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Why I Ditched My Sprint Cell Phone Service in Puerto Rico

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Sprint Speed Test

Speed Test result with my Sprint phone back in August 2015.

If you are thinking about which cell phone company is better for you, you may want to read this post. Although this post is mainly an explanation of why I ditched my Sprint cell phone service in Puerto Rico, it may bring some insight into a few things that may help you decide if you should switch yourself. I want to promise that I do not have any affiliation with any cell phone company whatsoever and everything that I write here will be my own personal opinion and observations.

So, I don’t really like to say which company I use for what service but the truth is that maybe I should sometimes, after all, I want my readers to have some real insight on what to expect if they chose A or B company or service, and if I have personal experience with one or the other, then why not share it?

So this is why I am writing this. This is a LONG story, but I will try to keep it as short as possible, and after careful consideration and thought, I switched my cell phone service from Sprint to at&t.  The change has been mostly positive and so far I am happy I switched.

Well, in order to keep things short, I need to explain why I ditched my sprint cell phone service in Puerto Rico and switched to at&t in the most simple way possible, so here it is:

-My old phone (Note 2) was pretty beat up. After 3 years it had fallen countless times including one time onto the freeway with many cars driving over it at 50+ mph. It was a mess, the case was here the battery was there, the lid was somewhere else, it was crazy! I can’t believe it still worked after that!

-The phone was starting to show its age and technological limitations.

-Even though it still worked, the screen had many cracks and wasn’t as responsive, it started to get REALLY annoying.

-I decided to use the insurance I had been paying for these last 3 years only to find that even though I was told the deductible as $100 at time of sign-in, it was actually $200 to get a REFURBISHED phone! And I can only get a Note 2 again, not even one of the newer ones!

-Sprint’s signal was really starting to bother me, I don’t know what happened but the 4G LTE that they have now was giving me speed test results that were as slow as dial-up! And this wasn’t only my phone, other people with Sprint reported the same problem! This was simply unacceptable, the Internet was nearly useless, and don’t even think about watching videos, at those speeds I couldn’t watch a single video without many interruptions! #firstworldproblems I know. Anyway, what’s the point of “unlimited” data when you can’t use it!?

Sprint Speed Tests

These are the results of a few tests over a few days. Sprint Cell Phone

-Did I say the signal was bothering me? Yes, there was very little signal in my house and no signal in places where it could be important like the trails I go running in or a few places I go outside of the metro to spend the day. *One day I got lost in the trails, it was getting dark very fast, I had no water and had no idea where I was. I was about to call for help, guess what, NO SIGNAL! Eventually I saw a man in a mountain bike far from me, but he heard me when I called him. He was able to guide me. Needless to say, I was a bit scared.*

So, after all this and a few other things, I decided to ditch Sprint. I was a Sprint customer for over a decade, but I was not getting the service I was paying for and customer service was no help at all. After MUCH research, I decided to go with at&t.

At&t has been great so far in terms of signal strength and data speeds. With the exception of one place, everywhere else I have been I’ve had cell signal. That same trail I got lost in, I went there again, and I had signal. Right now I’m using my cell data using my phone as a mobile hotspot, which is nice because I had no signal with Sprint where I’m sitting right now.

However, it has not been all wonderful. The truth is that at&t is VERY expensive! On top of that, the sales associates are rather arrogant. One associate told me that “Having at&t is like having a Mercedes, not everyone can afford it, but do you want to drive a Mercedes, or that old Ford that has been giving you all those problems?” I didn’t like her attitude very much, I smiled and walked away.

Just to give you an idea on how expensive at@t is, I now pay $15 more for at&t for 15Gb shared data and unlimited talk and text, compared to Sprint’s “unlimited” data, 1500 minute talk (which I never used more than 200 minutes), unlimited text and insurance for the phones (which were $11 per month per phone). So I pay more now and I have to watch how much data I use, plus I have no insurance on the phones. The truth is that those phone insurance plans are quite a rip-off and I wouldn’t have gotten it unless it was free. My phone with at&t was free with a 2-year contract, that whole thing with “at&t Next” was not for me.

So, if you are curious of what I found regarding the other companies, all of the research I did proved that at&t was the most expensive of them all, but also had the best signal coverage, which was my main concern. However, to be fair, I do have a friend who switched from at&t to T-Mobile because she did not have signal at her house, and she does now with T-Mobile, so there are places where at&t has little to no signal, at least as of a few days ago. Also, at&t charges you for everything and anything and if you go over your data limit they’ll just charge you more for the extra data (as opposed to lowering your speeds like T-Mobile does), so you better be very careful with your data usage because with fast speeds, it is VERY easy to eat up a lot of data.

Below you can see a couple of my speed tests with at&t.

at&t speed test in Humacao, PR

Speed test with at&t in October 2015 in Humacao, PR.

Speed tests at&t

Speed tests with at&t over a few days in September and October 2015.

 

As you can see, the difference is noticeable.

So, there you have it, the reasons why I ditched my Sprint cell phone service in Puerto Rico and went with at&t instead.

If I hadn’t chosen at&t, I would have gone with T-Mobile, they have pretty good signal, it is not as expensive, but they wouldn’t allow me to transfer my phone number since it has a U.S.A. area code. I need to keep my U.S.A. phone number for many reasons, some of which are discussed in the post Keep your US Cell Phone Number in Puerto Rico.

Hope this post helps you! Please share your experiences with the different cell phone carriers!

Take Care!

Jay-Webmaster

Author: Jay-Webmaster

Jay is an Atmospheric Physicist and Massage Therapist who was born and raised in Puerto Rico but went to college in the US before moving back to Puerto Rico. Creator of NewToPuertoRico.com and the new forum NewToPuertoRico.com/forum

3 Comments

  1. Hello, so I do not live in Puerto Rico but I frequent the Ponce area as my wife is puerto rican and we often visit her family. I have been having a terrible time with my cell phone data. I just did an Ookla test that has me at .60 mbps! I see you were able to get up to 50! How is this possible? Also, the internet in the house is just pathetic. Her father has claro. I really want to buy him a new router to improve the strength of the signal but it is impossible to find which routers are compatible. Advice on both of these things would make my life much better. Thanks!

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello David,

      Well unfortunately you may have to call Claro regarding the compatible router :-/

      Would your father in law consider Cable Internet?

      I got up to 50 Mbps with at&t mobile in the San Juan metro. My mobile internet with Sprint was abysmal anywhere I went. Who is your wireless carrier?

  2. i too after more than 12yrs, have dropped sprint! i had 3 lines to begin with. my daughter ended up getting another phone and went with a different carrier. when she also moved out and my finances were tighter i talked to sprint about changing my plan, i had the ‘everything’ plan and it cost for 3 phones. they informed me that i could not drop the phone and number that my daughter had had. when i inquired why i couldn’t i was simply told that it didn’t work that way. and i was reminded not to forget that i would now have an extra phone that i could use if something were to happen to mine…. yeah, pay for what i don’t want or need to use.
    a friend turned me on to Ting, and believe it or not it is a subsidiary of sprint but i am more than happy with them! when i switched over to ting my friend got a credit towards his monthly bill too.
    with ting there is no ‘plans’, you simply pay for what you use. the more you use the more you pay. i rarely use internet on my phone so this works out great for me. the most i’ve paid for a month was $32.

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