to bring any T-Mobile or any unlocked GSM phone (Global System for Mobile: most AT&T and T-Mobile are GSM phones) and purchase a NET10 SIM card to activate it.
Viewpoints rates NET10 Wireless 65/100 based on 130 reviews. That’s slightly below the average cell phone provider rating of 68/100. Viewpoints reviewers like the coverage provided by NET10 Wireless but disapprove of the customer service.
Viewpoints contributors praise the cell service as a great option for those who are new to using cell phones. Many reviews state that the service provides excellent coverage in even remote areas and with no extra roaming charges, makes the phone ideal for travel.
“First off let me say that I am very happy with the coverage of Net10. I’ve never had an issue with dropped calls anywhere I’ve been. I’ve been with 2 other major companies and get the same coverage service at half the cost.” -tat2bert, Reviewer since 2012
“The network coverage is truly amazing. I was always led to believe that the prepaid carriers have very limited network coverage but with NET10 this is very obviously not the case. I can even use my phone where it was previously impossible to get any bars.” -PamGreen, Reviewer since 2010
“With Net10 I have service everywhere. Even when I go on my roadtrips in the summer. I don’t have to pay roaming charges either! Ten cents a minute all the time.” -Jessers3192, Reviewer since 2010
Good for new cell phone users
“This phone service is perfect for teenagers to learn to budget their talk time and bills. I think this service is a great starting out point for first time cell phone users. You can also get the minute cards at different locations and gas stations which makes it very convienient and easy to get to.” -JeannieFuson, Reviewer since 2010
“I think this pre-paid phone is a good learning tool for young kids just wanting a cell phone handy. If they talk to much and use up all their minutes without checking them, they don’t talk.” -AmyA, Reviewer since 2007
COMMERCIAL: NET10′s TV commercial explains you don’t need to purchase a new phone to switch to NET10′s service.
Most of NET10′s negative reviews mention poor customer service. Viewpoints contributors suggest using online customer service versus calling, but this may not be convenient for everyone.
“I have been a NET10 customer since they started doing business, probably 6 years now. The plans are great. But I can’t bring myself to say they have provide customer service. It’s more like abuse, and outright THEFT!” -GingerTaps, Reviewer since 2011
“Their customer service leaves A LOT to be desired, all overseas. Do everything online and you will love NET10!” -AndrewLoniak, Reviewer since 2010
“If you are looking for cheap mobile carrier, this is the best one as long as you don’t deal with their customer care people.” -unifiedkiran, Reviewer since 2010
“The customer service of this company is very bad. They are not helpful and do not offer any options for fixing a problem. I had a problem with my account and I got no effort to help. Very frustrated that I now have a broken phone with 29 days of service that I can’t use, it is basically trash now and so I am out about $25. I would not recommend this company to anyone.” -kckat, Reviewer since 2013
What else to know about NET10
Many NET10 Wireless customers seem pleased with the product, saying it is affordable and simple to use, with great coverage. According to its website, NET10 uses the “country’s top four carriers,” to ensure the best coverage for its service. However, if customer service in a cell provider is of top priority to you, I would suggest skipping on NET10, simply based on the large amount of negative reviews concerning various users’ experiences with the help center.
Both Straight Talk Wireless (another prepaid service) and NET10 allow users to provide their own phones, but NET10 is available at a wider range of retail stores (Straight Talk is sold exclusively at Walmart). If you’re looking to use the service for your whole family, NET10′s family plans may end up saving you money. Unfortunately both cell providers seem to do poorly in terms of customer service.
Something to be noted: NET10 users who choose its “Bring Your Own Phone” plan with AT&T compatible SIMs are capped at a limit of 1.5 GB of data on the 30-day unlimited plans. Although Straight Talk denies a data cap on its service, many users complain of slowed speeds with increased use of the phone’s service. Due to this discrepancy, NET10 is offering free SIM cards for customers who want to switch to a T-Mobile SIM.
Have you ever used NET10 Wireless? Share your experience here>>
Editor’s note: If you have professional experience with cell service providers, Viewpoints is recruiting experts in priority product categories to write for our blog. Check out this overview of the Viewpoints Category Expert Program, including qualifications, compensation and how to apply.