Total Wireless Review

Total Wireless Samsung Galaxy S8Total Wireless offers $35 a month unlimited talk and text cell phone plans (plus 5 GB data). It is a brand operated by TracFone, the largest no contract pay-as-you-go cell phone company in the US. Total Wireless extends the availability of low cost cell phone service plans to consumers who may have higher cellular usage needs than the low cost options available through TracFone.

Total Wireless logo

Pros

Compared to other top no contract cellular phone service providers, Total Wireless stands on the following:

  • Reliable connections through the Verizon network
  • Low cost – $35 a month plan for unlimited talk, text, 5 GB high-speed data. $25 plan with no data, but you can add a data card with carryover.
  • Family plans reduces the average cost per person even further.
  • Flexibility – If there is ever a need for more data, additional data cards can be purchased (3 GB for $10).
  • No surprise overage charges.
  • Suitable for TracFone users who have outgrown moderate their usage levels. TracFone gets costly for customers who are on their cell phone all the time.
  • Cheaper compared to StraightTalk, which costs $45 a month (8G data). Verizon Prepaid costs $40 a month (3G data with carryover).
  • Total Wireless offers phone payment plans, so customers can spread out payments over 24 months if they like to own a higher end phone.
  • Bring your own phone option for compatible CDMA phones.

Cons

  • High minimum for low volume cell phone users. TracFone has $15 monthly smartphone plans.
  • International Texting not supported. Customers will need to rely on WhatsApp, Skype or other apps.
  • No Truly Unlimited high-speed data, unlike Simple Mobile.
  • Customer support is on the weak side when difficult issues arise.

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Total Wireless Detailed Review

Background

Total Wireless logoTotal Wireless is a brand of TracFone Wireless. It operates on Verizon’s network with a USA nationwide area of service.

This model is cost-effective as the operator does not own their own network company. Instead, there are business agreements in place with mobile network operators. They are basically resellers of MNOs with considerably lower rates, including smartphone plans for Android phones and iPhones that are free of contracts.

TracFone Wireless, America’s largest no-contract cellphone provider in the United States with over 25 million subscribers is one of these MVNOs. It has agreements to some of the United States’ largest wireless network operators such as Verizon and T-Mobile, and operates under multiple brands such like Total Wireless and Simple Mobile.

Total Wireless Prepaid Plans

Smartphone and Basic Phone Plans

Monthly Cost Lines Talk Text Data
$25 1 Unlimited Unlimited None Included
$35 1 Unlimited Unlimited 5 GB
$60 2 Unlimited Unlimited 8 GB Shared across devices
$85 3 Unlimited Unlimited 12 GB Shared across devices
$100 4 Unlimited Unlimited 15 GB Shared across devices

Monthly Cost is for 30 days of service.
Data is capped – 5 GB of data means it caps at 5 GB. It’s not unlimited.
Additional Data – $10 for 3 GB. This will Carryover as long as service remains active.
There are no roaming and US long distance charges.
Pricing subject to change over time, please verify before purchase.

Check Total Wireless Phones and Plans on their Official Website – Type in Zipcode

Basic Phone Plans

For basic phones like a flip phone, Total Wireless offers an individual plan that charges $25 for unlimited texting and talking. It is the cheapest service plan and does not include any data.

This $25 plan can used with any Total Wireless smartphone like an Android or iPhone, or if you want to Bring Your Own Phone (as with all other service packages). It does not have any roaming charges. For smartphones, you can supplement this plan with a 3 GB of data for $10. If you mostly get your data needs fulfilled through wifi, 3 GB of data could last you for a while. The data credit will not expire as long as your phone service remains active.

Data Plans

Total Wireless customers who run out of their monthly data can supplement it by using add-on data cards. The cost is $10 for 3 GB.

This add-on data plan will not be utilized until you’ve exhausted the data allotted for your service plan before it ended. Unused data is only forfeited if the remaining data is completely exhausted or inactive for more than a month (meaning it doesn’t expire along with your service plan along as it still has data).

How To Get Started

To get started on Total Wireless, the easiest way is to purchase a Total Wireless phone from their website and a 30-day plan to activate your service. The website will verify that the phone will work in your zipcode area. A plan is needed to activate service.

If you have an existing CDMA compatible cellphone (Android or iPhone), you can get a Total Wireless CDMA Activation Kit and a service plan to access their services. Another alternative is to purchase an unlocked CDMA compatible cell phone and a Total Wireless CDMA Activation Kit and a service plan.

Total Wireless Phones

Total Wireless offers a range of mobile phones from brands such as Apple, Samsung, Motorola, LG, and even Alcatel. Mobile hotspots such as UNIMAX are also provided. The service requires users to input their zip codes before providing the roster of their best products and services available in the area. Service plans are required to activate these phones upon purchase, meaning you’ll have to purchase of one of their 30-day service plans to use the phone. Some phones are even free with plan purchase.

For more expensive phones, Total Wireless also does monthly installment phone and plan purchases, but with discounted prices compared to major mobile network operators. Customers can buy brand new phones, but reconditioned or refurbished phones at lower prices are also offered.

To see the current selection of phones, visit their official website and type in your zipcode.

Bring Your Own Phone

You can also purchase Total Wireless service plans and to use with an your existing phone, or separately purchased unlocked phone through their a BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) program. You can purchase a CDMA Activation Kit, and select a service plan. Only CDMA compatible phones can be used with the Total Wireless network.

Transfer Your Current Phone Number

When you activate your cell phone with a Total Wireless plan, you can choose to use a new phone number or transfer your existing number. You also don’t have to change your current number if you don’t want to.

Phone Payment Plan

In partnership with SmartPay Leasing, a lease-to-own payment plan, Total Wireless lets customers shop for devices and then pay for them in a span of over 15 or 24 months on a fixed schedule. This makes it more affordable than paying full price upfront.

For example, you can pay the full amount of $659 for a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8. However, you also have the option to pay for it monthly.

If you have excellent credit, the cost is $32.87 for 24 months. For shoppers with bad credit, there is a 15-month payment plan option. Monthly payments will be much higher to reflect the higher credit risk and lower number of payments.

Note: Prices/Availability subject to change, please always check their official website (type in zipcode).

Total Wireless Customer Reviews

Reviews of Total Wireless by customers tend to be positive. The combination of low cost, unlimited talk/text, and clear connections appeal to many. Here are more details:

Customers like that they get clear connections through Verizon’s towers, and pay less than they would on a typical Verizon plan. One couple was paying $150 a month for their Verizon phone bill, and slashed it down to $60 a month with Total Wireless’ 2 device plan package. They also like that with Total Wireless, they prepay for what they need at a low monthly fee, and there is no potential of surprise overage charges.

A number of customers also like the Total Wireless branded phones that they purchased. These included models from manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Apple, ZTE and Alcatel.

According to parents, Total Wireless can be a great plan to buy for their teenagers. Parents have more control on the usage levels. They prepay for the plan at the start of the month. If their children hit the data limits, their children will have to discuss with them (ie. the parents) about the options. Children are prevented from using beyond specified prepaid limits. There is no way to continue using their phone data and cross over into racking up overage charges.

Some customers like the simplicity of it. There are no credit checks, or the need to provide a social security number. Not only does it remove the inconveniences associated, it also reduces the risk of potential identity theft. There’s also no age limits. A teenager can be responsible for their own plan. Family and friends can purchase or gift separate plans for their loved ones without hassle.

Other benefits that customers mentioned are that they don’t need to have long term contracts or activation fees, and that they have the flexibility to switch plans monthly since it is a pay-as-you-go service. The entry level plans at $25 (unlimited talk, text, no data) and $35 (unlimited talk, text and 5 GB data) appears to have broad appeal.

Some visitors and students in the US for a temporary period found Total Wireless plans flexible and competitively priced. There are no contracts or credit checks. The rates for international calling are reasonable as well.

Complaints

The main complaints on using Total Wireless is the slow customer support when something goes wrong. One customer said she received slow support on the issue of a defective phone. First, she waited a few days to receive a mailing label to return a defective phone, and then more days for them to confirm they had received it, and another week rolled by before she finally received a new replacement phone.

Another customer said it took 5 days and multiple calls to get her phone number transferred. Everything worked out in the end. She likes the great monthly cost and service now, but the initial hiccup was not a smooth start.

International Calling

With equally affordable rates, Total Wireless also supports international calling with either the Total Wireless International App or by calling 1-908-842-2301 and dialing your international phone number (011 + Country Code + Phone Number). A Total Wireless Global Calling Card purchase is needed.

Total Wireless offers a $10 Global Calling Card that can be used with a current service plan you’re using. Once this is activated, Total Wireless provides no limitations on the number of destinations that you want to reach, as long as they all stay in the balance of your calling card.

These international calls are charged at a one-minute rate, and the cost depends on which country you’re trying to reach. For example, the per minute charges for various countries are: Canada costs 1.53 cents (per minute), Mexico (landline) 1.53 cents, Mexico (cellular) 1.7 cents, while calling China is 1 cent per minute and Singapore costs 2 cents per minute. For more rates, visit the Total Wireless site (Click Top Menu Shop > International Calling)

The international calling feature works for customer calling from the United States only and not as a roaming service. If you are traveling abroad, your Total Wireless phone cannot be used to call the US.

International Texting

Unfortunately, Total Wireless does not support international texting. For international text messaging, you will need to rely on smartphone apps like WhatsApp, Skype or others.

Summary

The Total Wireless service offers low cost unlimited talk and text plans with 5 GB of data at $35 a month. Customer support can be slow in case of any problems; but generally, most customers have their cell phone needs met. They find the quality of cellular service and pricing a bargain compared to what they would otherwise pay.

Disclosure: This site receives referral compensation for purchases by linking to other websites. Learn More

 

 

 
Limitation: We make every effort to share the most accurate information on this site but we cannot provide any warranties on this content. Plans and pricing change without notice. Please always do your own verification to make sure.

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