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What's the catch? deal on cellphone etc.
Old 11-23-2012, 08:48 AM   #1
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What's the catch? deal on cellphone etc.

This happens every once in a while, and usually when a deal is too good to be true, it IS too good to be true. Always a catch.

A while back, I bought a cell phone at discount store for $10...brand new, in box. It had a radio, camera, and most of the goodies... and 60 days service with 300 minutes. The phone is an EM326g. I brought it home, registered it online, and was in business, in about 5 minutes. Perfect... I love it. Works great.

Now, I only use the phone for a rare call from DW or to use when I'm away from the house or at my camp. At most 60 minutes a month. I've had a tracfone or tmobile for a few years, but the total cost for the service works out to about $125-- $150/year...

Looked like the phone I bought was a good deal, but there are no more at the store (clearance)... So... I went on-line and bought 3 more for $12 each, free shipping... from another source.

So, here's the question... Where's the catch? At the very least... even when the phone is not live any longer, I still can use it as a camera, flashlight, radio, stopwatch or 911 etc. etc... Must have cost more than $10 to manufacture... free shipping... for me, not for the seller. The only downside that I can see is changing the phone number, but that's not important to me. BTW... no time limit on the free minutes offer, that I could find.

There has to be something here that I'm missing... I expect to learn a lesson from this $36 bet.

Any thoughts on this or other items.... and have you found particularly good deals... or been scammed by the "Too good to be true" thing?
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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I would need a link to the deal, as it devil is always in the details.

One thing, on many phones, you can't get those pictures out w/o sending them over the cell connection - so you need an active account and minutes - so there's a 'catch'.

Just googling that phone model, gets pretty bad reviews, they are probably trying to get rid of overstock. But if it meets your needs, it can be a good deal.

-ERD50
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:40 AM   #3
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Most probably because that is an old phone ( 2009 vintage ). Fine for what you want but the iphone types wouldn't look at it. The minutes don't expire but the service does, you have to buy another card to add service time.

I've seen that phone for 6.99 no minutes, 24.99 with the 300 minutes.

Tracfone has 1 year service card. I got that last time I renewed, comes out to about $7/month, I didn't need any more minutes at the time.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:42 AM   #4
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Good point on the pics... didn't realize that, was just playing with the phone. taking pics. Saw the USB, and just assumed I could download.
The radio's pretty good... and lots lighter than my Sony Walkman.

On the deal... was on page 2 of Google search... Am careful now, not to post what could be considered commercial link...

On the other side... found that the battery fits an older digicam... that I almost tossed because the replacement battery was $34.95...
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
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Good point on the pics... didn't realize that, was just playing with the phone. taking pics. Saw the USB, and just assumed I could download.
The radio's pretty good... and lots lighter than my Sony Walkman.

On the deal... was on page 2 of Google search... Am careful now, not to post what could be considered commercial link...

On the other side... found that the battery fits an older digicam... that I almost tossed because the replacement battery was $34.95...
Right, even though you should be able to copy the pics from the device to the computer using USB, they often attempt to lock this out. I suppose there are ways to 'root' some phones to get around this, but probably not worth the hassle.

That phone is 'locked' to Net10, but if you are OK with that, not a major 'catch'. Sometimes a good deal for us is simply because it is something the majority don't care for. Being a 'niche' market can help (we get others cast-offs) or hurt (the market doesn't cater to our needs) sometimes.

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Old 11-23-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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Being a 'niche' market can help (we get others cast-offs) or hurt (the market doesn't cater to our needs) sometimes.
Oh yes... catering to our needs... That's another interesting but neglected subject on which I have a pet peeve that goes back many years... It has to do with speakers, headphones or earbuds... whereby manufacturers totally ignore the wants and needs of people like me, who don't HAVE TO listen in stereo.

I have to buy the stereo, but only want to listen with one ear, so when I cut off the second ear bud or speaker... I have to listen to either the left or the right side of the broadcast or recording... in addition to paying for one side that I don't need.

My biggest reason for looking for a monaural listening device, is becausewhile I like to listen to the radio or music... when I'm riding my bike, or working outside, I need to be able to hear ambient sounds, for safety's sake.

What seems to me to be a natural market for sportsmen or workers... a single monaural bluetooth earphone and pocket radio/mp3player... simply doesn't exist, at least that I've found. The result is that I end up with a onesided left or right earphone with a wire that gets caught on everything.

Somehow I feel that I must be the only person who ever wanted this kind of set up... (Oh yeah... they do exist... but at a cost of over $100. So much for a niche market.)

I suppose a threadjacking, but don't guess there's much interest anyway.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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wow. if your "junk drawer" has been around for a while, I'd look there for an earplug from an old radio. before mp3s and iPods, that's what there was
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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This is a topic of interest to me. As an old fogie, I use my cell phone for one use....talking to whomever I need. DW and I currently have a phone each, and are paying $100/mo for that service. DW is always texting with daughter, grandkids, etc..., whereas I just call 'em. If I were to drop my phone from this service, my bill would drop to about $60.

So, I'm researching the tracfone idea, but I do have one question; when you buy, say, 300 minutes, do those minutes have an expiration date? How long can I draw on those 300 minutes, before Having to buy more?

B
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:12 PM   #9
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So, I'm researching the tracfone idea, but I do have one question; when you buy, say, 300 minutes, do those minutes have an expiration date? How long can I draw on those 300 minutes, before Having to buy more?

B
The minutes do not expire but your service does. You can buy 60 minutes for 90 days of service. To continue the service at the end of 90 days you need to buy more minutes and that will include another 90 days of service. So the minutes will roll over but the service will expire if do not add more. If you use a lot of minutes it may not be what you want.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:42 PM   #10
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I've used Trafone for several years, on my second phone w/them. the trick is to buy the amount of minutes that will last you ~3 mos. it may take 2 or 3 times to get it about right. also, if you decide to go with TF, make sure to get a "double minutes" addendum. it's on the menu of options for "cards" to purchase. IIRC, it's $20, and any service you buy for the life of that phone is doubled (minutes only)
ps - txts on tf are.3 mins, coming & going
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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The best deal I found was
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Tracfone LG LG800G with 1200 Minutes and Triple Minutes for Life!!
(google this)
which was $79 including 1 year of service.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:50 PM   #12
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I used to do the throw away phone thing with tracfone. They would sell a $20 airtime card good for 3 months service, and give you a free phone (often you could pick from 3-4 phones). And the phone came with 2 months free service, so really it was 5 months of service and 150-200 minutes airtime for $20, or as low as $13-14 after a coupon code and using a cashback site. Only problem was you had to change phone numbers every 5 months.

My employer graciously pays for my cell service (all $26.69 of it per month) on my android smart phone so I stopped the "burner phone" game for now.

The catch is most non-drug dealing or non-illicit crime entrepreneurs want to keep the same number long term. So the phone operator now has you on the hook for a monthly fee or a periodic purchase of more airtime or service extension. The phones are typically heavily subsidized or free at retail (for savvy shoppers, not off the rack), but it is harder to find a deal on airtime cards.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:09 PM   #13
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Fuego the way around that is to get a google voice number which you can forward to the throw away phones. I ported my main number to GV awhile back and it was one of the best uses of $20 I ever spent.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:14 PM   #14
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Fuego the way around that is to get a google voice number which you can forward to the throw away phones. I ported my main number to GV awhile back and it was one of the best uses of $20 I ever spent.
I actually did that toward the end. Now I have a new phone number with the smart phone and have kept it active for 2 years now. No one ever calls me anyway. I mostly use it for some outgoing minutes and email/web/GPS on the go.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:34 AM   #15
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I used to do the throw away phone thing with tracfone. They would sell a $20 airtime card good for 3 months service, and give you a free phone (often you could pick from 3-4 phones). And the phone came with 2 months free service, so really it was 5 months of service and 150-200 minutes airtime for $20, or as low as $13-14 after a coupon code and using a cashback site. Only problem was you had to change phone numbers every 5 months.....
Last week I switched from Verizon to Tracfone, after doing many months of research on plans. I don't understand why you had to change phone numbers every five months, especially if you were still on Tracfone. Federal law says that even if you change carriers, they must allow you to port your existing phone number, so long as you remain in the same geographic area. And if you remain with the same carrier, such as Tracfone, they'll allow you to maintain your number despite changing phones. I ported my old Verizon number over to my Tracfone. (I also learned from my research that even if I wanted a new number, I would not be stuck with the first number my new carrier wanted to assign to me. I can ask them to have their computer offer my a choice of a handful of numbers, and pick the one I liked best. Good to know if I ever decide to get a new number.)

My question concerns federal and local taxes. When I was on Verizon, my monthly billing statement listed the federal and local taxes (some $10 per month) I was paying. If I get a Tracfone airtime card, how do these taxes get paid? From a portion of the airtime card cost? (I admit I have not read all the fine print on the airtime card.)
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:16 PM   #16
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(I also learned from my research that even if I wanted a new number, I would not be stuck with the first number my new carrier wanted to assign to me. I can ask them to have their computer offer my a choice of a handful of numbers, and pick the one I liked best. Good to know if I ever decide to get a new number.)
I wish there was a telephone number equivalent of a Carfax report. I'd love to know, before I accept a new number, if the old number was used by the local drug dealer or by someone who had creditors calling them all the time about unpaid bills. The cell phone number I obtained in September keeps getting calls from medical providers and those trying to collect unpaid medical bills or work out a payment plan, for someone named Belinda.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:50 PM   #17
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I have had a tracfone for several years and kept the same number all the time. I am on my third phone. I replace/upgrade the phone every two to three years.
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:22 PM   #18
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I wish there was a telephone number equivalent of a Carfax report. I'd love to know, before I accept a new number, if the old number was used by the local drug dealer or by someone who had creditors calling them all the time about unpaid bills. The cell phone number I obtained in September keeps getting calls from medical providers and those trying to collect unpaid medical bills or work out a payment plan, for someone named Belinda.


Not just that, but someone who sets up that they get a text on EVERY purchase they make.... and you can not get it changed because you are not the person they know....

We had to change numbers and got a good one the second time....
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Old 02-17-2013, 02:24 PM   #19
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Last week I switched from Verizon to Tracfone, after doing many months of research on plans. I don't understand why you had to change phone numbers every five months, especially if you were still on Tracfone. Federal law says that even if you change carriers, they must allow you to port your existing phone number, so long as you remain in the same geographic area. And if you remain with the same carrier, such as Tracfone, they'll allow you to maintain your number despite changing phones. I ported my old Verizon number over to my Tracfone. (I also learned from my research that even if I wanted a new number, I would not be stuck with the first number my new carrier wanted to assign to me. I can ask them to have their computer offer my a choice of a handful of numbers, and pick the one I liked best. Good to know if I ever decide to get a new number.)

My question concerns federal and local taxes. When I was on Verizon, my monthly billing statement listed the federal and local taxes (some $10 per month) I was paying. If I get a Tracfone airtime card, how do these taxes get paid? From a portion of the airtime card cost? (I admit I have not read all the fine print on the airtime card.)

From what I read, Fuego was doing the special offers that they give... it is NOT available to current users.... so, to not be a current user, you have to get a new number....
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:40 PM   #20
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From what I read, Fuego was doing the special offers that they give... it is NOT available to current users.... so, to not be a current user, you have to get a new number....
You got it. You had to activate a new phone (with a new number) to get the 2 free months of service on the phone.
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