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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Service is horrid, many hidden charges and random changes to fees, May 2, 2006
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This review is from: STi Mobile $50 Recharge Card (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I bought an STi Mobile prepaid phone and service. I have used multiple prepaid phone services. This is the worst ever service BY FAR.

1) They have many hidden charges and change them without notice. They added a 10 cent daily fee without any notice. They started deducting from my account every day until it reached zero. The fee was 365 days/year even if you don't use your phone. I didn't use the phone for a couple weeks and my account reached zero. Once the balance reached 0 for 14 days, they deactivated my phone. Once deactivated I lost my phone number and voicemail. If your phone is disconnected because they added some new fee and started deducting, you are not notified. I only found out when I tried to make a call.

2) Watch the fake rebates. They used a rebate to get me in, but once my account hit 0, they said my rebate was now disqualified because I hit zero. I hit zero because they added a fee without any notice. Now I have to pay for activation again. When I called then about this what did they say? "The customer is responsible to review the terms and conditions often on the website for any changes." Needless to say, I'll choose another carrier and will not reactivate with them.

3) Their customer service is useless. They ask you to repeat information again and again. When you call about a problem or question, they tell you to call back after they can talk to some other department. You call back and they claim to have no record of your last call.

4) Want to know your account balance? You can't know your account balance without calling customer service and talking to an operator or making a call. They used to tell you your balance if you dial a number and hung up before it connected. But they changed that policy without notice. Now if you dial a number to know the balance you will get charged even if you disconnect right away. Customer service response? "Yes, we changed that. You (the customer) are responsible for reviewing the terms and conditions on our website."

5) Want to buy a recharge card directly from the STI website? Oops, you pay an extra service fee.

They are clearly trying to get you to buy the service and play games after you activate your number. I thought it was cheaper than other prepaid services I had used before. I learned the hard way that the additional fees and deductions cost me more than I thought I would save.

Never use STi Mobile service. These guys are going to get really familiar with the BBB really fast with the stuff I experienced and what I keep hearing about them.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars But they are Big stars, September 11, 2006
This review is from: STi Mobile $50 Recharge Card (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I should first get out of the way the fact that cell phone companies horribly exploit consumers. If you can find a company that is the best, you can bet it is still bad, and the reasons vary depending upon the company and your own circumstances.

The purpose of contracts is in large part to ensure that the company can receive your money whether or not they serve you. For twelve years, I had contracts with Verizon. The contracts were irrelevant for that long, because my phones worked fine and I had little need for service. Why would I want to change? After upgrading a phone and having it quit working after two months, Verizon told me I would have to purchase a new phone at full price. I had gone with a two-year contract with the phone I had upgraded to. As one who votes with her wallet and strongly objects to contributing to her own exploitation, I cancelled my Verizon service and was charged a $175 termination fee. Unlike many who will pay these fees upon demand, because there is a threat being held over their head to ruin their credit, I refused to pay the fee. I agreed to the contract expecting something in return, namely a phone that worked longer than two months.

I got an LG 225 with STi. The Sprint network, which is used for this service, does not give service everywhere, but where it does it is very good. I like the phone very much, but it does not have a great camera. It has a fair camera. If you are interested in a good phone with service no worse than other providers and often better, I would actually recommend STi and this phone in particular. Why would I, the ultimate consumer advocate, recommend a company that sprang a daily fee upon customers who did not agree to it initially? The answer becomes more clear to me daily. Because other companies will do much worse than that. And provide a worse product and worse customer service - or even no means of contacting the company! The fact is that my LG 225 and the service with STi is an excellent value. I certainly have no plans of giving it up, and it makes a good primary cell phone if your area has Sprint service, and a good backup cell phone for when you are screwed by other companies. Because a cell phone is crucial to me, I have learned that being screwed by the providers goes with the territory. Make the best of things and get a backup plan, I say.

06/30/08 Edited to add: After a couple years of research and reservations, I signed up with PagePlus Cellular. We still have the STi Mobile phone/service, but eventually the battery will die, and there are not many good or new phone choices to go with that service. I see no reference to PagePlus here at Amazon, but if I could write a review on it, I would give it 5 stars. Good (and unheard of) customer service! It's best to bring your own phone, and we got ours at eBay. Ugly Eric is great for activations. They say, "It's the network", and that is certainly a part of it, but with PagePlus you get not only the network, but the best I've found in cellphone service and value.

11/27/11 Edited to add: I just have to share that I still have this phone! Excellent reception still. I was going to switch to get a new phone with another carrier, and tried to port the number. Then I changed my mind, and had no service on this phone as a result for a couple of weeks at least. I got customer service to restore my number to this phone, and they were very helpful. I will keep this phone and use it as long as it works.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars read the fine print -- they jack you hard!, August 6, 2006
This review is from: STi Mobile $50 Recharge Card (Wireless Phone Accessory)
You have 3 months to use your card or they eat whatever balance you have left. They go out of their way not to draw your attention to this little detail.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars STI worked out okay for me., August 16, 2006
This review is from: STi Mobile $50 Recharge Card (Wireless Phone Accessory)
It's true that STI unilaterally added a three dollar a month fee to their prepaid phones. They deduct the fee automatically from your airtime balance.

I got my phone for free in a package with an air time purchase. The network is Sprint PCS, so you should first check whether Sprint will work well in your area.

There are deals out there for the phone and for the recharge cards, and you might want to compare other prepaid phone deals with what you can get for STI. Deals come and go, so if you don't need a phone immediately, keep watching and you probably can find a phone for free with $.10 a minute calls. Don't go for any deal until you find out whether the phone will work where you want to use it.
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STi Mobile $50 Recharge Card
STi Mobile $50 Recharge Card by STi Mobile, Inc.
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