It has been some time since I wrote my final goodbye to Verizon. I left Verizon back a few years ago and then finally was able to get my wife to switch. Coverage was great, but the price was outrageous. Either way, I had been looking for a new service provider for some time and there were two things that I wanted, price and coverage. After some testing, I decided to jump to Walmart Family Mobile. While I am not a huge fan of Walmart for shopping, I can’t complain about the price of their Family Mobile product. For those that don’t know, Walmart Family Mobile’s cell service is powered by T-Mobile. Though Walmart runs the program, you are running off of T-Mobile’s towers. That being said, here is my Walmart Family Mobile review and how the service has worked for me.
[box type=”info” ]I’m no longer using Walmart Family Mobile, as I moved and the coverage was not good. I have since moved to Republic Wireless and love it. I only pay $25 a month!. This Walmart Family Mobile review is still up to date as I keep on top of their changes for those still interested in the service.[/box]
Get Started with Walmart Family Mobile
This is probably the most important step. If you want to make the switch to Family Mobile, then you need to know a few things. First, you can either bring your own phone (check with Walmart Family Mobile to see if your phone is compatible) or buy a phone from Walmart or Walmart.com. Along with the phone, you will need to purchase an activation kit. This kit includes the SIM card and a few important numbers. This kit costs $25. I bought mine in the store, but you can do it either way.
In order to get service, you will either need to get a new number or transfer your existing number over. You can do this during the signup process. If there is a problem with porting your number over, then the website will indicate you should contact customer service. This all depends on the provider the number is with and if it is a prepaid number or not.
[box type=”success” align=”aligncenter” ]Good news for those of you who don’t like the T-Mobile service, but still want to save money. Walmart just introduced Total Wireless, which runs exclusively on the Verizon network. It costs as low as $35 per month! Check it out.[/box]
Walmart Family Mobile Phones
One of the main reasons why I chose Walmart Family Mobile was because I could bring my own phone. I have a Nexus 4 and wanted to bring it with me. It is unlocked and was not my Verizon phone. Family Mobile allows me to bring my phone and activate it pretty easily. When I went to the site, I just had to go through a few steps and that was it. There was a problem with my phone at first, so I had to call in to get some assistance.
If you don’t have a phone yet, but still want to try out Family Mobile, then they do have a selection of phones, albeit small. They do have some other phones, but they are of lesser quality. Now, since Walmart Family Mobile does not have contracts, their phones are full price. Walmart does give some good prices on some of the family mobile phones. If you really want a good phone, checkout The Motorola Moto G and Moto X. They are unlocked and the price is great for the Moto G.
Family Mobile Coverage
As I stated before, Family Mobile is powered by T-Mobile. This means that they provide you with T-Mobile’s service. There are no other providers that have the coverage of Verizon, so make sure you understand this before you sign up. I made sure to look over their coverage map to see if my area had adequate coverage. Luckily for me, T-Mobile has great coverage in my area. If you live in a rural area, Walmart Family Mobile might not be for you.
I get a lot of questions from people asking me about data speeds. With the explosion of 4G LTE coverage, I understand that people want that type of service. In the beginning, Walmart Family Mobile did not offer 4G speeds. It was 3G and lower. They now offer 4G LTE speeds, but only where it’s available on T-Mobile. They are expanding their network quickly, so you might get it in your area. I did get 4G speeds with Walmart Family Mobile and that should get better as time goes on.
Family Mobile Pricing
Here is where Walmart Family Mobile wins people over. The offer a quality service at a low price. Their service starts at $29.88 per month for unlimited talk and text and 500mb of 4G LTE data. If you want more data, then you will need to fork over $39.88 per month. This price includes 2.5GB of 4G LTE data. After you hit that mark, you still have data, but it is on the slower speed. A benefit to adding extra lines onto your account is that the price drops by $5 for each line. That means that you will pay only $34.88 for each additional line. You can only add up to 5 lines onto your account. If you wish to just have unlimited talk and text, then you can get it for $24.88 per month. This includes no data. I would suggest Republic Wireless if you’re going to go that route. Reminder: Walmart Family Mobile is a no-contract provider. You do not have to sign any contract with them. [box type=”info” ]If you want to add extra lines onto your account, Walmart Family Mobile requires that they have the same area code. So, if you are bringing your number to Family Mobile, everyone on your account, must be on the same area code.[/box]
Paying for Family Mobile Service
I recently got a question about how you can pay for your Walmart Family Mobile service. There are actually a couple of ways to do it, so you should have every opportunity to pay for your bill. Remember, Walmart Family Mobile is not pre-paid, so you pay after you use the service, not before.
The easiest way to pay for your Family Mobile service is with autopay. You set this up when you create your account. They will debit your account each month for the plan price. This is free of charge. I wouldn’t recommend doing this. You are trusting a company to keep on a regular payment and not mess up any payments. Nope!
You can also pay for your service in Walmart stores. You have to go to the customer service desk or the money center. Please note that it costs $0.88 for paying in the store. This is just a convenience fee I guess.
You can pay online at myfamilymobile.com, which is where your account is housed. You can make monthly, one-time payments via credit card or debit card. This is a very easy transaction and doesn’t cost anything.
The last option is to call 1-877-440-9758 or 611 from your Walmart Family Mobile phone. It’s free to make a payment over the phone when using the automated system, but if you need a customer service representative, then it will cost you $5 each time.
Family Mobile Customer Service
I am a pretty self-sufficient guy. I can do a lot of tech things on my own. Normally, I would have been able to just transfer my phone number to Family Mobile and then make a payment, but there was a problem with my number. I had to call up their customer service line and see what was going on. I made the call at 8PM EST and was able to get connected to a person in about 5 minutes or less. I had to do this with both my phone number and my wife’s number. They were able to transfer the numbers and have the phone working in less than 10 minutes. It was easy and I didn’t have any problems. I can’t say the same when I go shopping in Walmart, but that is another story.
Since I have been using Family Mobile for close to four months, I can say that I am happy with it. I like the price and the coverage. It works in my area and that is all that I can ask. I have traveled while using it and there was a few problems in some really rural areas. While that might be bad for some, I realize that if I was in an emergency, my phone can still connect to 911. This puts my mind at ease. The best part is that if I get fed up with something, then I can just leave. I am not under any contract.
Have you thought about trying Walmart Family Mobile? If you are a current subscriber, how do you like it?
PS. If you are looking for other mobile service providers, then check out my reviews of Straight Talk, Republic Wireless, Net10, Cricket Wireless, and Virgin Mobile. You can also score the $30 T-Mobile Plan from Walmart as well.