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Prepaid or postpaid? Carrier plan preferences are changing

Postpaid users are seriously reevaluating their carrier plans, according to our data.

Published onJune 27, 2024

Stock photo of major US carriers Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T Mobile (10)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

US postpaid users have been through the wringer this year. Whether you’re with Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile, price increases will likely affect you to some degree in 2024. While many legacy users still benefit from select perks, many new users face the reality of uncertain price jumps. This makes opting for a postpaid plan more risky than ever before.

Thankfully, there is another option. In a recent feature, my colleague Andrew Grush dispelled many prepaid and MVNO myths, concluding that prepaid plans are better for most individuals than postpaid alternatives. To a large extent, our readers agree.

In a poll posted on the same feature, 90% of users said they would either consider switching to prepaid or are already on a prepaid plan. While most readers are currently on a postpaid plan, 45.3% would consider reevaluating their options. Only 10% of readers would not budge from their current postpaid deal.

The comments are also quite telling. Despite the overwhelming victory for prepaid plans in our poll, readers have plenty to wage against them.

“MVNO’s are significantly slower than the big three. They violate net neutrality laws by selectively throttling certain types of content. For example, on my Samsung Galaxy S23, downloading an OS update is massively slower on Visible Plus or Mint Mobile when compared to Verizon or T-Mobile respectively,” one user expressed.

Another also highlighted the data speed discrepancy: “If you’re a high data user, MVNOs throttle you to death after you reach your data limit.”

Others steadfastly support big networks and postpaid plans. “There is a big difference. I pay $55 a month for T-Mobile. I’m happy with it. I’ve tried prepaid, and I don’t care for it, no matter what other people say about it. If people start switching to prepaid, they will eventually jack all those prices up, too, just like streaming services did,” another respondent remarked.

There’s no winner between prepaid and postpaid plans, even if the former presents a more reasonable option. One user may favor the perks with postpaid plans, while others will appreciate the freedom prepaid offers. Whether you currently get along with one of the Big Three or are already using an NVMO, it’s clear that our readers are no longer satisfied with their carrier’s service.

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