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Cheap prepaid cell phone deal
Old 02-23-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
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Cheap prepaid cell phone deal

This ones pretty good. You dont usually get the phone for free AND the minutes discounted...

Target is selling a T-Mobile To Go Nokia candybar phone, fair to middling ratings, color screen and speakerphone, plus a $100/1000 minute pay-as-you-go card for $88 starting tomorrow, sunday the 24th and through the week.

I think the phone has some activation minutes built in or comes with a 25 minute thing in the box, but I'm not 100% sure of that.

Minutes are good for a year and the $100 card buys you "gold member status", so anything you add to it within that year extends any leftover minutes for another year.

So if you use 300 minutes and 364 days from activation you add a $10/25 minute card, you have 700+25 minutes good for another year from that. Another $100 card would give you 700+1000 minutes good for another year.

If you have an older, cruddier t-mobile to go phone (as I do), you can remove the SIM card from the old one and transplant it into this new phone...which will bring your old number and minutes with it...then use the $100 card when you run out of your existing minutes or get close to your one year expiry.
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Old 02-23-2008, 09:12 PM   #2
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What a great deal! I wish Verizon hadn't sucked me into another two year contract. My phone cratered a while back (after 7 years) and the same day, I got an offer for a new one for not much if I would extend my contract. Oh well!

I do like my new phone, but I am paying about four times as much per year even though I hardly use any minutes. So, I think your post describes quite a bargain.
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Old 02-24-2008, 06:29 AM   #3
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Thanks for posting that, cute fuzzy bunny.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:07 AM   #4
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This is a good deal. You can see some info about the phone at T-Mobile's website.

Nokia 2610

I have a similar phone, the Nokia 6030, which I purchased from the T-Mobil website (they run specials every few weeks) about 6 month's ago, and I have been very happy with it and with T-Mobile's service.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:10 AM   #5
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I've used this plan for more than two years now. Once I paid the initial $100, since I almost never use the phone I still have more than 1200 minutes left and I only need to pay $10 per year to roll them over for another full year.

There is no better plan, IMO, for someone who almost never uses their cell phone. I probably use 5-10 minutes a month on average, if that.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:29 AM   #6
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thanks CFB. I am going to get one today.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:50 AM   #7
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Got one. They didnt have it marked on the display, but I grabbed the phone and a $100 tmobile card right next to it and they rang up at the register for $88.

Nice small phone, nice display, good buttons, LOUD ringer.

Oh, and they also just landed a pallet of Wii's behind the electronics counter, so now I have two toys to play with :
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Got one. They didnt have it marked on the display, but I grabbed the phone and a $100 tmobile card right next to it and they rang up at the register for $88.

Nice small phone, nice display, good buttons, LOUD ringer.

Oh, and they also just landed a pallet of Wii's behind the electronics counter, so now I have two toys to play with :
I just got one. Nice little phone. It is charging now. I cam going to drop our plan. We should save at least $400 over the next 12 months.

I saw people grabbing up the Wii's.
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:29 PM   #9
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Target told me they had to use a pin number to activate the phone and could not use a refill card at all (like the board member above grabbed). Hmmm...
I have about 750 minutes on the old T-Mobile phone, so they said I would LOSE those if I used the same sim card on the new T-mobile phone.
If you have the phone activated, you have exactly a year to use the 1,000 minutes or lose them from what I understand.
What the heck is going on as the Target some of you use are giving you different answers than mine did. And I did call and get more info. from T-mobile. Maybe I will take a trip to Target and recheck all this. Hmmm...confusing.
I wonder if what they are telling me is different as the area I am in now is NOT in the T-Mobile calling region, which is why I had to go on the prepaid plan (they ditched me after 8 loyal and expensive years, since I carried 2 cells for biz for years and years$$$).
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:39 PM   #10
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All of that is untrue!

You normally take the phone home, insert the new sim card that comes with it, and use the phone to call in, pick a number and activate.

In my case, I removed the sim from my old tmobile to go phone, inserted it in the new one right out of the package, fired it up, set the date and time, and voila...it was sending and receiving calls from my old number and all my minutes were intact.

Do note that both your old phone and new phone have to be tmobile TO GO prepaid phones.

All I did was take the items off the shelf, take them to a cashier, pay and leave. They had no other participation.

As I described, all minutes expire in a year unless you add time, any amount of time, within that year. Then they roll over for another year. I have minutes from 2+ years ago rolled over on one phone. Now that I know this SIM trick, I'll use those up one after another in the new phone, then activate the "new" sim, get the free minutes off of that, and then start over with the $100 card.

Wii's are a lot of fun. Gabe was throwing pitches, golfing and bowling right up until his momma roped him into taking a nap.
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Old 02-24-2008, 03:01 PM   #11
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The way I think about it is that what you are activating is the SIM card, not the phone. Once the SIM card is activated, you can put it in any T-Mobile phone, and that phone will use your number and your minutes.

So as CFB says, the new phone shouldn't require activation (unless you want to activate the new SIM card that comes with it) since your old SIM card (with your current number and current minutes) has already been activated.
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:09 PM   #12
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Hmm...I have an idea.

The receipt for this reads that the card was $65.xx and the phone $22.xx.

I suppose some folks might buy the combo, then take the phone back for a $22.xx refund and get a $100 To Go card for $65.

So maybe some stores are forcing you to activate the unit so you wont return it?

I'd think it'd be easier to make it an item that can only be returned with both pieces.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:23 PM   #13
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Thanks. We have t-mobile and will check this out. We use about $100/year.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:36 PM   #14
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Dear CFB:

[quote=cute fuzzy bunny;619803]This ones pretty good. You dont usually get the phone for free AND the minutes discounted...

My favorite (and only) spouse picked up a Virgin Mobil phone from Radio shack about a year ago. Basic phone (she hates gizmos), costs her $21 bucks every three months. She's not a chatty Cathy.... Minutes keep on rolling over.

If it were any less expensive they'd be paying her.


Rich

PS

We've tried it all over the place and it works just fine; Cape Cod, VT, NH, San Diego, VA, NC, SC and GA.
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Old 02-24-2008, 10:05 PM   #15
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What CFB says in post #10 above was also true for me about a year ago when I used a fatwallet deal to upgrade my Tmobile to go phone for $30 and get $25 of free airtime or somesuch deal. This deal looks even better.

One detail, though, that you might know CFB: I've got a bunch of numbers in my current phone (a Nokia 6010 or something) that I'd like to move over to my new Target phone. I thought they were stored on the SIM card, but last time I upgraded that didn't work for me and I had to reenter them all by hand, which was a time-consuming and potentially error prone deal. How did you port your phone numbers over?

If there's an easy way to do that, I'd probably jump on this deal, even though I have $197 worth of minutes on my phone right now already. I suppose I could just hang on to the refill card for about five or six months (I average about $30-40 worth of usage a month.)

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Old 02-25-2008, 09:11 AM   #16
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I am off to Target today as I just decided to avoid the salesperson on staff Sunday. Let's guess they are off today (fingers crossed). I get totally what you are saying, cutefuzzybunny. Thanks for all these tips, folks!
I did call T-Mobile 2 times, got two different people and both said the same thing. My Nokia 6010 has 750 minutes left, but I should be thru with those in August at the rate I use them now; so, I will get the other phone, add some minutes to it before it runs out next January--and I should be set with a new phone.
T-Mobile is NOT a company where I am now, so I should be able to find a phone and card left. They have everyone else here, BUT T-Mobile, which is good for me.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:27 AM   #17
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2Cor - no easy ideas and yes, the phonebook is stored in the phone. Some phones let you up and download address books to a PC but you usually need a cable or bluetooth and some software, and its also possible tmobile allows a way to store them upstream and then download them again. Frankly I have no idea what the phone can do or what the t-mobile services are, I just use the phone to call my wife and ask her what else she wants at the grocery store. For my wifes razr I found some freeware that, coupled with a usb cable, let me upload and download files and info to and from the phone.

I guess I oughta read the manual and see what else they offer.

I noted the $100 card says on the back that its only good for 90 days after purchase, but I cant think of any plausible way they'd know that you bought it more than 3 months ago. I've bought the refills (codes only) online and used them 5-6 months later with no problems.

Love the phone so far. About 3/4 the size and weight of my two older t-mobile phones. Hardly notice it in a pocket. I like the loud ringer...thats handy when you're in chuck e cheese with 150 kids squealing and the phone rings.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:01 AM   #18
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I'm in the market now for one of these.

Considering that I don't have any minutes to roll over, and that the $100 card expires in 90 days, is this still a good deal for me? I can buy this same phone on T Mobile's site for 29.99, which includes a $25 refill card, and then buy the $100 plan (1000) minutes that are good for a year. Sooo, would it be better to spend $88 for the phone and minutes that are good only for 90 days or $130 for the same phone for minutes that are good for a year?

I am new to prepaid deals, so I really don't know the ins and outs.

Thanks.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:07 AM   #19
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Sorry I was unclear. The $100 card contains minutes that are good for a year. The fine print on the back says you have to apply it within 90 days after purchase.

Interesting stuff on the receipt now that I'm really looking at it...

Under the phone it has the phones serial number and "ACTIVATION SUCCESSFUL"...then under the $100 card it has the end of the cards activation code and "ITEM ACTIVE WITHIN 3 HOURS".

So apparently there may be some communication between the store and t-mobile on when the card was bought, and perhaps they may have been required to activate the phone with me on the spot but didnt. Which is how the other 3 t-mobile to go phones we've bought worked. I bought one at retail and two direct from t-mobile. Activated them myself at home.

I cant see any deal better than getting a free phone and 1000 minutes good for a year for $88. Unless you want a flip phone, bluetooth or some sort of blackberry type device, which this is not.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:15 AM   #20
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Ah, gotcha. Then it is a great deal. I'm going today to get it. Thanks for posting this.

I'm just hoping that when I bring the phone and card up to the register I get the $88 dollar deal. I keep picturing them saying that it's actually $140 and then I'll have to argue with them by saying, "That's not right! Cute Fuzzy Bunny got his for only $88 dollars!" And then they call the people with the straight jackets to come get me.
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