I, like many other budget-concious nomads, use Visible as my phone carrier.
And lately, I have been VERY disappointed with their services.
If you've never heard of this company before, here's the skinny...
Visible is actually owned by Verizon. They offer unlimited cellular & data plans for about a third of what monthly Verizon plans cost.
Additionally - aside from their unlimited talk, text & web plans - they are one of the few (if not only) providers that includes an UNLIMITED mobile hotspot, as well.
That last part is hugely important to most nomads, since it means that we can use our phones as never-ending internet connections for other devices we may own, like; laptops, tablets, secondary phones, etc., all without paying for data plans on these devices. When you can't access public WI-FI, having a mobile hotspot is a godsend!
If you're thinking that all of this sounds too good to be true, and there must be some kind of catch, there is...kind of.
Because Verizon owns Visible, Visible customers actually get to use the same network (cell towers) as Verizon, which is fantastic since they have the best, largest coverage in the U.S. versus any other carrier. But...
Due to Visible's much lower rates, their customers (like me) have what's called non-prioritized service. So, when Verizon's networks are very crowded or busy, non-prioritized customers might see dropped calls, slower web speeds, poor cell reception, and other bad stuff, while the higher-paying Verizon customers aren't affected.
While this might sound like a dealbreaker, in actuality, I'm hardly ever affected by these things. And even when I am, it's only for a very short time, say, for a few minutes here & there. For the price of their plans, I will gladly accept these minor setbacks. However...
That's not the cause of my disappointment with Visible.
Instead, their customer service is just awful. Matter of fact, it's probably even worse than that.
Visible doesn't offer phone support, only online chat. While this isn't so bad in and of itself, the fact that their chat team is agonizingly slow & clunky magnifies everything by 100.
It recently took FIVE HOURS to have them walk me through setting up two new cell phones! Yes, their "support" is truly this terrible. To be fair, this was a detailed process, and matters that are more routine generally don't take nearly as long...but still, it paints a pretty accurate picture of the level of help they provide.
If you need assistance with certain things as a Visible customer, such as; connecting a non-Visible purchased phone up to their network, bringing your old phone number with you, or many other tasks, be prepared for a certain amount of frustration and wasted time.
To add insult to injury, they recently increased their monthly rates, and added another plan option, which is both confusing and unnecessary.
Bottom line: If you're on a strict budget or money is very tight, you cannot get more bang for your buck with any other carrier. Visible is still the cheapest pre-paid provider that offers truly unlimted talk, text & web plans...WITH a mobile hotspot included to boot. However...
Do understand that their customer service has gone downhill over the past few years, and you'll have to put up with it in return for the inexpensive pricing.
If you are not a technically savvy person, you need help with many things electronic in nature, or if you expect efficient help when the time comes, be prepared to be underwhelmed and overly frustrated with the support you receive.
As the title of this article says, Visible is indeed a necessary evil.
LIVE WISELY, LIVE WELL!