Update: 1/22/21 – I can no longer recommend Total Wireless for any reason at all.
The customer service is terrible, the policies have been changed with no explanation, and the store takes orders and your money and then refuses to cancel them when they don’t send your products.
Everyone, go to Mint Mobile instead. It’s where I’ve since moved my service.
We have not had a home phone line in over a decade. So it goes without saying that our mobile phone service is super important.
Unfortunately, it was also super expensive – especially on our budget.
I started seriously looking at our bills a couple of months back and one of the places I desperately wanted to save money was on our monthly phone service. But I just couldn’t figure out how we could do it. We each need a smartphone and we need unlimited talk.
Enter Total Wireless.
When I first saw the signage on display at Wal-Mart, I was extremely skeptical. (I had heard some unpleasant things about Straight Talk, another Wal-Mart product, in the past.) But after a few weeks of hemming and hawing, I decided to take the plunge and try Total Wireless.
It cut our family’s phone bill in half. That’s a pretty big deal.
Read on to see how using Total Wireless has worked for us! Oh – and let me add this – this is NOT a sponsored review. I haven’t received anything in exchange for this post and I paid for these products and services myself. This is a truly honest Total Wireless review.
Total Wireless Phone Unboxing
Before I share my experience with Total Wireless service so far, I want to give you an idea of what to expect when you purchase a Total Wireless phone and a monthly plan.
I ended up getting an LG Ultimate 2 – it was $59.99 and it had great reviews and the features I wanted, including a front-facing camera.
As you can see on the inside cover, you can choose from several monthly phone plans when you subscribe to Total Wireless. We went with the two-line $60/month plan, since it allows us to share data and have unlimited minutes and texting.
Inside the phone box, you’ll find an instruction manual and an activation card. It’s EXTREMELY easy to activate your Total Wireless service, by the way. All of the instructions are on the card, plus the website walks you through the process.
A Total Wireless monthly plan card looks like what you see above. You can purchase it online, along with your device, or as a standalone card at a store.
Rather than purchasing a new card each month, we bought our initial card and then signed up for monthly auto-refill. Doing that gives you a tiny discount as well.
Also – the phone is returnable (within a certain amount of time). The monthly plan card is NOT. So keep that in mind.
And here are the contents of my phone box. The phone comes disassembled, but you only have to insert the battery and replace the back cover. After that, you just turn it on and follow the onscreen prompts. Easy peasy.
Total Wireless Review
As of this post, we’ve had service with Total Wireless for a month and a half. In that time, I have to say that I’m pretty satisfied so far. If you use the Internet a LOT when you’re away from home, though, it might not work for you.
Right now, the company only offers 3G service. HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT: Total Wireless now offers 4G LTE service on select phones!!!! So if you choose one of those phones, you can stream on the go like everyone else. 🙂
If you choose a phone that only has 3G capabilities, when you’re away from a WiFi signal, you can’t stream video, you can’t download new apps, and you can’t use some services without SERIOUS delays.
Having said that, I’m almost never away from a WiFi signal. So that has not posed an issue for me. If I needed on-the-go Internet, I’d probably decide not to use Total Wireless. If 4G service becomes available, though, then this will become a non-issue. (Again: NOW available as of January 2017!)
For us, saving 50% on our phone service has been worth it. And scoring a good Android device for a reasonable price didn’t hurt either!
Total Wireless Review Update
Updated 1/22/22 – When a company decides to go anti-consumer, it really goes all out.
I ordered a phone from Total Wireless in December 2021. The order went through, but never changed status from “Processing”. After two weeks with no update, I used the online chat to ask a Total Wireless rep about my order. The rep told me that the order could not be cancelled. Oh – and there was no update on it, either. I filed a dispute with PayPal and got my money back.
Later, I wanted to cancel my service and I was told “The system cannot cancel your service at this time.”
So I ordered my new phone unlocked directly from Apple. When it arrived, I hopped over to Mint Mobile, downloaded the app, and in 10 minutes, had transferred my number away from that horrible company.
Interestingly, when I went to have my old phone unlocked to give to my daughter, the Total Wireless rep told me that I had to wait 60 days. With no explanation at all.
I will never, ever, ever use that company for any reason ever and I hope they go bankrupt.
Updated 1/14/17: We’ve been Total Wireless customers for over a year now and we’re still extremely satisfied! I just purchased one of the Total Wireless devices that is 4G LTE capable – a ZTE Citrine LTE – for $29.99. It’s great. I had to do a long indoor run on the treadmill for three hours a few weeks back and I totally watched two episodes of Sherlock while I did it. We’ve never had any serious issues with phone coverage or service and, since we’ve signed up for the automatic monthly billing service, we get a $5 discount on our monthly plan. So we’re paying $58 a month for TWO monthly wireless lines. It’s awesome.
How do you save money on your family’s phone bill? Do you have any thoughts or questions about our Total Wireless review? Let us know in the comments! And stop by the Total Wireless website to see if the service is available in your area!
Check out some of our other posts while you’re here!