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Old 03-30-2013, 02:21 PM   #21
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I think I'm in the rely on the good samaritan camp, worked this time. It's hilly around here and the ultimate kick in the pants would be in a valley with no reception.

I thought I was using a landline at home but cuz my phone is plugged into the wall jack like when I had AT&T but it occurred to me I bundled tv, phone and internet via the cable company so I guess I'm in the no land line group.
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Old 03-30-2013, 02:52 PM   #22
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I think I'm in the rely on the good samaritan camp, worked this time. It's hilly around here and the ultimate kick in the pants would be in a valley with no reception.

I thought I was using a landline at home but cuz my phone is plugged into the wall jack like when I had AT&T but it occurred to me I bundled tv, phone and internet via the cable company so I guess I'm in the no land line group.

The rely on someone else is all well and good as long as you are in places where there are others....


I still vote that you are using a landline, but others might not think so.... you are using a wire that comes to your house... I don't care if it is the telephone company or cable... it is still a wire.... to me, no landline means you went wireless....
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:16 PM   #23
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My definition of a landline is a cable pair from the phone company central office to your house. the phone company feeds 48VDC from the CO to your house through the cable pair which means that a corded phone will work when the AC power is out.

By the way AAA says that for AAA members they can now immediately locate your geographic position when you call them for assistance from your registered cellphone. This will come in handy because I've had a hard time giving directions when I've called for assistance after breaking down on an unmarked rural road.
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Old 03-30-2013, 04:26 PM   #24
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It sounds like OP is using VOIP. OP -- you might check the cost on what it would cost for you to have TV and internet and no phone at home and then figure out the cost of a prepaid cell phone instead of the VOIP. I suspect you will find that the cost of the prepaid cell phone over time will be less than what you are paying for VOIP. You could even pay an extra $30 a year to be able to use Skype to call phones and you would probably still be under what you are paying now. Where I am adding VOIP to a bundle adds about $30 a month.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:09 AM   #25
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Have you searched for 'tracfone' on the Walmart website ?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #26
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It sounds like OP is using VOIP. OP -- you might check the cost on what it would cost for you to have TV and internet and no phone at home and then figure out the cost of a prepaid cell phone instead of the VOIP. I suspect you will find that the cost of the prepaid cell phone over time will be less than what you are paying for VOIP. You could even pay an extra $30 a year to be able to use Skype to call phones and you would probably still be under what you are paying now. Where I am adding VOIP to a bundle adds about $30 a month.
Bold is my emphasis, the cost of the phone is only $20 per month and if I don't bundle all 3 then the cost of the other 2 will increase. My bill is just $110 a month and that's really a low price for all 3. My internet is 30 M download and that would be $55 a month alone, $20 for the phone means the tv is just $35. Of course these numbers aren't exact since there's about 10 or 15 taxes that bring the total to $110 but close enough.

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Have you searched for 'tracfone' on the Walmart website ?
I had a Tracfone from Walmart once for just 2 or 3 months. The minutes were good for just the number of days purchased ie 30 or 60 days. It's the having to buy new time that I object to even if the old minutes were to roll over and I don't think they did. I needed it for just those few months and tossed it after that.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:55 PM   #27
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I had a Tracfone from Walmart once for just 2 or 3 months. The minutes were good for just the number of days purchased ie 30 or 60 days. It's the having to buy new time that I object to even if the old minutes were to roll over and I don't think they did. I needed it for just those few months and tossed it after that.
The minutes don't expire, just the days of service. You can buy a 30 minute card ( 30 days of service ) for 9.99 and add 1 year service for 49.99. Gives you 13 months for 59.98 ( 4.61/month ).
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:36 PM   #28
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So what I want does not exist based upon replies. Calling 911 is only for an emergency and that would work. Calling 911 for a tow truck, you can't do that.

Believe it or not the least expensive option mentioned is way too expensive because I do not want to add minutes period... LBYM thinking. I do not use a cell and do not want to be accumulating minutes. This is why I'd be willing to pay an inordinate amount for say 60 minutes but those minutes have to remain until I used them.

As I mentioned the last time I needed "the phone" other than a week ago this morning was in July of 1998. So I guess that's that, thankfully all you other people, what 99 out of 100, have a cell so someone can make that call when I need it in another 15 years.
We are very much alike. I have no cell phone and see the cost of any advertised plan as way too high for something I have no plan or desire to use beyond the once-per-decade emergency.

I even got rid of long-distance service from my land line phone several years ago because Verizon began charging $1.50 per month just for the privilege of being able to make long-distance calls, something I very rarely did. (The fee was imposed even if I made zero LD calls which is what annoyed me the most.)
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:32 AM   #29
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We did away with our land line and went cell only in 2006. I had no idea I was in "a younger generation" at age 59...
I did the opposite - ditched the cellphone a few years ago and got a landline with the basic plan for local calling only, and a cheap long-distance service (One Suite). Much cheaper than having a cell.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:05 AM   #30
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I did the opposite - ditched the cellphone a few years ago and got a landline with the basic plan for local calling only, and a cheap long-distance service (One Suite). Much cheaper than having a cell.
But what is your landline costing you? Mine was ~$26 a month and I went to VOIP with Ooma and now pay $3.75 a month with unlimited US calling.

And my cell which is use only as a convenience when not at home is ~$9/month so my total costs for my home phone and cell are only ~$13/month (half of that my landline was costing me).
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:14 AM   #31
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OK, so here's a possibility, but you will need to research it. You basically want to have a cell phone on hand, but only use/pay for it for very occasional non-911 'emergency' calls (tow truck, etc), maybe years apart.

Could you buy a phone with a 'starter SIM' and simply not activate it until you need to make that call? IIRC, these starter SIMS come with just a few minutes on them, but you can call 611 and add $. So if you need to make a call 2 years from now, use the starter SIM, add $10 if needed to complete that call session. Just let it expire after that. You would probably then need to get a new 'starter SIM' - I think these are super cheap, a couple $.

Don't get hung up on spending the $10 and only using $2 of it, and 'wasting' the remaining $8 - look at the total cost of ownership for making a calls years apart - I think this will be the cheapest, but check the expiry issues.

So you would need to find out if that starter SIM has an expiration (I don't think they do - they could sit on the sellers shelf for X months, right?).

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Old 04-03-2013, 10:28 AM   #32
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So you would need to find out if that starter SIM has an expiration (I don't think they do - they could sit on the sellers shelf for X months, right?).
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Most of them do. Typically 2 or 3 years. It might be still a good deal.
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:34 AM   #33
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But what is your landline costing you? Mine was ~$26 a month and I went to VOIP with Ooma and now pay $3.75 a month with unlimited US calling.

And my cell which is use only as a convenience when not at home is ~$9/month so my total costs for my home phone and cell are only ~$13/month (half of that my landline was costing me).
$7.46/month for the landline and $17.83/month for DSL. I use < $2 of long distance/month, so total telecommunications bill ~ $27/month (No cable or satellite TV here).
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:31 PM   #34
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I read the other thread on cell phones but nothing in that addresses my need. I'm sure a lot of people would like this same thing so I suspect it is out there but where?

What I want is a cell phone to use in an emergency. I don't mind buying it but I want to purchase a minimal number of minutes (say 60 minutes) and expect those minutes to last until I use them without the need to purchase more minutes on a regular basis. I don't want a camera, clock, GPS, radio, I don't text, no interest in apps... all I want is a phone that I'd use in an accident or breakdown situation ie an emergency.

Last week my car broke down at 6:45 am on a very very cold day in a very inconvenient place. This phone I want would have allowed me to call the police or a towing company. I'd pay 10 or 20 cents a minute to buy the time but if I don't use it then 5 years later I want it all to be there and again I do not want to have to buy more time every x days.

Does such a thing exist? $5 or $10 a month is way too much to pay for this. The last time my car broke down was in 1998 and I never had an accident. I expect to die and never use those 60 minutes but just in case! Any ideas?
While I fully understand where you are coming from, I view what you are trying to do as parallel to buying insurance after you are sure you are going to make a claim. What if everybody did this? You want something for nothing, and if you can get it, then go for it. $5 a month is way too much? I am not understanding this.

You have been offered some good ideas, like the phone with the starter sim. I would not want to rely on a phone that has been sitting for months (maybe years) between uses (and possibly activation). Most of the time that you find something does not work is the next time you try to use it.

We are using TracFones that cost < $15/month for two. Ting is also a good alternative, but that will set you back $6 / month if you do not use it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:37 PM   #35
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$7.46/month for the landline and $17.83/month for DSL. I use < $2 of long distance/month, so total telecommunications bill ~ $27/month (No cable or satellite TV here).
Wow, great deal, especially on the DSL (mine is ~$50 a month).
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:53 AM   #36
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I'd be embarrassed to say what I spend on cellular, internet and cable combined. Some of the people on this list could probably FIRE on what I send to AT&T every month. I could blame it on DW and kids for their high iPhone costs, but I like my big channel lineups, premium movie channels and choice of watching on 4 different flat screens (each with its own set-top box and monthly fee).

But, I am proud of my land line (actually VOIP) deal. I use Magic Jack at $1.67 / month for unlimited local and long distance. Yea, it's the one you see advertised on TV. But, it really does work great. I can't tell the difference beteween it and the $40 / month real land line that I previously used. It's even got an iPhone app that allows me to use my Magic Jack service instead of cellular service when we're out of the country (works through the hotel Wi-Fi). Great way to avoid internation roaming charges.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:16 AM   #37
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I am looking at using the smoke signals, the semaphore flags or "three-dits/three-dahs/three-dits".
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:07 PM   #38
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What I want is a cell phone to use in an emergency. I don't mind buying it but I want to purchase a minimal number of minutes (say 60 minutes) and expect those minutes to last until I use them without the need to purchase more minutes on a regular basis. I don't want a camera, clock, GPS, radio, I don't text, no interest in apps... all I want is a phone that I'd use in an accident or breakdown situation ie an emergency.
Was catching up on my reading this morning and came across Wired Magazine's 10 items they really want to buy now after Comdex.

One of the items (March 2013 issue) was this phone from XPal Power called the Spare One. $100, single lithium AA battery lasts 15 years, and you just pop in a GSM SIM card and you are ready to go (emergency calls can be done without the SIM card of course).
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