Sunday, December 16, 2012

Feel much better now

I'm not as ratty as I have been.  We have new internet service and that has made us happy campers.

At the beginning of November (election day), the day before our monthly subscription with BroadbandVI our frustrating ISP (INTERMITTENT Service Provider) for a couple of years expired, we went shopping for a new service.

BroadbandVI was just getting worse and worse. One day we tried and tried to get online all morning and finally did after 1:00 pm and then only for 45 minutes. Very stressful. Such a time waster and a good cause of rattiness. When I called their office I was told that we (hotspot users) were no longer "part of their reality"... We are real enough when they take the $60/month! So, we were as mad as hell and weren't going to take it anymore.

Over a year ago when I called BroadbandVI to complain about their crappy service, the technician told me to check AT&T.

We went to Sunny Isle shopping center and stopped first at Radio Shack to find our internet solution. They only had plans that required contracts, while we wanted month to month service. The lady at RS told me that she uses Choice Wireless at home and she was happy with them. She suggested that we go a few doors down and visit AT&T.

So, off we go in search of the internet grail...

At AT&T I only had to wait about 30 minutes which wasn't bad as they had a display with the names of waiting customers and you could see your name rise slowly to the top. Nice feature. The lady I had was very nice and helpful. She showed me their MiFi device that was the size of a credit card that could connect up to 5 computers. It was only available if you took a 2-year contract and had a pretty hefty early termination fee. She suggested that I try Choice Wireless. She even hunted down a phone book so I could get their number.

I called Choice and talked to someone in the States. We were happy with their no-contract plans and we had a nice walk of a mile or so to their local office. We had to wait a bit but that was good because we could see what sort of service and care they gave the customers. They did not seem in a hurry which is good as I'm always nervous that I'm taking too much time and there are so many people waiting behind me.

It was our turn. You have to buy the modem/radio/antenna (call it what you will) but it was on special offer at only $10 instead of the normal $99 AND the first month of service was only $10. Such a deal. We opted for their middle plan of $55/month (up to 3Mbps and yes, we have downloaded files at that speed) with UNLIMITED usage.

The Greenpacket 4G Modem has an omnidirectional antenna so it works well at anchor. It allows for 5 devices to be connected via wifi. We are getting such great service. Sometimes it's so fast you don't realize that the page has changed, and at the slowest times, it is running at about the best speed that we received with a BroadbandVI hotspot. They told us we have two towers near us... one at Hotel on the Cay which is the resort on the little island in Christiansted and another at Mount Welcome. When I was at the charter yacht show on St Thomas last month, the boats who had the same plan as ours were very happy with it.

While we were at Choice, we decided that we should get a smartphone so we could check our email & do other stuff when necessary when we are off the boat. The sales rep told us that they were going to have a Black Friday sale so if we could wait we could get another great deal.

So, with a few days left on our AT&T GoPhone plan which was $50/month for unlimited long distance, texting, and dumbphone data (which I never used), we went back to Choice Wireless and bought a Samsung Galaxy II (50% off) and their monthly smartphone plan (50% for 1st month). The smartphone plan is $65/month but has UNLIMITED data. With AT&Ts plan, it was also $65/month but with only 1GB of data and then $$$ for each GB thereafter. We lucked out again because Choice was offering a free month of service if you kept your old phone number. Such a deal...

This has made our lives a bit easier... and every little bit counts. Thank you Choice Wireless and keep up the good service.

So it goes!