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Moving to Mint Mobile

AT&T... can you hear me now, again?

Like you, we see web ads every d@mn day for stuff. Ads like “Get our thingy-bingy for next to nothing!” and “Free free free free free for ever and ever!” And like you, we ignore them and go about our business.

However, every so often—very rarely, actually—an offer hits the right buttons at the right time, and we become a customer.

Such was the case with Mint Mobile. Maybe it was the fox with the eyeglasses (not that Rainy Day Magazine falls for cutesy) (very often), but their ad made sense and didn’t promise the moon.

“I am adorable. And so much less expensive than what you’re paying now.”

“Hi, cell-phone company? I’d like to spend an awful lot of money with you, year after year after year.”

RainyDayMagazine had been an AT&T Wireless customer for almost a decade. We didn’t dislike the service and had no disgruntled-customer reason to leave, but…we did.

In an astounding moment of clarity, we realized that we didn’t use our phones enough to justify $60 a month for EACH of the four lines, especially since two of phones were of the ancient, “not smart” kind (don’t ask).

The telecommunications stars aligned for us, and we finally “saw” the Mint Mobile adlets in our feed. Maybe foxes are very persistent, we don’t know, but the finance person on the RainyDay team exclaimed, “Hey, fifteen dollars a month is WAY less than sixty dollars a month!” and that sealed the deal.

To clarify, numerically-speaking, the cost of keeping the office’s four phones alive and connected (and ordering Chinese food) for a single year is:

Mint — $720

AT&T — $2,880

No more need be said, no?

“I am so clever that I figured out all the hard parts so you wouldn’t have to. It’s the glasses.”

To get Mint’s $15/2GB/month price, we had to use their 12 months pre-pay plan ($180 each line), and we were totally okay with that because that entire year’s payment equaled three months—THREE MONTHS, I say!—on the other plan.

Mint creates this incredible savings-compared-to-the-AT&T rate by:

  • being online only (no physical stores),
  • using customer service bots to highly automate their onboarding process, and
  • not selling phones—Mint is strictly BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone).

Making this do that

As Mint is BYOP, we had to “unlock” our current phones from the AT&T network.

While not a complicated process, it is best to do it before ordering anything, to make sure your phone/you can do this. Note: even after your phone is unlocked, it will work with your current provider.

Such a little thing. Such a powerful communicator.

The clever, clever, clever thing about SIM cards now-a-days is that when you order one, you will get all three sizes. No matter where you order a SIM card from, what you get in the mail is a credit-card-sized holder that contains the three sizes of SIM cards, and you use the one that fits your phone.

The Mint Mobile SIM card came pre-cut for mini, micro, and nano sized slots/holders.

Do not use a butter knife for this step. It will not work.

The SIM removal/installation is very simple and anyone can do it. After popping out the installed AT&T SIM, we determined that the iPhone 6+ needed the nano (smallest) size, unlike the iPhone 4s. The nano Mint SIM fitted perfectly into the iPhone 6+ holder.

Keep popping out the new SIM card until it matches the size of the existing SIM card.

We used one of our tiny screwdrivers to access the tray, but Mint supplies the tool needed to pop the SIM tray out of the phone with the SIM cards. The entire process took less than a minute.

A perfect fit.

The next step was to tell Mint to connect their service to our phone.

Ring-A-Ling-A-Ding-Dong

Activating the Mint Mobile SIM was quick and painless. The Mint Activation page walked us through the entire process.

More glasses. Everyone is smart at Mint, even the humans.

At the start of the activation process, Mint gave us the choice of keeping our old numbers or getting a new one. We opted to keep our old numbers.

We suppled our AT&T account number and the account password to Mint, and then that sly fox went off and did some kind of behind-the-scenes wizardry. Bing bang boom, we got a notification to power up the phone. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Ding dang done!

After the phones were up and running, we noticed that the iPhone 6+ listed “Mint” as its network, while the iPhone 4S listed “T-Mobile.” We realized that the iPhone 6+ is able to use the 4G LTE network while the iPhone 4S is only able to handle 3G. Some people just like the form factor, 4G be d@mned.

The RainyDay phones. The only one we’re missing is a Tricorder.

We were impressed with how simple it was to change our mobile provider. We definitely should have done this a looong time ago.

We will post our experience with Mint Mobile’s service once we have had a few months to check things out. Look for the InTheWild update in the Summer!

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