Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Where to buy a cell phone?
Old 12-05-2007, 03:01 PM   #1
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 63
Where to buy a cell phone?

Well, I seem to have lost my cell phone and need to buy another one within a day or two if it doesn't show up. My carrier is Verizon and I just need a basic no frills phone. I can get a free one from Verizon but that means another 2 year contract extentsion which I'd like to avoid if possible. I see on eBay that you can buy phones that are compatible with your carrier and geographic area. Has anyone had experience with this? What are the pitfalls that I should be aware of?

Thanks!
__________________

__________________
Getting short is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-05-2007, 03:18 PM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,078
If you live in an area with an active Craigslist, I'd shop there first. Lots of relatively new phones show up for sale on ours.

Before you pay for it, stick your SIM card in and make a call, then have someone call you to be sure it works.
__________________

__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 04:25 PM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,382
Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Before you pay for it, stick your SIM card in and make a call, then have someone call you to be sure it works.
This brings up another question. Lose the phone, you obviously also lose the SIM card. Do you just go to your carrier and get another? What do these cost?

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 04:54 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
saluki9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
This brings up another question. Lose the phone, you obviously also lose the SIM card. Do you just go to your carrier and get another? What do these cost?

Ha
You can get them from your carrier. I'm with AT&T and they charge $20 for a new SIM
__________________
saluki9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 04:55 PM   #5
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 63
REWahoo, thanks, I checked out craigslist and unfortunately there isn't much in my immediate area.

haha, good point. I just called Verizon and the people at both their 800 number and the local store told me that Verizon phones don't use a SIM card. The woman at the local store said that the only options are Verizon or eBay, so I guess I'll try that next. The cheapest retail phone through Verizon is $160, I might go with the extended contract with a free phone if it comes down to that.
__________________
Getting short is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 05:34 PM   #6
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 607
Quote:
Originally Posted by Getting short View Post
REWahoo, thanks, I checked out craigslist and unfortunately there isn't much in my immediate area.

haha, good point. I just called Verizon and the people at both their 800 number and the local store told me that Verizon phones don't use a SIM card. The woman at the local store said that the only options are Verizon or eBay, so I guess I'll try that next. The cheapest retail phone through Verizon is $160, I might go with the extended contract with a free phone if it comes down to that.
SIM cards only apply to GSM phones. I believe Verizon uses CDMA so they don't use SIM cards. I'm not sure about this, but you might be able to buy a Sprint phone as well since they use CDMA provided they use the same frequency (although there might be some sort of "unlocking" you have to do like with GSM phones).

You could buy a prepaid phone from Verizon. No contract here although you might have to buy a prepaid plan for a minimal amount of time. Confirm with the Verizon people that you can move the phone over to your plan before you do this.

Enter your location

This is usually cheaper than paying the retail price, but you often don't get a good selection of phones.
__________________
WanderALot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 05:37 PM   #7
Administrator
Janet H's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 4,954
Ebay!

I have purchased several phones new and unlocked from ebay vendors. I never had any trouble. Get one that is compatible with verizon.
__________________
E-R.org Custom Google Search | You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. (Robin Williams)
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 06:39 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
The "new" AT&T ticked me off a few months ago by dropping the basic $9.95 'corporate' pay-as-you-go rate on my 2nd cellphone that I gave my Mom, and told me I could just switch to their 'cheap' $39.99 plan. BS!!! I bought her a Motorola Tracfone for $18.95 and paid for 12 months/400 minutes.....figures out to $8.33/month (plus the original $18.95 for the phone).

The "new" AT&T ticked me off again last week about some more of their BS, this time about the cellphone I use. Tried to work out the details to no avail, so I hopped in the car and headed out to Radio Shack and I purchased my 2nd Tracfone! I splurged and bought the Motorola W370 and 400 minutes plus double minutes for life. Figures out to $11.67/month for the first year, and $8.33/month after that (plus the original $49.99 for the phone).

I now get 5 months of cellphone service for 2 phones for less than I used to pay for 1 month with Cingular/AT&T for 2 phones.

I'm happy with Tracfone so far....I can make and receive calls for CHEAP!

So, Getting short, if you don't HAVE to have Verizon, I'd recommend checking out the Tracfone....and they can 'port' your current phone # over too.

(BTW, I found out they use the AT&T/Cingular network.....the network has always worked fine for me.....I only have a problem with the business end of the company itself not the network.)
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 10:19 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Goonie, AT&T has a pay-as-you-go' plan also. $100 gets you a year of service, so also $8.33/month which provides 400 minutes.

Wa the old phone analog? Maybe that is why they dropped her - but when my old TDMA unit was being phased out last year, they gave a 'deal' on a new GSM phone - free when I pre-paid for the $100/year, which is what I do anyhow for the lowest rate.

Nice to have a SIM card - I should be able to drop it in any GSM phone if needed.

Tracfone might be better for customer service? I don't know.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 10:42 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
REWahoo said...."Before you pay for it, stick your SIM card in and make a call, then have someone call you to be sure it works."

Hey, some of you techies help me out here......

I thought SIM cards were part of GSM phones. And I thought Verizon is CDMA. So, for Verizon service, how do you stick your SIM card into the phone to be sure it works
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2007, 11:31 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Goonie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-Central Illinois
Posts: 3,198
Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Was the old phone analog? Maybe that is why they dropped her....
It was a GSM, the 'new' AT&T dropped the $9.95 corp rate plan we had, and then the lowest price plan became $39.95/mo. I had given it to her so she'd have it for emergencies and things like that.....she doesn't really like to use cellphones. A $30 a month hike was just way too steep for her needs, so I dropped them. The Tracfone works quite well for her now.

As for switching my phone over to a Tracfone, it was just time to cut ties to the 'new' AT&T....they and I had some 'issues'. Back in my pre-ER days I used my phone a LOT.....many calls per day....and it was my 'life-line' when I had to go on call-outs, especially in the middle of the night. Now that I'm ER'd I'm in about the same boat as my Mom....I just need it mostly for emergencies and the rare times I need to call someone or when someone needs to contact me, when I'm not at home.

All's well that ends well!
__________________
Goonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Call the lost phone
Old 12-06-2007, 06:29 AM   #12
Recycles dryer sheets
boots's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 55
Call the lost phone

Idea !! before you buy a new phone try calling the lost phone. Listen for the ring if lost around the home or office or someone may answer it if they found it might work tis the season
__________________
Money makes money and the money that makes money makes more money
-Benjamin Franklin-
boots is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2007, 08:00 AM   #13
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie View Post
It was a GSM, the 'new' AT&T dropped the $9.95 corp rate plan we had, and then the lowest price plan became $39.95/mo.
yes, but I think they didn't mention the AT&T pre-paid plan, which is available for $8.33/month. They were probably only talking about their post-pay plans.

Quote:
As for switching my phone over to a Tracfone, it was just time to cut ties to the 'new' AT&T....
Trust me, I understand the frustration over the carriers - but let us know if Tracfone treats you any better than ATT. As far as I can tell, they all stink. I am hoping that Google getting in and buying spectrum and throwing their weight around is going to change things for the better.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2007, 08:14 AM   #14
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,264
Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet View Post
Hey, some of you techies help me out here......

I thought SIM cards were part of GSM phones. And I thought Verizon is CDMA. So, for Verizon service, how do you stick your SIM card into the phone to be sure it works
Well, SIM cards are GSM things, but CDMA has picked up on the technology and use one that includes GSM compatibility:

from wiki:

Quote:
Removable User Identity Module

Removable User Identity Module (R-UIM) or a CSIM [CDMA Subscriber Identity Module] is a card developed for CDMA handsets that is equivalent to the GSM SIM and 3G USIM except that it is capable of working in both CDMA and GSM phones and networks. It is physically compatible with GSM SIMs and can fit into existing GSM phones as it is an extension of the GSM 11.11 standard [1].

The card brings one of the main advantages of GSM to CDMA network phones. By having a removable identity card, CDMA users can change phones while keeping their phone numbers by simply swapping the cards. This simplifies many situations such as phone upgrades, phone replacements due to damage, or using the same phone on a different provider's CDMA network.
From that, it looks like an R-UIM will work in a GSM phone, but I don't think that means a GSM SIM will necessarily work in a CDMA phone - they may have some added data for R-UIM (a super-set of SIM?). But going from GSM>CDMA, I suppose all you get is to move your phonebook - obviously an ATT or T-Mobile GSM phone with a Verizon R-UIM is not going to work on the verizon CDMA network. So, moving the SIM to test it is fine if both phones are of the same technology.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2007, 11:09 AM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 63
Thanks for all your replies!

I do need to stay with Verizon as I just started a new 2 yr contract in the fall. My oldest went off to college and so we've gone from a cheapo ($20/mon) plan for my 'emergency' and weekend long distance phone to a three phone family with extended text messaging for the kids ($100/mo). I can think of other things I'd rather do with my money, but having good means of communication is important for us right now.

boots, yes I tried calling myself several times, but to no avail. I'll keep looking for a couple of days and then buy something.
__________________
Getting short is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2007, 11:47 AM   #16
Full time employment: Posting here.
cantlogin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Pocono Mtns.
Posts: 884
You can't hear the phone ringing because it's between the seats in your car.
__________________
cantlogin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2007, 11:52 AM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 63
Checked there, no go unfortunately.
__________________
Getting short is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2007, 04:38 PM   #18
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,695
I have bought new phones off Amazon & ebay and used them with my Cingular/AT&T card, no problems and no two year contracts.

Another solution that is not a cheap solution and it is not Verizon but worth considering. Get an iphone. Remarkable additional capability.
__________________
T.S. Eliot:
Old men ought to be explorers
yakers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2007, 05:02 PM   #19
Moderator Emeritus
Martha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: minnesota
Posts: 13,212
So, I read the posts and I am still not clear regarding Verizon. If I want a new phone, and don't want to buy one from Verizon or a Verizon authorized store, what would I have to do? I will need a new phone at some point and I do not want to change our contract because it has favorable terms that they don't offer anymore.
__________________
.


No more lawyer stuff, no more political stuff, so no more CYA

Martha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2007, 06:26 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Moemg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Sarasota,fl.
Posts: 10,031
I'd talk to Verizon .Since you just signed a two year contract a few months ago the worst that will happen ( I Think ) is that they will extend your contract a few months and give you a free phone .
__________________

__________________
Moemg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cell Phone Help.......... FinanceDude Other topics 4 10-22-2007 01:38 PM
new cell phone Khan Other topics 1 02-17-2007 09:20 PM
Who needs a cell phone? perinova Life after FIRE 69 08-17-2006 09:17 AM
Replacing The Landbased Phone With a Cell Phone Danny Other topics 12 11-04-2005 07:12 PM
Do you have a cell phone? Leslie Other topics 30 05-18-2005 06:55 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:58 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.