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Old 01-21-2011, 03:47 PM   #1
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Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

i'm looking to get a new phone(mine is shot), and i'm considering changing carriers as well. presently i have sprint w/ ZERO frills--and i MEAN zero. i have no texting or web capability for ~$40/month. yes, i'm still in the stone age, but i'm looking ahead to the present age.

i'm looking at metro pcs for $40/month and a $29.00 Kyocera Torino phone. i really don't need texting or web access, but for the same as i pay now...what i really need is JUST good coverage on the cell. i don't talk much, so i REALLY want the cheapest good plan available.

you frugal and tech guys please weigh in and help me out. true to form, experience means more to me than researching carriers and plans. thanks.
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:37 PM   #2
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Re: Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

Well, did you know I also moderate on a cell phone forum, www.WirelessAdvisor.com and we're always talking about phones & service. Are you looking at prepaid or postpaid (2 yr contract) service?
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:23 PM   #3
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Re: Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

If you want cheap and don't talk much, a tracfone is the way to go. With the 2 year service plan it works out to about $8 for 30+ minutes per month.

Texts cost .3 minutes per text to send but they are free to receive.

My wife and I each have had one for the last 6-7 years and have had no problems/gotten no hidden charges. You can usually get a low end phone free with a 1 year deal or you can buy a nicer phone for more.

The only catch is that the minutes can expire and you lose them if you don't renew your months of service before the expiration date (they roll over when you renew your time). So you sort of buy minutes and you also buy months that the minutes last. This "expiration" date is always displayed on the phone so it is hard to forget. We buy the plan where it takes the minutes 2 years to expire- it is cheaper that way and you don't have to worry about paying a bill every month.

Tracfones are perfect as an emergency phone or to make a quick "hey I have to work late so I won't be home at the usual time" type call.
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:37 AM   #4
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Re: Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

i'm looking to stay away from contracts--done w/ those. 30 minutes? i'd like to have more available if needed.
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:32 AM   #5
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Re: Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

I too have Sprint, and I'm on their unadvertised $35/month plan because I too don't talk much, though I pay another $5/month for a few hundred texts (of which I use only a fraction) plus the usual fees and taxes.

I recently found out about Virgin Mobile's $25/mo Unlimited Text, Data & Web with 300 minutes and I'm considering switching to it. Their website claims that the price you see is what you pay except sales tax charged in a store if you buy locally.

I used to pay for web access and it was a nice luxury but not worth extra money to me. No contract with Virgin Mobile. This is the cheapest plan I can find on the market (data or no data), although that Tracfone setup sounds cheaper if I further reduce my minutes usage.

Unfortunately these bargain carriers don't necessarily allow roaming. Virgin Mobile is therefore limited to Sprint's network. If you've been using Sprint and don't have to roam then it ought to work.

I'm not sure if I can find a sample Virgin Mobile phone to take home and take to work to see if I get coverage, but that would quickly sell me on it. I also would want to see the model I'm planning on buying in person but it seems that not a lot of stores sell their stuff. I checked at Walmart but they were all out of Virgin Mobile stuff and they don't carry the model I'm looking at.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:24 AM   #6
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Re: Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

You may want to look at Cricket. Unlimited voice & text no contract plans start @ $35.

http://www.mycricket.com/cell-phone-plans
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:27 AM   #7
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Re: Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowtieguy View Post
i'm looking to stay away from contracts--done w/ those. 30 minutes? i'd like to have more available if needed.
I should have explained the tracfone system better- my bad.

If I recall correctly, we paid $150 up front for 1500 minutes that would last two years . All 1500 minutes are available for use on day 1. When I said 30+ minutes per month, I meant that's what it averaged out to be if you pace yourself with them (actually, now that I do the math, it averages to around 60 minutes per month). If you use all 1500 minutes before the 2 years is up, you can always buy more minutes and add them onto the phone.

There is no monthly contract or monthly payment, nothing to sign and no credit checks. It is completely pre paid- you just pay the lump sum up front and you never pay again until the minutes expire or you need to load more minutes (the phone will be useless when your balance on the phone's front display reads zero).

One catch is that if you lose the phone or it is stolen, there is nothing that the company can do about it. If the phone gets wet or broken and the SIM card is OK, then you can likely just buy a new phone and load your SIM/minutes on to it.
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:32 AM   #8
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Re: Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

Watch out if you're looking @ any Sprint based services (Boost, Virgin Mobile, and others) and live in or travel to these areas... http://forums.wirelessadvisor.com/wi...s-montana.html
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:40 PM   #9
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Re: Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

thanks guys--all good suggestions/offers. i like the idea of getting an obsolete phone...well...cheap, unlimited talk/text, and no contract. metro pcs may be for me.

i have a question about buying a phone...it seems in my experience that the cheapest phones are online, but should i check a local store just for giggles? i really don't care what it looks like. i sorta stay away from that type of atmosphere--like car stealerships.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:41 AM   #10
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Re: Cell Phone(Carrier) Recommendations

If you don't want toys, bells, whistles, cameras and the kitchen sink...TracFone. http://www.tracfone.com/
Mine has service where my Nextel won't work.

It would be useful to find out what the coverage is where you use the phone.
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