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  1. #1
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    cell phones again

    It won't let me search for the old thread. Here we are again, almost August and I am going to have to pay $100 for 400 prepaid minutes at 25/minute that I don't even use to keep the cell phone active. I have used a grand total of 44 minutes ($11) in the past two years. It appears that even Tracfone has to have minutes added to it and the cheapest is $9.99/month (which is more than $100/year).

    I realize that practically every person over 10 years old and their uncle's dog have to be connected to technology 24/7, and can't stand in line or drive anywhere without a phone in their hands. I don't. I just need a cell phone for emergencies (like insurance?). I know the minute I give it up, I'll need it.

    I don't need it when I am in the house because I have a regular phone. (I've actually used the cell phone from the bedroom to check to see if my new answering machine in the family room worked.) And I'm not going to use it when I am driving or in a store. That's what the home answering machine is for.

    I looked into the free government cell phones. Now that I have the extended Medicaid, I am eligible, but I'm not putting my personal information out on some strange website. I wish there was an actual store I could go to. And I don't even need the free phone. Mine's pretty (2008 dusty rose Razr!!), it's a phone, I can text, it works. I have to plug it in every Saturday because the battery gets low just hanging out in my purse.

    I'm not going to take videos of cats doing something stupid and post them online (no offense :-) !!!). I just need "emergency" minutes, without having to add up more and more unused minutes.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
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    I remember your thread from before. I have more experience now. I am also like you and use the phone only for emergencies and when I travel. I charge mine once a week too - when I remember.

    Last year I went to the AT&T plan. I Paid $100 for 1000 minutes for a year. I had to pay the the phone separately - a flip phone that cost me $39.

    This year, I forgot to recharge the minutes until 2 weeks after the due date. I was afraid I would lose the minutes I still had and the phone number as well. However, this situation had a very happy ending. I called AT&T and the agent was very helpful. I still had 973 minutes left from last year. The agent was able to roll over the 973 minutes to this year. At first it was going to cost me $10, but then the agent was able to work things around and didn't charge me a thing.

    I suggest you call your company and see if they will do the same thing for you. If not, you might want to look into the AT&T plan. I think several other companies also offer the same kind of plan.

    I also wanted to go to a store and talk to someone. The At&T guys were very helpful and prompt. The hardest part of the process was having my old service discontinued - which I had to do in order to port that number to the new phone. I'm sure it depends on your local store and how it's run. The Sprint Store (my old service) was awful and slow.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    I remember your thread from before. I have more experience now. I am also like you and use the phone only for emergencies and when I travel. I charge mine once a week too - when I remember.

    Last year I went to the AT&T plan. I Paid $100 for 1000 minutes for a year. I had to pay the the phone separately - a flip phone that cost me $39.

    This year, I forgot to recharge the minutes until 2 weeks after the due date. I was afraid I would lose the minutes I still had and the phone number as well. However, this situation had a very happy ending. I called AT&T and the agent was very helpful. I still had 973 minutes left from last year. The agent was able to roll over the 973 minutes to this year. At first it was going to cost me $10, but then the agent was able to work things around and didn't charge me a thing.

    I suggest you call your company and see if they will do the same thing for you. If not, you might want to look into the AT&T plan. I think several other companies also offer the same kind of plan.

    I also wanted to go to a store and talk to someone. The At&T guys were very helpful and prompt. The hardest part of the process was having my old service discontinued - which I had to do in order to port that number to the new phone. I'm sure it depends on your local store and how it's run. The Sprint Store (my old service) was awful and slow.
    Isn't this frustrating? When I went to the Verizon store last year (already had the phone from being on my cousin's plan), $100 for 400 minutes was the best they could do. The only "free phone" thing they have (on their website anyway) is a discounted plan, which is more than I am paying for the prepaid. Maybe I'll go out there again to see if they have anything for "loyal" customers. I don't want to change plans to AT&T (where I already have my phone, internet and cable - and they don't bundle cell phones cheaply) and spend $100 to get 1,000 minutes I'm not going to use. Why can't they just send me a bill for 25 cents/minute when I do use it? (Yeah, I know, that's the opposite of "pre-paid"! ha ha) If I didn't pay for it, then they could shut off the phone or something.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan1 View Post
    Isn't this frustrating? When I went to the Verizon store last year (already had the phone from being on my cousin's plan), $100 for 400 minutes was the best they could do. The only "free phone" thing they have (on their website anyway) is a discounted plan, which is more than I am paying for the prepaid. Maybe I'll go out there again to see if they have anything for "loyal" customers. I don't want to change plans to AT&T (where I already have my phone, internet and cable - and they don't bundle cell phones cheaply) and spend $100 to get 1,000 minutes I'm not going to use. Why can't they just send me a bill for 25 cents/minute when I do use it? (Yeah, I know, that's the opposite of "pre-paid"! ha ha) If I didn't pay for it, then they could shut off the phone or something.

    O.k. I am replying to my own post........................just checked the AT&T website. They have a "go phone" plan for 10 cents/minute!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know if you can just buy a whole year of minutes cheaper than $100 though. I will check into that. But you have to buy a compatible "go phone". There are only three cheap ones. One is gray. It actually has a whole keyboard, so I wouldn't have to hit "2" three times just to get to a "C" (one reason why I don't do texts!!!!). I will miss my pretty phone. When Tim was putting me on his family plan back in 2008 and he asked what kind of features I wanted on my phone, I said "pink". Won't be able to keep my number through Verizon though. Oh well. I'll just call everybody with my new one. Guess where I'll be going Saturday.........

  5. #5
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    You can keep your number. It's the law. If you decide to check out AT&T, go to the store and ask them about it. I have been able to port my number 3 different times. This was the most important thing to me as my number was my parent's number and has been in my family for 60+ years. I can't port it to my home phone, but I can port it to my cell phone.

    Also, if you got 1000 minutes for $100 and they rolled it over for you for several years, it might be worth it. Because they were helpful, I am paying nothing this year.

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    Susan1, did you look into a smart phone? Most of the plans, now, are data only. Phone calls and texts are free, as many as you want, to any provider. You only pay for used data. You could et the cheapest plan. I have a land line phone. However, it is part of our cable/internet bundle. So, if the power goes out - no phone. I use my cell phone 99% of the time. Rarely use the land line. Only keep it because it is tied to services. Neither of my kids even have a land line.

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    I used to have Virgin Mobile pay-to-go and it required a top up of at least $20 to last 3 months. And you can do automatic topup. But for some reason I got stuck with a plan that added minutes more often than that and their website wasn't friendly.

    I recently switched to Tracfone which I only pay once a year. It gives you enough reminders when you need to top up, and I did that double option where it's 800 minutes for two years, not one.

    I use my phone for more than emergencies, so for a phone I use every day, it's not bad.

    Verizon has the worst pay-go-go deals, afaik.

    One time I had a problem with Virgin Mobile, so I complained to FCC. For some reason FCC put me on Lifeline phone program so I didn't even pay for my phone for a year or so. So strange - I didn't really understand why I wasn't paying; I didn't request to be put in that program. When I received a letter about renewing Lifeline, I finally figured it out and discontinued it. But for someone who needs a phone and can qualify, it is worth it.

    As for smart phone, I don't plan to get one. I already have my Nook, my Ipod touch, and I can get on free wifi at work, on the bus, in cafes and through my internet provider's hotspots. How much more connected do I need?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.H.Black View Post
    You can keep your number. It's the law. If you decide to check out AT&T, go to the store and ask them about it. I have been able to port my number 3 different times. This was the most important thing to me as my number was my parent's number and has been in my family for 60+ years. I can't port it to my home phone, but I can port it to my cell phone.

    Also, if you got 1000 minutes for $100 and they rolled it over for you for several years, it might be worth it. Because they were helpful, I am paying nothing this year.
    You have to go to a store, but you can keep your number, yes.

  9. #9

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    I don't have a cell phone at all, so you ain't the only one.

    Isn't there a phone out there where I could buy like 90 minutes and pay for it once and done, and have those minutes last the next 50 years since I would never use it but that one time maybe 20 years from now I need it, its there? That's all I want. I don't want to have to keep paying say $20 every three months to keep reloading minutes that I never used in the first place, and never will ... except for maybe that one time in some distant future where my car might break down on the highway and its too far to just start walkin'.

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