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acraven
07-12-2012, 11:41 PM
You might want to consider T-Mobile. http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans My mother uses their gold plan. You pay $100 for 1000 minutes which is good for one year, but after doing that once, you only have to add $10 to the phone per year to keep the same phone number active (you could certainly add more if you ran out). This is probably the best plan for people who realllllllly don't use their phones much.

This is what I do with T-Mobile, but I think a $10 purchase would only be good for 90 days (and extend the life of your older minutes for 90 days). Still, if you don't use the phone much, $10 four times a year (for a total of 120 minutes) might actually be a smarter purchase than $100 once a year (for 1000 minutes). If your situation changes, you could start buying more minutes. You just need to buy on schedule, before your remaining minutes expire (though you might not really care if you were only spending $40 a year).

However, it sounds as if coverage issues dictate that you stay with Verizon. The 25 cents per minute plan looks like a winner, but I had to dig around on their website to find out how frequently you would need to buy minutes and how long they would last. This seems to be the pertinent information:

Once applied to your account, payments expire as follows:

$15 $29.99 payments expire in 30 days
$30 $74.99 payments expire in 90 days
$75 $99.99 payments expire in 180 days
$100 or more payments expire in 365 days

So it looks as if the cheapest option to maintain service would cost you $100 (plus taxes) for 400 minutes to be used over the course of a year, with unused minutes carrying over as long as you buy more before the year is up. Obviously, you want to find that information in writing yourself before handing over the $100+.

Susan1
07-13-2012, 12:46 AM
Wow - you guys are good! Can you come live next door to me!!???? All of you?????

I still can't figure out how to quote multiple posts (yes, I see the " thing, but I'll just try to remember what I read..............without referencing who said what - you know who you are!
Thanks for changing my thread title!

I read all the Verizon stuff, but it makes so much more sense having a person repeat it. And you probably just copied exactly what I did! Whatever.

If I just decide on a plan, how do I get it transferred to my phone without going into the store. I do not put my credit card information online. Not even at work, where it's more protected. Um, the thing about the amount of minutes. I don't plan to make long calls, but what if the dentist puts me on hold or something. As it is, I've been going in the conference room and using that phone if I think I'm going to have to wait. And, geez, my aunt will talk for 2 hours - even long distance on regular phones. She'd use up my year of minutes pretty fast. ha ha I guess I could add to my $100 worth of minutes if it got too low?

I checked out the AT&T cell phone deal. Not great.

I was still thinking - I've been paying Tim (cousin) $15/month - which is $180/yr., and certainly not using $15/month of calls. So $100/yr. is cheaper whether I use it or not. And if I can do all the different things above to find out how many minutes I have, then I could add some if I need them later. Or start the next $100 worth? Oh, do we know if it's going to cost anything to switch to prepaid?

AARRGGHH. This is why I never wanted a cell phone. When I got on Tim's family plan, he already had the plan, just added me. I don't hear very well on the cell phone. I can't read the screen out in the daylight. How does the rest of the world go around with these things plastered to their faces? And why? And have to stand in line for 12 hours to get the next new thing?

That's all I can think of for now. I'll read everything again tomorrow at work - where I have two big flat screens. And I have all my questions (so far) typed up for the Verizon store clerk.

Hugs to all!
Susan

Karina1974
07-13-2012, 02:16 AM
Just make sure whatever carrier you use, you can get coverage in your area. Verizon is the only signal we can get at our house. Both AT&T and T-Mobile suck at our house.

Ditto. When I first signed up for a cell phone back in 2004, I went with Verizon. Ended up returning the phone and switching over to Sprint within 24 hours, because the only place I could get any signal in my apartment was in the bathroom. I was going to jettison my landline so reception was a must. Been with Sprint ever since; in fact, I just upgraded to a smartphone in the last week (finally!).

madm
07-13-2012, 08:04 AM
Just make sure whatever carrier you use, you can get coverage in your area. Verizon is the only signal we can get at our house. Both AT&T and T-Mobile suck at our house.

How do you find out if you can get coverage from the various carriers in your area? The only way I know is to ask your neighbors what they use and like, or get friends with different providers to come over to your house and try making some calls. We have AT&T and get a reasonable signal about 90% of the time. My friends with Verizon get much better coverage, especially when we go on trips to remote places in the Western U.S.

Meredith
07-13-2012, 12:11 PM
Great information! Recently I had to replace my cell phone and noticed on Verizon's website they had special rates/minutes for those customers 65 and older.

It probably would have been a good idea for me to sign up for such a plan, since I don't usually talk too much on the phone. The past couple of months were the exception and I was happy I had the minutes of my original calling plan, or the bill would not have been pretty.

KatieC
07-13-2012, 01:10 PM
I've had strangers tell me my phone was ringing :o That's how unaware I am of my surroundings. But text messaging works okay - it repeats a ding every five minutes and eventually one of those dings will penetrate my thick skull. So normally I might only have five or six calls in a year, but 60 text messages.

Tesla
07-13-2012, 02:23 PM
How do you find out if you can get coverage from the various carriers in your area? The only way I know is to ask your neighbors what they use and like, or get friends with different providers to come over to your house and try making some calls. We have AT&T and get a reasonable signal about 90% of the time. My friends with Verizon get much better coverage, especially when we go on trips to remote places in the Western U.S.

You can check the coverage maps, and I think the providers can check for you, too. You won't get an exact account, but they can give you an estimation.

Lizziebeth
07-13-2012, 06:08 PM
You can check the coverage maps, and I think the providers can check for you, too. You won't get an exact account, but they can give you an estimation.

Those maps are good in a general sense, but it is still good to check at home. Right now, I have Verizon and sometimes I think my smart phone is just an expensive contact list. I actually end up looking up the number on my phone and dialing the call on my land line. Some days my cell phone works fine, other days calls drop if I can even call out at all. I live in a river valley, plus some of this appears weather related. It is not just me. I see the neighbors parked at the top of the hill making calls too! The internet works all the time though.

AT&T and Sprint do not ever work here. TMobile works sometimes too.

barbk
07-13-2012, 06:26 PM
Ask your neighbors how well their service works. And don't forget to check at work.

My interpretation of the cellphone coverage maps -- at least for AT&T and Sprint -- is that they're very accurate in showing where you WON'T have service, but not to be relied upon for how the service will be inside the coverage area.

AT&T did give us a micro-cell tower that helps at our house. (We'd complained about cell coverage after they did something to the local tower.)

bek
07-13-2012, 06:29 PM
I had Virgin Mobile for awhile wish I had kept it. Now I have Sprint and am paying twice as much-stupid move. Sure its faster internet, but double the freaking bill!

Tesla
07-13-2012, 07:30 PM
My interpretation of the cellphone coverage maps -- at least for AT&T and Sprint -- is that they're very accurate in showing where you WON'T have service, but not to be relied upon for how the service will be inside the coverage area.

Pretty much, but I think if you talked to a rep, they can let you know in general how strong the coverage might be (i.e. let you know how far away from a tower you are). I think.

milanessa
07-13-2012, 08:24 PM
Those maps are good in a general sense, but it is still good to check at home.

This. I have Verizon and it does not work inside my house. No one's cell phone works in my house except to occasionally ring but then you can't answer on it. I have to go to the end of my driveway to use it which I don't do. :lol: Love my land line. The Verizon map shows complete coverage in my area, even when I zoom into my actual house. If my home was older I'd think it was haunted. :eek:

It works everywhere else, though.

Lizziebeth
07-13-2012, 09:32 PM
This. I have Verizon and it does not work inside my house. No one's cell phone works in my house except to occasionally ring but then you can't answer on it. I have to go to the end of my driveway to use it which I don't do. :lol: Love my land line. The Verizon map shows complete coverage in my area, even when I zoom into my actual house. If my home was older I'd think it was haunted. :eek:

It works everywhere else, though.

And I thought I was the only one who could not use a cell phone at home!

Karina1974
07-13-2012, 09:51 PM
I had Virgin Mobile for awhile wish I had kept it. Now I have Sprint and am paying twice as much-stupid move. Sure its faster internet, but double the freaking bill!

Just curious, which plan have you got with Sprint? I just upgraded to the Everything Data 450 (had to - also upgraded to a smartphone!). I'm still in that blissful period before the next bill comes with the increase! :lol:

milanessa
07-14-2012, 02:09 AM
And I thought I was the only one who could not use a cell phone at home!

We are two lone voices in the wilderness. ;)