CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our.
Happy Veteran's Day! I have endless admiration and respect for anyone who puts on a uniform to serve this country. My dad did, and it's his birthday, too -- so happy birthday, Dad!
In late September I shared, one that sounded too good to be true: free service for your Sprint phone. And not just some paltry plan, either. You got 1,000 voice minutes, 1,000 text messages and 1GB of 4G LTE data.
So, yeah, pretty darn good.
It just got better. For a limited time, and while supplies last, new RingPlus subscribers can get the Leonardo 2 Free Cell Plan for, well, free. Every month you'll get 1,500 voice minutes, 1,500 text messages and 1.5GB of 4G LTE data.
Not only are you getting 50 percent more freebie goodness, but you can use RingPlus with eligible phones from all the Big Four carriers. More on that in a bit.
There has to be a catch, right? There are two, and they're small. First, when you make an outgoing call, you'll hear an ad in place of ringing. Big whoop. Second, the plan doesn't include picture or video messaging (aka MMS). Those cost 4 cents apiece unless you use a data-powered messaging app like iMessage or WhatsApp.
You also have to pony up a little bit of cash -- $15 this time -- in "top-up" credit. This remains untouched in your account unless you exceed any part of your plan. Here's clarification on that straight from RingPlus:
A minimum top-up of $15 (+ applicable taxes and fees) is required at sign up. If, and only if, the top-up is depleted to $0 from overages or other premium actions (e.g., porting, number changes, etc.) another top-up of $15 will automatically be charged to the member's credit card. If a member does not go over these free allotments, the Leonardo 2 Free Plan will remain free.
Oh, and the overage charge is 2 cents per minute, text message or megabyte. Again, big whoop. Few users are likely to ever touch their top-up deposit.
Regarding eligible phones, again I'm going to give you the straight dope from RingPlus:
T0 get the Leonardo 2 Free Plan, new members are required to bring their own eligible Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T phone. All non-Sprint devices will require a Universal ICCID card (i.e. a kind of SIM card) which can be ordered at store.ringplus.net. Eligible devices are the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 6, 6 Plus, and Nexus 5 from T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T; and the iPhone 5s and 5c from Verizon and Sprint. In addition, new subscribers can bring any other Sprint phone which is financially cleared (meaning there are no outstanding financial obligations to Sprint).
If one of your readers does not have an eligible device, she or he can also buy one of the phones...from the RingPlus Store at store.ringplus.net, and get the Leonardo 2 Free Plan. We will ship the phone within two to three weeks, and the reader will be able to activate it on the Leonardo 2 Free Plan.
Finally, to be eligible for the deal, you'll also need to:
1. Share this very article on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the links up above.
2. When signing up for RingPlus, link to your Facebook or Twitter account.
3. Complete a short survey when you sign up.
This may all sound like a lot, but it's really pretty simple stuff. Bring an eligible phone (or buy one), give RingPlus a little social media love, deposit $15 and enjoy totally free service.
Quick personal anecdote: I grabbed one of the $50 phones last time out. It worked fine, but had trouble bouncing back and forth between 3G and 4G -- in part because Sprint is really spotty in my area. I ported the number over to an old iPhone and now everything works perfectly. It's now a backup phone. I don't know how RingPlus is able to do this, but I also don't care. Amazing deal.
The offer ends at 10 p.m. (PT) on Friday.
Bonus deal: You don't have to wait around for Black Friday to score a smokin' TV deal. Adorama has the Samsung UN32J4000 32-inch HDTV for $149.99 shipped when you apply coupon code 1CHEAPSKTE at checkout. You need to be an Adorama "VIP" member to get the deal, but it's free to sign up.
Never mind the 720p resolution. At that size there's simply no need for 1080p.
Bonus deal 2: Speaking of TVs, remember SoundScoopz for $24.45 shipped when you apply coupon code rbc30 at checkout. That's a solid deal on a truly useful product, one that boosts TV audio clarity and volume without wires, remotes and all the other hassles that sound bars bring. I'm a fan.? A lot of you liked the idea of this TV sound-improving device, but not the price. In honor of Veteran's Day, the veteran-owned company is offering