Ready for some straight talk about Straight
Talk Wireless? Team Clark tested the low-cost cell phone
carrier for the last 30 days. Here’s what you need to know before you sign up.
Plans and pricing. I purchased the $45 service plan for my review. It came with 10 gigabytes
of high-speed data, before being slowed to 2G speeds. Shortly after I bought it, Straight
Talk increased the $45 plan to 25 gigabytes. There are other plans available, some cheaper
and others more expensive, including two unlimited data plans.
We’ll put a link below so you can see the latest deals.
Network partners. Right on Straight Talk’s website, the carrier
says it uses the same towers as the Big 4 wireless providers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile
and Sprint. But as a customer, you don’t get access
to all four networks — only one. The network that you’ll use on Straight
Talk is based on the coverage in your area and whether you have a compatible device.
Getting started. You can sign up for the service at Walmart
or online at StraightTalk.com. I ended up purchasing a SIM Activation Kit
at Walmart, but that’s only after I tried and failed with Straight Talk’s website.
Here’s where I ran into trouble… I didn’t read the fine print that said the
SIM card would be mailed via FedEx and require a signature for delivery.
So, if you’re at work when FedEx typically comes, it may be easier to just go to Walmart.
Once I finally got the SIM card, I followed the step-by-step instructions to activate
my service. It took about an hour to get fully up and running.
Phone options. With Straight Talk, you can bring your own
phone or buy a new one. I used an unlocked Moto G6 smartphone for my 30-day test.
Straight Talk sells a lot of phones: high-end, low-end and even a few free phone options.
One thing I noticed: If you can’t pay full-price and want to finance the device, it’s not
0%. You’ll end up paying more money over time for your phone.
Call and text performance. I used an AT&T SIM card to try out Straight
Talk and experienced zero dropped calls and zero missing text messages.
Everyone I talked to on the phone said the call quality was pretty good. Of course, call
and text performance will vary depending on the network that you use with Straight Talk’s
service. Data speeds.
And this was a disappointment. I used the SpeedTest app to check the download and upload
speeds more than 10 times during my month of service with Straight Talk.
This time it was about 9 Mbps. The overall average was about the same.
Customer service. There are lots of one-star reviews for Straight Talk on the Better Business
Bureau’s website, with complaints about customer service. My only call to Straight
Talk was to troubleshoot that ordering issue and they were helpful. If you don’t want
to give Straight Talk a call, there’s chat support available on StraightTalk.com or you
can send a text to 611611 for help. That’s all for this Straight Talk review.
Learn about more cell phone plans and deals on Clark.com.