How would you like an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy with unlimited data for just $35 a month?
That’s what Straight Talk promises, and their prepaid plans are a lot cheaper than any plan with Verizon or AT&T.
But as one man just found out, it comes with a catch that made the great deal no deal at all.
“They are not giving you data that the phone can use, and it’s their phone that I bought,” Tony Proctor said.
Unlimited data … with a small catch
Proctor, on a tight budget, purchased a prepaid Straight Talk phone for $35 a month, with “unlimited data,” according to the card on the display at his local Walmart store.
But the small print on the card says that after two gigs of 4G LTE service your phone is switched over, or “throttled” to a slower network, which Proctor thought would be acceptable.
“You will get throttled back to 2G after you use two gigs according to that card, which I was fine with,” he said. “I just still wanted to use my phone.”
Proctor says after he used two gigs of data and was throttled, he was still using data technically, but it was so slow that his phone could not do anything. Web pages won’t open at all on his phone.
“Everything you try to do will be at a slow enough speed that the iPhone will just time out,” he said.
We contacted Straight Talk to ask if anything can be done for Proctor.
TracFone Wireless, which runs Straight Talk, says: “At 2G speeds, the functionality of some data applications such as streaming video or audio may be affected.”
But Proctor says on his phone it’s more than that.
“It’s a joke to use that phone,” he said.
So what can you do?
Straight Talk is still a great bargain prepaid phone. But you may want to pay a bit more for a lot more data. For about $10 more per month you can get 10 gigs of data before you are throttled.
Also, if you are anywhere with WiFi, try to use WiFi to keep your data use down, so you don’t waste your money.