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Pre-paid cell phone question

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by katonca, Nov 12, 2007.

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  1. katonca

    katonca Thread Starter

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    I want to buy a pre-paid cell phone for my folks, which would be used sparingly. Probably for emergencies or checking in when out of town. I've been looking at a few phones but very unsure what would be the best value, considering cost, reliability of the phone, plan duration....that kind of stuff.

    Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. ashes@work

    [email protected]

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    Thought :) Why dont you just add them to your phone line for $10 a month...
     
  3. hannab

    hannab

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    Hi Dave :) I've been very happy with my TracFone, for me a regular cell phone isn't worth the expense, but a friend got me the TracFone for my birthday. It's worked out well and I've renewed it for the last two years. I keep it in my car for emergencies and also to call my husband to say that I'm on my way home from shopping so start making dinner :p


    http://www.tracfone.com/index.jsp
     
  4. DarqueMist

    DarqueMist

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    Dave, I just recently went with a Rogers prepaid phone and so far have been very happy. A few things I learned while looking into it were
    1. get a phone with a carrier that uses sim cards (that will allow you to easily replace the phone if it becomes damaged without the hassle of setting up a new account .... just place the old card in the new phone),
    2. watch for expiry/ rollovers, most of what I looked at had to be toped up monthly in order to keep your unused time so I decided to go with a $100 initial time purchase to get slightly better rates and more importantly a 365 day expiry time (I suspect companies other than Rogers offer similar deals)
    3. don't assume a popular phone is a good phone, initially I was considering the Motorola Razr because "everyone" seems to have one and they just look cool but it didn't take long searching online to find tons of very similar complaints about them so I opted for the Motorola v360 (doesn't look as cool but has all the features I'll ever use and more, as well as very clear sound)

    edit, I should have added a prepaid "plan" really isn't a plan, depending on how much time you purchase monthly slightly differing options and rates will be available to you. Almost all have approx 30 day expiries on whatever time you purchase which you can keep if you purchase more time before the 30 days goes past.
     
  5. katonca

    katonca Thread Starter

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    It's kind of a long story but I don't pay for my cell phone bill :eek: :D
     
  6. katonca

    katonca Thread Starter

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    Hi hanna :)

    Tracfone was the first I looked at. I didn't realize that the plan "runs out" no matter if the phone is used or not and placing minutes onto the phone on a regular basis is necessary to keep it active. That's how I read the fine print. Is that an accurate statement?
     
  7. DarqueMist

    DarqueMist

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    Thats accurate for every prepaid plan i looked into ... and why I opted for the $100 initial time purchase to get the 365 day limit
     
  8. katonca

    katonca Thread Starter

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    Great info DM (y)

    And you answered my question about activation/expiration
     
  9. hannab

    hannab

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    Hi DM
    Yeah, Dave, going with the year plan makes it simple, we just renew once a year, all the minutes carry over then and you can do it all on the internet. So far the amount of time we get on renewal is enough to carry us through the year, so we never feel we "lose" anything.
     
  10. katonca

    katonca Thread Starter

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    I guess the bottom line is, there will be a service fee associated with all pre-paid cell phones :(

    They won't go for that. My folks (bless their hearts) are cheap. In resturants they don't want the expense of sodas so they order water with lemon, squeeze the lemon and add sugar for lemonaide. They're not well off in the least but things aren't that tight. :D
     
  11. DarqueMist

    DarqueMist

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    hey Hanna .. hope thngs are well down on your edge of the coast.

    hope I helped a bit Dave, I just went through looking at all the cell provider prepaid info and found what was supplied by the various carries to be confusing (I suspect on purpose to steer people towards plans as opposed to prepaid) and got a small chuckle seeing that someone else here was about to embark on that same info gathering route :)
     
  12. katonca

    katonca Thread Starter

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    I guess I can mark this solved.

    I'm fore going the cell phone and buying them a gift card to a restaurant (adding an extra $5.00 for sodas) :D
     
  13. katonca

    katonca Thread Starter

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    Definitely helped bud (y)
     
  14. DarqueMist

    DarqueMist

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    Not really, what I looked at charges no service fees, not even an activation fee. If you use up your purchased minutes all of the money you put into it goes towards your air time. The issues arise if you happen to let your time limit go past with time left. So long as you buy more time before that happens all of your purchased minutes go towards air time (not forgetting different carriers will do things slightly differently so you have to read each set of terms carefully)
     
  15. katonca

    katonca Thread Starter

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    See that's where I got confused. One guy (selling phones) told me that airtime does expire but any minutes left on the phone carries over and added to the total. The way to buy airtime, is to add more minutes. So for folks like my parent that may use it 4 times a year, adding minutes on a regular basis to remain part of the service (and not using the service) would appear to be a "service fee".
     
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