$45 IPHONE PLAN: My Money Blog has a very informative post on how to get (almost) unlimited voice, text, and data on your iPhone for $45 per month–with no contract. I say “almost” because there’s a 2GB monthly cap on data, but that shouldn’t bother most people.
The key to the this telephonic wizardry is something called the Straight Talk SIM Card. From the article, here’s how you do it:
- Go to straighttalksim.com.
- Buy a SIM card (micro for iPhone 4/4S/5, regular for 3G and 3GS) for $14.99. iPhone 5 will need to be trimmed down to nano-SIM size. You will also need a $45 unlimited plan card to activate your SIM, which will include your first month of service.
- Activate new sim card by calling in and getting a new number or porting old number (have your old phone company info ready)
- Install SIM on iPhone and wait for activation process to complete by giving it maybe an hour to a couple hours.
There are some nuances though, so definitely go to MMB’s post for the full instructions. And if $45 is too rich for your blood, don’t forget about the cheaper (but more limited) Mr. Money Moustache $10 iPhone plan.
- Delta is bumping up award prices for low level Business Elite seats world wide by 20-25% effective TODAY for flights after June 1, 2014
- Delta is dumping all award holds as of September 9 this year.
LIFE IN A TIPLESS RESTAURANT: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees provoked a mini-controversy when he left a $3 tip on an $74 bill… at a takeout counter. Some have suggested our nation might be better off if we scrapped the whole tipping thing, while others maintain it’s absolutely necessary to raise the level of service.
As it happens, a man named Jay Porter has been performing a sort of experiment for the last seven years. He’s been running two similar restaurants: one with tips and one without. The results:
Once established, the tipless/service charge model made us more successful in every dimension. Having a sister restaurant that used the traditional model was helpful in evaluating this — at our second restaurant, for instance, we could never achieve a consistently high quality of service. We believed the block came from the sense that, once the guest delivers a tip, the quality of service has been validated — even though studies clearly show that, across a large sample, guests tip basically the same regardless of quality of service.
Meanwhile, our revenue was always higher at the tipless restaurant, I think because quality of food and service were both better due to the more consistent pay system (which at the Linkery was much closer to that of a normal, non-hospitality business than that of most restaurants, where server pay varies with a lot of randomness).
With higher revenue and more consistent pay system, our retention was better. This continued to be a “virtuous circle” of benefits we saw from having a tipless/service charge model. On a personal level, it was much more fun to work with the non-tipped team; in that environment it was easier to build a focus on doing great, worthwhile work, and doing it well, when those thoughts weren’t being interrupted every couple minutes by a guest deciding how much to pay a team member for their last few minutes of services rendered.
Obviously one restaurant is not conclusive, but it does show that things don’t automatically go to hell if you take tipping out of the equation. Slate published an article about this as well if you’re interested.