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Boost Mobile Raising Pay As You Go Voice and Data Rates 100%!


Many Boost Mobile Pay As You Go (PayGo) users received the a text message from Boost today. It reads:

"BSTFREEMSG Pay As You Go rates will go up on 10/6/11. Your rate won't increase as long as your acct remains active & you don't change plans."

According to @BoostCare, an official Boost account on Twitter, the new rates are 20 cents/minute for voice, 20 cents/text sent or received and 50 cents/day for the unlimited web add-on.  Current pricing is 10 cents per minute or text and 35 cents/day for Web.  So this is a 100% increase in voice and text pricing and a 70% increase in data pricing.

According to @BoostCare switching the Web option on or off or switching temporarily from Pay As You Go to Boost's $2/day Unlimited plan both constitute plan changes and would trigger the increase.

I don't really see any justification for such large price increases especially for voice and texting. Pay as you go pricing has been going down for many years. Both AT&T and PagePlus cut pay as you go prices recently.  The new rates make Boost the second most expensive pay operator in the country. Only Verizon charges more.

The only part of Boost PayGo that makes any sense for users anymore is the 50 cents/day unlimited data. Even that's less than it seems as Boost doesn't officially allow any smartphones on Boost CDMA.

The only explanation I can see is that Boost wants to get rid of the low profit PayGo part of the business by driving pay as you go customers to either the Boost Unlimited plan or to other carriers.  On any carrier's PayGo, it's already the case that a user who accidentally fails to refill their account on time looses their cash balance.  When faced with a 100% price increase in addition to losing their credit, I don't think many users will find any reason to stick with Boost. Fortunately their are lots of alternatives for lower priced PayGo voice and text services. I've listed the ones I consider the best below in no particular order:

Best Pay as You Go Deals
Operator Plan or Package Network Technology Minimum Monthly Cost Voice min. SMS Data
TracFone Pay As You Go AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon CDMA or GSM 6.67 0.04-0.17* 0.02-0.06 0.02-0.08/min
T-Mobile Pay As You Go T-Mobile GSM 3.33* 0.10-0.33 0.10/0.05
Unlimited (throttled after 30 MB) - $1.49/day or free
Page Plus Standard Rate Plan Verizon CDMA 2.50 0.04-0.10 0.05 $0.99/MB
PlatinumTel Real PAYGO Sprint CDMA 3.33 0.05 0.02 $0.10/MB
Jolt Mobile Mobile 10¢ AT&T GSM 3.33 0.10 0.10 $0.01/KB ($10/MB)
* Using the now ubiquitous TracFone Double Minutes or Triple Minutes for Life phones

PayGo is the original, most consumer friendly and purest form of prepaid. Unlike monthly plans which encourage you to buy more than you need, with PayGo you pay only for the minutes, messages and megabytes of data you actually use. It's also the most cost effective choice for anyone who doesn't need data and uses fewer than 600 combined minutes and texts per month.  It's a shame to see Boost abdicating this market to its competitors but fortunate that users have other options.

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15 comments:

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  1. With price increases all around, throttling and other unpopular moves, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile's ride to the prepaid top are over. With younger, hungrier competitors like Simple Mobile, H20, Red Pocket and even older standys like Att Gophone and Verizon prepaid launching their lowest priced plans ever, I don't see Boost/Virgin Mobile being a force anymore.

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  2. what bother me is the 20 cents for receiving txt!! that's 2 cents for each spam txt!! and they don't allow u to block it!!

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  3. CORRECTION: that's 20 cents for each spam txt!!

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  4. As long as you don't change plans or let you balance expire or run out, texts will still be 10 cents.

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    1. Many accounts were increased without being discontinued or changing plans.

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    2. Many? Do you have any evidence? I've only heard of that happening to two people and they were able to get it fixed by calling Boost. Unless you are talking about the price increase for iDEN users.

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    3. Mine was increase without changing plans or running out. AND, it was increased to 25 cents per minute!!

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  5. Unaware of this impending hike, I was going to be out of town for a week, when I expected high usage, so I "temporarily" swapped to their $2/day plan, intending to switch back at the end of the week.

    The JOKE WAS ON ME!!

    Then again, what I liked about Boost Mobile was their "affordibility" and flexibility. I think I'll boost my account with the rest of my prepaid cards, and then let my balance go to zero. After all, I'm not under a contract, so maybe it's time to shop around again.

    The JOKE IS ON THEM!!

    Good-bye Netflix. Good-bye Boost Mobile. I only get to vote once a year in elections, but, as a consumer, I can vote with my wallet year-round!

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  6. Sucks. I didn't realized they will boost my rate (That's what they will be known for) when I update my phone. So now when you change your phone, you will get the hike.

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  7. Phone Bill PayerMarch 4, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Boost sold a number of Motorola i465 IDEN phones. I'm prepared to continue to use mine as long as I can. But I understand they intend to phase these out in another year or so. What will happen with the 10 cent per minute plan if they force me to change phones?

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    Replies
    1. A phone change is not supposed to trigger the rate increase. However users have reported that changing phones using the Web form on boostmobile.com it will trigger the increase but they were able to get the grandfathered rate back by calling Boost Customer Care.

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  8. If one already has a Sprint CDMA phone already activated on Boost, can I just ask cusotmer service to change to another Sprint CDMA handset or do I have to start at the beginning with a Boost phone and so a swap to a Sprint CDMA phone later, and does that necessitate getting a Boost CDMA phone or are there loaner esns out there? I'll assume that since IDEN is phased out you cannot start with an IDEN ESN.

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    1. Getting a Sprint phone on Boost tends to be a hassle. But it sounds like you've done it once already. Switching from one Sprint phone thats active on Boost to another is the same as switching from a Boost phone to a Sprint one.

      Read the first post in this Howard Forums thread Howard Forums thread to verify that the phone is one of the older models that can be used on Boost
      Call Boost and tell them you want to change phones. You may have to call many times before you get a rep that's willing to do it.

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  9. Bad news fro Jolt Mobile users. The 10 cents per minute plan used to require only $10 every 3 months for $3.33/mo. They recently changed to require a monthly recharge of $10 so it will be $10/month. The only way to get it cheaper would be to pay for a year at $100, and then the rate would be $8.33/mo. The way I see it the yearly fee would be a problem if you wanted to go with their 2GB $60 data plan for a month, because it would reset or cancel any remaining minutes in the yearly plan. This basically means $10/mo fro me. Also if you are more than 3 days late (to the hour) recharging your account you could lose your phone number, because after 3 days your number is released back into a pool where it could be selected by new subscribers.

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    Replies
    1. You are right. I just confirmed the changes with Jolt. Thanks for letting me know.

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