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Old 03-04-2009, 05:31 PM   #21
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Nords,

I agree with you on the lifestyle question - when I was in the US, I was addicted to the thing - now in Europe, I have the phone I had here before (old Nokia) with an Aldi SIM chip - I pay for 15-30 Euros of time and frankly it's used for texting my husband when he or I travel alone on business. We've also got a US based phone which we use for texting between each other as well.

I've gotten really bad about not turning on the phone except in the cases above. Like you, I remember we got along just fine without being electronically tethered - we talked with people and made plans to show up at certain times and were polite enough to usually show up on time.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:12 PM   #22
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I remember we got along just fine without being electronically tethered - we talked with people and made plans to show up at certain times and were polite enough to usually show up on time.
When w*rking, I used to get that "tethered" feeling from either my cell phone or earlier my pager. But retired, it's a new ball game.

Typical use: I'm sitting on my son's patio on a beautiful early Thursday evening having a few brewski's and grilling a few snacks on the Weber. DW is at a quilt club meeting. My son takes a pic of me sucking the bottom out of a bottle of Harps, we send the pic to DW's phone, she texts back: "CU in hour. Hve beer cold. Food hot." And a little while later, there she is, beer in one hand, skewer of grilled shrimp in the other. Without the cell, I couldn't have contacted her until she got home and that's 30 mins from DS's. So, it would have been an spontaneous, fun opportunity lost.

I get very few cell phone calls I wish I hadn't gotten.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:05 AM   #23
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I found a slightly cheaper strategy: Buy one 60 minute card for $20, then "supersize it" by extending it to 365 days of airtime for an additional $49. Plus I get some bonus minutes because tracfone is getting frantic that my airtime is about to expire.

One problem is tracfone is that their web site often has problems, and tells you to "call customer service."
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:46 PM   #24
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I use Virgin Mobil. Their deal is a free phone and they charge your CC $15 every 90 days. Minutes are (I think) 18 cents or so. I never burn up my minutes and I've got a $100 balance now, since they carry forward. So that works out to about $5 / month. Only bad part is that they use Sprint system which in some locations is weaker reception than Verizon, for example.

I just leave it in my car, plugged in. If someone needs me while I'm driving they can reach me and if I have an emergency, the phone is ready to go.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:30 AM   #25
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One problem is tracfone is that their web site often has problems, and tells you to "call customer service."
An update on that: It wouldn't process the transaction because the credit card number was different from the one I'd used in the past. A call to customer service was very fast (no time on hold), and they took care of it. It was a little difficult to understand the accent but it wasn't bad.
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:13 PM   #26
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I found a slightly cheaper strategy: Buy one 60 minute card for $20, then "supersize it" by extending it to 365 days of airtime for an additional $49. Plus I get some bonus minutes because tracfone is getting frantic that my airtime is about to expire.
I usually get my bonus codes over at FW, plus you can check to see if the code is still good for your phone before purchasing the airtime. My understanding is that a bonus code can only be used once per phone. I usually get the 60 min card and use a bonus code good for 60-90 minutes plus my DFML. $20 gives me a min of 180 minutes and an extra 90 days. For my purposes, I don't need the additional airtime cost because everytime you add a X minute card it extends another 90 days. Just depends on how often you re-load the phone with minutes.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:57 PM   #27
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Actually my $70 got me 110 minutes (20 minute bonus plus 30 minutes for complaining about their web site and credit card policy), plus the supersizing added a year to the 90 days, so I'm good until June 2010.

The phone was useful today because I dropped the car off for maintenance, and they called me riding home on my bike to get an OK for the estimate for some extra work -- let them get started 1.5 hours earlier.
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