Home - , , , - Confirmed - PTel and Giv Mobile Shutting Down Feb 5

Confirmed - PTel and Giv Mobile Shutting Down Feb 5

Ptel Mobile Logo
A PTel master dealer has posted on HowardForums that the T-Mobile MVNO is ceasing operations on January 30, 2016. PTel is sending the following message to dealers:

PTel To Discontinue Service on January 30
01/20/2016 10:55 am

We regret to inform you that after 15 long years, PlatinumTel's journey in wireless has come to an end and we will no longer offer service effective the end of January. Accordingly, activations have been disabled, and your ability to top-up will soon be stopped as well. Please begin to port your customers to new providers. PIN requirements for port-outs have been disabled.


The dealer says that service on PTel's Giv Mobile brand is also ending service Jan. 31.

PTel hasn't announced the shutdown on their website or their Twitter or Facebook accounts. However, I can confirm that activations as well as phone and airtime purchases are disabled on the PTel site. Chat is also disabled.

I haven't been able to contact Ptel by phone (been on hold over 50 minutes). But a PrepaidPhoneNews reader who was able to reach PTel using Chat earlier today was told that the shutdown is indeed happening Jan 31 Feb 5 and that port-out requests must be submitted by Jan. 26 Feb 5.

As a long time PTel customer, I'm sad and surprised by the news that PTel is apparently closing. My service has been trouble free and PTel's US based customer service has always  been courteous and able to handle my questions promptly and accurately. I always considered PTel to be one of the best run and most reliable prepaid MVMOs.

Unfortunately, the prepaid landscape has changed a lot in the 15 years since PTel launched. In their battle for market share, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint as well as Amerca Movil's TracFone have gotten very aggressive with their prepaid pricing making it difficult for small independent MVNOs like PTel to survive. . In particular, T-Mobile's MetroPCS and GoSmart brands have undercut PTel's pricing on everything except low margin PayGo and sub $30 monthly plans. I fear that PTel's demise is just the beginning and that we will see more MVNOs go down in the coming years.  I hope I'm wrong as fewer MVNOs means fewer choices, less competition and likely higher prices eventually.

Update 1 PM PST 1/20. I just recieved an email from PTel support confirming the shut down. It reads:

I regret to inform Ptel Mobile will be discontinuing wireless service as of January 31, 2016. We urge subscribers to process their requested Port Outs by January 26, 2016 to ensure successful port outs. Additionally, all wireless accounts will remain active until 1/31/2016 to ensure carrier transfers. At this time we are working to supply details via the site. Currently an SMS has been sent in batches to subscribers to inform of service update. Please note- the next step to take will consist of porting out of Ptel Mobile in order to retain your same number. Here are the following suggested companies for service: Ultra Mobile- 888-777-0446/Simple Mobile-877-878-7908/Metro PCS- 888-863-8768/Ting- 855 846 4389/ LycaMobile- 866-277-3221/T-Mobile- 877-413-5903. To initiate a port request, please contact the new selected service provider. Please supply the new service provider with the phone number as the account number. The 4-digit PIN on the account is 0000. We appreciate your patience and cooperation in this matter.

Update 8:30 PM 1/22:  PTel has updated their website's home page with information about the shutdown and links to special offers from Ultra Mobile, Simple Mobile and Ting. PTel customers can get a free SIM and free month of service on Ultra or Simple or a $75 account credit from Ting. For the Ting offer you need to purchase a SIM for $9 plus $4 for shipping.

Update 10:30 PM: It looks like T-Mobile is letting PTel stay up a few days longer. The PTel homepage has been updated to say you now have until Feb 5 to port out.

To port out of Ptel, your account number is your 10 digit phone number and your PIN is 0000. PTel recommends initiating port outs by 1/26 to insure the port completes by 1/31.

Related: Prepaid Operator Profile: PTel Mobile

194 comments:

Comment Page :
  1. This isn't good for competition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I lost my money on a Ptel sim card I bought.

      Delete
    2. I lost my money on a prefunded sim I bought from the imeipros dot com store on ebay.

      Delete
    3. Why isn't it good for competition? I'm bummed about losing PTel as I was paying only $5 a month for basic smartphone service (iPhone 6). But the competition will be getting us customers!

      I did a lot of digging around today to try to find a good replacement... The best option I could find was going with Black Wireless, which has been around for a long time - and turns out to be even cheaper than PTel!

      They actually have a $10 pay-as-you-go plan that is valid for *90 days*... Rates for call/text/data are very similar to PTel, and the data is 4G LTE speed. Plus they do auto-recharge - and are an AT&T MVNO, so an even better network than T-Mobile in most cases.

      Bottom line, you can get GSM service for as low as $3.33/month - and if you use promo code 32920 then that will give you a $5 discount on your first order. Here's what they have:

      https://www.blackwireless.com/PayAsYouGoPlans.aspx

      Hope that helps! I'm pretty pumped to have found something even less expensive for basic cell service.

      Delete
    4. Don't go with Black Wireless. They charge $2.00 for a sim plus $7.00 shipping. You can get the same rates from H2o and a free sim card or 1 cent and shipped free from Amazon. When I chatted with the Black Wireless rep saying they were dishonest for charging $7.00 shipping, she gave me a code for $5 off so it would still cost you $4.00 for a sim and the same rates vs free or 1 cent for a sim and the same rates with H2O.

      Delete
  2. Port out in just 6 days, no advance warning, this is why I stay away from no-brand MVNOs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How much more time do you need?

      Delete
    2. Sometimes you just need a dose of reality. What are we talking here? It's PREPAID, people. A maximum of one month of service plan lost. if even that. What's that, $3? $20 at most?

      Delete
    3. No-brand mvnos? Ptel has been around for 15 years. They didn't really show signs of going concern either.

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    4. Most customers won't know it is shutting down until PTel tells them (it hasn't yet, only the dealers have been notified - customers only know if they are keeping up with the news and this is not a mainstream headline). Customers on PayGo might have purchased an $100 refill on Tuesday expecing the balance to expire in 2017.

      Delete
    5. Most people HAVE been notified by now from ptel via a text. Would have been nice if they sent the texts a bit sooner, before or as the news as leaking out from dealers.

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    6. NOPE. have not received any TEXT. had to find out about this news from this website. THANKS PTEL for NOT TELLING ME.

      Delete
    7. I've been buying the $100 cards for the last 4 years and rolling over the unused mins. I have over $200 dollars I'm going to lose!

      Delete
  3. Wow I thought about going back to PTEL after a couple of months at T-Mobile. Sad news enjoyed them while I had them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was planning to move back to PTEL/GIVMOBILE after getting PORTIN credit from Cricket.. Too bad.. where to move now?

      Delete
    2. People like you are the reason why MVNOs like Ptel are going belly up

      Delete
    3. "People like you are the reason why MVNOs like Ptel are going belly up"

      Which makes as much sense as saying that I am for refusing to give them a $60 charitable gift each month.

      Delete
  4. Very disappointing. I was just thinking about moving an H2O paygo line to PTel's paygo before the AT&T GSM shutdown. (I have a quality 2G phone I'd like to keep using.) PTel was one of the few MVNOs left that had inexpensive paygo with an option for occasional small doses of data, and was a viable enough company that I would trust with a long term phone number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. RL - why were you wanting to move from H20? I just got the text today(Jan 24) from PTEL that they are shutting down. My husband looked up other plans and found H20. What are the differences/reasons that you want to leave H20 wh ich appears to be the closest in price to PTEL (which I will miss as I really like having the online call logs, very responsive customer service etc). Which one are you now thinking about using?

      Delete
    2. Sorry for the late respone, HawaiiWahine. Just saw your question today.

      I am perfectly happy with H2O pay-as-you-go and will probably stay with them long term. The reason I was thinking about switching to PTEL was that AT&T (which H2O resells) will be shutting down their 2G network before 2017. I have a 2G-only phone I'd like to keep using. So my choices are to switch to a T-Mobile MVNO, like PTEL, or get a new phone. Guess I'll get a new phone. :-)

      Delete
  5. has anyone tried porting out yet? if so, have you had any issues ... was it a clean port ?

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    Replies
    1. Ported out to at&t, no issues, did take about 20 minutes or so to confirm info with Giv Mobile

      Delete
    2. a few hrs after the news broke, i ported out from ptel to tmobile prepaid via the online tmo prepaid activations page. port was instant. i just happened to have a prepaid tmo sim-kit sitting in a drawer. you might be able to get one at best buy or walmart or any tmo store.

      Delete
    3. I ported out to H2O took about 20 min start to finish including the time to fill out all the forms online. The actual port took only 5 min for my new sim to be active.

      Delete
    4. Ported to ultramobile. Got sim card quickly in mail. followed instructions and has been successful. Haven't tried to set up data as I don't have smart phone.

      Delete
  6. I also stay away from these pop up brands, you just never know when they will shut down with little to no notice. You risk losing your service and even number with these MVNOs. Stick with the big ones you know that aren't going anywhere like AT&T Go Phone, Cricket Wireless, Boost Mobile etc...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PTel is hardly a "pop up brand"; they had existed for 15 years (as the article above states).

      Delete
    2. Boost is owned by Sprint, which in itself will face BK soon, just look at their stock down over 50% in the last year.

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    3. Pretty much right about Sprint being in trouble...it's parent company, Softbank of Japan, is probably looking to unload that dog. Sprint is cutting costs(employees) and trying to find cheaper tower locations and doesn't have the cash or loans to bid on upcoming spectrum auctions or continue to build out it's infrastructure. If Spring goes under it will take down at least a dozen of it's MVNO's including Boost, Virgin and others.

      Delete
  7. and these guys run promotions even though they know that they are going to shut down in few days.................

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm assuming it was something they weren't anticipating. It might be the same thing that happened with Solavei, possibly contract issues or t-mobile trying to push out the smaller MVNO's so they can focus on their own. Just speculation though

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  8. Nothing to be sad about there always a new MVNO poping up to replace them. Its just business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't the number of MVNOs actually plummwting?

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  9. Any suggestions on who to use?
    I currently have my Mom on their $20/month plan.
    All she needs is unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international sms, and ability to make and receive international calls.
    I need to act fast !!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You need to sign up with EasyGo

      Delete
    2. Ultra Mobile, includes $1.25 international call credit. If the phone is unlocked, Airvoice and EasyGo on the AT&T network are also possibilities.

      Delete
    3. For a $20 monthly plan on the T-Mobile network I like Ultra.

      If your phone is unlocked the AT&T MVNO Airvoice has a $20 unlimited plan with free international texts and excellent support.

      Delete
    4. I had a bad experience with international calls on Ultra (calls not going through, disconnects, etc.) to the point I didn't even use the partial credit they gave me. GoSmart has by far the best international call voice quality, their data is just painfully slow, they say 3G and they mean old 3G (1Mbps), not 3G+. For a lower cost option I would recommend Lycamobile. I had them some time ago, I left because they didn't offer MMS but they do now with Lycamobile Plus.

      Delete
  10. Well, maybe user should go to MetroPCS. Spectacular growth over the past 3 years, and now the best offer EVER:
    https://www.metropcs.com/break-up-with-sprint.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fierce has the rest of the BIG story here:
      http://www.tmonews.com/2016/01/metropcs-goes-after-sprint-with-the-biggest-offer-in-sprints-history/

      Delete
    2. This is just the beginning. A lot of these independent/non-subsidiary MVNOs are going to end up as roadkill in the price wars between Sprint and T-Mobile (and to a lesser extent Cricket/AT&T and Verizon prepaid). They're going to have a hard time selling plans over $30/month, and I'm not seeing them surviving selling PAYGO or $10-$20/month plans. From $30-50 you now have every network operator plus their captive MVNOs offering a lot; heck at $45 you have the Holy Grail - Verizon prepaid with 3GB unthrottled LTE data and roaming, and at $50 you can get 2 lines at MetroPCS. Which highlights that once you get to multiple lines, none of the independent MVNOs really compete.

      Delete
  11. The new MetroPCS offer kicks those chirpy crickets right off the field.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Call me back when you have an ACTUAL nationwide network, otherwise those "chirpy crickets" tend to work from coast to coast and border to border, and even cross a few of those...

      Delete
    2. "The new MetroPCS offer kicks those chirpy crickets right off the field."

      It is a great deal if T-Mobile coverage is sufficient for you. Not so great if it is not.

      Delete
    3. The new MetroPCS offer? It doesn't kick anything due to poor coverage outside of a small area.

      Delete
    4. MetroPCS and PTel were both on TMobile network, so comparing MetroPCS to PTel is fair. Of course Cricket is on (and owned by) AT&T, so it has much better coverage for many people.

      Delete
  12. Anyone have any success in porting to Lycamobile?
    I like their $19/month plan, and the fact that one can make calls while abroad. I'm not sure if you can ever port out your number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried Lycamobile. Their voice,text were good. However their data had huge latency even during non peak times and hence didn't continue with them. This was on a 22$ plan i believe.

      Delete
  13. Airvoice or Pure Talk are the best options for little-data-unlimited-plans. Your phone would have to be unlocked though ($2 to $7 approximately on eBay). In eBays search bar just type your model number followed by yhe words "unlock code." Its worth the unlocking for two reasons: your phone will be worth more & for the same price per month you can be on AT&T towers

    ReplyDelete
  14. (you can pick up a Pure Talk sim at one of your local stores)

    ReplyDelete
  15. , Also i can help everyone who wanted Paygo plans,$15 All YEAR of service,Special deal will be done on our website to port out numbers on Imeipros dot com I will post link and as well more info soon
    Germain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mr. Barrios. Can you tell us anything about why Ptel decided to close now?
      You have been working with them for at least 7 years.

      Delete
  16. No idea, I no have answers and maybe never will be one, but I'm guessing will be the most obvious answer. . Money?? Like I said before I create a emergency paygo plan on Real Mobile, will be $15 for a full year of service , just to help Ptel Dealers - Customers, if anyone need it please contact me ASAP to arrange Port process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm speculating it to be something other than money. Perhaps they had a similar demise to Solavei who also recently shut down. Maybe they couldn't come to contractual terms? I feel as if t-mobile really focuses on their own brands vs. the smaller MVNO's. It's a shame. I've been with ptel since 2009, even during their switch from Sprint. They had great customer service. I'm porting to ultra tomorrow and I'm hoping that works out.

      Delete
  17. Hello,

    I worked at PTEL as a CSR, I no longer work there...but I was informed by another employee.

    If you want to port out you may use your phone number which is your account number and your password is 0000. That is for everyone who is trying to port out.

    Just so you guys don't have to wait hours on the line just to get your account number and password because the call ques are sooo high now and now just for ptel Q there are 100-200 calls waiting...and only 10 reps that are still there.

    Have a good day!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This just means that no mvno is safe from going down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. I thought Ptel was one of the safest.

      Delete
  19. What about some of us on the unlimited plans with some days still left? I have 17 days (My plan expires on FEB 7)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gone,write it off, I just added another 30 days to my unlimited plan on the 16th.

      Delete
  20. Will Lyca and Ultra be the next service ending T-Mo MVNO?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure as HELL hope NOT...I'm going to ULTRA ;and then to LYCA if ULTRA doesn't work out!

      Delete
  21. You know what's funny? I just got Giv Mobile activated on my phone 2 days ago, Jan 18th, 11am.(Yes, I know the time I activated the service). Wouldn't have known it was shutting down since I received no text or an email. A relative notified me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Makes Google Voice look more attractive as a way to preserve and use your phone number without worrying about your carrier sinking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. but we never know when GOOGLE stops GV...I am also using GV.. changed many carriers since 2011 without worrying about change in #s.

      Delete
    2. Google voice works for me. True the threat of them stopping the service is always there. (hopefully they wont) but free text messaging is great. MMS can be a hassle. Oh well just a challenge for being as cheap as I am. -- dont want to talk to people on the phone anyway!

      Delete
  23. This really is terrible. PTEL has been reliable & CS has been great...Really going to miss PTEL!

    Dennis, what is better for the $30 PLAN in terms of DATA connection/latency? : ULTRAMOBILE or LYCAMOBILE

    Thanks for the information... It was the information from your great site that first convinced me to go with PTEL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There really shouldn't be any difference between two T-Mobile MVNOs in terms of data speed or latency.

      Ultra's support is generally considered to be much better than Lyca's although not nearly as good at the PTel or Airvoice's.

      Delete
  24. Ptel probably had money issues.if they had gone multicarrier it may have been different. They were a good mvno and will be missed...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a huge shame. I loved having ptel. I don't think it was money, based on my experience when I talked to a rep, it seemed as though it came as a huge shock to everyone. I think they went the Solavei route and couldn't come to terms with an agreement. It seems as if T-Mobile is getting more aggressive with their own prepaid brands and kicking out the independents, which sucks because I felt ptel being an independent carrier gave them an advantage to really give great customer service

      Delete
  25. Is this the company that was giving away $10 sims with a free month of service....causing some people to buy 20 sims and just switch numbers every month?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, no that wasn't ptel. You got a free month from them from porting to an eligible carrier and they ran certain promotions on service when you bought a phone from them.

      Delete
  26. Running on AT&T EasyGo has a $20 unlimited plan with international calling too. Find them on the H2O website. I have not used them, but supposedly you can purchase data add ons in $10 for 1GB increments and it never expires, which is handy. From what I read it may be difficult to order the data add on, but their cs chat claims you can do so.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm going to try US mobile because of their build them yourself plans. Please let me know if anyone has experience with them, thanks!
    P.S. I have LOVED ptel mobile and I am really sorry to see them go. If u.s mobile works out, I'll probably share it a little more with others so this doesn't happen again.

    ReplyDelete
  28. There's also Ting with build your own plans, but they are a bit pricey unless you are a very light user. They always get rave reviews from those who use them. Funny thing is I have used their own tool to compare plans and they have lost out to other MVNOs for my particular usage scenario. Consumer also offers various buckets, and they have T-Mo plans now too. Always the highest rated cs.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Walmart has some sweet deals for service on Ultra Mobile. Check 'em out! http://www.walmart.com/search/?query=ultra%20mobile%20triple%20punch&cat_id=1105910_1072335_1097404

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am assuming that we can activate those pre-loaded sim from Walmart on ultra website directly? I have heard many pre-loaded sim sold online requires contact the seller/dealer in order to activate.

      Delete
    2. Did any one purchased ultra mobile sim from Walmart? Can it be activated on ultra's website?

      Delete

  30. Ultra Mobile Service Updates

    We've made adjustments to our monthly plans and international rates. Please read below to see how you are affected.


    We've got two big updates for Ultra subscribers! – Effective 1/21/2016

    First, great news for everyone on our $34 plan: As of 1/21/2016, all $34 Ultra subscribers will get unlimited calling to Mexico for both landlines and mobile phones!

    Second, Ultra Mobile is pleased to announce our NEW $39 plan! This plan brings you Unlimited Talk to the US and 60 worldwide destinations, as well as Unlimited Texting anywhere around the globe. You also get Unlimited Data with your first 2GB at 4G LTE speed, as well as a $2.50 "Call Anywhere" credit.

    For more information on Ultra's new $39 plan, please feel free to call 888-777-0446 or visit ultra.me Customers enrolled in our existing $39 plan prior to 1/26/2016, will continue to receive our Classic $39 plan service, which includes Unlimited data with the first 750 MB @ 4G LTE speed, and a $6.25 "Call Anywhere

    ReplyDelete
  31. Fantastic... 5 days to port out my number and no I didn't get an SMS!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Dennis, I agree with "In their battle for market share, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint as well as Amerca Movil's TracFone have gotten very aggressive with their prepaid pricing." But how do MVNOs survive in places like Europe, where service is even cheaper?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't really follow the European mobile industry closely enough to say if it's even true that European MVNOs have a lower attrition rate than US ones.

      Market conditions in every country are different and and government regulation of wholesale pricing might play a role. Also some European MVNOs are to be operated by supermarket and coffee shop chains who are probably more interested in driving customers into their stores than making a profit on the MVNO.

      Delete
    2. @Dennis: fair enough. Is there a legal requirement (or at least a CTIA suggestion or something) requiring carriers to notify customers in a situation like Ptel's? Between T-Mobile's Binge On and Ptel, it sounds like SMS isn't exactly the best mass communication tool...

      Delete
    3. There's no requirement that I know of to announce an impending a MVNO shutdown.With some MVNO failures the only notice customers got was when their phones stopped working.

      I recommend keeping important numbers with a carrier owned brand or Google Voice and not carrying a larger balance than you can afford to lose in any MVNO account.

      Delete
  33. Hofo ID: Grateful4AdviceJanuary 21, 2016 at 12:41 PM

    I have a $68 paygo balance. Added $10 three weeks ago to get another 60 days of service. No text from Ptel. Thanks Dennis, if I was not a regular reader of this site, I would have lost an important number, thanks Dennis.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Free $25 credit to take your phone to ting
    https://ting.com/?lpn=zc8qsf4l3ic


    ReplyDelete
  35. If Ptel's phones are easy to unlock, this might be a good time to watch for clearance pricing and get one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They should allow people to use unused balances towards purchase of a "clearance phone". It would probably help them move old stock prior to the end date.

      Delete
  36. What a shame! Less and less Domestic CS centers.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have been with ptel for only two months but I'm really sad they are closing down the business. I really liked them. I got a free month of service after purchasing my first month.
    I can't believe they are going down but like Dennis said earlier, this may just be the beginning of future things to come.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Any idea why they are closing quickly?. They had 15 years service in the industry (I think 4-5 years with T-mobile)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I speculate the same thing as Solavei. Maybe they couldn't come to terms with an agreement? When I talked to their customer service department they seemed to be in shock too and I don't think this was really expected. Hopefully we find out more news soon. I really liked having ptel. It's a shame, they were great.

      Delete
    2. I don't have any insider knowledge or what happened at PTel. But I think that what typically happens with MVNOs shutting down suddenly is the the MVNO misses a few payments to their mobile network operator (MNO). The MNO issues an ultimatum to pay a certain amount by a certain date.

      The MVMO enters negotiations with the MNO for an extension while simultaneously trying to borrow money. The negotiations drag on and the MVNO's negotiators keep hoping for a breakthrough that never comes.

      You don't want to announce you are shutting down while there's still any chance of getting a reprieve because once you announce it's all over.

      Delete
  39. have $70 balance on my paygo account on PTEL. poof. it be gone now. too bad so sad.

    had this PTEL account for backup emergency purposes. now thinking of going with real TMOBILE with the $3 prepaid plan for 30min or 30 texts per month. have extra TMOBILE sim cards.

    if had an extra SPRINT phone, would port to RINGPLUS. but don't have an extra SPRINT phone.

    ReplyDelete
  40. changed my mind. just going to give up my PTEL number. been throwing $10 away every other month on PTEL paygo. that's not much, but it's not worth it anymore when the good mvnos like PTEL get crushed.

    ReplyDelete
  41. $30 may not be much loss to some people, however it is to me. One reason I switchd to a mvno. To save money. Only 6 days before and via text! Granted its a good way to reach customers with news, but totally unprofessional. How about a text, email (with Why), and stated clearly and upfront on their site at least 15 days prior? I joined giv beginning of December. Really? No forewarning... And I just paid my bill on January 18th. Are we getting refunded for the weeks we won't use with them? I shouldn't have to dole out another thirty for new service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. I made that comment earlier about the money. I stand corrected. There are some losing almost $70 on this.

      And PTel is being kind of dishonest at this point: their web page shows business as usual, plans for sale, etc (you have to dig through a few layers to find problems). The responsible thing to do is wipe this all and replace it with a big statement telling the news and what to do abot port-outs.

      Delete
  42. PTel is still selling plans...

    https://www.ptel.com/

    Is this shut down really just a rumor? Or is the company actually taking money right now for services they do not intend to deliver?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try to buy a plan or phone, it is all shut down, they won't let you buy.

      Delete
    2. Yes. and they are keeping it a secret at this time.

      Delete
  43. I chatted with support this morning and they confirmed to me that they are closing operations for good. All ports should be requested by the 26th of this month to guarantee success. I'm porting out Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I've heard it is closing on the 26th and other plac s that it will be the 31rst. Which one is it?
    The company I'm switching to says to completely port your number you must have the sim activation number from the sim card they send you. However that can take 5-7 days!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Service is ending on the 31st. PTel recommends initiating port out requests no latter than the 26th to insure they complete by the 31st.

      Delete
  45. Ptel Update: Ting is offering $75 for Ptel customers who port. Ultra is giving a $15 or $30 discount based on the plan you choose.
    Details here:
    Use code GET OFFER
    https://www.ptel.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ptel goes belly up and then gives info on discounts to other carriers that use the same backbone?

      Delete
  46. To avoid the risk of losing number, I just ported out to Ultra, it took me 5 hours. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. did you use 0000

      Delete
    2. yes, I used 0000. It seems Ultra has a high volume of port-ins, so the delay is on Ultra side.

      Delete
    3. Where did you get the SIM card so quickly?

      Delete
  47. Any thoughts on which has better call quality on international calls, Ultra or AirVoice?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't used either but I've seen several complaints about Ultra's international calling and no complaints about Airvoice.

      Delete
  48. Thank you to whoever shared the link for the discount codes when you switch to Ting or Ultra.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome.
      Another Ptel Update:
      If you bought your airtime direct from Ptel, you can get on a refund review list. Case by case consideration. If you bought from a pin dealer, there is no way you will get a refund. All those discounts will get wiped out. Live and learn.

      Delete
    2. for that refund review list, do they just refund for your most recent payment? or will they give me my full $70 paygo balance? my guess is at most it would be only a refund of my last most recent $10 paygo payment paid a couple weeks ago.

      Delete
    3. How can I get on the refund review list?

      Delete
  49. 0000 worked fine for me. I had other glitches but not that one.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I loved Ptel for both my mom, unlimited $20 voice and me, .02 text/.05 voice and $10 for 60 days. I think I will go with H20, that my brother has, .05 text/.05 voice and $10 for 90 days. I will go with Ultra for my mom, $20 unlimited plan. Good things never last for those of us who research the great deals.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I noticed when looking online that $10 was added to my account on Jan. 2, but only for 30 days, when it has always been for 60 days in the past, so they knew they would be shutting down at the beginning of the month.

    ReplyDelete
  52. i bought my airtime direct from Ptel. how do get on a REFUND REVIEW LIST?

    ReplyDelete
  53. The fastest easiest phone company I used was Walmart Family mobile $24 unlimited talk and text $29 unlimited talk text and data,easy transfer super helpful customer service plus I know it's good because my brother and grandma have it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WFM just increased LTE data on the $39.88/mo. plan to 5GB. Good deal.

      Delete
  54. that January 26 port-out date is like near impossible for me to get a sim card in time for getting something like a ting gsm sim card. clicking over on ting says won't ship till monday which is January 25. probably won't get till maybe January 27 or 28 or probably not surprising until February. after the January 26 port-out date and possibly after the January 31 PTEL-is-dead date.

    PTEL YOU ARE REALLY SCREWING US.

    yeah if you have an extra spare sim ready to go, or if you go out to a local store to try to find sim, then you are all good to go.

    but it really looks bad for me because don't have any extra spare sims and it is difficult for me to get around. might as well just give up. goodbye PTEL. would complaining to the FCC do any good to give us more time? what a very cruel ending to what was a good service.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The PTel homepage has been updated to say you now have until Feb 5 to port out.

      Delete
  55. Just found out today, order a Ultra Mobile sims on one day shipping. I hope I have enough time to port and keep my number. Just wish they gave me at least 3 weeks notice in advance.

    I need to keep my current number, I have a business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. New port-by date is Feb 5th which is inconvenient, but do-able. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to port out our # by the 25th! It's a 10 year old business # so thank goodness they came to their senses and didn't screw us. I feel bad for their employees - as most just learned of the immediate shutdown.

      Delete
  56. I submitted port in request on Ultra's website yesterday, it has been 24 hours, port in still in progress. I did use 0000 as the pin. No longer get PTEL signal and their CS says my account has been canceled with PTEL..... does anyone experience the similiar issue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ultra's probably swamped with port requests right now. Call them to make sure there's no issue.

      Delete
    2. called Ultra CS, they said still wait for PTEL response, they can'd do anything... But my PTEL account has been canceled and PTEL CS said the port out is auto-process, they do not "release" the number. ** I tried to sign up at Ultra's website, they send password via SMS, but I didn't receive it. It seems my number is already in Ultra system otherwise it will show this number is not valid.

      Delete
    3. Sounds like the problem is on Ultra's end. Keep calling them until you get someone who is willing and able to look into why your port is stuck.

      Delete
    4. Ray, I can't be sure this was your problem, but my port from PTel to Ultra 6 months ago didn't go smoothly when I declined adding funds as a part of the port. I waited for several days with the online "status" saying there was an issue, but when I went to try my phone, it actually worked and had enough time for me to contact customer service to get them to fix their computer system and let me manage my account to add the PIN I'd purchased elsewhere. Prior to the CS intervention, my attempts to login just led to a port status page.

      Delete
    5. Hi, I didn't add airtime at the time when I submitted port in request on Ultra website either, they did not ask to enter the PIN or purchase a plan when port in, they just ask to select a plan. Their CS is terrible and only thing they cal tell is ask me to wait, wtf. I regret to choose Ultra.

      Delete
    6. I realized I have the exact same issue as you had. I try to get my password then try login online, then it redirect me to the port-in status check page. It seems my number is already with them but somehow it still shows "in progress".

      Delete
  57. I will wait until Jan 30 and then port to Selectel since my phone is Verizon unlocked to other GSM carriers.
    Since we have until February 5th I hope I'm ok because I don't want to lose my number.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They announced that ports need to be done by Feb 5th to give people enough time to get SIM cards delivered to them. I would port as soon as I could just to be on the safe side.
      You should be ok waiting until the 30th tho.

      Delete
    2. It's just sad to see that we are losing all of our US based mvno's one by one. I hope others have better fate than Ptel.

      Delete
  58. Are brand new Ptel SIMs good for T-Mobile or any MVNO?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, they belong in the trash can after the 31st.

      Delete
    2. You can always try but I don't think so. Some AT&T MVNO's SIMs are interchangeable but I've never heard that being true with T-Mobile ones.

      Delete
  59. Ptel Update: VidaExpress has a deal on the Ptel home page. Free SIM, shipped free, free first month of service on Simple Mobile or Ultra.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a $30 plan. I tried VidaExpress. It only offered me the option of getting ULTRAMOBILE $29 plan. (One month free)
      I don't want the $29 plan because the data is not unlimited.


      I just started service on January 15. Yes, I am unhappy that I have to go to another carrier so soon.

      I called callingmart to see if I could get a refund for the PIN. I bought and used the PIN for the second month of PTEL service. The callingmart person told me that my request will be sent up to "level 3" customer service. She said that I will be contacted later about my request. I think that callingsmart will not refund my money after all. I am not expecting too much from them.

      Delete
  60. That's why I have h2o, gophone, ultra and airvoice sims. Bought them for pennies incase I need them. If you must keep your number the safest thing is to buy a kit from Walmart and port your number.

    ReplyDelete
  61. this is awful. just going to give up. this porting nonsense is too much of a time squeeze - even if it is now until Feb 5. just found out about this and looks like my PTel number is going to go away if cannot do this in time. although my PTel number is not my primary number, but use my PTel number for backup verification texts for a lot of my personal accounts. now have to figure out which ones and have to remove those. good gravey this is such a mess and too much of a time squeeze. PTel screw you -- or screw you TMobile if you are the real blame for all this pain.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I am thinking of porting to puretalk or US mobile, does anyone have any prior experience with either of them. Also are we sure that we have till the end of the month to port, because if it is the 26th then I am out of luck. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. puretalk is reliable and very affordable. usa customer support. very easy to deal with. puretalk is on at&t. so if your phones are unlocked, then you can just move easily from ptel to puretalk. personally would select puretalk over us mobile.

      Delete
    2. PTel now is saying we have until Feb 5 to port out.

      Delete
    3. I had used PureTalk in the past before I went to Ptel. Prices and service just ok, not great. I thought I'd just go back to them right away to save my number, but one call to customer service with a question totally soured PureTalk as an option for me. Maybe it was just one bad rep--I don't know and I know how I wasn't going to find out. The advantage to PureTalk is you can run and get a sim at Sears/Kmart and not wait to have one mailed.

      Ultimately, I chose to go with Cricket because of TMobile's Band 12 issues and because I've lost trust in the stability of MVNOs. Even if I pay a little extra, I'd rather protect my number and the stability of my service.

      My wife and I ported out of Ptel on Friday--took about six hours but essentially went off without a hitch.

      Delete
    4. I have used both US Mobile and PureTalk. I thought USM overseas customer service was poor. They gave me wrong info and stalled my $15 unlock refund, so I have to make 4 long calls and wait an extra month. USM does not offer voice roaming.
      I have used PureTalk 3 times for our extended family, and talked to CS about 4 times. Every time I called I got a well-trained rep who solved the issue right away without bouncing me around. They have good online account management.

      Delete
  63. I also bought a couple of SIMs from Calling Mart recently. Both were loaded onto my Ptel account already. One is being used currently and the other is "stacked". I contacted Calling Mart and was told that if the second one hadn't been loaded already onto my account I could have gotten a refund for it, but once it's loaded into my account it's out of their hands...which makes sense. However they took my info and said they would investigate. I received an email a couple of hours later stating they contacted Ptel and that there was nothing they could do to get a refund for the second SIM, and advised me to contact Ptel directly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got an email from Calling Mart about my refund request.
      The email said that my $30 will be refunded...
      I was surprised...I was expecting them to deny my request.
      I don't think I am the only one who is getting the refund...

      Delete
  64. It's just a shame how all these things are happening. After all, Ptel was a good company with solid customer service and great value for the money. I really hope all these issues get solved for the customers.
    Since I own an iPhone and don't want to jailbreak my phone for mms, I'm not considering any AT&T mvno's.
    I also keep a handful of extra SIM for different carriers just in case something like this could happen. Good luck to all.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Ptel service is ending at the end of January but now they say you have until Feb. 5 to port out? Doesn't quite make sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In makes sense if T-Mobile gave PTel an extension. I wouldn't be surprised if service stays up until arond Feb 10.

      Delete
  66. Why......... My dad has Ptel and now he doesn't. He's having trouble finding other cellular carriers that are cheap and good. ;(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's impossible to recommend a plan without knowing how many minutes, texts and MBs of data your father uses per month and if his phone is unlocked or not.

      Delete
  67. Peel doesn't want to face it that they are going out of business. Workers are probably sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course. It's hard losing a business after 15 years. The empress employees must be more than sad. They've lost their incomes and now are having to find new employment.
      The people I have spoken to at Ptel remain very professional and have never mentioned any sadness or frustration but it is very expected.
      I hope they find jobs soon. They are probably some of the best trained individuals in customer service out of any of the current MVNO'S.
      RIP, Ptel. It was nice while we had you.

      Delete
  68. Dennis, do you have a comparison chart of cellphone plans by carriers that offer 6 month/1 year plans with the allowed minutes/text/data per month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have a chart. Here are some that come to mind:

      RedPocket $199/yr for 1000 Minutes/1000 Texts/1000MB per month

      Selectel $75/yr for 2000 Minutes/2000 texts per year

      Straight Talk and NET10 let you pay in advance for a year's worth of their monthly plans and get a small discount.

      TracFone and AT&T GoPhone Pay As You Go have $100 airtime PINs that last a year.

      If you put $50 on T-Mobile's $3/month pay as you go plan it would last 16 months if you didn't use more than a combined 30 minutes and texts per month.

      Lycamobile pay as you go and Truphone airtime mever expires if you make a call or send a text every 90 days.

      I'd be wary of paying any MVNO very much money up front. If PTel can fail any of them can.

      Delete
  69. I found some GREAT DEALS for porting and/or starting a NEW NUMBER on AMAZON from cell phone dealers...After receiving the LYCAMOBILE SIM CARD from the Cell Phone Dealer, I had to call up the Cell Phone Dealer in Texas; and they did the PORT for me today while I was on the line with them...I was rather SHOCKED about how FAST it was...Literally within 5 minutes of hanging up my call using PTEL, the PTEL SIM went "kaput" ; and my Ported Number was up & running on LYCAMOBILE...
    Thanks to PTEL for the Great Service, and for its efforts in facilitating a very SMOOTH PORTING process!

    Thanks for All of the CRITICAL INFORMATION Dennis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The CS who answered the phone at lycamoble didn't speak English!
      So I asked to speak to someone else, they hung up!
      Not impressed!
      There is no service similar to PTEL pay as you go on the lyca site!
      Only monthly fees service!

      Delete
    2. Lycamobile CS is among the worst. About the only MVNOs with PTel level CS are Airvoice, Consumer Cellular, Pure TalkUSA and maybe Ting.

      Lycamobile Pay As You Go exists but it's not on the website. It's the default plan that Lycamobile accounts fall back to when there's no active monthly plan. New customers can get the PayGo plan by activating a Lycamobile SIM and adding a $10 top up.

      Delete
    3. I have used all of the MVNOs mentioned and agree. I had excellent experience with Ting. I would add Truphone to the best list; their reps are very well trained and can solve any problem without transferring you. I also had good experience with Selectel reps, but used my top-notch dealer for most service.

      Delete
  70. If I go with the promotion with ultra for a free month, am I obligated to buy an extra month? Or are they just giving away free months to Ptel users?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as I know there's no obligation to continue with Ultra after the first month.

      Delete
    2. Thank you Dennis. I have a new SIM I had ordered from ultra so I can give them a try. If I don't like them I can always go with someone else. Thanks for the info.

      Delete
  71. I was using GIVMOBILE $20 plan (unlimited talk & text with 250MB data - I have WIFI at home and work). Which plan to move now?. I dont see such similar plans elsewhere now?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ultra Mobile and Lycamobile are T-Mobile MVNOs that have $19 plans with unlimited talk and text and 100 MB of data.

      Delete
    2. 100MB is too low... 250MB was perfect for me..

      Delete
  72. Airvoice out of Michigan state. Unlim/Unlim with 100mb, $20 no tax. Best part is, AT&T based

    ReplyDelete
  73. Since I own an iPhone 6 Verizon which is gsm unlocked, I was using Ptel. I was tempted to use the free month offer with ultra but changed my mind and went with Selectel. I am so glad I did. Their service is awesome, great reception in areas that were a little weak with my previous carrier. The port went smooth without a hitch...and their customer service was awesome when I called them. I highly recommend. And no, I don't work for them and don't have any vested interest aside from letting everyone know I'm highly satisfied.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. selectel is cdma, not gsm like ptel to those interested!

      Delete
  74. Just tried to access PTel's website, and it is down. Their phone goes to a pre-recorded message, which apologizes, then re-directs you back to their web site. I have a pay-as-you-go balance of over $100.00 with them, and cannot make any contact with them. This is crazy. Is this a loss of that amount of money, and my number? Unemployed, cannot afford this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like they pulled the plug and sent everybody home.

      You number is safe if you port it out before Feb 5.

      Your service should work until at least Jan 31, maybe as long as Feb 5.

      Your balance is likely gone. If it was added through Callingnart you might be able to get a partial refund from them, someone else reported they did. If you paid with a credit or debit card dispute the charge with your bank after your number is safely ported to a new account.

      Delete
  75. If you have two lines...$50 per month unlimited everything (total for both) - MetroPCS cant be beat. Also, how the hell does Ting get away with charging $6 per line on top of taxes?

    ReplyDelete
  76. @Dennis Bournique: Thank you for taking the time to respond ref: my "January 29, 2016 at 1:14 PM" post, where I said I have more than $100.00 balance on my PTel phone. I was looking at T-Mobile, but I seem to understand, that to even USE the data component for just ONCE, just to maybe check bus transport information, or access UBER for example – their Pay-as-you-go option would cost you $5.00 for a 'daily pass’? Is this correct? With PTel’s Pay as you go – I use my data maybe a couple times a week for only a couple of minutes on occasion – and only when necessary, and text and voice – all being deducted from the Pay-as-you-go plan. I have no use for monthly unlimited, no matter how cheap, simply to access data a couple times a week.

    Should I instead be looking at H20 wireless, because their EasyGo seems to work more like the Ptel plan….. I just don’t know if my phone will work there, or if I can port my number in time. Any advice? Thank you again. This is unbelievable at this stage. I so seldom use my phone, that I didn’t realize that PTel was shutting down so soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, T-Mobile's $3 plan is not a good fit for your usage.

      H2O is an AT&T MVNO. As long as your phone is unlocked it will work with H2O.

      If your phone is locked, take a look at speedtalkmobile.com, they are the only T-Mobile NVNO I know of with a true pay as you go plan. The minimum monthly cost of $8.66 - $15 is higher than PTel or H2O however.

      Delete
    2. Depending on how many minutes you use per month you could also consider US Mobile. With 100 minutes, no texts, 100 MB, it would be about $8 per month.

      Delete
  77. try wow prepay'd mobile running on 4 reliable network(mywowtelekom.com)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Wow" seems to be very fly by night. To try to see the coverage map, you click on coverage, and get this instead of a map:

      "System.InvalidOperationException: ExecuteReader requires an open and available Connection. The connection's current state is connecting. at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.GetOpenConnection(String method) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection.ValidateConnectionForExecute(String method, SqlCommand command) at System.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand.ValidateCommand(String method, Boolean async) at "

      Do not trust Wow. If they get something as simple as a web site wrong...

      Delete
    2. More info on Wow Telekom: they have plans, but you have to create an account to find out what they are.

      I guess it is easy to see why it doesn't meet the minimum standard necessary to be listed on the sidebar of this site.

      Delete
    3. You can see the plans by clicking "Select Your Plan" > "I'm a new customer" and entering a zip code. Prices aren't very competitive. The T-Mobile ("Infinium GSM") single line phone plans are:
      $15 250 min, unlim txt, 25 MB
      $19 500 min, unlim txt, 50 MB
      $25 unlim talk & text, 100 MB
      $35 unlim talk & text, 500 MB
      $45 unlim talk & text, 1 GB
      $50 unlim talk, text, data "Unlimited does not mean unreasonable" reasonable is not defined.

      There are also family plans and mobile broadband ones but didn't see any that couldn't be beaten by established operators.

      Delete
    4. Rather uncompetitive...

      That has to be the worst price I have seen in prepaid on a long time. Half the data of Verizon Prepaid (which seems to be the standard for high price), and you get the much smaller T-Mobile network with it.

      Delete
  78. Hey Dennis, this reminds me of something...."$15 or less plans" could be a gr8 article. We need more of these offerings from MVNOs pronto!

    ReplyDelete
  79. I was using GivMobile and they announced the shutdown around 10 days ago. I had $25 in my bucket that Im assuming is lost since customer service was already shut down when I tried to contact them.

    If you switch to Ting, (make sure you follow the instructions when ordering your sim card), they will credit you $75. It took less than an hour for me to port my # from Giv to Ting.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I got close to two weeks notice from Giv Mobile. Have ported over today to Ultra Mobile. Free SIM card and first month free. Took 5 days for SIM to arrive. 15 minutes to port. Up and running. What else could I ask for.

    ReplyDelete
  81. I have a remaining balance on my PTel account which has not been refunded to me. I cannot get in touch with Customer Service, it is just a recording. Has anyone else had the same problem?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bet. I'm due over $90. Don't expect they plan to refund anyone.

      Delete
  82. I stand to lose over $90 dollars as I had just bought $100 in paygo minutes. I tried to reach ptel by phone, email, and text. No response. I'm guessing it's money I"ll never see again. It's no wonder consumers don't trust business.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Never got a text from them saying the company was going belly up. Suddenly, my phone just stopped sending/receiving texts. And I recently bought $100 in paygo minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I had purchased a phone from ptel the end of December (31st ). Phone didn't work properly sent another same problem sent them back at same time. When I called vs for a return label, I was informed at that time that Patel was closing but they couldn't give any more info like most customers got after I sent back phones. Ptel was paid by affirm financial services. Now they are looking to me to pay the $189 bill. When it is Patel that needs to pay them back be cause affirm already paid ptel. So now I can't even contact them email or phone. Can ANTONE HELP!!!

    ReplyDelete
  85. I've been using Ptel paygo for my short trips when visiting the US from Canada. I had about $50-$60 on my account, and I heard about Ptel shutting down only now in March...

    ReplyDelete
  86. Yeah I was with them for like 2 or 3 years on the paygo plan and had like $40 balance... Originally I got a Samsung 820 smartphone for Sprint, but after the 1st year the moved to T-Mobile and I bought a crappy $20 Alcatel and used that for over a years. Meanwhile I found that Ring Plus lets you take old Sprint phones and register them and even offer free service with around 250 minutes a month or more! That's about what I was getting when paying P-Tel $5 a month. (In the beginning it was like $3.33 a month with Sprint) (5 cents a minute and 2 cents for a text). Well when P-Tel quit (they sent texts like a few days before the deadline) I quickly moved my number over to my Sprint Samsung phone at Ring Plus and now get the same service for free!!! Why pay $5 a month?

    ReplyDelete
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