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Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-12-2005, 11:23 AM   #1
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Do you have a cell phone?

We've been looking around for a cheap plan--we've had Cingular for the past two years. Its OK, but I can't always make a call in or to the midwest due to coverage issues. What do you think about Trac phones? I would imagine there are coverage issues with them too, but its cheaper. You hafta buy pre-paid cards with them. I wish I could find a website that compared/contrasted plans.

I probably don't even need a cell phone anymore since I won't be working anymore 6 weeks from now...but it would be nice if my car broke down, etc.

With a good cell phone, you could conceivably dump your land line.

What do you do? Thanks for any insight!
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-12-2005, 11:45 AM   #2
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

Hi Leslie,

We have T-Mobile at home, and I have a Nextel at the "W" place. T-Mobile has much better coverage than Nextel, but of course this varies by location.

You could indeed give up your land line; I have heard that any number (including your home number) can be ported to a cell phone.
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-12-2005, 12:30 PM   #3
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

We have two Verizon cell phones. The two phones share minutes and we can call between the phones for free and not use any minutes. Very convenient for getting in touch with each other. We dropped the land line with some mixed feelings because the sound quality is still so much better over wires. However, we wanted to keep our communications costs down to a certain dollar amount and we need to have the cell phones as we travel.

I also plug our cell phone into our laptop and get on the internet using Verizon when I am on the road.
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-12-2005, 12:53 PM   #4
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

I don't have a cell phone, so can't provide any personal insight, but I know someone who runs a website that has info on phone rate comparisons - might be useful for you:

http://abtolls.com/
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-12-2005, 05:18 PM   #5
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

We have 2 cell phones, Can't wait to have no cell phones.

Hate 'em. When it rings my blood pressure goes up.

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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-12-2005, 06:09 PM   #6
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

I'm waiting for our contract with Sprint to run out in June, and then will switch the two phones to pre-paid tracphones. You can get a full year with about 300 minutes for $60 or so.
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-12-2005, 08:26 PM   #7
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

Got rid of my Nextel a year ago, and gave Cingular the boot this month - after they overcharged and refused to correct it after half a dozen calls.

In Europe we use prepaid GSM phones, and its a whole lot simpler. Can't understand how this hasn't really taken off in the US . . . TelCo's like to get their hooks into consumers I guess . .
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-12-2005, 08:30 PM   #8
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

We had phones with a local carrier, surewest...metropcs offers similar plans. Their deal was in the high 20-something to $40 (depending on which 'deal' you got in on and how long you committed to a plan) for unlimited minutes and long distance in northern california rolled in. Since everyone we know (just about) is in NoCal, that meant flat rate unlimited service for us. The unlimited was infectious though...before we got married and lived 50 miles apart we'd just call each other up and stick an earbud in and talk sporadically for a couple of hours. Beat the living heck out of the big national carriers.

Our current plan is 'emergency' based. We got an AT&T 'free2go' pre-paid phone for free after rebates, which included some minutes. Applying for a special "12/20" plan which adds 20 minutes monthly and 'rolls the minutes' we already have forward, we got about 100 minutes up front plus 20 a month for a year for a net cost of $25. So ~$2 a month. When that expires, I can add 650 minutes to the phone for $100 and those minutes are good for a full year. So $8.33 a month for irregular emergency phone use.
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-12-2005, 09:50 PM   #9
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

I've got an AT&T free-to-go phone, too. (They had the best national coverage area -- important since we use it for traveling more than anything.)
At this point, I just buy a $10 card every 90 days or so, making it pretty cheap for occasional use.
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-13-2005, 02:14 AM   #10
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

Thanks for the replies--we've got lots of options to look at...

Leslie
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-13-2005, 05:07 AM   #11
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

I'm looking at Virgin http://www.virginmobileusa.com/ and a prepaid card. I don't use a cellphone much anyway.

I'm getting rid of my Cingulair because I just don't use it enough to justify the monthly cost,

arrete
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-13-2005, 01:50 PM   #12
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

th, voyt,

things have changed with the cingular/att merger.

The $10 cards have been discontinued, and the $100 cards I don't think last a year anymore.

You can still get $10 cards from ebay, and if it's the right ones, they still work for 90 days. You might also be able to buy some $10 cards from a store, just check the expiration date and terms.

When I can't get anymore 90 day $10 cards, I'll switch to another plan, maybe airvoice wireless or trac.
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-13-2005, 03:12 PM   #13
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

I have a Tracfone in my glove compartment along with my AAA card. I get a new 1-year card and renewal of AAA for Christmas every year. The yearly activation is about $100 and you get between 150 and 300 minutes with it. Your left over minutes never expire if you renew the activation (buy a 1-year card).

So far this has worked well for me. The phone is in my car if I want to take it with me on the bike trail for safety or if I need to call my husband from work. I work in Maryland and he works in Delaware. They contract with other providers to keep a good coverage on the East coast. I haven't found a call I couldn't make but that doesn't mean much. Out of region calls cost 2 minutes for 1 minute.
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-13-2005, 04:09 PM   #14
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

Quote:
th, voyt,

things have changed with the cingular/att merger.

The $10 cards have been discontinued, and the $100 cards I don't think last a year anymore.
Well dangit, I hadnt checked to see if cingular had screwed things up, but apparently they have. Oh well, free phones go in the trash a lot easier than ones you pay for.

Somebody else will want a few bucks a month from me rather than nothing... :P
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-13-2005, 05:51 PM   #15
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

I had T-Mobile for a year. It was no good in my home area, but I didn't care. I used it for traveling and at the
Texas condo. But, after a year I didn't think I was getting adequate use so I dropped the service (kept the free phone and maybe will reup sometime). Bought
DW a TracPhone, primarily for traveling/security. I don't think she ever uses it (I don't even know her number)
but it gives her peace of mind on the road. When we begin snowbirding next winter, will need to decide
how to handle phone, computer, cable, etc. We only plan to be
in Texas for 3 months at the most to start.

JG
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-13-2005, 07:52 PM   #16
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

Quote:
th, voyt,

things have changed with the cingular/att merger.

The $10 cards have been discontinued, and the $100 cards I don't think last a year anymore.
Well, phooey. I just checked the online site, and I see the minimum is now $15. Thanks for the heads up!
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-13-2005, 10:48 PM   #17
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

The $15 cards are only for 30 days.

Old $10 AT&T branded cards should be ok for 90 days, I think.
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-14-2005, 03:18 PM   #18
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

Here is a thread from a few months ago about Tracfone.

http://early-retirement.org/cgi-bin/...num=1101630354
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-14-2005, 09:04 PM   #19
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

Quote:
The $15 cards are only for 30 days.

Old $10 AT&T branded cards should be ok for 90 days, I think.
You're right .. and I thank you again. (wonder if Cingular will ever bother to notify folks). Looks like I may be provider-shopping soon.
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?
Old 04-15-2005, 02:50 AM   #20
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Re: Do you have a cell phone?

OOOOooo! Found a site off another board that compares plans...

http://www.cellguru.net/prepaid_compare.htm
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