On 9/13/2014 5:32 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Service not available here. Choice between Comcast cable and Verizon
FIOS and have both connections in my house. I see neighbors switch back
and forth getting cheap introductory packages and switching when it
expires to go to other introductory package.
We use Tracfones and every member of our family ended up with a different
underlying carrier. None of us can get a decent cell signal, and no one who
visits our house can get a signal either. Ironically, we're only a half
mile from the cell tower on top of our hill.
One of these days I might try the booster route, but it hasn't been a big
priority for me.
I signed up many years ago, so I wasn't sure what the current rules were.
Apparently they passed a new law in 2007 to eliminate the five year
expiration. Cool, I learned something new! :)
Unfortunately, unless you're prepared to go completely off grid, you'll
always be vulnerable to whatever cables bring services to your home. Even
cell towers can go down in major disasters.
I could personally do without a phone for days or weeks without any major
inconvenience (short of a medical emergency). I could always drive to town
and use a pay phone (if I could find one) if I needed to contact family or
I dropped cable TV and now use an Antenna. So, I could still get the TV
news if I needed to stay updated on disaster recovery. Of course, I would
need power or a battery operated TV. :) Or fall back to old fashioned radio
On Sat, 13 Sep 2014 23:56:23 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband
They seem to have zero interest in enforcing this law.
You can fill out complaints but nothing comes of it.
The idea that these calls are untraceable is ludicrous. Every one of
them wants you to send money somewhere or give money to someone,
follow the money.
We switched to VOIP many years ago because our land line was so expensive.
We were paying over $100 a month for bare bones service, no caller ID, only
local calls (couldn't call family just 20 miles away), etc. I switched to
VOIP for only $15 at the time and got a full range of extras. Of course,
this was only possible because I was already paying for cable internet.
My bill continues to climb every year, despite me dropping more and more
services. Unfortunately, Comcast cable is the only option we have for
broadband internet. DSL doesn't come out this far, the land topography
blocks wireless, and the forest blocks satellite.
We have both Comcast and FIOS access and I've got a next door neighbor
and one across the street that switch back and forth. Wife does not
want me doing that but I have told FIOS that if I can have their initial
low cost 2 year offer for life, I will take it. Fat chance.
You can also try multiple calls to Comcast to try to get the bill
lowered. We plead as seniors on fixed income. Guy tells me he has his
grandson call for him and if not satisfied, keeps calling talking to
different people to get the bill lowered.
Look at the plans and phone from Republic Wireless. You mainly use wifi for
the phone,but when out of range you go to the cell tower. Unlimiated phone
and text plus wifi internet.
The plan is advertised at $ 10, but there is about $ 2 of tax added on. You
do have to buy one of their smart phones. I have beenusing it for several
months and it works very well.
also if you do need the internet and not in a wifi area, you can swithch
plans on the fly.
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Realize that unless the telco is really close to your home, eventually,
probably not that far in the future the copper cables connecting you and
your neighbors to the telco CO will die of old age and/or be stolen by
copper thieves. Then the telco will install a Remote Terminal at the end
of your street which connects to the CO on fiber.
Those RTs have battery backup that might be good for 8 hours if the
batteries have been maintained, usually less. The telco can tow a
generator out to the RT to power it if the power is out a long time, but
they don't have as many generators as they have RTs so don't count on
your old fashioned land line working in an extended power outage.
Cell sites on the other hand have permanently installed backup
generators with decent fuel supplies, so only the very worst storms with
a lot of blocked roads are likely to cause a cell site outage. Your cell
phone can be charged form your car or even from a small solar panel if
necessary so your cell phone may well be more reliable than your land
On Saturday, September 13, 2014 10:19:31 PM UTC-4, Pete C. wrote:
The phone company may not even do that. After Sandy here in NJ, Verizon
decided not to restore copper wire service at all in some communities. And
I can understand it, because it's not worth installing new wire for a
I don't think most cell sites have permanently installed generators. They
have batteries, and a big plug for when a generator is wheeled up. There
may be a subset of cell sites that have generators, but those are probably
I've never seen a RT with a permanent generator, just an inlet plug.
I've never seen a standalone cell site without a permanent generator.
Some cell sites located on other structures don't have a clearly visible
generator, but most of their gear isn't visible either. The main point
is the days where the land line was always reliable are rapidly coming
to an end.
If you're talking about a Go-Phone, and the 100 is for minutes, you're
close but not quite right. If you buy in 100 dollar incremnt, the
minutes don't expire for a year, but you can use them up before then.
OTOH, if you don't use them up, they roll over, IF you buy more minutes.
If you don't, they disappear. You can only roll over about 250
dollars worth also, so if you never use the phone, in three years
they'll start taking away all the minutes over 250 dollars worht.
Of course they are not really minutes. They have 3 plans. The first two
I forget but it might be minutes. The last one charges nothing on the
days you don't use the cell phone (not for making, receiving calls or
checking your voice mail or texting or anything) , but on days you do,
it's $2, but you can talk as much as you want and make or receive as
many calls as you want until midnight, I think it must be, when it will
cost you another $2. I'm not sure about texting.
So for 100 dollars, you can only use the car 50 days of the year.
However for me that's plenty. I use it when I'm travelling and on
such days I often have to make a lot of calls. But if you want to use
the phone 51 days in less than a year, the 100 dollars doesn't last a
So you can really get your original number back on your land line after
putting it somewhere else? The fear that won't work stops from making
>> I'm thinking about getting an AT&T prepaid phone. Buy $100 and it's
good for a year,
> If you're talking about a Go-Phone, and the 100 is for minutes, you're
> close but not quite right. If you buy in 100 dollar incremnt, the
> minutes don't expire for a year, but you can use them up before then.
> OTOH, if you don't use them up, they roll over, IF you buy more minutes.
> If you don't, they disappear. You can only roll over about 250
> dollars worth also, so if you never use the phone, in three years
> they'll start taking away all the minutes over 250 dollars worht.
> Of course they are not really minutes. They have 3 plans. The first two
> I forget but it might be minutes. The last one charges nothing on the
> days you don't use the cell phone (not for making, receiving calls or
> checking your voice mail or texting or anything) , but on days you do,
> it's $2, but you can talk as much as you want and make or receive as
> many calls as you want until midnight, I think it must be, when it will
> cost you another $2. I'm not sure about texting.
> So for 100 dollars, you can only use the car 50 days of the year.
> However for me that's plenty. I use it when I'm travelling and on
> such days I often have to make a lot of calls. But if you want to use
> the phone 51 days in less than a year, the 100 dollars doesn't last a
(Sorry if this is a duplicate, email claims not to have sent it earlier,
although it did send one a few minutes earlier).
Not related to my original questions, but since this came up...
I had that AT&T cell plan for several years. At the end when I decided
to get a smart phone on a friend's plan. There was money left on the
account and I decided rather than let it fall back into AT&T's account,
I'd try to do something constructive with it. I found several charities
where I could donate money that was debited from my prepaid account. Eg,
I could text a code to the Red Cross and each time it debited $10 from
the account. I'm not posting the #s here because if someone else did, I
wouldn't believe them anyhow, but then I'm cynical. If you look on the
Red Cross main page, there is a link to donating by text. (Yes, I'm sure
the charities don't get all of the $10, but they still get more than
they would if the $ in the account reverted to the carrier).
Anyhow, just mentioning it in case anyone else finds themselves in the
position of leaving money in a prepaid account.
If you buy more time before the 365 days, I think it is, but it's not
366 even in a leap year, have passed since you bought the last 100
dollars worth. 25 dollars worth expire in 90 days, not 91 or 92, which
3 months would be. 50 dollars expire in 180 days iirc, NOT 6 months.
Well, you can turn on the phone and change your settings or look for a
phone number, but you can't make a connection to any other location
including the AT&T offices or you are charged $2. And be
careful, because if you got a phone call and there's a message on your
voice mail (and maybe if you got a text?) the phone will on its own
call immediiately so you can hear your voicemail and it's hard to hang
up in time to avoide the daily $2, especially if you didn't see it
coming. They charge the $2 even to call an 800 number or even
911, I'm pretty sure. Of course if it's really an emergency, it should
be worth $2.
After that until midnight it's free, except to call foreign countries
except Canada, I think. Maybe it's not foreign enough.
They are always pretty ambagious with speed numbers, particularly on
cable. There are lots of variables. The best they do is "up to x"
If you really want to see the fancy footwork, ask them about some
guarantee on reliability. For me, that was the killer with Comcast.
They sucked and if you managed to get one stinking packet through on
any given day your internet was "working" that day for billing
purposes. It was very hard to actually get a refund ... as if that
made up for looking at "server can not be found" all day.
The guy you talked to was just a salesman anyway, probably in a 3d
world boiler room and he gets paid on what he can sell. They really
want to credit check you before they spend any real time on you. No
sense in "selling" a person who can't buy. (for any number of reasons)
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