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Straight Talk Wireless 5G is Slower than Promised?

Did your phone provider lie about 5G speeds and access? You may be able to claim compensation, and our team can help you.

Did you invest in Straight Talk Wireless or Walmart Family Mobile 5G but now it is slower than promised? We explain what to do next, or you can submit a claim now.

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What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile networks. 5G is the newest kind of technology that is said to deliver higher data speeds, lower latency, and better reliability so that even more numbers of users can capitalize on the same cell towers without overloading the system. 

Straight Talk and 5G

Straight Talk Wireless or Walmart Family Mobile is a popular prepaid cell phone provider that is owned by TracFone. This company like many other prepaid companies is known as a mobile virtual network operator which means it’s a wireless telephone and data service that uses the cell towers from the three major carriers across the US, Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. However, Straight Talk wireless does not actually own any 5G Towers.

At present the FCC is reviewing an application from Verizon Wireless to acquire TracFone in 2021 and if approved would mean Verizon Wireless acquires all subsidiaries like Straight Talk wireless switch to change the access to 5G Networks.

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As of right now however Straight Talk does not provide 5G network access using AT&T or Verizon networks. This means the only 5G access you will get is if you were using T-Mobile towers which are not known for having fast 5G connections.

What Straight Talk Promised

Straight Talk lets you directly purchase compatible phones like the Samsung Galaxy s20 if you don’t already have it or the iPhone 12. They list the full price that you can pay upfront which, for this phone, is $1,200, and they offer payment plans which can be spread out up to 2 years at $50 per month. 

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Straight Talk doesn’t have the same types of deals to lure you into signing up for 5G networks because they don’t actually own any 5G towers. However, they do offer deals on their website for compatible phones. In fact it is deals that are most misleading because they list things like having the Samsung Galaxy s20 and saying it’s a Smartphone without compromise, and by investing in it you can upgrade your cell phone and get access to the “latest and greatest”. This leads people to believe that investing in the upgraded phone will automatically give them the upgraded network coverage, but that is not actually a guarantee. 

Straight Talk has five basic plans for individual lines which start at 5 gigabytes of data and span through unlimited high-speed data. There are discounts for two lines per month.

The Reality of Straight Talk 5G

The reality is that straight talk leaves much to be desired. The Better Business Bureau has given them a 1.18 rating out of 5 stars with over 2,000 complaints closed in the last 3 years. 

Limited “Unlimited” Speeds

Unfortunately, even the unlimited plans which are the plans that would get you potential access to 5G networks, are not unlimited. They consider unlimited to be 60 GB of high-speed data so even if you pay $65 per month for their highest, unlimited data plan, once you reach that 60 gigabytes of data in an individual billing cycle, they can shut off your data for the remainder of your billing cycle or drop your access to any 2G networks instead.

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One FairShake customer explained, “I have a plan that covers the $45, 45 GB a month data coverage. They do not give me my data, nor my speed. The phone, even at the top of the month, is super slow, nothing wrong with my phone whatsoever. You can tell pretty plainly that they are throttling bandwidth severely, all month long, the entire time of service, no matter if you use very little of you bandwidth, or not.

I would like them to give me the bandwidth and the speeds that I have paid for. The problem has been going on month after month by now.”

Bad Coverage

Straight Talk Wireless is designed to give you optimum coverage by bouncing your signal across whatever towers are closest to you with the best signal strength. This means if you pay for unlimited data that qualifies for 5G networks, you might end up getting 4G access where you live, or even 3G regardless of how much you paid. It is really based on whatever the underlying network is that you are using so if you live in an area where you have a lot of slow data speeds because the underlying network is very busy, you will get much slower speeds especially when things are congested. 

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One BBB reviewer noted, “Network services not working. Straight talk will not replace phone. I am a new straight talk customer I purchased a Straight talk phone through a leasing company on 10/06/2020. When I received the phone on 10/09/2020 and activated it the phone would not connect to the local network (Verizon network extender) in my area even though the phone I purchased is CDMA (Verizon network compatible) I contacted Straight Talk multiple times between 10/09-10/12 and got nowhere with troubleshooting.”

Below is the coverage map for Verizon:

Map of Verizon 5G coverage 

Below is the coverage map for AT&T:

AT&T Map of 5G Coverage

Below is the coverage map for T-Mobile:

T-Mobile Map of 5G Service

As you can see by comparing all of these maps above, 5G coverage exists in roughly the same areas no matter which of the towers you are using from the big three carriers. As such if you live outside of these metropolitan areas, you will certainly not have access to 5G let alone fast 4G.

Another BBB complaint echoes the issues of buying phones that just don’t live up to network speeds, let alone keep calls going. “The mobile network does not stay connected it drops calls the texts and internet intermittently don’t work every day. The agents say it is because my phone is not GSM compatible but it is according to Samsung. And they refuse to give me a refund even though the services don’t work 60% of the time. Then they said my phone is stuck in their system under straight talk and CDMA and they can’t fix it.”

What you can do if your 5G is slower than promised

It’s possible that you can get compensation from Straight Talk if your 5G service or device is not what was promised to you when you purchased it. It’s likely your contract with Straight Talk prohibits you from suing the company, but you may be able to use arbitration to win compensation for your poor 5G service. Tell us what happened below, and learn more about arbitration here.

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