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Prepaid Operator Profile: Simple Mobile

This is one in a series of Prepaid Phone News' series of comprehensive US prepaid mobile operator profiles. These profiles cover all the major US mobile operators' prepaid plans as well as MVNOs which offer a good value.

Overview: Simple Mobile (877-878-7908) is a T-Mobile MVNO which was founded in 2009. It was acquired in june, 2012 by multinational mobile operator America Movil's Tracfone Division, which also operates the Tracfone, NET10, Page Plus, Total Wireless, Telcel America and Straight Talk prepaid brands in the US. At the time of the acquisition Simple had approximately 1 million subscribers.

Technology: GSM on the 1900 Mhz band with GPRS, Edge and HSPA+ data support. Additional HSPA and HSPA+ service on the 1700 Mhz AWS band. 4G LTE data services is on LTE bands 4, 12  and 2.

Plans: Simple Mobile's Unlimited monthly prepaid plans include "unlimited" domestic and international calling and texting.  International calling is available to landline and mobile phones in 20 countries and landlines in 45 more countries. Click here for a list of included countries. Although minutes are unlimited, calls are only permitted to 15 unique international numbers per month.

Simple Mobile Unlimited Plans
Price/30 days Domestic & International Voice Minutes Domestic & International SMS Text Messages Domestic MMS Picture Messages Data
$25  Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited None
$40 ($37.50 with auto pay) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited, Throttled after 4 GB 1,
$50 ($47 with auto pay) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited, Throttled after 5 GB 1,
$55 ($50 with auto pay) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited, Throttled after 10 GB 1
$60 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited, Untrottled
1 Throttled speed is 64 Kbps or less.

Phone Upgrade Plans: These plans give you a credit toward a new phone after 12 or 18 months, depending on plan.  They also include 100 to 200 minutes of calls to Canada and landlines in Mexico. The upgrade credit can only be used to purchase phones from Simple Mobile's phone sales partner Quality One Wireless.

Phone Upgrade Unlimited Plans
Price Voice Minutes Domestic & International SMS Text Messages Domestic MMS Picture Messages Int'l Min (Canada and Mexico only) Upgrade In / AMT Data
$50 (30 day plan) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 100 18 mo / $300 Unlimited, Throttled after 2 GB 1
$60 (30 day plan) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 200 12 mo / $300 Unlimited, Throttled after 2 GB 1
$70 (30 day plan) Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited 300 6 mo / $200 Unlimited, Throttled after 2 GB 1
1 Throttled speed is 64 Kbps or less

$10 Pay-As-You-Go International Plan: Can be added to any plan, including the $25, 15 day plan. It provides up to 500 international rollover minutes. Minutes expire after 180 days. Adding another $10 extends the expiration date 180 days from the date funds were added. Sample rates (full list) per minute: Canada (all) 1.53¢; Mexico City (landline) 3.06¢; China (mobile) 1.38¢; UK (landline) 1.35¢; Philippines (landline) 9.7¢.

International direct dialing is available on the Unlimited International Plans only. $10 Pay-As-You-Go International Plan users must first dial a 10 dig access number, wait for a prompt and then dial the international number.

There is no extra charge for international texts. International picture messaging is not supported.

Auto Pay: Simple Mobile offers a 10% discount on $40 - $55 plan prices for customers who use auto pay.

Taxes and Fees: Simple Mobile charges applicable state and local sales taxes and e911 fees in all states plus a 1.5% Federal Universal Service Fee and a .2% Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee

Coverage: Simple Mobile uses the T-Mobile native network, which is comparable in size to Sprint's network but much smaller than AT&T or Verizon's networks. There is no off-network roaming. Coverage is available in most cities and larger towns and along most interstates, but is lacking in rural and many resort areas. Use Simple Mobile's coverage map to verify that coverage is available where you need it.

Devices: Simple Mobile sells a limited selection of mostly low end phones on their site.

SIMs: SIMs cost 99¢ with free shipping. Regular and micro SIMs are available. SIMs are also available from Amazon and eBay for as little as 99¢ with free shipping.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is officially supported by SimpleMobile. Support and programming instructions are provided for hundreds of approved devices. You can also use any T-Mobile USA or unlocked GSM device with support for the 1900 Mhz band and ideally (for maximum 3G coverage) the 1700 Mhz AWS band.

How to Buy: SIMs are available online from Simple Mobile and from online and brick and mortar dealers (dealer locator).

How to Activate: Activate online or by calling 877-878-7908 from another phone. If you are porting a number from another operator you must call, porting is not available online. Activation is free.

Payment Options: You can top up a Simple Mobile account with a PIN or a credit or debit card online  at mysimplemobile.com or by calling 611 from your Simple Mobile phone or (866-273-3455) from another phone.

You can apply a PIN by sending a text to 848484 containing REUP# plus the PIN number, i.e., REUP#8765765465435432

If you create an account at mysimplemobile.com you can use the web site's My Account section to set up auto pay, check your balance and plan expiration, switch plans, purchase pay as you go international credit and top up with a PIN or credit or debit card.

PIN cards or codes are available from online and local Simple Mobile dealers (dealer locator) and some convenience stores, supermarkets and chain drugstores. PINs can be purchased at a discount from callingmart.com and other online retailers. PINs are not available on the Simple Mobile Web site.

Account expiration: Plans renew every 30 days or 7 days depending on plan. If you do not have sufficient funds in your account to renew your service will be suspended. If you do not renew within 90 days after your account is suspended you will lose your phone number.

Account Management: You can check your cash balance or available minutes, change plans, add PINs and make a payments using a credit or debit card using the My Account option at mysimplemobile.com (free registration required) or by calling ADD (233) from GSM phones or #ADD (#233) from CDMA phone or 866-2-REFILL (866-273-3455) from another phone.

You can also check your balance for free by sending a text to 848484 with the word INFO in the body of the message.

You can add a PIN to your account by sending a text to 848484 containing REUP# plaus the PIN number, i.e., REUP#8765765465435432

Call Forwarding, Call Waiting and 3-Way Calling

To forward all calls to another number: Not supported

To forward unanswered calls only (conditional call forwarding): Not supported.

Call waiting: Call waiting is enabled by default. It lets you place one call on hold while you take another call. When you are on a call and have another incoming call, you will hear a short tone. You'll have approximately 30 seconds to answer before the second caller hears a standard message or is forwarded to voicemail. Unless you have an unlimited calling plan, you will be charged for both calls.

To answer Call Waiting: To put the first call on hold, press "SEND." You'll automatically be connected with the second call. To return to the first call, press "SEND" again. To switch between the two calls, press "SEND."

3-Way Calling: Only available on the $50 Plans. It lets you create a conference call between yourself and two or more other people. You will be charged for both calls.
  • While on the first call, dial the 10-digit number of the second person and press "SEND." The first person is automatically put on hold while the call is made.
  • When the 2nd person answers, press "SEND" to create the conference call.
Simple Mobile "Secret" Codes:
*#06# displays the phone's IMEI (serial number)

Free information services calls
411 - Free directory assistance
611 - Simple Mobile customer care
711 - Telecommunications Relae>
1 Throttled speed is 64 Kbps or less. BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) included allowing BlackBerrys to use Push email, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) & BlackBerry App World.
2 Auto pay required, no auto pay discount. Limited time offer, must activate by 11/12/15.

Customer Service:

For the best support use the Chat option on Simple Mobile's Facebook Support Page.

Phone support: Call 611 from your Simple Mobile phone or 877.878.7908 or 877.441.4844 from another phone. Support hours are 8AM - Midnight (EST) every day.

Email support: crazytalk@mysimplemobile.com

Mailing address:
Simple Mobile Corporate Office
Attention: Executive Resolution Department
9700 NW 112th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Community Forum

Phone Sales and General Information Web Site: mysimplemobile.com

Simple Mobile Pros: Competitive monthly plan pricing, BlackBerry BIS support, good international rates, BYOD

Simple Mobile Cons: limited T-Mobile native coverage, no call forwarding, tethering not allowed.

Last updated 8/14/2015: International plans now include roaming in Mexico, new 10% auto pay discount, price cuts or data increases on several plans.

711 - Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the hearing and speech impaired
911 - Emergency services
Other 3 digit codes like 211, 311 and 511 are not free on Simple Mobile

Customer Service:

For the best support use the Chat option on Simple Mobile's Facebook Support Page.

Phone support: Call 611 from your Simple Mobile phone or 877.878.7908 or 877.441.4844 from another phone. Support hours are 8AM - Midnight (EST) every day.

Email support: crazytalk@mysimplemobile.com

Mailing address:
Simple Mobile Corporate Office
Attention: Executive Resolution Department
9700 NW 112th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178

Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Community Forum

Phone Sales and General Information Web Site: mysimplemobile.com

Simple Mobile Pros: Competitive monthly plan pricing, BlackBerry BIS support, good international rates, BYOD

Simple Mobile Cons: limited T-Mobile native coverage, no call forwarding, tethering not allowed.

Last updated 4/1/2016: Separate International and Nationwide plans replaced with new Unlimited plans that include international calling and Mexican roaming.

19 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. Again,just to avoid confusion and frustration, the FTC should prohibit any use of the word "UNLIMITED" from all cell Co. and instead force them to specify min/text/data allowances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Again, I disagree. I do not think it is the job of government to protect people from themselves. People need to read and take responsibility for the contracts they sign.
      They should not agree to contract terms, and then cry to government when they discover they have violated the contract, or agreed to a contract that they do not like.
      Some people try to have it both ways: They take the lowest price, without adhering to the terms and conditions that make the low price possible. Then they cry for a bailout.

      Delete
    2. Advertising needs to be truthful. Unlimited means without limits. To you claim unlimited and apply limits is dishonest and un-ethical. Whether it's up to the government to enforce business ethics is a matter of opinion, but pages of find print legal boilerplate doesn't justify lying elsewhere.

      Delete
    3. Advertising needs to be truthful. Unlimited means without limits. To claim unlimited and then apply limits is dishonest and unethical. Whether it's up to the government to enforce business ethics is a matter of opinion, but pages of fine print legal boilerplate don't justify lying in prominent ad copy.

      Delete
    4. Unlimited is defined in these contracts now. The Pageplus settlement with the Ohio AG woke up a lot of executives and put a lot of lawyers to work defining what unlimited means. If the ad copy does not refer to the terms and conditions, then there may be an issue with misleading advertising. But somebody has to prove that case to prevail, or at least make the company believe they can prove it.
      You cannot legislate business ethics. These businesses are licensed in the states where their HQ are located, and state AGs do listen to the people, especially to the ones who voted them into office. That is a good place to start if you see an ad that you think is misleading or incomplete.
      Nothing beats personal responsibility, though. If people do not understand the contract they are entering, they need to get help, and maybe look for another company if they do not like what they find. E.G., read the Solavei contract. I would never agree that those terms.

      Delete
    5. It really doesn't matter. If you are on an "Unlimited" contract, and are being canceled by the carrier for using to many of anything, they cannot charge you early termination fees, or the subsidy on your phone. and if you are on a prepaid and being cancelled, for any reason, since you are not losing anything, just go to a different carrier/MVNO, there are dozens of them.

      Delete
    6. I don't know about postpaid policies when the carrier terminates an account, but when Straight Talk was cancelling user's accounts for using too much "unlimited" data earlier this year, the users lost any funds that they had in the account along with the days, weeks or months of service they had paid for in advance. Straight Talk also refused to let the effected users port their numbers out.

      There's also the time the terminated user must spend to find a new operator, set up service and possibly buy a new phone as well as the inconvenience of losing of mobile service during the time it takes to get up and running on the new operator.

      It would certainly "matter" to me if my mobile operator cancelled my service.

      Delete
  2. Seems like all of the Tracfone brands have this underlying throttling issue. Some users have reported no throttling at all, while others have reported getting their service cut off. I don't know if there is a definitive answer anymore. I'm sure they throttle, but with users reporting usage of over 3 GB's without throttling has me thinking that it is a case by case instance.

    Yesterday, I went over 100MB with Straight Talk and had no issues. I'm thinking it has to be constant heavy usage for them to take notice. It can't just be a flat cap. Yeswap, thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. In an interview with FierceWireless, a Straight talk spokesperson confirmed that throttling was on a case by case basis with no specific data cap.

      Which really doesn't help the user who has no way of knowing if they are close to being throttled.

      Delete
  3. simple mobile had great customer service before it got bought by america movil now it has the same service as net10,tracfone, just be ready to wait awhile for help if you get any help at all!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Too many issues and hassles, like Straight Talk, Tracphone, Net10.
    I think the best high usage plans and customer service for the money now are:
    1. GoSmartMobile $45 plan or Ptel $50 plan on Tmobile
    2. Pageplus $55 plan on Verizon
    3. Virgin Mobile $45 1200 Beyond Talk or Boost Unlimited Shrinkage plan on Sprint
    4. AirVoice $55 plan on AT&T

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Update:
      Add Walmart Family Mobile $40 with 1GB of 3G data to #1.

      Delete
  5. I agree that the government should stay out of business, but the use of the word "Unlimited" next to data plan means service without a cap in place. In legal definition unlimited is unlimited it does not have grey areas but I am sure that the legal law firm that represents Carlitos Slimm company would beg to differ. To say unlimited then impose an data cap is wrong or could be called bait and switch which defrauds the customer when engaging in a service contract with any service provider. I would prefer if they be upfront and just say the limitations of the service and end of story, but the drama continues. America Movil will learn one day that it pays to be honest with the consumers.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My wife's iPhone 5 on Selectel started eating her cash balance. CS (in US) checked and said it was data use, but she was not using much at all. They said they would look into it. One day later they added $10 to her cash balance. The extra data charges stopped. That is good service.

    ReplyDelete
  7. CS just confirmed for me that Simple doesn't support text messaging to short numbers (other than their 848484 of course). My CS experience was very good, no wait time to speak to a CS, she immediately understood the issue and provided the information.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This rates would be great if only they used a better, more reliable network.
    I used T-Mobile at one point and the reception was so bad in buildings or covered arenas it was frustrating. Anyway Im sure they are attracting a lot of new subscribers nonetheless. They look good on paper.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Target-(3)New Simple Mobile Phones - Samsung Galaxy ON5 ($79.99)080-02-0482 LG X Style ($69.99) 080-02-0483 Alcatel onetouch Pixi Avalon ($29.99) 080-02-0485

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, Target - Simple Mobile ZTE Midnight PRO (080-02-0484)

      Delete
    2. Also,Target - Simple Mobile Huawei Sensa $129.99 (080-02-0481)

      Delete
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