Walmart is the go to place for prepaid cell phones. But what happens when you have had enough of the prepaid providers but not willing to jump into a contract? Walmart Family Mobile is the best bang for your buck according to the salesman inside the "Phone Center" at my local Walmart. Please keep in mind the "Phone Center" deals strictly with cell phones and multiple carriers. One would think these salesman have proper training and information for customers. Think again… I was going to buy a straight talk phone but not really into the $50 prepaid plan. The service in my area is poor and the phones are low end. The salesman suggested I check out the new "Walmart Family Mobile" phones and plans provided by T-Mobile. The phones were a surprising upgrade from the prepaid providers and I liked the idea of not having a contract.
The phone I chose was on sale (50% off) and it's not prepaid. You actually get a text message (in about 3 weeks after activation) telling you when your bill is due. Although you are required to buy a "start up kit", not having a bill right away offsets this cost. So he sold me on his product. When I got home and began to set up the phone, I realized the starter kit he sold me was the wrong one and meant for another phone. So I went back to the store hoping to get the right card. Not only were they out of stock. The starter kits are NOT REFUNDABLE once opened (even if not activated). Oh but it gets better. Not only did they have at least 50 of these phones I purchased at 50% off but they were out of stock of the correct starter kits and weren't going to have any for at least 2 weeks. Yes. I am serious.
So here I am stuck with a phone I can't activate and robbed for $25 (cost of the starter kit). At least I was able to connect the phone to WiFi and use every feature of the phone but actually talking on the phone. Yes that's right. Even though the phone is equipped with WiFi calling, Walmart Family Mobile does not support this feature. Strange. After a couple weeks the store got the shipment of the starter packs I needed and I was in business. I'm talking EXCELLENT 4G LTE service. Probably the best coverage I have ever had with any provider. The phone worked great and I didn't have to spend $300 to get the quality I have been looking for. This positive outlook was unfortunately short lived when I received a text message saying my 3gb of high speed data was used up and I would now have slower (throttled to AOL era dial up) speeds.
I wasn't about to give up just yet. Logging into my account online I was able to change my plan to the 5gb data plan and that should last me another week. Oh was I wrong. Today is the 7th (also when my first bill was due) and the plan change doesn't take effect until the 20th. So I guess I will just buy more data to get me by. Nope. They refused to sell me more data, regardless of how much I would be willing to pay… Apparently this is not an option.in fact, it seems T-Mobile has so much money that they don't want any more from me. I found this very strange and also annoying and extremely frustrating. I just paid my first bill (on time at that!) and this is how they are treating a new customer? They not only took me for $25 but now I have a phone that requires a WiFi connection for the next 13 days in order to enjoy the majority of the phones features.
What I find the most aggravating is the customer service not only from the poorly trained Walmart associate but the women I spoke with at T-Mobile about an hour ago. Not only was she rude and very short with me but she actually said maybe another cell phone provider would be a better choice. So not only do they settle for the minimum when it comes to making money (they refuse to SELL me more data no matter what I am willing to pay) they have people answering the phones pretty much telling me to go somewhere else if I don't like it.
T-Mobile and Walmart have just earned a place on my blacklist. Not only will I never do business with either company. I am writing this review for Consumer Affairs and every other review website I can find until my eyes bleed. I will also publish my thoughts on multiple social media platforms and also at the college I attend. Washington State University. The largest audience in Washington state. Oh and another thing. Having your call center in another country just to save money and take away from Americans who need jobs and actually use your products is a slap in the face. Your product does not deserve to be sold in this country and I will do everything I can to spread the word about what a horrible experience I had and what a joke Walmart Family Mobile truly is.