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Cell Phone Blues

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
This is just plain driving me nuts! I'm finally conceding that I do actually need a cell phone. I won't hardley use the darn thing for all but 1-2 weeks out of the year, when I'm out in Ohio staying at a National Guard base for the Nationals Matches. Since everyone in the world (except for me) has gone to cell phones, they took out ALL of the pay phones on base. Which means I have to either beg and borrow someone's cell phone to call home, use the one vendor's phone that gives free phone access (long distance included) to competitors, or find a pay phone (with my calling card, which now costs 30 freakin' units or minutes to make the call!).

Here's my problem. The cheapest monthly single plan is $30. I won't use the thing $30 worth ever, and I don't want to pay for what I'm not using. Family plans generally start at $50-60 minimum, some with an additional $10/month for the extra line. Well, that might be fine for a family of 4, but that defeats the purpose of a family plan to us because it would cost the same for us to each have individual plans. I've heard such mixed reviews of the pay-as-you-go plans, and for the few minutes that I would use I would be paying at least 25 cents per minutes, not even using all of those, and still having to buy more every 3 months. Not to mention that the Base where I stay every August is notoriously difficult to get cell phone coverage on, so I need something on a good network, otherwise me even getting a cell phone is defeated. ARG!!!

Is there anything our wonderful and knowledgeable members can recommend for me?
post #2 of 27
You're in the national gaurd???

I didnt know that....cool...

As for your cell phone dellema...I know it really does bite...the prices, contracts, minutes, roaming.....etc...

However I would say suck it up and get the 30$ plan....I say this because I knew avid cell phone haters who got the cell phone and used it a lot more than they thought....for things you wouldnt think about as a non cell phone owner...

Thats my only advice....

Good luck
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebula11
You're in the national gaurd???

I didnt know that....cool...

As for your cell phone dellema...I know it really does bite...the prices, contracts, minutes, roaming.....etc...

However I would say suck it up and get the 30$ plan....I say this because I knew avid cell phone haters who got the cell phone and used it a lot more than they thought....for things you wouldnt think about as a non cell phone owner...

Thats my only advice....

Good luck
No, I'm not in the Guard. The National Matches are held every year at Camp Perry, Ohio which is a National Guard base, and I'm the Team Coordinator (or Executive Officer, as I was introduced tonight ) for the Colorado High Power Rifle Team.

Part of the reason I say I won't use it that much is that I did have a cell phone for a year, and I hardly ever used it. I mean like less than 10 minutes a month. And my situation hasn't really changed since then, except that I actually work closer to home than I did then! The only person I would call is Earl, and rarely even then. The "emergency" use doesn't even get me - I work 2 miles from home, a 7 minute drive. If something happened, like my car breaking down, I could easily walk to whichever was closer. LOL
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
No, I'm not in the Guard. The National Matches are held every year at Camp Perry, Ohio which is a National Guard base, and I'm the Team Coordinator (or Executive Officer, as I was introduced tonight ) for the Colorado High Power Rifle Team.

Part of the reason I say I won't use it that much is that I did have a cell phone for a year, and I hardly ever used it. I mean like less than 10 minutes a month. And my situation hasn't really changed since then, except that I actually work closer to home than I did then! The only person I would call is Earl, and rarely even then. The "emergency" use doesn't even get me - I work 2 miles from home, a 7 minute drive. If something happened, like my car breaking down, I could easily walk to whichever was closer. LOL
I don't know, Heidi. It might be time to join the rest of us in the 21st Century

I never bothered setting up a land line. Why should I when I can just take my one and only phone everywhere with me? I, personally, like the idea of only having a cell phone, that way neither one falls into disuse. But I can understand where you're coming from.

But seriously. I think you're the only person I know without a cell phone. My 92 year old grandfather has one and he can't even walk by himself!
post #5 of 27
I have a pay-as-you-go plan, and I love it. I got one that lets you carry forward unused minutes, and now I have about 8 hours accumulated. As long as you top up the account every month, you get their lowest rate, which might not be as low as some plans, but it doesn't matter because I use it so little. I gave them my VISA number so it's automatically topped up in time to carry the minutes forward.

The thing is, all I need to top it up with is $10, once a month, and that sure beats the $30 and more plans. I figure the 10 bucks is worth it to have the convenience of a cell phone on the rare occasions when I need it.
post #6 of 27
Heidi
I fel your pain... I too have no cell phone..how about one of those dispbale types??
post #7 of 27
I don't have a cell phone, because I simply can't afford one. I did have one, and I liked it for Long Distance calls, because it was unlimited minutes on nights and weekends and I spent my weekends making one long distance call after another. I don't approve of people driving and using cell phones, so I basically only used the cell as a long distance plan. I also don't understand why people walk the streets chatting on their phones. I simply don't see the need to be on the telephone that much.
post #8 of 27
I didn't have one either Heidi, until I went to the Catwriters' Conference. And although I don't use it a lot, I am glad I have one now. T-Mobile has the phones to go- where you prepay for the phone and once you use up all your minutes, you throw the phone away. That was one plan I looked at. But I ended up going with Verizon on a yearly packett plan
post #9 of 27
If you really aren't going to use it much, prepaid minutes seems to be something to look into.
post #10 of 27
I have a prepaid minutes phone that I keep for emergencies in the glove compartment of my car.
post #11 of 27
I use the pay as you go plan through Virgin Mobile. I hardley EVER use my cell, and keep it for emergency purposes only. I pay about $20 every 3 months. I know I probably pay more for my minutes, and if I see it creeping up on the 3rd month and I haven't used all my minutes yet then I'll just use the phone a little more. It's not a perfect plan, but it works for me.
post #12 of 27
Check out the various pre-paid plans, Heidi. I have a pay-as-you-go plan from T-Mobile, and I only have to top it up once a year if I pay €30 (which is about what I use in 9 or 10 months). €15 is good for six months. After a year you can use the SIM card in any other cell phone, and can thus "upgrade" as you please.
post #13 of 27
I shopped online, for my new one. I have an Alltel prepaid, which costs me $29.99 per month. I get 200 anytime minutes and 1000 night/weekend minutes. As long as I'm within the calling area, I don't pay any long distance or roaming charges and almost the entire state of AZ is covered.

Check them all out and make sure that any place that you're liable to be is within the coverage area. I've checked Alltel's site and found out that Colorado isn't covered but SOME company has to cover you.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
But seriously. I think you're the only person I know without a cell phone. My 92 year old grandfather has one and he can't even walk by himself!
Well it seems there's still a few of us hold outs. People do look at you askance when they discover that you don't have a cell phone!
Quote:
T-Mobile has the phones to go- where you prepay for the phone and once you use up all your minutes, you throw the phone away.
How apalling is that?! What a throw away society.
post #15 of 27
Well I don't have one either (nor my parents or my sister).
I was in Radio Shack last week and the guy was just trying to push a sprint plan on my-$69/mo 2 phones 1500 minutes!!! Plus sprint has crummy coverage in this part of wisconsin.
My phone bill at home only is about $30-$33/month-why would I want to triple it??
Perhaps if my landscaping business warrants it I'll ponder it but that won't be for several months. We had thought about pay as you go also however.
post #16 of 27
I've had my cell phone since I was 17, and its my only phone. We dont have land lines at the apartment, just my cell phone and I love it! I probly never will get a land line!

I have 1,000 daytime minutes, free night and weekends, and 400 text messages for $40 a month.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldpeterson
I use the pay as you go plan through Virgin Mobile. I hardley EVER use my cell, and keep it for emergency purposes only. I pay about $20 every 3 months. I know I probably pay more for my minutes, and if I see it creeping up on the 3rd month and I haven't used all my minutes yet then I'll just use the phone a little more. It's not a perfect plan, but it works for me.
I use Virgin Mobile too. Out of all the prepaid plans available in my area, they had the best deal, in both price per minute and in minimum cost per month (with tax it comes out to about $7 a month if you only use the minimum). You don't even actually have to use $20 worth of minutes every three months, you just have to add $20 to your phone every three months - you can carry the extra minutes over, so you can save them to use if you have a month down the line when you'll use the phone a lot.
post #18 of 27
I have a Cingular plan through SBC, and it costs me about $40 per month. My 450 daytime minutes roll over if I don't use them all, which is nice, and I have unlimited night and weekend time.

I have only had my phone for about eight months, but I have already upped the plan once because I was using more minutes than I thought I would. You say in the beginning that it's only for emergencies -- well, once you get hooked on the convenience of having a phone with you all the time, you'll use it, believe me. LOL
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
This is just plain driving me nuts! I'm finally conceding that I do actually need a cell phone. I won't hardley use the darn thing for all but 1-2 weeks out of the year, when I'm out in Ohio staying at a National Guard base for the Nationals Matches. Since everyone in the world (except for me) has gone to cell phones, they took out ALL of the pay phones on base. Which means I have to either beg and borrow someone's cell phone to call home, use the one vendor's phone that gives free phone access (long distance included) to competitors, or find a pay phone (with my calling card, which now costs 30 freakin' units or minutes to make the call!).

Here's my problem. The cheapest monthly single plan is $30. I won't use the thing $30 worth ever, and I don't want to pay for what I'm not using. Family plans generally start at $50-60 minimum, some with an additional $10/month for the extra line. Well, that might be fine for a family of 4, but that defeats the purpose of a family plan to us because it would cost the same for us to each have individual plans. I've heard such mixed reviews of the pay-as-you-go plans, and for the few minutes that I would use I would be paying at least 25 cents per minutes, not even using all of those, and still having to buy more every 3 months. Not to mention that the Base where I stay every August is notoriously difficult to get cell phone coverage on, so I need something on a good network, otherwise me even getting a cell phone is defeated. ARG!!!

Is there anything our wonderful and knowledgeable members can recommend for me?
Even though you may not intend to use it much, it is great to have with you, and to be honest, I don't see as many pay phones around now as I did 5 years ago. You may be hesitant at first, but you will get used to having it. Initially, I didn't want a cell phone (1999), but have had one ever since, and have also gotten rid of my "land line". I'm at the point now where if I don't have it with me when I'm out, I feel lost without it

If you are hesistant about signing a contract, there are numerous pre-paid packages at Wal Mart, Target and online. Tuxedokitties mentioned the Virgin Mobile plan, which is a good pre pay as well. Also try www.epinions.com and read the reviews on the different carriers as well. Good luck!
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC
Well I don't have one either (nor my parents or my sister).
I was in Radio Shack last week and the guy was just trying to push a sprint plan on my-$69/mo 2 phones 1500 minutes!!! Plus sprint has crummy coverage in this part of wisconsin.
My phone bill at home only is about $30-$33/month-why would I want to triple it??
Perhaps if my landscaping business warrants it I'll ponder it but that won't be for several months. We had thought about pay as you go also however.
Gail..IMO, a cell phone would probably help a lot, especially if you are a business owner. I believe there are a few providers that will give you a business discount, and it should be tax deductible as well . Just a thought.

Gil
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well, I simply won't sign a contract. Honestly, if you knew my life...you would wonder why I even need a cell phone. And except for one week of the year, I don't. Honestly, I don't.

My other biggest problem is the coverage of the area I go to in Ohio each year. I've heard that Virgin Mobile's coverage outside of your local area is spotty. Cingular's Go Phone doesn't require a contract, just my credit card number so they can charge the same amount as if I had a contract. Still too much $/month for me. I've heard a lot of mixed reviews of TracPhone (which uses Verizon's network, I think, which is a good network overall), but I think I'm leaning toward them. I can get a decent little phone at Sam's Club for $40 or so, and put on 40 minutes or less every 3 months. If I use it more, I can add more.
post #22 of 27
Virgin uses the Sprint network, if that helps. I've had the phone 3 years & never had any problems with coverage in or near metropolitan areas, but the rural coverage is spotty.
post #23 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedokitties
Virgin uses the Sprint network, if that helps. I've had the phone 3 years & never had any problems with coverage in or near metropolitan areas, but the rural coverage is spotty.
Yeah, that's the problem. Where I go isn't near any metro areas at all. I was pretty sure that those on the team who have Sprint can't get coverage on base, but can when we head into town (Port Clinton, Ohio) in the evening for dinner. AT&T coverage was spotty at best, and I'm not sure about Cingular. I know for sure that Verizon has a good signal on base (my father has Verizon). I know that the Nextel walkie-talkies do work on base, but those are way too expensive for me to justify right now.
post #24 of 27
I have a pre pay mobile and I don't even use $10 a month - how great is that!
post #25 of 27
i never knew they had throw away phones..

I have a mobile phone, i payed my bill far too late ad they added 200 euros on top of that.. that got me reall peed, now i cant use my cell phone for another 3 months unless i pay itt off at once.. Thats the bummer about the contract and i dont want to pay 40 euros just to get another sim card for the pay as you go stuff
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Yeah, that's the problem. Where I go isn't near any metro areas at all. I was pretty sure that those on the team who have Sprint can't get coverage on base, but can when we head into town (Port Clinton, Ohio) in the evening for dinner. AT&T coverage was spotty at best, and I'm not sure about Cingular. I know for sure that Verizon has a good signal on base (my father has Verizon). I know that the Nextel walkie-talkies do work on base, but those are way too expensive for me to justify right now.
where i am, AT&T is Cingular. just FYI...
post #27 of 27
I refuse to get one, too. I would borrow my parents if I had to drive out of town on business by myself.

Is there anyone that you know fairly well that will be at the championship? I mean there a lot of people that have so many minutes and no roaming that they probably wouldn't care in the least if you borrowed it. You could always approach them ahead of time and offer to pay for the use of their phone.
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