My parents are still able to drive, go shopping, eat out,
and so on. But, there have been a couple moments when the
car broke down. Or, one was out, and the other didn't know
why it was taking so long. I suggested they get a cell
phone. The reply was that we don't have the money to
support another monthly bill.
I've heard of phones where you buy the minutes in advance.
Has anyone used such a phone, and which brand, where bought,
etc? If it was twenty bucks or so, I'd buy the phone
outright, and give it to them as a gift.
I have little need for a cell phone but have a Tracfone. Wife had
bought it for her emergency use but gave it to me when son put her on
his family plan which probably costs him $20 month.
You can get into a years plan for $99 which includes minutes.
Cost per minute might be as much as a quarter but if you use as little
as I do, it is a bargain and when you renew, they roll the minutes over.
I keep the phone in the car or carry it when out in the woods. Never
keep it on for incoming calls and now have 1,200 minutes I don't know
what to do with and need to renew in Oct. Still a very cheap insurance
We have a Tracfone that my wife carries. I have seen them on sale for less
than $15.oo and you can buy minutes in any increment of 30 minutes at a
time that last for 90 days before you have to add minutes. I add the
minutes on line with a credit card. All you need is the serial number of
the phone. I keep this in a text file so when needed, I copy and
paste it to the order form on the net. Unused minutes are rolled over
every 90 days. They email me special offers to buy extra time and notify
me by Email a week or more prior to the expiration date of the current
minutes that are left on the phone. We don't give the number out so as to
not be bothered with calls. We carry it because of health reasons and to
call AAA if required. It doesn't take pictures or any thing else that I'm
aware of, but don't have any use for any other services either.
My personal opinion is that this is as simple as you need and no more
complicated than need be.
When you add a Tracfone card, you get (for example) 60 minutes and 90
days. These are treated as entirely different things. Minutes is
airtime (deducted only when you use the phone). Days are the time
period your service is active, regardless of use. When that (Days)
expires, you have to renew. You keep the unused minutes.
Other companies are different. With my Alltel service, you just add
money. Day and usage charges are both taken from a common pool (it's
75 cents/day and 10 cents/minute).
Combine that Alltel service with Google Voice and chose one of your free
options as a "favorite number" that you set to your Google Voice number.
You then have unlimited incoming and outgoing calls without using any
minutes because incoming calls are routed through Google Voice and come
from your "favorite number" and you call your Google Voice number to
place all outgoing calls and all outgoing calls are to your "favorite
number." Alltel has discontinued offering their own prepaid plans and
the 75 cents/day plan is no longer available.
Good idea. What would you expect to see on caller ID when you do this?
"No longer available" applies to NEW customers. My service continues
to work as well as always. However, the options I chose are "text
messages" and "nights & weekends", and changing one to "favorite
number" might trigger that "no longer available" (requiring a Verizon
It depends how you set up your Google Voice. You need to configure it so
its the Google Voice number that is sent out by Google Voice, not the
number that called the Google Voice number. Hence _all_ incoming calls
made via Google Voice to the cell phone will show as the Google Voice
phone number and your caller ID will be pretty worthless.
There may be some violation of the terms of service to do this---if they
can catch you.
We have phones with Virgin that run $5 a month each at $.18 a minute or
about 27 minutes a month. Any un-used minutes carry over to the next month.
We gave them a CC #'s and they "top up" the account for $15 every 90 days or
before if you run out of minutes. We paid for our phones but received credit
for the purchase price in minutes on the 1st month. The phones and service
have been flawless for the last 2 years. Haven't checked lately so I'm not
sure if this plan is still available.
Avoid Virgin Mobile at all costs. The problem is that you can only use
Sprint's network. There is no roaming at all, even at extra cost.
Sprint's network is very limited, especially outside urban areas.
See "http://prepaiduswireless.com " for details on the best prepaid services.
Is there anything wrong with Virgin Mobile, other than limited
I'm wanting to get a phone that works in Brownwood Texas. It's 49
miles off the interstate highway, and neither AT&T or Verizon provide
coverage there. According to their map, it looks like Virgin does.
BTW, I don't live in Brownwood, but often visit someone there.
1. High per minute cost (recently increased)
2. High texting rates (they used to have the lowest texting rates)
3. Comparatively high monthly minimum (not really suitable for a glove
Yeah, there are a very few areas where Sprint is the only major carrier,
and it looks like you found one!
You can get a Tracfone for $15, but it comes with only 10 minutes.
Tracfone uses the AT&T system, so your coverage area should be the
I use a prepaid phone from Alltel (now Verizon Wireless) because it
works well here and AT&T doesn't. I got a phone with a camera.
Sometimes it's nice to have a camera with you. With many Motorola
phones you can get software to transfer the pictures directly to your
computer, rather than having to email them (25 cents each).
BTW, my spell checker thinks "Tracfone" should be "Racoon".
It isn't always AT&T. It all depends on where you live and what company
Tracfone can contract with. I never had any connection problems with
Tracfone. It works just about everywhere, except at my friend's house who
live in "the forest" on a mountain.
When I had a tracfone, it would seldom get any signal at all at my
house in town. It might get 1 bar at some spots in the yard, but that
wouldn't last more than a minute or so.
Strangely, I could take it with me into the woods and get 5 bars
there. Possibly because my land is close to a rural electric company
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