Back in the Neolithic period when WE#1 and I started this website I wrote an article about my torture experience with a Freedompop Hot Spot. Later I wrote why I would not be getting a FreedomPop Smartphone. After bad-mouthing FreedomPop I gave Zact a shot as my wireless provider once my Verizon contract was up which happened about a month ago. Here is my Zact Review – One month in love.
What is Zact
Zact is a wireless carrier which gives its customers the capability of changing their monthly plan whenever and wherever they want right on their smartphone. The ability to customize how many minutes, texts, and megabytes you need every month prevents you from overspending on your wireless bill like a normal crazed consumer on a feeding frenzy. Zact is also no contract so you can come and go as you please. One thing that frightens consumers is that you have to pay nearly full price for their phones, but the total savings is amazing. Also because Zact is still relatively new to the game their phone offering is limited to the Samsung S3, Samsung Victory, and LG Viper, but this still covers good, better and best tiers.
Why I chose Zact
I wrote more extensively about why I decided to leave Verizon in my Saving 300$ per month in 3 steps article. Long story short, monthly bill with Verizon for 2 smart phones ~110$, monthly bill for two smart phones with Zact ~35$ – SOLD. Zact is not the only company out there trying to steer us wireless consumers away from the big dogs but there were a few reasons I chose them over their main competitors (Freedompop and Republic Wireless). Freedompop was never even in the running after my first experience with them (see articles FreedomPop Review 2013 and FreedomPop Smartphone (Why I am not getting one)). Republic Wireless on the other hand is much less customizable than Zact. They only offer unlimited talk ,text, data for 19$/month, no other plans are available and currently they do not support 4G which was the real deal breaker for me. If you currently live in an area not covered by 4G but that is covered by 3G then Republic Wireless may be the way to go for you they also use the Sprint network for coverage.
My Experience – One Month in Love
The first time I dealt with Zact customer service was actually about a month before I purchased my wife and I’s phones. I wanted to see how transitioning my number from Verizon to Zact would go and what steps would need to be taken. Their online chat service was phenomenal, I had a rep in chat with me within 30 seconds and within 2 minutes all of my questions were answered. This was an infinitely better experience from testicle-crushing, vomit-inducing circus act of trying to talk to FreedomPop. I have since used Zact’s online chat service 3 more times, each just as good as the first!
Switching your number from your previous carrier to Zact is extremely easy. They give you a little online form to fill out you send it off to the Zact covert phone number stealing department (Z.C.P.N.S.D. for short) and 30 minutes later Verizon is wondering what the hell just happened.
Customizing your monthly plan right on your phone is a breeze and since you are always given a warning when you reach 80% if your current usage you always know when to bump up your coverage. The phone is even programmed to quietly remind you via recorded message when you are on the phone, I was talking to my wife and a voice came over the call telling me I only had 5 minutes left for that month, it was awesome (my wife was not nearly as excited as I was).
I am so penny-pinching frugal I decided to go with the Samsung Victory after reading the reviews vs. the Samsung S3. For our purposes the additional 200$ per phone for the S3 just was not worth it. I was a little worried about the Victory but after using it for a month I am very happy with its performance. It is not nearly as thick as the reviews make it sound (although I do not use a case). The battery life is plenty considering I used mine nearly all day while my wife and I explored the San Diego Zoo earlier this month and had no issues. You do have to charge it overnight after a day of heavy use but that is to be expected. The main thing most people would find issue with using the Victory vs. the S3 is the processing speed. Watching the two phones side by side performing the same tasks the S3 is noticeably faster BUT for my wife and I this really is not a major issue for others it may be, looking at you WE#1 (He’s right, I will be swinging for the S3 in April – WE#1).
For a quick and straightforward view of Zact’s coverage shoot over to the Sprint map as Zact just uses the Sprint Network. If you compare that map to Verizon you can see their coverage does not compare BUT it all depends on where you live and where you actually need service. I always hate looking at Verizon’s or AT&T’s coverage maps because they boast about having so much of the map covered but in the long run I don’t give a shit that you have service in Montana. In my case I get 4G at work and 4G at home while having 3G or 4G throughout the rest of the Twin Cities so we are happy. A few notes where I cannot get service is at MN Wild games at the Xcel Energy center but they have wifi so I can use Google Voice in a pinch. Another place I do not get service is at my families cabin where Verizon does cover but this just gives the cabin a more backwoods feel so not a huge deal there either. Provided where you live has decent Sprint coverage Zact is the way to go.
The customer service with Zact has been amazing and I could not be happier. I love having a smartphone again even though I really only use it for sports updates and GPS. The amount we are saving vs getting smartphones through Verizon every month is adding up quick. In my first month with Zact I used 134MB, 328 Texts and 127 Minutes with tax and 5$ line charge my bill was 20$. Even though the Sprint network does not hold a candle to the Verizon network the 80+$ we save every month is well worth not having cell coverage in the remote areas we visit once or twice per year. Zact is a great company with an innovative way of doing wireless that can save you TONS of money. I love my Zact!