Pros / Walmart Family Mobile has the cheapest prices on various plans.
Cons / Walmart Family Mobile suffers from poor customer service.
Verdict / With lower prices than any other carrier we evaluated, Walmart Family Mobile is a tempting option, but it’s missing important features.
Walmart Family Mobile is a prepaid mobile virtual network operator that runs on the T-Mobile network. It used to be owned by T-Mobile, but TracFone purchased the service in 2016. As a company, TracFone and now Walmart Family Mobile have bad reputations for often-frustrating customer service. Even so, Walmart Family Mobile offers exceptionally low rates for phone service. Each plan is cheaper than comparable options from other T-Mobile network plans we reviewed.
T-Mobile is one of the Big Four wireless networks in the U.S. alongside AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. Of the four, T-Mobile has some of the fastest speeds, but lacks coverage in rural areas. Recent expansion has mitigated this issue, but you should always check coverage and network performance maps of your area before switching networks.
You pay for service in 30-day increments and can set up autopay for continuous service. Everything is month-to-month, and you can cancel at any time. WFM offers standard plans that feature unlimited talk and text plus limited or unlimited high-speed data. The cheapest plan is $24.88 and includes 1GB of 4G LTE data, after which you can still use data at 2G speeds. There isn’t a data-free plan, if you’re just looking for talk and text, but the basic plan is about the same price as talk and text plans from other providers such as Cricket. Other data tiers include 3GBs, 9GBs and unlimited data. Adding data onto a limited plan costs less than $10 per GB.
The Truly Unlimited plan, like all unlimited data plans, enforces a high-speed data cap. After 32GBs, your speeds are throttled for the rest of the billing cycle. The plan also does not allow any hotspot tethering or HD streaming. Most prepaid plans allow some hotspot tethering, so the complete absence of this feature is disappointing.
Walmart Family Mobile has a flat rate for adding lines onto your plan. Whether the primary line is signed up for an unlimited plan or the cheapest plan available, adding lines of equal or lesser value costs $24.88. This means that the cheapest and most expensive family plans only differ in price by $25 – the cost difference between the plans for the first line.
The Walmart Family Mobile plans are less expensive than similar offerings from other prepaid cell phone providers, but they also are missing notable features like hotspot tethering data and decent customer service.