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Need help from Provo-ites

Looking for help from current Provo residents. I am sending by daughter out to school this fall, and want to get her a cell phone. Verizon is my first choice, since they have done well for us here in Michigan, and she could be on our "family Plan"

I can not tell however if Provo is in their coverage area, or if it will be roam. The guys at the cell store just throw a map at me and tell me to check it out, but it is a whole nation map, and it is not clear whether or not Provo is in their primary coverage area or not. The Verizon website is of no help on this topic either.

What is the experience of Verizon users on campus, are they reliable and can you place and recieve calls without going into "roam" mode.

Thought it would be very "web 2.0" to throw it out to the locals to get real reviews off the street.

CRICKET WIRELESS BETTER THAN OTHER COMPANIES

I had ATT and Verizon before I got Cricket and now I would never CHANGE my Cricket phone for any other. Cricket coverage is the same or better as any other carrier, in fact it uses the same CDMA technology as Verizon or Sprint. ATT charges a lot of money and and they do a lot of false advertising because "ATT IS THE NETWORK WITH THE "MOST" DROPPED CALLS.Then Verizon just wants to steal all your money by charging $300 a month for their service, plus they offer very few minutes on their plans, and they charge you whatever they want (a really bad deal). Since I went to Cricket I can really talk all I want and I never go over my minutes or texts. College students have a lot more to worry about having to pay stupid overcharges from cellphone companies that want to squeeze as much money as they can... BAD DEAL FOR POOR COLLEGE STUDENTS

Oh ya

By the way, the secret to getting great customer service as Cingular is to call as late at night as you are still awake. Those night time guys have waaaay fewer calls, aren't stressed out, and are really nice to deal with.

But shhhhh... don't tell anyone else.

i'd shy from cricket

Brentraymonds comments are good. He mentioned Cricket (though not really recommending them) - I would avoid them. THough it's cheap for unlimited minutes the technology (at least this was the case 2 years ago) is from Radio frequencies - quite different from modern cell phone technology.

coverage is horrible, and it drops calls all the time. But if you're all about no contracts and no credit checks then this might be the only way to go.

Cingular

I have had the complete opposite experience with Cingular/AT&T. After the first switch over from At&T to Cinuglar they got the worst customer support reviews of any company in the nation, and I think it whipped them into action.

Now, whenever I call in - 9 times out of 10 it is a pleasurable experience and they will often do what I want them to, even if my requests are exactly reasonable. Cingular also has the best data coverage and plan - 3G data unlimited for $20/mo and I've tested side by side with Sprint's EVDO and Cingular knocks them out of the park. Although data probably doesn't matter to your daughter.

I had a problem with one of the local Spring stores here in Provo who deals as a third party for Cingular. I wrote about my experience on my blog and was contacted the next day by the PRESIDENT and CEO of the company himself, who apologized profusely for my experience and ended up taking care of everything - and even threw in over $200 of free bluetooth accessories to sweeten the deal. Needless to say, with only one cingular corporate store in Utah Valley - I will have no problem buying my next phone from Spring because I know they will back up what they sell.

Cingular also seems to get the best coverage in the canyon, when all my friend's Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile phones go dead I still have 5 bars.

All that said, ALL PHONE COMPANIES SUCK. I've been happy with Cingular, yes, but they're not perfect. Neither is Sprint. Neither is Verizon. They are all in the business of tying you into endless contracts and squeezing as much money out of you as they can.

I'm sure it probably won't matter much which one you go with. They all have decent enough coverage in the valley, and all the plans are somewhat comparable. Cingular does have about the same plans as everyone else AND they offer rollover. So you can get 1000 minutes for one month then drop your plan down to 400 minutes and still get to keep what you didn't use from the first month.

One more thing. Never trust anyone who sold phones for a living.... Just kidding ;)

/end rant

I've had Verizon for 3 years

I've had Verizon for 3 years here in Provo/Orem and have never gone into roaming.

T-Mobile???

In every sales pitch, there are selling points. (Selling points are those things used to get the buyer just to buy the product and/or service.) I use T-Mobile myself and have been impressed with their customer service as well.

Here's what I don't recommmend: pre-paid cell phones. My experience with those is that those are only good if you plan on only using the phone for emergencies because every time you make a call even to a customer service number or to check your voicemail, it uses a "minute". The plan I had called them "units".

As for Jeff's comments, since he says he has sold cell phones, I'd say his advice is pretty solid.

You've done the right thing by asking around (getting testimonials) before you make a decision.

As far as roaming goes, I would think Provo has a big enough population that most major cell companies would have service.

If you don't want to worry about your daughter going over minutes, I would recommend Cricket. They seem to have unlimited everything (minutes, long distance) though I don't think their service as far as not having dropped calls or not having dead spots is all that great.

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go with T-mobile

Before I started my own companies (or bought them - like this website) I used to sell Cellular Phones. I sold for Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T/Cingular (though never Sprint).

This is how I would break it down.

1) Verizon has the best nation wide coverage (hands down). Good Customer Service.
2) T-Mobile has the best deals (cheapest plans for most minutes). Best Customer Service.
3) AT&T/Cingular is likely the worst. Rip of plans, and bad customer service. They were a mess when they did their first company flip back in 2004 (going from AT&T to Cingular) and now I hear they are just as much a mess with the second flip back to AT&T. To get a simple problem solved could take up to 2 hrs on the phone with Customer Service (most of whom couldn't fix your problem)....while the same issue could be solved in 2 sec. with T-Mobile or Verizon.

I personally have T-Mobile. And to help you here, T-Mobile has specific maps that will let you zoom into a small area (like a small city such as provo) and see the coverage area. You can do this at T-mobile.com -

On campus both companies work fine. I don't know how well Verizon works in the bottom of Library - but T-mobile breaks up a small amount.

Just stay away from Cingular/AT&T - I don't know anyone who is happy with them - and they are sure not the "fewest dropped calls" carrier as they advertise. Not sure how they came up with that - but it sure doens't apply here in Provo.