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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 08-03-2004, 09:28 AM   #21
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

deserat - I have no idea. If I was still working I might. I guess thats the downside to ER. I suppose you could use an email send instead of an sms send, but I've never used an SMS to SMS send (I guess that makes me an old guy), so I cant tell you what the difference in convenience is.

On that Telus plan, how long is it before the minutes you buy expire, or is that just a flat $10 a month?

The 'catch' with some of these 'pay as you go' plans is that the minutes expire after 45 or 90 days unless you add more, then they roll over. My wife used to have one of those but it was a pain to remember to add some more minutes before the old ones expired. Thats why I liked this new at&t plan, because the $100 card minutes last a year, and if you can get on their '12/20' promo, ALL minutes last a year during the 12 month promo.
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 08-03-2004, 09:59 AM   #22
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

You are correct they las 1 month uless you buy another $10 then they roll over. Still $120 per year, in Canadian Dollarettes, is a pretty good non plan deal.

SWR
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 08-11-2004, 04:23 PM   #23
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

Got my phone yesterday, came provisioned with $10 worth of minutes and already activated with a local phone #.

Took about 5 minutes to copy the bar codes and receipts and send the rebates back.

Called at&t wireless to have them double check everything was activated ok, which it was, and asked them to put me on the 12/20 plan. No problem.

I had to add a $25 airtime card to the phone before the end of this month, and I'll receive 20 free minutes every month, all unused minutes are rolled over, and the expiration on the minutes is reset to 90 days.

After rebates, the phone was free, and for $25 I get 40 minutes plus 20 per month for 12 months, and 15 months before all the minutes expire.

I have heard from a few folks that they called to get on the 12/20 plan and were told they were good to go, only to find that it never happened. So check up on it if you dont see your extra minutes by the middle of the month after you sign up. Fabulous customer service work strikes again.
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 09-17-2004, 01:08 PM   #24
 
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

We use the Verizon Pay as You Go for $15 a month.
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 09-17-2004, 01:50 PM   #25
 
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

Well, I am one year into T-Mobile ($19.95 a mo. plus
lots of extra taxes, etc totals around $26.00 net net).
I got it for emergencies and to use at the Texas condo
and on the boat so we would not require a land line.
Since we have yet to spend any significant time at the condo, and the boat is still a gleam in my eye, so far
it's a bust. Some months I'll bet I never made one call.
Will probably cancel.

John Galt
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 09-17-2004, 04:38 PM   #26
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

John, I took TH's input and bought 2 cell phones. A
$10 card adds 40 minutes that are good for 3 months.
Each time you add time, your remaining minutes are
extended for 3 months. This averages out to be $3.33
per month per emergency phone. Best deal I ever
had. Thanks TH!

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 09-18-2004, 02:13 AM   #27
 
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

Yep, that sounds like a great deal. It makes no sense for me to continue to pay $26 per month. Others have complained about service gaps, poor sound, etc.
A cell phone is also another "thing" in your life to fuss with.
I think Thoreau had the right idea. Simplify! Hard to do
once you get used to "livin' large" and having
expensive toys. I think I've adjusted pretty well
although I'm still far away from Walden Pond.

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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 09-18-2004, 11:13 AM   #28
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

Chuck - did you get on the "12/20 plan"? It may still be valid.

Call 611 and ask them to put you on it; if pressed, tell them you got an email about it but cant remember the details.

On the 12/20 plan, they give you 20 minutes free every month for a year, and this automatically rolls your minutes over. You must add a $25 card to the phone by the end of the month of being put on this plan. After that, if you're using less than 20 minutes a month (plus the minutes your $25 got you), you dont have to pay a penny for 15 months in total (12 months for the auto rollover and then the residual minutes dont expire for an additional 3 months).

Best deal after that is to buy the $100 cards on ebay for the lowest price you can get with no tax and no shipping costs (since they just email you the code from the card). Those minutes last a full year.

So far we've used the phone 3-4 times a month, and my cost will be $1.67 a month for 15 months. After the 12/20 program runs out and I go for the $100 per year, its $8.34 a month but I'll use it more.

In fact, since the phones are free and the minutes so cheap, the next time this deal rolls around I'll probably pick up a second one and put one permanently in each of our two cars glove compartments.

However, NOT a good plan if you're spending more than 10-20 minutes a month using it. The best heavier use plan goes to my old regional carrier and their prime competitor; Surewest and MetroPCS. Forget the big name guys, these two offer unlimited incoming and outgoing minutes 24x7, and unlimited long distance nationwide for $40 a month. For two years I didnt even have a landline phone, just this and a cable modem. Call anyone anywhere and talk as long as you want for no additional cost!
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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"Modern" phones & cable modems
Old 09-18-2004, 01:41 PM   #29
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"Modern" phones & cable modems

These cell phone stories remind me of the days when cars had to be hand-cranked (before starter motors) and computers had to be manually configured (before a functional version of plug & play). Maybe I need to wait a few more years.

One of my tours was on the staff of a submarine fleet commander. One morning an outbound submarine accidentally dragged their anchor and severed the channel's underwater electrical utility line. (Talk about poetic justice...) The emergency diesel generator jumped into the breach but soon coughed & died on a clogged fuel filter. Things got awful quiet & dark in our windowless high-tech high-security building. It took over an hour for the mechanics to get the diesel running again. (It probably took them one minute to do their job and 59 minutes to deal with all the shore-staff "supervision".)

That's when we realized that all our high-tech computerized scrambling classified-data phones used power from a 120V transformer, not from the phone company's line.

Five minutes later our communications department sent a shopper to the local phone store for two dozen old-fashioned phones. He had to go to three stores to fill the purchase.

So what's the solution during stormy weather or rolling blackouts? th, during that two years with just a cell phone and a cable modem, did you ever go through a power failure and need to make an emergency call?
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 09-18-2004, 04:19 PM   #30
 
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

This is for the youngsters. I had a car phone in 1977.
You talked to the "mobile operator" (a real person)
and gave her the number you wanted to call.
As I recall it worked just fine. I don't remember what it cost.

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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan
Old 09-18-2004, 06:13 PM   #31
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Re: Cheap emergency cell phone plan

Wow Nords, that was a long walk...

Indeed, general power outages can be a problem for cell-only people. I had the benefit of line of sight to a local antenna and to one across the lake I lived next to, which was in another city and county. I dont remember ever lacking signal to one or the other...and we did have frequent local power outages as a function of way too many new houses and way too little capacity being planned in.

John - I had one of those old radio phones for a while too! By my recollection it was finicky but worked if I was near to a major town, and my bills used to run in the $300-500 a month range! I remember my top bill was about $550 once. There was a big box in the trunk, a big antenna on the trunk lid, and the box with the phone in it inside the car was about the size of a small briefcase!

How times have changed.
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