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Old 04-06-2011, 10:43 AM   #21
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My wife is on the walmart $30 straight talk plan. She talks a lot.

I am on the t-mobile pay as you go, I don't have much to say.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:59 AM   #22
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If you don't want to give up data connectivity I think the best deal out there is with Virgin Mobile. $25/month (prepaid - no contract) for 300 minutes of talk and unlimited texts and data. I bought an Android phone (LG Optimus V) for $129 from Best Buy and it seems like a pretty good phone. It does everything I need - phone, camera, GPS, internet and email.

I originally wanted an iPhone but the LG phone was quite a bit cheaper than an iPhone and I am saving $45 per month vs an AT&T or Verizon plan (and I don't think they offer unlimited data?)
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:00 AM   #23
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I just got a Tracfone yesterday at Target. Haven't activated it yet. I plan on doing that if this morning if I can just stop reading and posting on this site!

I had a Blackberry at work that I am SO glad to be rid of. Its been 2 years and I don't miss it at all. It was nice having it when our electricity went out twice for days a few years back and when on vacation to search for the weather, etc. (we were on a boat and a storm blew up.) BUT it put me on call 24/7 and unless I went somewhere there wasn't service, I felt compelled to check what was happening at the office. Came right back from a vacation in WI once (an 8 hour drive) because I couldn't relax knowing what was being decided in my absence. It is far too tempting to check it constantly for e-mail, updates, etc.

An iPhone looks like it would be more fun but I'm kinda "old school". I don't want to be "connected" all the time.
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:35 AM   #24
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I bought my service from the tracfone website. They sometimes offer phones (refurbished) for $19.99 + tax. It includes the phone (I got the LG420G) with initial 60 days and 10 units + a 60 minute card that extends it for another 90 days. The offer has the double time so the 60 minutes turns into 120 minute. So for $21.39, I got a phone, 5 months service and 130 minutes. Although it is a refurbished phone, it looks like new to me and it does not have any cosmetic defects. I think it might be a new phone that they pass as a refurbished to justify the low cost offer. Unused minutes is rollovered when you buy another card. When it is time to renew, I can buy another 60 minute card to add another 120 minutes and 90 days service. But, if I don't care to keep my new number (which I don't remember anyway or pass it around), I can get another one of these offers. Downside is you lose your remaining minutes.

DW and I are not much users. We usually have left units to be roll-overed. The only time that it got used much is when I switched my land line from Comcast to ATT and ATT need a contact phone for trouble shooting when they scr*wed up the installation.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:00 PM   #25
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Since I am ER'ing in less than 60 days, I need to decide if I need a cell phone. Both my DW and I both have our phones supplied by our employers today. I have an i-phone now and DW has a Blackberry. Since one reason for my desire to ER is to get AWAY from the dreaded 200 emails a day, I can't imagine why I need anything but a simple "phone only' cell phone for emergencies, basics, etc.

So how do I get a cheap cell phone for only calls, keeping my costs as low as possible?

By far the best one I know & have used for several years is T-Mobile prepaid. You can often get a phone instrument for $20 (with sometimes a $25-30 refill card included). Immediately refill for $100 (Gold Status) that keeps it good for a year & 1000 minutes. i.e. 10cents/min. I didn't have to pay for activation. After year 1, you can refill for only $10 and that keeps it active for another year. Minutes are rolled-over too. So essentially with $10 per year (after 1st year $100) you have a cell phone & calls cost about 10cents/minute. Haven't found a better deal for occassional usage.
You can also change plans in months that you are traveling & expect to use more. Or use data plans, etc... And ask tmobile for unlock code (after a few months of service), so can potentially use it with other GSM carriers and/or other countries.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:31 PM   #26
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Verizon has a $30 phone with $10 airtime included and $25 activation. Then the cost is $1.99/day "used" and it has unlimited time. If a person could get most of their phone calls done in one or two days per month that is a cheap deal. Just call all the friends and relatives on the same day. Unlimited chatting with them.

Would fit my style because I use the phone maybe once every 2 months so the $10 airtime would cover my calls. Cost for 1 year phone service = $55, nice.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:10 PM   #27
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We use pay as you go... we dumped our contact several years ago.

Saved alot of money since we only use a cellphone for brief conversations most of the time.
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Old 04-08-2011, 06:08 PM   #28
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Verizon has a $30 phone with $10 airtime included and $25 activation. Then the cost is $1.99/day "used" and it has unlimited time. If a person could get most of their phone calls done in one or two days per month that is a cheap deal. Just call all the friends and relatives on the same day. Unlimited chatting with them.

Would fit my style because I use the phone maybe once every 2 months so the $10 airtime would cover my calls. Cost for 1 year phone service = $55, nice.
Their website was confusing - is there a basic monthly charge, or 'refill' amount required? If it is unlimited, where does the 'airtime' charge come in? Is it applied to the $1.99 per day used?

OK, I see your $55 includes the phone, activation and first $10. So how long would the next $10 cover you for? At one day every two months, would it last 5 months, or is there a time-out also?

-ERD50
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Old 04-08-2011, 07:01 PM   #29
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I have a Verizon pay-in-advance. I bought the phone at WalMart for $15.99, then activated it online.

The cheapest plan for me was one that charges $1.00 the first time you use it each day, then $0.10 for each additional minute. I put $100 in last April 15 and I have $33 left today. I have to make another deposit in the next week or they will wipe out my existing balance.

So my cost for the year has been the phone plus $8.34 per month.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:18 PM   #30
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I have a Verizon pay-in-advance. I bought the phone at WalMart for $15.99, then activated it online.

The cheapest plan for me was one that charges $1.00 the first time you use it each day, then $0.10 for each additional minute. I put $100 in last April 15 and I have $33 left today. I have to make another deposit in the next week or they will wipe out my existing balance.

So my cost for the year has been the phone plus $8.34 per month.
I new to cell phones. How are incoming calls treated?
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:21 PM   #31
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I new to cell phones. How are incoming calls treated?
You push the button and say "Hello".
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:50 PM   #32
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If you don't want to give up data connectivity I think the best deal out there is with Virgin Mobile. $25/month (prepaid - no contract) for 300 minutes of talk and unlimited texts and data. I bought an Android phone (LG Optimus V) for $129 from Best Buy and it seems like a pretty good phone. It does everything I need - phone, camera, GPS, internet and email.

I originally wanted an iPhone but the LG phone was quite a bit cheaper than an iPhone and I am saving $45 per month vs an AT&T or Verizon plan (and I don't think they offer unlimited data?)
+1

I currently use T-Mobile prepaid. Bought two of their phones online and got free activation and small amount of free minutes. I buy their $100.00 for 1000 minutes package, and the minutes last for the year. Never a go over your minutes issue, never a roaming issue, and service is pretty much as good as you can get anywhere.

Since AT&T is currently attempting to purchase them (and I don't have the warm fuzzys from previous AT&T wireless experiences) - I've investigated Virgin Mobile, as it gives the best no contract scenario I can find. The $25.00/mos. Beyond Talk package offers 300 minutes/mos. and unlimited text and web. Uses Sprint network (parent company) which I've used in the past with no issues, but their coverages aren't as good as T-Mobile and the big carriers. FYI - $129.00 for an LG Optimus V is a great price - VM website is $199.00 (and a must buy for web). Might look into Skype mobile with this phone for wifi super-cheap (and free) calling scenarios.
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Old 04-18-2011, 04:58 PM   #33
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Quote:
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I new to cell phones. How are incoming calls treated?
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
You push the button and say "Hello".
Here, let me get that for you while you're trying to recover from your laughter.

Depending on your calling plan, Verizon charges you for the first use of the day. That might mean $1.99 for the first call of the day (and the rest of the day is "free") or it might mean a $1 charge to answer the call and a per-minute charge for the length of the call plus per-minute charges for the rest of the day's calls.

Or you could ignore the call, let it go to voicemail, and pay nothing until you retrieve it. I've learned that because I leave the phone shut off in our car's glove box and only bother to check the voicemail when I'm actually using the phone.

Wal-Mart has a prepaid cell phone display with the LG phones, and the calling-plan options are printed on the case of the phone package. Wal-Mart also apparently sells calling cards for the phones, but we haven't bothered to figure out whether they're worth it.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:09 PM   #34
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We use prepaid Verizon -- the only cell service available (luckily there is no reception at our house) - ran about $5/minute last year.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:55 PM   #35
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Their website was confusing - is there a basic monthly charge, or 'refill' amount required? If it is unlimited, where does the 'airtime' charge come in? Is it applied to the $1.99 per day used?

OK, I see your $55 includes the phone, activation and first $10. So how long would the next $10 cover you for? At one day every two months, would it last 5 months, or is there a time-out also?

-ERD50
Oooops, I did not see this till today.

There is no monthly fee or usage requirement mentioned and my understanding is that after paying the initial $55, the $10 airtime would allow you to talk an unlimited amount of time on each of 5 days using up $1.99 each of those day. For me that would allow me to call family/friends every 2 months and get totally caught up and so that $10 would last me 10 months that way.

I did not see any criteria for "timing-out", I will find out the answers to these questions tomorrow by going into my local store which I can see out my window.
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Old 04-18-2011, 09:49 PM   #36
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I am not sure I agree with the concept of marrying a cell phone to Internet usage (web browsing, etc.). My current plan is to keep my cheap-as-h*** cell phone for voice conversations when I quit working and get a tablet for "non-voice" information access. Maybe it'll fit, maybe it won't.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:03 PM   #37
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Maybe it's because I still work and I can check emails, and also because I've never had a laptop, but I really love my IPhone. I'm using it right now on these forums. My son gave it to me for Mother's Day last year, and I use it all the time on our wireless connection at home.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:30 PM   #38
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Maybe it's because I still work and I can check emails, and also because I've never had a laptop, but I really love my IPhone. I'm using it right now on these forums. My son gave it to me for Mother's Day last year, and I use it all the time on our wireless connection at home.
Regardless, your son gave you a fantastic present!
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A spreadsheet of cell phone providers
Old 04-19-2011, 08:47 AM   #39
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A spreadsheet of cell phone providers

Hello,

We're looking at really cheap cell phones and made a spreadsheet to compare them. See attached.

- Stephen
Attached Files
File Type: xls list of lower class cell phone providers.xls (29.0 KB, 48 views)
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:06 AM   #40
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If you don't want to give up data connectivity I think the best deal out there is with Virgin Mobile. $25/month (prepaid - no contract) for 300 minutes of talk and unlimited texts and data.
VM is on our "short list" also. We've been with T-Mobile for many years but are waiting to "jump" until we see what's going to happen with the merger.

We don't currently have/use data, but can see where it will be almost a standard feature in the future.

Also, since we're on a grandfathered $19.95 plan (around $55/mo for two phones, taxes included) you can tell we're frugal and not going to change unless we really have to ...
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