10 Best and Worst Deals at Walmart

  • Simon Taverner

    OK, the Straight Talk Wireless item caught my eye, since I’ve been happily using it for years. If this is one of the bad deals, I’m going to have to call the rest of the list into question now.

    I mean, “strongly advise against it”? Taking the items the DealNews readers supposedly panned in order:

    – quality of coverage: Straight Talk simply resells the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon carrier networks. You decide which carrier you want to use. I used to be an AT&T customer, and now I use AT&T through Straight Talk. How or why would the quality of coverage be worse one way or another? We’re talking about the same towers and the same phone here.
    – customer service: OK, I admit that the one time I called customer service (when porting my phones) wasn’t the greatest. Neither was dealing with AT&T. And I haven’t called back since because I haven’t needed to. That’s a wash for me.
    – Straight Talk compatible phones: OK, I have no idea what phone Straight Talk sells, because they have the BYOP (bring your own phone) program. I bought my iPhone unlocked. Say what you will about iPhones, it was the one I wanted to buy, and it works fine on Straight Talk (of course). If a phone can work on AT&T, T-Mobile OR Verizon, it works with Straight Talk. How can phone quality be an issue with Straight Talk, then?

    Also, if you pay with a credit card and set up recurring auto-pay (which you can stop anytime), the actual monthly fee is $42.50. Not plus tax, plus fees: $42.50. Which is less than half of the cheapest plan I could get at AT&T 2 years ago. I realize lots has changed since then, but I’ve already saved almost a thousand dollars since I started using Straight Talk; works for me.

    • dean

      I also switch my iPhone 6 on AT&T to Straight Talk, and have had no problems with the phone or coverage, yet I have 5 times MORE data for half the price I was paying on AT&T (and that was with a corporate discount!). I had to deal with ST customer service once, and it wasn’t any worse or better than when I had to deal with At&t for my problem, so for the price I pay now, I would totally NOT go back to AT&T.

    • Jim Cofer

      Well, there are a few downsides to using an MVNO.

      For one, MVNO users get pushed to the back of the line during times of network congestion (say, at a convention or if inclement weather should hit and airport). People who use top-tier providers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint) get priority over anyone on an MVNO like Straight Talk, Tracfone, Boost or Virgin Mobile. At Dragon Con (a convention of 60,000 sci-fi, fantasy & comic book fans, stretched over 3-4 hotels in downtown Atlanta), cell service is notoriously unreliable for everyone, but it’s downright unusable for MVNO customers.

      Another is that many MVNO users can only access one company’s towers. Virgin Mobile phones, for example, can only use Sprint towers. But Sprint has tower-sharing agreements with Verizon for its regular customers. So if you drive out into the sticks, a Virgin Mobile phone may have no service at all (because there are no Sprint towers in the area), but a Sprint customer might have full service, because Verizon lets Sprint share their towers in remote areas. This, despite the fact that Sprint actually owns Virgin Mobile. I don’t know if this applies to Straight Talk, though.

      Lastly – and this doesn’t apply to anyone using BYOD – but pre-paid cellular companies in general have pretty bad handsets. They’re often 1-2 generations behind top-tier phones, and many of them are artificially crippled (a Straight Talk phone comes with a 3MP camera, 4GB of storage and Bluetooth 2.0, while Verizon’s nearly identical phone comes with a 10MP camera, 16GB of storage, and Bluetooth 4.0). Not only that, MVNO handsets often come with outdated Android, vs, much more up-to-date versions from the Big Guys. Heck, Straight Talk still has several models with Android 2.3 on them, despite the fact that Android 6.0 is just around the corner.

      • Enginemanshawn

        Straight talk is cheaper and better for any byop customer! Hands down! One point unlimited data for under fifty bucks! I have had over ten GB high speed data this month alone. Straight talk states that you get five. Been over fiveGb of high speed for a while. Also much more freedom. Using att towers and they aren’t controlling my device. Not updating it or even aware of its existence and if they are aware they just don’t care. For my purposes I would never go back to any big carrier. Also if you know about your device you can use any tower after you root your device. Love straight talk. Also you can buy an unlocked high end device online for a quarter of the price that some other fool paid. If it’s not unlocked straight talk will get it unlocked and working. May take some time and effort but it will eventually work. So good luck to all you smart straight talk users or Trac phone. Same difference.

        • Danny Robert Chapman

          Your wrong and mislead on Straight Talk it is the most expensive phone out there. Not only that if you use it too much they will terminate your account, what a joke.
          I went with Cricket Wireless, way cheaper and you get a discount if you have two phones. And a discount for setting up auto pay. Don’t be mis lead by wal mart ST is a rip off.

          • movaughn20

            Been using Straight talk for 4 years now, no problems. Was with Verizon for 15 years, then sprint, phones are smaller, lower quality cameras but tough as hell for being under 100 bucks. I use phones off verizon towers great coverage, run pandora all day every day. Might be different in your area, Cricket doesn’t have any service off the Fwy here.

      • devlin7

        This info is a load of garbage. I almost spit my drink all over my screen when they got to talking about the phones. I haven’t seen ANY MVNO’s offering phones with Android Gingerbread 2.3 or Bluetooth 2.0. The oldest Android version I’ve seen was 4.2. I will admit Tracfones are crippled or they were as of 2 year ago.

        My current MVNO is Republic Wireless and They offer the Motorola E, Moto G (gen 3), and Moto X Pure all the latest models running Android Lollipop 5.x. Not only are they running the most up to date Moto’s but they run on the Sprint network and backed up by Verizon.

        The big hit you get using MVNO is most of them only offer 3G networks while the flagships are switching to 4G/LTE.

        • Jim Cofer

          StraightTalk was offering phones with Android Gingerbread 2.3 or Bluetooth 2.0 when I typed that post. I double-checked to make sure anything had changed. As of right now, this very moment, StraightTalk will sell you an LG Optimus Dynamic, ZTE Merit, ZTE Midnight andor HUAWEI Ascend Y with Gingerbread. While the first two are refurbs, the second two are not. Looking at StraightTalk generally, Android 4.4 seems to be the default OS, although there are several 4G Lollipop devices offered.

          Any cite to back up your “most MVNOs only have 3G” claim? Because that might have been true 2-3 years ago, but not so much today.

  • GatorDrew

    Straight Talk has been nothing but perfect since day 1 for me….. as long as you use the AT&T network

    • movaughn20

      I use the Verizon Phones with Straight Talk and have been great as well. $42.50 with auto pay.

  • Jason Williams

    their lego builder deals around black friday are soooooooooooooo good.

  • madlipper

    I am in the bedding business and I sell the off price guys. I do not sell Walmart and have nothing to gain from this post
    I respectfully disagree with the above assessment. Walmart sheets are a good value across the board for what you get. Plus you always have a selection of colors – off price retailers can be great but its hit or miss on selection. Walmart has strict quality standards and sends inspectors into all the facilities they use to ensure quality

  • Christian Boehnke

    Won’t you think of the Gummibears, eh I mean, Children?!
    $0.97 Haribo Gold Bears!

  • TriCuriousGeorge

    Straight Talk is a great deal. You get 4G service on a national carrier with unlimited talk/text and 5GB of 4G data for $45/month. No contract. If you own your phone, you buy a sim and transfer your number. It is super easy.

    • movaughn20

      Agree, if you sign up for auto pay they only charge 42.50! 4 years with them no problems. Even there under $100 phones are tough as nails. LG Power on verizon tower is current, very impressed. Wonder what the motivation for listing straight talk as a poor buy in this article?

  • Will Hann

    #11: Ragin’ Rogers DO-IT-YERSELF HOME TATTOO KIT
    – Contains everything you need to cover 5 limbs.
    – Please wash Needles before using
    – Not responsible for misspelleded Tattoos
    – $19.98 Rollback

  • Robert Jared Newton

    Add Printer paper to list of good buys. You can get 10 reams of basic letter-sized printer paper for less than $25. I looked around for a long time for a better deal as I buy paper in BULK. I couldn’t find a better rate anywhere and I was looking at going straight to manufacturer. Once you factor shipping it’s cheaper to just to call walmart and place a bulk order for pick up at your local store.

  • 03dyna-glider

    My Straight Talk experience has been great. Was with Verizon for 15 years, they got expensive, went to sprint, paid to get out of that contract. Second phone with Straight Talk currently LG Power on Verizon towers. Have never lost service in Oregon California Nevada with it. $42.50 with autopay! Best cell phone decision I ever made!