As my long-time readers know, even before COVID-19, I was pretty much stuck at home. My contract with Sprint ended a few months ago and I was paying about $70 for unlimited data, talk, and text. Sprint, which is now combined with T-Mobile, was fine for me, but it didn’t make sense to spend so much every month when it wasn’t necessary. I need a cell phone, yes, but I don’t need a lot of data, since most of the time, I use data on WiFi. I also have a VOIP line. None of the big providers have plans that offer a reasonable price. Sprint was willing to negotiate, but when I said, can you beat $15 per month, of course, the answer was no.
Mint Mobile Looked Good
I started researching companies, and Mint* kept coming up as a good choice. The least expensive option for Mint offers an introductory price of $15/month with unlimited talk and text and 3 gigs of data. This price is good for 3 months. After that, it increases to $25 per month, unless you sign up for a year. If you sign up for a year it stays at $15/month. If you go over and need more data in a month, the cost is $10 per gig.
Since Mint is also on the Sprint/T-Mobile system, I knew the service would be fine for me. I also figured my phone would be compatible, but I checked, and it was. You can check your phone on Mint’s website. When a friend on Facebook mentioned he had switched to Mint and was happy, I decided to give it a try.
The Process of Getting Mint
I went online* and ordered a kit. The kit cost was 3 months of service, in my case $45 plus tax. Within a couple of days, a packaged arrived via Fedex. Contained in the package were a letter and two envelopes with sim cards. One to keep and one to give away to a friend.
Setting up the Phone
A couple of days after I got the package I opened one of the envelopes and started the process. Unfortunately, I grabbed the envelope I was supposed to give away. This did cause some trouble.
The first step is to install the Mint app on your phone. Next, you take the sim card you are activating and put it in your phone. The app walks you through their process. This is where I had some confusion. I did not realize I had chosen the wrong envelope. I imagine if I had chosen the correct one, my process would have been smoother.
The wrong envelope had two sims cards in it. I put one in and activated it using the app. This started a 7-day trial. It did not give me an option to port my phone number. The website stated that it would, so as you can imagine, I was confused. However, I could use my phone, text, and call, so I put it to the side and figured I would deal with it later.
A day or so later, I inserted the second sim card, thinking if the first one was the trial the second one was the one I needed to port my number. This did not fix my problem. I didn’t feel like dealing with it though, so I put it to the side again.
Then, about 3 days into my free 7-day trial, I stopped being able to send texts. I received a message that read “Free Msg: Unable to send message – Message Blocking is active.” I got this message every time I tried to send a text to anyone. I switched to my Google voice number and that app and was able to send texts. So I decided to deal with the problem the next day.
This evening, I called Mint to see if we could figure out what was wrong, and also, how to port my number. It was during this conversation that I realized, doh, I used the wrong card. The Mint representative, who was very nice, told me that he thought my text problem was because the free trial was out of data. He thought switching to the correct sim card would fix the problem. He was right. However, I didn’t send that many texts, so I am confused about why I developed a problem so early into the 7-day trial.
Regardless, since I had Mint on the phone, they handled porting my old number for me. I had to provide my old phone number, account number with Sprint, zip code, and pin. Using that information, Mint was able to port my number extremely quickly.
Unfortunately, at that point, the Mint representative developed a phone problem. I couldn’t understand a word he said (he was breaking up). Finally, I suggested we hang up and he calls me back. He hung up but I never got a return call. Maybe because I have spam blocking on my VOIP line?
I waited 10 minutes, called, and spoke to a new customer service representative. He said the other gentleman tried to call me back. The second gentleman was able to help me finish the process. This amounted to putting the correct sim card in my phone and letting the new sim card set itself up.
Apparently, what should have happened is that the phone should have recognized my service and given me an option to port the number at that point. Since I used the wrong card, that did not happen, and I added a layer of complexity for myself.
Everything Seems Good
At this point, Mint is working with the number I ported and everything seems fine. I am able to text and use the web. The call quality seems good. I will give it a bit and write a review about my experience with the service itself. I do need to leave my house for a couple of appointments this week, so I will have an opportunity to test it out and about.
Should You Get Mint?
Obviously, at this point, it is too soon for me to tell you whether you should get Mint. Aside from my own mistake, setting everything up was easy enough. However, I do have concerns about why I developed a problem with sending texts so early into the free trial. I hope that is not a sign of an issue and is just a quirk.
*These are referral links for Mint. If you decide to sign up you will see that there is a dashboard where you can get a link for referrals. If you use my link, I will get a referral credit for my account.