SmartPhone for assignments

Last year, I considered purchasing a SmartPhone for shops, but decided the cost would not be beneficial for me. Last week, on a $35 Cricket job, I learned they offered one for $55, as opposed to the triple and quadruple units I had investigated; it is a TCL30Z. If anyone has experience with this model, please share if it would be suitable for shopping.

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@shopper bob, I used to be with Cricket, and had a new Nokia phone. Then, after about a year Nokia did a software update in the Spring of 2021 that rendered my phone useless!!! Would no longer make or received phone calls! Numerous calls to Nokia & Cricket tech support were useless. And then I read on several Nokia forums how many, many, many people were affected due to that update. So, just be careful, and PLEASE do your due diligence by reading reviews of the phone! I ended up buying a Motorola phone new....love it!! Hope you find something you can use.
ShopperBob, I bought a used iPhone from a friend for about $200. Since then, for just ONE company, I have completed 404 assignments for slightly over $12,000, an average of slightly over $30 per shop. Since my old phone wouldn't "do" apps, and this company has assignments that can be completed only on the app on a smart phone, on-site, the phone has paid for itself. In fact, it paid for itself the first week I had it.

I'm on Verizon, and pay $50 a month for unlimited data without a contract. This enables me to access an MSCs website and complete the report shortly after finishing an assignment, not to mention being able to check for other shops in the area from other MSCs. For example, on a fast food shop, I take the required photos, go to the website, and complete the report. The photos being right there makes it so simple! No downloading to my PC at home, then sorting and all that stuff.

In fact, I'm heading out today to complete one assignment for this company for $200. I will have no report to complete after I get back home!

I admit, I'm not tech savvy; so if I can learn to use apps on a smartphone, I'm absolutely positive you can, too.

I would not buy a used phone from a stranger or someone on-line. My friend was upgrading to the newest, latest model, and was going to sell her old phone on e-bay.

I was extremely reluctant to get any cell phone. I probably never would have, had my daughter not given me her old phone. This is my 3rd phone since then.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2022 04:18PM by ceasesmith.
shopperbob,
If you go online and look at all of the phones that Cricket now offers you can tehn search for the reviews of each model online. If the reviews indicate godd picture quality, that would be a good prospect. Most of the phones that they offer are models that came out within the past 1-3 years, so chances that the maker will support it with upgrades seem quite good. BUT, most reviews also discuss this issue, so another reason to read about plans for support (or not) from the manufacturer. Enjoy!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
shopperbob,
I am considering switching from Verizon to Consumer Cellular rather than Cricket because CC offers excellent system coverage and really good customer service. I would consider CC a couple of steps above Cricket, but with similar prices.
If you go online and look at all of the phones that CC now offers you can then search for the reviews of each model online. If the reviews indicate good picture quality, that would be a good prospect. Most of the phones that they offer are models that came out within the past 1-3 years, so chances that the maker will support it with upgrades seem quite good. BUT, most reviews also discuss this issue, so another reason to read about plans for support (or not) from the manufacturer. Enjoy!

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Cricket is owned by AT&T and uses the AT&T cell phone network, including 5G (but you have to have a 5G capable phone, of course).

The TCL30Z has an 8-megapixel camera. Here is a review that I think is unbiased: [droidchart.com] By comparison, the lowest of the three new Samsung Galaxy S22 phones has a camera resolution of 50 megapixels. The Samsung S10 I owned about 6 years ago had a 12-megapixel camera, and I found that to be fine. I suggest you see if you can find a phone at Cricket with a higher resolution camera.

I just looked on the Cricket website and the TCL30Z is currently $0 if you get a $60 a month plan. My advice (unsolicited) would be to get a Samsung A13 from Cricket for $49.99. The Samsung A series is basically the same as an S series camera from a year or two ago. You can be sure that Samsung will not go out of the cell phone business since they have 24% of the cell phone market (which is #1 globally; Apple is second at 18%). The A12 has a 50-megapixel camera, so if you have to zoom and crop a photo, you will still have a great photo.
@shopperbob wrote:

Last year, I considered purchasing a SmartPhone for shops, but decided the cost would not be beneficial for me. Last week, on a $35 Cricket job, I learned they offered one for $55, as opposed to the triple and quadruple units I had investigated; it is a TCL30Z. If anyone has experience with this model, please share if it would be suitable for shopping.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
If you do not want to pay a monthly plan and are going to do most of your reports at home or somewhere with wifi to use you can get a Tracfone plan on ebay. I did that for years until 2021 and for $50 a year I got a pretty good LG phone with a decent camera. The plans that came with 1500 minutes, 1500 texts and 1.5 mg of data and one year of service was a great deal and was more than I ever needed. Total price was $50 for one year including everything. Probably more expensive now tho.
For other plans though T Mobile I know is offering a free phone if you sign up. They have plans that are less than the $60 you quote for Cricket. I have also seen ads that Verizon is offering free phones too but I believe their plans cost more as well.
You should check the coverage map for any plan you use as some areas have few towers of some brands. Ask to see their map before you jump in.
I'm with myst4 on the Samsung A series! For about $200, paid outright, my A phones have been doing everything the expensive phones do for a whole lot less money for many years!

sestrahelena
I think in Cease's case it's not specifically one MSC but more like location, location, location. She's in the boonies and shops the boonies for hundreds of miles where other shoppers fear to tread! So, most MSCs probably have shops for that amount when there are no shoppers taking regular fees in an area.

sestrahelena
As sestrahelena says, all the ones I work for do.

Some of my friends and fellow shoppers just don't grasp, or are not at all comfortable with, negotiating.

In fact, the deadline for that particular shop was arrive by 1:40 PM. I sent the scheduler a text message at 1:40 "Arrived, in the drive-thru line, 1:40 PM". She was so thrilled, she threw in an extra $10 and a smiley face!

I use these shops as anchor shops for mini-routes (home by dark). That day, I combined it with a gas station mystery shop (15 minutes; drove right by the gas station on my way, not kidding, not even one block off my route) at $60 and a USPS shop for $80 (4 blocks off my route). You are talking, however, a 500 mile round trip. So I was away from home 10 hours. After gas expense, I still netted in excess of $20 hr.

And they don't come up every day.

Now that I have a regular job, I have to work my routes on days off; I aim to make on my mini route of one day what I make the rest of the week working in the store.

I have another scheduled for this Wednesday, $200 for a grocery store audit. I'll combine it with a couple gas stations at $50 each, a fast food at $60. and maybe a reset for a merchandising company at $22 an hour. It'll make a good day.

smiling smiley

@big_sky_thunder wrote:

Ceasesmith: what MSC has $200 shops?
Bob,

Verizon has or had a promotion offering a free Google Pixel 6, a 5G UW phone, for free with new service or ugrading from a 4G LTE capable phone (trade in) with an unlimited plan. The cool thing about verizon is that you don't pay for access and then pay for the plan on top of that. My plan costs me $110 for 3 lines. Each of the unlimited phone lines is $45, and the unlimited line for the tablet is $20 per month. I have device payments on two of my devices that make my actual bill around $180 every month. Including taxes and surcharges and all that. But I don't pay for internet for the house, I use the phone or tablet hotspots for the desktop or laptop computers.

Anyway, it's something to think about. I couldn’t find a less expensive way to do this in very rural northern Alabama.

I should point out that I retired from Verizon Communications, Inc. Not Verizon Wireless, so I get a "$10 "loyalty" discount on each phone line, not the line for the tablet though. So a new line for a non-employee over 55 would probably be $55 per month for the same unlimited plan I have.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2022 05:05AM by Morledzep.
If you are over 55, Tmobile is $55 a month taxes, AppleTV, Netflix included. This is for unlimited calls, texts and data, hotspot. They do have free phones.
I have been with Cricket for 12 years, and they are really awesome. They're really down to earth, and they provide high quality service with AT&T towers, as was discussed above. I also like the suggestion to pay a little more for an A-series. The Samsung A-series phones are quite good without being as expensive as the S-series. I think it will be an excellent investment. I would even suggest purchasing one before you do your next route of gas stations. I would try completing a gas station on-site and seeing how you like it. I know that completing gas stations on-site has made me much more efficient at doing routes. I love being able to complete a shop on site, getting to completely forget about it, and then moving on to the next. Then when I get home, I'm done!
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