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AT&T to Pure TalkUSA, one month later

TL;DR: If you have questions about Pure TalkUSA unanswered by the official FAQ, I have some information for you starting from the section "migration experience".

I became an AT&T customer days after arriving in the U.S., and stayed one for three years. The service was okay (I'm not a picky customer), but the pricing was ridiculous. I was paying somewhere between $50 and $60 per month for an AT&T Next plan, with unlimited talk and text and a mere 300 MB of data, phone installments not included (which I was paying the full price anyway). That's actually below average; see average phone plan in the U.S. costs ten time as much as that in the U.K.. I could save a bit by joining a family plan (or more precisely, "data share plan"), but then I would lose control over my line and account, which have proven to be very annoying when I needed to upgrade, or otherwise be serviced.

The biggest concern was that I didn't really need unlimited talk and text, so I wasn't using what I was paying for. These days we have too many channels of communications, most of them free. My monthly talk usage was usually around a hundred minutes or less, so I was basically paying a few dimes per minute. Which was like being robbed.

Then I heard about Pure TalkUSA — an AT&T MVNO — from one of my friends. Pure Talk offers cheap limited plans1 that looked appealing to me. It uses AT&T's network, so for me, the only thing I would lose by switching was part of my monthly expenses, to which I wouldn't object. So I switched last month. Now that I've been on Pure Talk's network for a month, I'll try to talk about the good and bad, as well as some migration caveats, since information is sparse on the Internet. Note: I'm not comparing Pure TalkUSA to other AT&T MVNOs, since I know nothing about any of them.

Disclaimer before I start: I can't guarantee that information provided here is accurate (I only speak from the experience of a single customer, that is myself, although I'll try not to make unfounded claims), and I didn't consult Pure TalkUSA before publishing this post, so please don't hold me accountable for anything.

Migration experience

A few tips about migration from AT&T:

Pros and cons

Here is a short list of pros and cons of Pure Talk compared to AT&T, in my opinion:



That's basically all I want to say. Hope this post helps someone who's researching Pure Talk.

  1. Pure Talk also offers an unlimited talk & text plan for $24, excluding data. According to the "unlimited plus plan" page:

    Compare our Unlimited Plus plans to similar unlimited cell phone plans on the market and you'll see the savings you can receive! While others may pad their higher priced plans with "free" international minutes, we're focused on giving you the best rate for unlimited talk and text, plus data used within the United States.

    I honestly don't know which competitions they are referring to here. If it's AT&T, I'll share an anecdote about international roaming: I went back to China, and got a text message from AT&T saying that I could use data for TWENTY DOLLARS PER MEGABYTE. I would have had to pay $200 to visit The Verge once on 4G.↩︎