Sunday, May 5, 2013

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Tech Tips: Walmart Family Mobile is a Cheap Wireless Plan That's Unlimited with No Contract (#FamilyMobileSaves #shop #cbias)


I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study about a new cheap wireless plan for mobile phone service for Collective Bias® and Walmart Family Mobile. #FamilyMobileSaves #cbias #SocialFabric. All opinions expressed are my own.

I just set up my Walmart Family Mobile phone and I will say straight away it could not have been more simple to do. All you need is an unlocked phone, the Family Mobile Starter Kit, and about 10 minutes of your time. I am super-excited that a cheap wireless plan is also about the easiest there is to set up.

You can buy a new phone from Walmart when you pick up the Starter Kit or you can use your own unlocked device. I activated a previously used Samsung Galaxy S III. You can buy the Starter Kit from any Walmart for just $25.00 whether you buy a phone from them or not.  This is an unlimited no contract plan.
The Starter Kit includes everything you need to get started: a SIM card and detailed instructions . . . that's it! Although you can activate your device over the phone, it was easy as pie doing it online at www.myfamilymobile.com and only took a few minutes. Make sure you have a Federal or State issued ID handy as you will need that to set up your account, my drivers license worked perfectly.

You will need to open up the back of your phone to insert the SIM card, but this fairly easy to do. Check with your phone's manual if you do not know how to do this. When you have the cover off, make sure to write down your IMEI number, usually located under your battery. It will be clearly labeled and you will need it to activate your phone.

Head to www.myfamilymobile.com and follow the easy as pie directions and within a few minutes you will be all signed up and activated. The process holds your hand all the way through.

Once activated the phone feels fast and speedy. Although the Galaxy S III is capable of 4G LTE speeds, Family Mobile uses 3G. This is just fine by me, as 3G is pretty quick and its been the standard for high end smart phones for years. My home has always been bad for signal strength for some reason, but the Family Mobile shows at least as much signal strength as my Samsung Galaxy Note from another leading carrier, so I am not disappointed with that at all.

The online account management and information at the Family Mobile website is filled with all the resources you need to manage your account and to answer your questions. You can see your usage and bill all in one easy location and make changes right from there. I can say without a doubt it is the most well thought out and easy to use account manager that I have used for any service, not just for mobile carriers. I wish all my service providers made their sites as useful and intuitive. Well done Walmart!
The entire process was easy and hassle free other than a couple of minor issues I figured out on my own in moments. Two of which I would like to share: If you are activating online, I would suggest using Internet Explorer as some of the features did not work in Google Chrome. I did not test Mozilla Firefox. And, when using your SIM card, make sure to see what size your phone accepts. The SIM card can be adjusted to fit either, but you only get one shot at it so make sure you spend the extra minute to see before you adjust your cards size.

Overall I am very impressed with Walmart Family Mobile so far. Easy to set up with decent performance coupled with a top tier account management site. I almost forgot to to mention: Unlimited talk, text, and web for only $40 per month! Additional lines are only $35 per month and you can add extra data anytime you want for nominal fees. The Family Mobile costs a fraction of what I pay for capped usage with my other provider. By switching, we could save approximately $54 per month to have 3 smartphones compared to what we pay now for just 2 smartphones and 1 basic emergency phone.  Good stuff!

Reader Questions . . . 
Below you will find questions posed by 3G2S readers regarding the Walmart Family Mobile service and the answers we were able to obtain for them.  We will update this section as questions are posed and answered to the best of our knowledge.

"I am curious can you use your phone as a hotspot on this plan?"
If you are using a device that is capable of this feature, you can use your phone as a hotspot/tethering at an additional cost to your monthly bill.  T-Mobile powers the Walmart Family Mobile service and has an app available for tethering.

"Also, is there a limit on Downloading data?"
There is no limit to downloading data.  There is, however, a limit of 1GB of data at the 3G speed per family plan.  After the 1GB limit has been reached, the download speed drops, but is still available at no additional cost.  Customers do, however, have the option to upgrade beyond the 1GB limit at the 3G speed for an additional cost.