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Old 01-10-2008, 09:41 AM   #41
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These are exactly the sort of small time manual interventions that make me nuts. Getting someone non english speaking with a script makes me double nuts.

When I looked at the cheap phone options, as soon as I saw the "we'll automatically autobill every xx months and roll your minutes over from month to month/quarter to quarter/whatever...I just saw a series of problems waiting to happen.

Cell business profitability relies in a larger part on paid for minutes expiring unused. Pretty much the same model as gift cards.

Hence, one could expect they'll build as many switchbacks, pieces of fine print, catches and "whoopsies" to get your minutes to expire unused. The more transactions involved, the more opportunity for something to go wrong.

Still, nothing beats the conversation I had with a directv guy from india about the fact that they autobilled me a day late, then added a late fee, then autobilled me for that. Took me about 15 minutes to get him to understand that the lateness was caused by directv not billing my card on time, not anything I had a hand in. :

Okay, maybe the conversation I had with the comcast guy from india about how they also failed to autobill me because their system doesnt always work, then charged me a late fee, and then charged me a reactivation fee for my cable modem, and then a reactivation fee for the cable tv box I dont have, to use with the cable tv service I dont subscribe to.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:05 AM   #42
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Yes, exactly. One of my goals these days is to avoid any need for tech support phone calls or customer service calls. Impossible to reach that goal.

At least with Tracfone, little enough is at stake that I can afford to take a loss instead of deal with customer service. All that was at stake for that last problem was about $10. I figured if I didn't get a quick resolution I would just blow it off.

I'm sure there would be much more potential for heartache with a several year cell phone plan.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:19 AM   #43
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The one year plan has been pretty bullet proof. Buy a year of minutes for $88. Punch it into the phone. Put a tickler in my calendar for 364 days later to buy another years worth online, punch it in.

Worst thing that can happen is I fudge on the renewal and lose the rollover minutes, and get stuck having paid $7.30 a month for cell service and not using all the minutes.

The alternatives all seemed to either require at least four automatic or manual transactions per year, or for annual offerings a much higher price/minute or far less minutes.

We generally havent been big minute users, but there have been times when we were, like when my wife was pregnant and I was across town working on her old house, and when we were moving and getting our old house ready to sell. Those rolled over extra 'free' minutes sure came in handy.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:39 AM   #44
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Fuzzy Bunny, Your post about the Comcast guy was just teriffic. That one beats my worst experience by a mile.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:26 AM   #45
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Like it? The best part was at the end, when he issued the credit his system required that he put in a reason for the credit. He says "I must say why we issued this credit. Can you tell me what to put in?". In other words, I didnt really understand what happened here, but you're angry so I'm giving you your money back. Now tell me why.

I fought hard to suppress the first three things that came to mind.
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:55 PM   #46
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OK, so I just ordered a phone from T-Mobile-2-Go. It's a Motorola V195, with a SIM card, and 10 minutes of air time. All for $42.00 (including tax, shipping was free) I think that is a good deal. I bookmarked your Calling Mart site to get discount minutes, and we'll see how it goes with T-Mobile. I like the idea of no contracts. If I don't like the service, I can just sell the phone on Ebay. And now, I'm a T-Mobile-2-Go guy.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:06 PM   #47
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Just got finished signing up for a TracFone for myself for 1 yr & 820 minutes plus a new phone (ok, reconditioned with a 1 yr guarantee) for $139.00 + tax. I'm going to do my best to discipline myself not to go over my 66 minute monthly average. Shouldn't be too hard. This works out tO $12.72 per month, about 1/3 of what I currently pay with ATT/Cingular. I also bought my wife (already on TracFone) 600 minutes + 1 year time for $99.99 + tax, which is about $9.72 per month for 50 minutes a month. That's more than she currently uses.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:27 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martyb View Post
Just got finished signing up for a TracFone for myself for 1 yr & 820 minutes plus a new phone (ok, reconditioned with a 1 yr guarantee) for $139.00 + tax. I'm going to do my best to discipline myself not to go over my 66 minute monthly average. Shouldn't be too hard. This works out tO $12.72 per month, about 1/3 of what I currently pay with ATT/Cingular. I also bought my wife (already on TracFone) 600 minutes + 1 year time for $99.99 + tax, which is about $9.72 per month for 50 minutes a month. That's more than she currently uses.
After a couple of months now, I'm thoroughly happy with my Tracfone! I especially DON'T miss the monthly Cingular/AT&T bill! My next cellphone expenditure will be 1 year from this week.....and 1 year/800 minutes will cost about the same as 3 months of my (former) Cingular/AT&T bill!
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