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Posted: 2/7/2006 12:42:31 AM EDT
I've been thinking about picking up a track phone ( cell phone ) for shits and giggles....I have never owned a cell phone and I don;t know that I want to. Essentially I know they are cell phones with no actual billing plan you "pay as you go" by buying minutes. Cool, the last thing I need is another bill. So, what kind of "range" do these cover? I am looking more to cover a metropolitain area ( Phoenix Metro )than anything fancy like statewide coverage, though that may be a boon.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 12:57:25 AM EDT

Check the website for what "range". Although, really, it's nationwide. I think if you're "roaming" outside of your chosen home area, you pay two points per minute instead of one point per minute.

Jim
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:01:14 AM EDT
thank you....I assume the "points" are what you buy to "fill" the phone?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:04:02 AM EDT
You have to keep buying refill cards to keep it active, even if you don't use it. And, the minutes are expensive.

IMHO, you're better off buying a slightly used phone off ebay for a good service (I use Verizon) and getting a bare-bones service plan, without a contract.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:17:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:
You have to keep buying refill cards to keep it active, even if you don't use it. And, the minutes are expensive.

IMHO, you're better off buying a slightly used phone off ebay for a good service (I use Verizon) and getting a bare-bones service plan, without a contract.




oooooh, that I did NOT know......thanks for the info!!!
I knew there was a catch and I knew one of you guys would know it. Sweet! Thanks!!!

any other info, folks?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:11:09 AM EDT
I use a tracphone. For me its a better deal than a regular cell phone. I had a Nextel that I was paying $36.00 a month service contract and if I was lucky I used 20-25 minutes a month.

My girlfriend was offered a deal on a factory refurb tracphone for free and got it for me so the phone was free. The first minutes I bought was a "double minute card" that if recall was 400 minutes for $129, it has the added benifit of being good for a whole 12 months instead of the usual 3 months. Also, for the next year any minutes I buy will automatically be doubled.

My Nextel was costing me $430+ a year ($36 X 12 months) so far I'm only into the tracphone for about $129 since the end of July but I will be buying additional airtime soon. Most likely it will be a $49 card that is usually 250 minutes but I will get 500 minutes that should easily take me into July


The real added benefit is that my Trac Phone gets better reception than my Nextel ever did. And its got better national coverage then the Nextel had at the time.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:17:14 AM EDT
Whew....400 minutes for 129 bucks.....YIKES!!! But for a year and little usage, I suppose that ain't too bad. I rarely talk for any length of time on the phone so I supposed that'd be okay.

I'll have to look around a bit.

thanks, guys!!!
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:57:15 AM EDT
Got cable internet??

Replace your home phone with it...
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 3:33:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 3:35:36 AM EDT by JacobusRex]
I switched to a Trac Phone and my cell phone bill cost averages a little less than $10 per month for about 2 years. It is a great deal for anyone that just uses their phone for emergency or rare calls. I'm saving more than $400 per year in phone costs. However, you can't be the kind of person that hangs out on a phone or the cost will kill you.

Also I get better reception than my old cell phone company because Trac Phone uses everyones towers .
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:07:44 AM EDT
It's good if you only use your cell phone a little. A year of service and 150 points costs $90. Since I only use about 100 minutes a year and a basic contract plan from other cell service providers is $40 a month, it's a no brainer for me.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:27:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JacobusRex:
I switched to a Trac Phone and my cell phone bill cost averages a little less than $10 per month for about 2 years. It is a great deal for anyone that just uses their phone for emergency or rare calls. I'm saving more than $400 per year in phone costs. However, you can't be the kind of person that hangs out on a phone or the cost will kill you.

Also I get better reception than my old cell phone company because Trac Phone uses everyones towers .




We have a Trac Phone. We use the phone so little we just buy a new annual card every year and use our phone for "frivolous" calls to try and use up some of the minutes. (We aren't the sit and gab on the phone endlessly type.) We got ours for emergency use primarily. And have found as others the coverage is much better than our friends with "regular" cell phones. Our test area is primarily N MI and N Ontario near Sault Ste. Marie where coverage of any kind is rare outside the Soo.

Kent
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:51:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 4:53:36 AM EDT by huggybro]
Have had a Tracfone for over two years. If you can keep from being chatty, then you can have service for 10-15 dollars a month. If you purchase minutes off the internet instead of actually buying the cards in person, you can get some extra minutes. You have to buy minues every two months to stay active or buy a yearly card. If you like to talk alot, then forget it.
Another option is to buy an unlocked phone off Ebay and buy a sim card from T-Mobile and use it as prepaid. It is a little cheaper than Tracfone. You cannot do this with Tracfone because you have to use one of their phones because it is loaded with special "Tracfone" programs. Plus T-Mobile's minutes last for three months.
If you travel overseas, everybody has an unlocked GSM format phone that they own and they purchase sim cards with minutes and just change out the sim card when they travel from country to country. More personal ownership like this.
Google "unlock cell phone" and read the FAQ for all the info you need.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:44:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 5:45:28 AM EDT by desertmoon]
This sounds right up my alley actually because I hate cell phones and will hardly use it.

HERE'S THE BEST PART OF THIS THREAD!!!!!

On my way to buy a track phone this morning.....MY JEEP ALMOST DIED ON THE FREEWAY. I was BARELY able to limp it to Wal Mart....where I did not have the time to purchase one.....

I was stuck using a payphone to call a tow truck....which I had to walk back and forth to about three or four times.

What fun!!!

I'll be getting a cell phone today. What if that had happened in the middle of nowhere???? Like where I work.....
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:53:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 5:53:48 AM EDT by bastiat]
trac phone is pretty damn expensive.

T-mobile has probably the best rates for prepaid cellular. I paid $100 for 1000 minutes and they last the whole year. (When your purchases reach a certain threshold, like 1000 minutes for me, they'll extend the usual duration to one year)

The way I use the cell phone, it could have lasted for 2 years if they let it go that long.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:00:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 7:03:03 AM EDT by desertmoon]

Originally Posted By bastiat:
trac phone is pretty damn expensive.

T-mobile has probably the best rates for prepaid cellular. I paid $100 for 1000 minutes and they last the whole year. (When your purchases reach a certain threshold, like 1000 minutes for me, they'll extend the usual duration to one year)

The way I use the cell phone, it could have lasted for 2 years if they let it go that long.



That sounds like a good plan. Where are T mobiles available? Department stores? Wireless stores? Mail order?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:04:36 AM EDT
I, too, have bought the Tmobile pre-paid phones. I was paying about $30 each for three phones that had about 300 minutes a month. My wife and I hardly used ours, and my son would run over every once-in-a-while.

Now all of us have 1000 minutes to last a year, that cost me $300 total (vs. about $1000 the old way). The deal with my son is that if he runs over, he can buy the extra out of his money.

So far they have worked very well in the New England area.

Forget contracts, pre-paid is the way to go unless you can't control your chatting each month.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:36:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By desertmoon:

Originally Posted By bastiat:
trac phone is pretty damn expensive.

T-mobile has probably the best rates for prepaid cellular. I paid $100 for 1000 minutes and they last the whole year. (When your purchases reach a certain threshold, like 1000 minutes for me, they'll extend the usual duration to one year)

The way I use the cell phone, it could have lasted for 2 years if they let it go that long.



That sounds like a good plan. Where are T mobiles available? Department stores? Wireless stores? Mail order?



They should be almost everywhere. I bought mine from a mall kiosk. You can get the cards at a lot of stores, and iirc you can charge it up over the internet.

http://locator.t-mobile.com/locator.aspx?searchType=storeLocations

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:41:06 AM EDT
hehe I wish I could get away with phones like that.

We ditched our land line 4 years ago and went strictly cellular. To give you an idea of how much my wife talks.

Last month her phone alone used 2784 minutes. JUST HER PHONE!!!

Mine only used 300 min. Go figure.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:06:13 AM EDT
tag.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:10:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By swingset:
You have to keep buying refill cards to keep it active, even if you don't use it. And, the minutes are expensive.

IMHO, you're better off buying a slightly used phone off ebay for a good service (I use Verizon) and getting a bare-bones service plan, without a contract.



I just bought on for $20 and got 150 minutes for about $30. Those minutes are good until July I think. For someone like me who rarely uses them it is perfect. I pay less than $100 a year.

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:51:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GeorgiaBII:
hehe I wish I could get away with phones like that.

We ditched our land line 4 years ago and went strictly cellular. To give you an idea of how much my wife talks.

Last month her phone alone used 2784 minutes. JUST HER PHONE!!!

Mine only used 300 min. Go figure.



Jiminy christmas!! Your wife needs a hobby. That's an average of 1 and 1/2 hours on the phone a day!
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