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PlatinumTel Prepaid Review

Overview

PlatinumTel is an MVNO of the Sprint nationwide network. They opened up shop in 2001, but gained more prominence later in the decade when they started to offer unlimited talk and text services. They have recently re-branded to PTEL.

Pros: They offer three different types of plans, which helps them match up with more consumers.

Cons: PTEL plans don't offer much data, which makes their Android handsets less valuable. 

Cheapest Price Per Minute: $0.05 to $0.10
Unlimited Data Available: No
Unlimited Texting Available: Yes
Shop For Deals on PlatinumTel Plans and Phones
Visit the Official PlatinumTel Website

Lowest Price Per Anytime Minute: $0.05 to $0.10  

Plans: PTEL offers three tiers of service. The $50 unlimited plan provides unlimited talk, text, and web, with the first 2GB of web coming at 4G speeds. The $40 unlimited plan is the same, but with a 250MB cap on 4G data. The Real Paygo plan offers talk at 5 cents per minute, with text and web at additional costs.  Read more about PlatinumTel plans

Customer Service: Customer service can be reached via a toll-free number or by their web form.  

Free Nights: Unlimited available  

Credit Check: None  

Free Weekends: Unlimited available  

Contract: None  

Daily Access Fee: No  

Payment Options: Credit card payments are available on the website, and cash is accepted at retail outlets.  

Text and Picture Messaging: Both PTEL unlimited plans offer unlimited SMS and MMS, including international SMS. The Real Paygo plan offers SMS and MMS, including international SMS, at 2 cents per message.  

Data Plans: Both unlimited plans offer unlimited data. The 40 dollar plan has a 250MB cap on 4G data, while the 50 dollar plan has a 2GB cap on 4G. Speeds are throttled after those limits. The Real Paygo plan offers mobile web for 10 cents per MB of data used.  

Downloads: PTEL offers games, wallpapers, and ringtones for varying fees.  

International Calling: Customers can call a number of international destinations for varying rates starting at 2 cents a minute to over 40 countries. See website for more information.  

Text Messaging Available: Yes  

Roaming Charges: There is no charge to roam on Sprint's nationwide network.  

Shop Phones and Plans: Shop for PlatinumTel  

Text Messaging Charge For Incoming: Varies by plan  

Calling Features: Caller ID, 3-way calling, call waiting, and voicemail are available.  

Unlimited Text Messaging Plan Available: Yes  

Activation Fee: There is no fee to activate your PlatinumTel phone.  

Nationwide Long Distance: Long distance calls are included in normal airtime.  

Unlimited Plan Available: No  

411 Calls: Directory assistance is free with the unlimited plans, and 50 cents per call with RealPaygo  

Earliest Minute Expiration: Real Paygo minutes expire depending on the denomination of your purchase. The 10 dollar card lasts 60 days, the 20 dollar card lasts 90 days, the 30 dollar card lasts 120 days, the 40 dollar card lasts 150 days, the 50 dollar card lasts 180 days, and the 100 dollar card lasts a full year.  

911 Calls: Yes.  

Phones: PTEL offers a bring your own device program, which allows users to bring Sprint phones for use with PTEL service. The SIM card costs $4.99. PTEL also offers a number of handsets, including Android smartphones.  

Standard Calling Features: Voicemail, callier ID, call waiting, 3-way calling  

Some Available Cell Models: Google Nexus S (show) LG Optimus G2X Samsung Exhibit 4G Samsung Dart  


Cheapest Phone Model: varies  

Read Full Review: PlatinumTel Prepaid Review  

Visit Website: Visit PlatinumTel  
Cheapest Price Per Minute: $0.05 to $0.10
Unlimited Data Available: No
Unlimited Texting Available: Yes
Shop For Deals on PlatinumTel Plans and Phones
Visit the Official PlatinumTel Website
PlatinumTel Reviews
Average Rating by Users:
View other 97 Reviews

3 stars of 5 based on 102 reviews

Alan 8/22/2013
I've had PlatinumTel for a year or so now. The $0.05/minute pay-as-you-go plan is great, I don't use my cell frequently and this fits my needs perfectly. Signal has been solid and no dropped calls. The only thing I've been unhappy with is the recent switch from CDMA to GSM technology. I don't keep up with PlatinumTel's blog and whatnot, so it was with some surprise when around August 15th of this year I got some texts warning me of the impending change, and that I needed to switch before the 20th or lose service. As it turned out, I lost service anyway; I submitted a port request for my phone, and although the request was confirmed as being in progress, my CDMA phone was disabled and I was without cell service for about a week. Unfortunately at the same time I decided to try porting my wife's phone from her Verizon plan, and it took about a week to get hers straightened out as well. Their customer service was clearly overwhelmed. I called and waited on hold for hours with no answer, connected with their infrequently available chat and got no response. Fortunately their support forum is patrolled by their folks and I made contact with one of their reps who was able to nudge the processes along. Finally now we both have functional cell phones, the only hitch (which I'm still waiting to hear back from them on) is that for outgoing local calls we need to dial the area code plus the number, never had to do this previously with PlatinumTel. I'm happy in the end, but the post mortem for PlatinumTel as far as I'm concerned is 1) give customers FAR MORE advanced notice prior to such a change, and 2) consider hiring on temporary staff or just more staff period in anticipation of crazy high call volume in the wake of the change and inevitable difficulties as many of their customers experienced.

Efraim 8/10/2013
I use a Platinumtel phone for rare calls/texts. It's not my main phone. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for stands true with Platinumtel, too. God forbid you should ever need to get in touch with their representatives. Over the years I've done business with them I'm almost NEVER able to get through to an agent via phone or their "chat service." And when I have gotten in touch with someone, usually because I'm off that day and can devote an hour or more to listening to their elevator-music and various insipid, inapplicable (to me) suggestions while waiting and waiting and waiting to speak with a rep. My phone also spits out frequent loud beeps, often hijacking my calling sessions to require me to attend to some notification agents have told me (years ago--that's the last time I actually spoke with a rep) I cannot remove from the device. Now there are so many alternatives in my area (just the last year), I'll be looking for a more responsive company to do business with. My time is worth more to me than the few dollars I'm saving with Ptel. When I need help I'd like to find it. Why offer multiple ways for a consumer to contact you if you won't answer any of them?

Check Your Balance 8/9/2013
If you are a PTel customer and transitioning beware that your current balance is likely to be "lost". If you don't say something, you'll start at $0 when you top off if you are reactivating a plan after it going dead because the text didn't make it to your CDMA phone. Call customer service (after a very extensive wait) and they'll recover your balance, but only if you ask. Probably not intentional, but a side affect of cutting corners with service. I imagine the owner of PTel buys used coffee grounds from nearby businesses to offer his employees and then gets upset with the "ungrateful" workers when they complain about his "awesome perk".

hellomini 8/2/2013
i've been a ptel customer for about 2 yrs. they've decided to switch from cdma to gsm network this summer. ptel customer service is outstanding. they even gave me promotion codes for free phones & sim cards. i'm frugal & ptel suits my needs. i chose realpay go plan & all i have to pay is $10 for every 3 mos. no company in usa beats that! also, sim card is only $5. i left a 5 stars a few yrs ago, & i'm leaving it again. they certainly deserve it!

ted 7/31/2013
5 STARS ***** Ptel is a great company. I have no idea why people are complaining about Ptel's service. I have had nothing but positive experiences with their staff. The automated phone system might be a little slow, yes, but that's the case for most companies anyways. Both times I called I spoke with a live person. Also, their Facebook page is a great way to talk with a representative. They are more than happy to private message you. AS for service/coverage, I have had no complaints about either their CDMA (Sprint) or GSM (T-Mobile) networks. Again, they are a MVNO, so any signal problems are the fault of Sprint or T-Mobile, not Ptel. Lastly, Ptel was very helpful making the transition from CDMA to GSM. They gave me a promo code for $40 off and a free SIM card. Their selection might not be the widest, but they have plenty of phones for all types of people, from premium smartphones to super basic ones. Of course the price will be higher; those are UNLOCKED phones

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Cheapest Price Per Minute: $0.05 to $0.10
Unlimited Data Available: No
Unlimited Texting Available: Yes
Shop For Deals on PlatinumTel Plans and Phones
Visit the Official PlatinumTel Website