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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 10-06-2005, 09:45 AM   #21
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider
No they are anywhere minutes, just do not work in Canada.

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Thanks. Thats good news!*
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 10-12-2005, 11:37 PM   #22
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Sounds too good to be true, but worked for me:

http://gobeyondwireless.com/catalog/...products_id=32

Get a used Nokia phone and a $10 card (80 minutes) for $10 + shipping (about $5.)

Minutes never expire if you use the phone once every 60 days. I ordered two phones, total came to about $27. Both Nokias in good condition, with Nokia li-on batteries. Both seem to work fine. Each came with the 80min activated.

If you want to post this deal on fatwallet or other deal websites, I hope you'll wait a day or two to let others on this forum in first.
I'm a fan of fatwallet, but wouldn't be surprised if hundreds of people jump on this deal, and the company may have to pull the offer.
They might be happy to get the free advertising though.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 10-15-2005, 03:02 PM   #23
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

That is correct...even long unsubscribed phones will dial 911, as long as the network the phone was originally bonded to still exists you should be good. To test an old phone, dial 611 or *611 (customer service) and see if you get any sort of message or an actual customer service rep. If that happens, you still have an active (but unauthorized) connection to the cell network.

OK, I took my wifes old cell phone and charged it up. I dialed *611 and got the customer service voice mail menu.

So, If I need a cell phone to call for a Tow-Truck can I call *911 ?? Is a broken down car an emergency ? That's about the only reason (other than a real emergency) that I can think of keeping the phone around for.

As another issue, Is there a way to make a credit card call using the network (at maybe 50 cents a minute) ? That way if I needed a tow truck I could just use the phone that way ? Since I wouldn't use the phone that often I wouldn't worry about a high per-minute rate.

Any help here would be appreciated.


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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-12-2006, 10:57 AM   #24
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Update for anyone who went with STI Mobile. They just changed their plans to charge a daily 'fee'. Plan 1 subscribers (domestic) are charged 10c a day. Plan 2 subscribers (international) pay 39c a day.

This still makes it one of the cheaper plans at $~36 a year if you dont use many or any minutes (emergency only phone).

I decided that offering people a great deal until you've signed a lot of subscribers, then charging them a fee once you've gotten them to buy the phone, was something I wasnt going to support. Chucking this phone and going back to t-mobile to go. Its a hundred bucks a year for 1000 minutes, so its not 'almost free' but its pretty cheap and you can yap on it a while now and then and not worry about using up the minutes.

T-mobile also appears to have changed their plan though. Used to be the 1000 minute card ($100) lasted a year and if you put another $100/one year card on before that year expired, the original 1000 minutes rolled over, but only for another year, then those original minutes expired. Now they dont roll over, but once you've put a $100 card on it, all minutes you buy after that last a year even if its a small card that normally expires in a few months, and you get a bonus 15% on every card purchase...IE a $100 card gets you 1150 minutes.

Not sure if that deal is better than the old one. Guess it depends on if you tend to use 1000 minutes a year or not.

Beyond wireless is still hanging in there with a nearly free phone deal if you dont use any minutes except in emergencies and you remember to make one call every 2 months to keep the minutes alive.

MasterBlaster, I see nobody answered your questions...

I suspect if you dialed 911 for a broken down car, you'd be told off. Maybe if it was broken down because someone rammed you off the road or put a bullet through the radiator. Emergency is roughly considered a crime has been committed or someone needs medical care...more or less.

But...you can go with one of these plans like t-mobile, sti or beyond, and let your minutes expire, call 611 to get customer service and add minutes to the phone on the spot. You may need to pay a 'reactivation fee' and you will most likely get a new phone number. You might also be on the phone a little while doing this, and you might need the ESN number from the phone, which is under the battery, so you'll want to get that before you call CS
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-12-2006, 12:33 PM   #25
 
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Lazyday's GoBeyondWireless looks the best -- too good to be true. What am I missing? Has it worked out for you LD?
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-12-2006, 02:36 PM   #26
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Its working out for me so far. Thats what I have in my dads car. An old at&t free2go phone with beyonds service. I have an outlook reminder every 7 weeks to make a call to keep the minutes active. Providing they never go out of business or change terms and conditions, and providing my dad never needs it for an emergency, it will take roughly 2.8 years to use up the free 35 minutes they gave me when I signed up. They use the old at&t tdma network, which has fairly good coverage in most areas. Although cingular, who now owns that network, may very well dismantle that network at some point as it ages, or may not continue to subcontract it out to places like beyondwireless...

But for now, as long as you dont make a big investment in a new phone or anything, its worth playing it out.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-12-2006, 09:07 PM   #27
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Lazyday's GoBeyondWireless looks the best -- too good to be true. What am I missing?
Al, I've been on Cingular's old TDMA KIC plan - $20 every 90 days (pay by CC - no tax), minutes roll over if you pay on-time. Looks like their current plan(GoPhone Pay As You Go) is GSM. $25 keeps you active for 90 days. $30 for a refurb phone. My experience with Cingular Cust Service is horrendous - but as long as the phone/service is working, it's OK.

Looks like the GoBeyondWireless is $25 for 75 days? So, maybe Cingular on GSM would be slightly better for low minute users?

-ERD50
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-12-2006, 11:05 PM   #28
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Beyond wireless minutes never expire if you make or receive a one minute call every 60 days.

They give you 35 minutes to sign up for free.

T-mobile gives you 1000 minutes good for a year for $100. Additional minutes get a 15% bonus and are also good for a year regardless of denomination once you've put a $100 charge on it. Phones are $39 and up.

As far as I know, Beyond is the best for 'never use'; for mild to low moderate use, I havent seen anything close to the $/minute and long expiration that t-mobile has.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 12:49 AM   #29
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

I'm still happy with Beyond Wireless.

I think they've taken the free phone deal off the website, and have added a GSM service, but not as cheap as the TDMA service which they still have also.

Still have the two old Nokias, one for girlfriend, one for me. I don't like the phone too much as it's bulky and has no vibrate, so use it only as a spare, and my main wireless phone is an old high quality phone I got from ebay years ago. Was able to set it up with Beyond Wireless over the (landline) phone, and got the free 35 minutes, which I still haven't used up yet!
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 08:02 AM   #30
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Just to chime in, I've been using Beyond Wireless for about a year with no problems. My PDA reminds me to use a minute every 6 weeks to make sure the account stays active - if you don't use the phone for 60 days the account is terminated and your prepaid time is lost.

It sure beats paying a monthly fee for a seldom-used phone...
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 08:17 AM   #31
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

This may be a dumb question, but when you are broken down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, how do you know the number of the local tow truck company? Dial 411 and ask for Tow Truck, Bumfucc, North Carolina?

Back in the old days before cell phones, you would walk to the nearest pay phone, look up the phone number for a tow truck company, and tell them where you are.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 08:22 AM   #32
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

I use a similar approach. I keep a yellow pages under the passenger seat in all of my cars.

Last years model will do ya when the phone co gives you a new one. Stores and service companies usually dont change their phone numbers.

On my dads emergency beyond wireless phone, I put in two tow/emergency numbers for his town and two for mine; its about 35 miles between. If he cant get me on the phone, he can just dial 'roseville tow #1' or 'yuba city tow #2'.

Phone book really comes in handy some times, even in non-emergency situations..
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 08:22 AM   #33
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
This may be a dumb question, but when you are broken down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, how do you know the number of the local tow truck company? Dial 411 and ask for Tow Truck, Bumfucc, North Carolina?
Justin, I'm pretty sure the tow truck number anywhere in redneck country is BR549.

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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 08:24 AM   #34
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
This may be a dumb question, but when you are broken down on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, how do you know the number of the local tow truck company? Dial 411 and ask for Tow Truck, Bumfucc, North Carolina?

Back in the old days before cell phones, you would walk to the nearest pay phone, look up the phone number for a tow truck company, and tell them where you are.
I also want to point out that the 'u's in 'bumfucc' are pronounced 'oo', as in 'boomfooc'. Want to make sure nobody gets the wrong idea. Hand me my banjo please...?
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 09:35 AM   #35
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Cute Fuzzy Bunny)
Beyond wireless minutes never expire if you make or receive a one minute call every 60 days.
I understand about the minutes rolling over, but you still need to buy a $25 card every 75 days, correct?

My Cingular KIC contract is $20 for 90 days. As long as I add the $20 before the 90 days runs out, the minutes rollover. You have 14 days to add the $20 before they suspend your account, but that could leave you in a non-911 urgency w/o service, so I normally pay up on the 88th or 89th day, just to be safe.

The current Cingular plan looks to be GSM, $25 for a 90 day card - not sure about the minutes rollover, though. But if you do not use it much, not an issue. I use our rollover minutes for long distance calls.

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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 10:41 AM   #36
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Nope, you need to make no additional purchases with beyond until your minutes expire. Unless they've changed something, I dont see anything on the web site or t's&c's that require any purchase on any interval.

The thing that killed cingular for me was the dollar charge for any day you use the phone, plus 10c a minute. T-mobile was a flat 10c a minute taken away only when I use the phone. No daily or monthly fees.

My 30 second "want anything at the store?", "I know I just went out for to get gas, but i'm going to go shopping for an hour so dont start calling the precinct when I'm not back in 10 minutes" calls cost me 10c, not $1.10 ...
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 02:37 PM   #37
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

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Originally Posted by (Cute Fuzzy Bunny)
The thing that killed cingular for me was the dollar charge for any day you use the phone, plus 10c a minute.
CFB, the Cingular $1 a day to use the phone is a different plan. I agree, that is not a good deal. My pre-pay with Cingular is $20 every 90 days, minutes rollover, 25c/min prime, 10c/min nights/WE. But I rarely use it, so the per/min charges are of almost no consequence to me.

Are you sure that you don't need to add to the beyondwireless account every 75 days? From beyondwirelessgsm.com, re: $25 of Airtime:

This card will add $34.00 to your GSM account, which is equivalent to approximately 204 minutes of talk time. This airtime will expire 75 days from when it is loaded unless additional airtime with an expiration date greater than your current expiration date is added before it expires.

I'm assuming that extends the expiration to the date of the new card? Or maybe you are referring to a different plan. I'm trying to keep my eyes open in case I want/need to replace my Cingular service.

-ERD50
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 05:46 PM   #38
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

That too is a different plan...look at gobeyondwireless; it uses the cingular tdma network. The new beyond wireless gsm plan uses new and more expensive phones, a different network, has different call costs, although that gsm network might be around a little while longer than the tdma network one.

If your cingular phone is a tdma one from the old at&t network, then it would work with the regular beyond wireless plan. If its a GSM cingular phone, it MIGHT work with the beyond wireless gsm plan. Not sure. Never looked that hard at it.
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 06:20 PM   #39
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Doesn't Cingular lock their phones so you can't use non-Cingular SIM cards in them?
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal
Old 02-13-2006, 09:33 PM   #40
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Re: Latest cheap emergency cell phone deal

Yes they do, but unlocking a phone isnt usually that hard. Even when it is, there are plenty of places that will do it for you for 20-30 bucks, and sometimes that includes a firmware upgrade with extra features. Many phones can be unlocked by hitting a bunch of keys in sequence, and then running a software program on a PC using some of the numbers the phone spits out, then entering a code the software program kicks out. Usually takes a few minutes tops. Then you can insert any sim card. Which isnt to say that its a bargain...a lot of companies will give you a phone for free but charge you $30 for their sim card. But if you have an expensive phone, like a razr, it might be worth it to not be tied into a contract with a new company, or to take your 'free' phone from your old carrier to a pay as you go plan.

The phones i'm using were at&t tdma phones, that cingular sucked up with the at&t wireless aquisition. at&t sold excess capacity to a number of smallish companies, including beyond wireless. Cingular has kept up that practice, at least so far.

You can usually buy one of these old tdma phones for under 20 bucks on ebay. Call beyond wireless, they give you 35 minutes and activate you for free. You probably wont get a local phone number from them unless you live in michigan, florida or texas, but their base is growing. Since long distance is included in the per minute charge, doesnt cost you anything to call anyone. Someone having to call you in 'florida' from your home state might discourage them though, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned...
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