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CELLPHONES

Posted on 04/12/2012 10:01:28 AM PDT by mamelukesabre

If you havn't heard, Verizon is starting up a new fee. It was all over the radio yesterday, and now I am seeing it on the internet. I am currently with Verizon but I am off contract and using an old flip phone. I've been doing this purposely in anticipation of the day when I would kick Verizon to the curb.

What Cell carrier are you with and what advantages do they offer?

How many ways are there to get cell phone like service without using an actual cell phone(if any)? I'm thinking maybe VOIP on a wireless modem or something like that.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: cellphone; cellphonecarrier; cellphones; verizon
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/verizon_succumbs_peer_pressure_starts_charging_30_phone_upgrade_fee
1 posted on 04/12/2012 10:01:35 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/verizon_succumbs_peer_pressure_starts_charging_30_phone_upgrade_fee


2 posted on 04/12/2012 10:02:49 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre

I have a pay as you go phone. Whatever was cheapest at Best Buy.
very expensive on a per minute basis, 10 or 20 cents, but I only use a few minutes a month. It costs about $20 for three months.
Since I am looking for work I have to have one, and they do come in helpful on rare occasion.


3 posted on 04/12/2012 10:04:55 AM PDT by RedStateRocker (Nuke Mecca, Deport all illegals, abolish the IRS, DEA and ATF.)
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To: mamelukesabre

I guess there is something called “hybrid calling” now.


4 posted on 04/12/2012 10:06:46 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre

Im with Verizon. But if you want cheap service, Virgin is the way to go.


5 posted on 04/12/2012 10:12:51 AM PDT by goseminoles
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To: mamelukesabre

The $30 dollar fee will be charged when you upgrade your phone service.


6 posted on 04/12/2012 10:14:17 AM PDT by DLfromthedesert
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To: mamelukesabre

... cause brain cancer.


7 posted on 04/12/2012 10:14:35 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: mamelukesabre

pagepluswireless.com is a no-contract, pay-as-you-go service that uses the Verizon network—so you receive the exact same coverage. You may use your existing Verizon phone. I pay $29 per month for 1200 anytime mins., 3000 texts, 100mb data. They also have unlimited talk/text/100mb data for $39 and also other options. It is less than half the price of Verizon for the same coverage.

There is a 3rd-party customer service provider: kittywireless.com. They are extremely helpful and can do most things that pageplus can do (customer service), but with a personal touch. If you use kittywireless to start your pageplus account, you can sign up for autopay/renewal each month so you don’t have to worry about adding minutes to your phone—they do it all for you at no charge.

Switching to pageplus after my Verizon contract ended was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done—especially in combination with kittywireless!


8 posted on 04/12/2012 10:16:20 AM PDT by davandbar
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To: mamelukesabre

Verizon simply is doing what the competition is doing. AT&T charges $36, as does Sprint. T-Mobile is only charging $18.

Unlike the competition, Verizon does NOT charge existing customers an Activation Fee when you go to activate your upgraded phone - so existing customers do get a break there.

I’m with AT&T now. My cell phone sits in a coffee mug, so I have signal. It’s useless outside of the coffee mug; either indoors or outdoors. I live in Utah, and even though 80% of the state’s population lives in a stretch of valley 80 miles long and 15 miles wide - AT&T can’t seem to manage coverage here.

So, while you may be leaving Verizon; I’m going back to them. I guess it all boils down to how good the service is where you live and travel. In my case, for the places I go; I frequently have “No Service” and pathetic data rates.


9 posted on 04/12/2012 10:16:32 AM PDT by Hodar ( Who needs laws; when this FEELS so right?)
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To: RedStateRocker

I have a prepaid Tracfone. Good service, good rates, no bills.

I don’t make many calls, so I can get about 15 months of service for $77.00 [about $5/month]. When I had the land line it was costing $25/month.

[Just be sure to opt out of Tracfone’s ‘offers’ programs. When I first tried them, I was getting 2 emails, 2 land line calls, and 2 cellphone messages twice per week. I complained and complained. They finally got the message and started the opt-out. I have been completely happy with them since — been a customer over 3 years.]


10 posted on 04/12/2012 10:16:33 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: mamelukesabre

If you don’t yack on your cell phone a lot, I’ve found T-mobile to be a great option. Buy a cheap cell phone from them and then cough up another 100 bucks and you become a “gold” member, which means unused minutes roll if not used up after a year with a minimum additional $10.00 addition to your minutes each year. The $100.00 also gets you 1200 minutes.

I mostly use my cell phone to forward my land line to when I’m out and about, for travel, and so myself and Mrs. Catnipman can communicate when we’re raiding Costco. (Mrs. Cantipman has her own T-Mobile pay-as-you-go cell phone, too.)


11 posted on 04/12/2012 10:20:19 AM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: mamelukesabre

If you are an infrequent user of your cell phone, you can buy the $20 Verizon pay-as-you-go phone. One of their plans is $1.99 per day only on the days you use the phone.

Any day you make or answer a call, your cost is $1.99 which is deducted from your balance. On that day, you may make as many calls as you want at no additional charge or send as many texts as you want for 2 cents each.

If you buy the $15 plan, your money runs out in 30 days if you don’t use it, but if you add money before the previous $15 expires, your previous balance carries over. If you pre-pay $100, your deposit is good for a full year.

My girlfriend, Nurse Christine, paid $120 for a full year (including the phone) of cell phone service. That’s $10 a month and she can use the phone for unlimited minutes on 60 different days without paying another penny.


12 posted on 04/12/2012 10:20:34 AM PDT by Poser (Cogito ergo Spam - I think, therefore I ham)
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To: mamelukesabre

I never understood people who buy cheap cell phone plans and then complain because they never have service.

I’m with Verizon because...it works.

Even in the boonies.


13 posted on 04/12/2012 10:27:29 AM PDT by TSgt (The only reason I have one in the chamber at all times, is because it is impossible to have two in.)
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To: mamelukesabre

Make sure you check out the “Common Cents” phones at walmart.. My carrier is Virgin MobilNet.. $40/month for internet and 7 cent a min on the phone rounded down + $30 every 2 months.


14 posted on 04/12/2012 10:28:13 AM PDT by satan69 (garden)
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To: mamelukesabre

What are you looking for in phone service? Cell service, VOIP service are completely different technologies and don’t operate the same way.


15 posted on 04/12/2012 10:28:26 AM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - Another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: mamelukesabre

I use the T-Mobile annual prepaid plan. $100 for 1000 minutes good for a year.


16 posted on 04/12/2012 10:31:22 AM PDT by DFG
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To: mamelukesabre

metro pcs

$40 per month flat fee. all taxes included in the $40

I get 100m per month for streaming video and audio via the 4G net. if I turn off 4G and connect to wifi... then stream video, it doesn’t count towards the 100m limit.

I have no minute plan. no special times or days.

also, I picked up a droid phone... which the other carriers required an $80/mon plan minimum. I would be paying at least $100/mon to sprint for the same package (which is why I dropped sprint)


17 posted on 04/12/2012 10:33:56 AM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: mamelukesabre

Straight Talk prepaid. You can buy it at Walmart, or online.

You’re on the Verizon network, but no stinking contract with Verizon.

$45 per month for unlimited everything, voice, text, data.

Or $30 per month for a thousand minutes.

Best deal I’ve ever found for cell service. Works great.


18 posted on 04/12/2012 10:35:05 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (You can be a Romney Republican or you can be a conservative. You can't be both. Pick one.)
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To: TSgt
I’m with Verizon because...it works. Even in the boonies.

Yep. That's been my experience as well.

Same is true using the much cheaper Straight Talk setup. You're on the Verizon network, but no contract. No surprises. And much cheaper.

19 posted on 04/12/2012 10:38:06 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (You can be a Romney Republican or you can be a conservative. You can't be both. Pick one.)
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To: mamelukesabre

Depending on your usage of phone versus data, there are three good plans to choose from that I have found.

1. For light data and light to medium phone usage, go with PlatinumTel. They use Sprint network, no monthly fee 5c/min for phone, 2c/text, 10c/MByte. A $100 prepay gets you a year of usage, and you can find coupon codes on the web to get that $100 credit for $85. Their phones are not current generation (Android 2.1). You can try buying a Sprint phone off Craigslist and see if they can activate it, otherwise just buy one of theirs (prices start at $19.99 with free ground shipping) and start saving.

2. Republic Wireless. $19/month unlimited voice, text and data. Uses Sprint network, but relies on VOIP and data over Wi-Fi for primary connectivity. It’s in Beta currently, but it sounds like they’ll open up some new customer slots in the next couple of months. Phone is LG Optimus (Android 2.3) and costs $200 up front.

3. T-Mobile offers a prepaid plan for $30.00/month that offers 100 minutes of phone, plus unlimited 4G data and texts. Don’t know what phones/prices they have.


20 posted on 04/12/2012 10:43:12 AM PDT by Go_Raiders (The wrong smoke detector might just kill you - http://www.theworldfiresafetyfoundation.org)
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To: EternalVigilance

I am with straight talk and like it very well. $30/ Month no issues....
never will sign another contract....


21 posted on 04/12/2012 10:45:11 AM PDT by southland (" Newt / West 2012 will pull through!")
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To: Go_Raiders

thank you for that info!


22 posted on 04/12/2012 10:50:00 AM PDT by ZinGirl
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To: DustyMoment

What matters to me is(in this order):

1. superb coverage(no dropped calls or roaming fees)
2. sound quality, reception, and antenna quality
3. battery life
4. phone durability
5. easily readable clock and screen
6. large buttons

I don’t use the internet on my phone, I don’t use any customize features. All I ever use is the alarm clock, and occasional text messaging and occasionally the calculator. I use my cell phone as my watch and my calendar.

I currently use a casio Gz one boulder on verizon with extended battery because it is durable and it has an excellent clock and verizon is supposed to be the best for coverage. criticisms are crappy little buttons, the phone locks up frequently and lags frequently, sound quality is only average, and verizon is way too expensive.

I don’t think I could ever own a smart phone because I really need to have real buttons. I need large buttons. I also find a phone that folds in half when not in use (to protect the buttons and the screen) to be a superior design from a durability perspective.


23 posted on 04/12/2012 10:50:00 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre

We just went in yesterday and signed a new contract (my phone was croaking). The sales associates are not happy about the upgrade fees. Mine was not an upgrade; my husband’s was. But, the fee is not in affect yet. Verizon is the best carrier we have had; hated Sprint and then US Cellular.
We will both have the data plans (I am grandfathered in for unlimited), but can downgrade any time to a basic phone. Didn’t want to sign a new contract necessarily, but figured we would eventually anyway.


24 posted on 04/12/2012 10:53:06 AM PDT by ozaukeemom (No to Romney, no how, no way, no money, no vote)
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To: Hodar
My cell phone sits in a coffee mug, so I have signal. It’s useless outside of the coffee mug; either indoors or outdoors.

LOL, coffee just shot out my nose after reading that...

25 posted on 04/12/2012 10:57:24 AM PDT by b4its2late (Patience is not a virtue, it is a waste of time.)
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To: Go_Raiders; Jim Robinson

wikipedia says Republic Wireless is in north carolina. Are they available outside of north carolina? JimRob should buy into it and rename it FreeRepublic Wireless.


26 posted on 04/12/2012 11:26:26 AM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre

Virgin Mobile $35/mo (android, motorola triumph)
unlimited internet (up to 2.5Gb then choke down)
unlimited texting
300 calling minutes but.....

Installing the android app Groove IP ($5 amazon) gives you UNLIMITED calling. Groove IP is a VoiP service and uses your unlimited data plan.

I have a Google Voice phone number that I’ve given to everyone. People call this # and it forwards my calls to my cell phone. I also have the G-voice # forwarding calls to my office. Calls can also be forwarded to my home. I NEVER need to use my mobile minutes.

BTW, Virgin Mobile uses the Sprint network. G-voice is also a web page so I can text from my PC. I can finally text faster than my wife & kids :-)


27 posted on 04/12/2012 11:29:18 AM PDT by Djester62
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To: TSgt

Same here in rural Georgia.


28 posted on 04/12/2012 11:59:30 AM PDT by crusadersoldier
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To: TSgt
I never understood people who buy cheap cell phone plans and then complain because they never have service.

I’m with Verizon because...it works.

Even in the boonies.

Exactly, We're in the boonies with 3 teenagers with a 4 phone plan. You leave the house, you take a phone, charged and turned on or you are grounded AND I will hunt you down and embarrass you into a near death experience in front of your friends.

Verizon has the best coverage and the best price for my needs. We actually dropped our land line this year because it became apparent that nobody used it to make or receive calls. Basic flip phones.

29 posted on 04/12/2012 12:07:12 PM PDT by Valpal1
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30 posted on 04/12/2012 12:51:52 PM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: TomGuy
I have a prepaid Tracfone. Good service, good rates, no bills.

I don’t make many calls, so I can get about 15 months of service for $77.00
[about $5/month]. When I had the land line it was costing $25/month.

[Just be sure to opt out of Tracfone’s ‘offers’ programs. When I first
tried them, I was getting 2 emails, 2 land line calls, and 2 cellphone messages
twice per week. I complained and complained. They finally got the message
and started the opt-out. I have been completely happy with them since — been
a customer over 3 years.]
Isn't it funny how experiences differ. I had tracfone and they were TERRIBLE (that's not what I wanted to type, but I'd get kicked off FR if I said what I want to). I only got coverage by driving away from home, usually far enough to be outside the very ZIP code I signed up with. I looked up the carrier they'd assigned me and it was some fly-by-night operation that changed hands three times in two years -- started in Springfield MA and ended up somewhere in Fla.

My wife has a tracfone but she got assigned Cingular (they now own AT&T) and gets great reception.

I tried calling customer "service" to see if I could change carriers, but couldn't get an english-speaking CSR. There is a website something like tracfone-sucks.com or similar that has hilarious customer "service" stories from former subscribers.

I just bailed out and got an AT&T gophone (pay as you go) and since the AT&T/Cingular service is just fine in my area I'm OK with the service. (As an aside: Tracfone didn't work in Canada, gophone does, though a little more expensive.)

I'm happy to hear it works for you; just providing an alternate view. (I'll bet there are some horrible AT&T stiries - vive la difference!)
31 posted on 04/12/2012 2:27:17 PM PDT by Peet (Cogito ergo dubito.)
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To: mamelukesabre

Whew! Tall order.

Starting from #1, depending on where you live, no dropped calls could be difficult to achieve. When I worked in the cell phone industry, the best that any of them would guarantee was ~98% uptime. As for roaming fees, most plans today include nationwide coverage with no roaming fees. And, some companies will even extend that coverage to Canada and/or Mexico.

#2. The best sound covereage available today would be with CDMA technology but, most carriers have dropped CDMA coverage in favor of GSM. GSM is easier and less costly for the carrier to administer and operate. Reception and antenna quality are, typically, dependent on a variety of transmission quality, frequency, environment and phone manufacturer. IMO, the best manufacturers are Nokia and Motorola and Motorola has sold off its cell phone business to someone else (I don’t recall whom).

#3. Battery life is dependent on the phone manufacturer. Battery technology has been a major issue for everyone who uses batteries for anything from cell phones to computers to handheld game systems, etc. While battery life has been increasing, it still remains an issue to be dealt with. Additionally, battery life is dependent on how much you use the phone. The more your phone sends and receives, the faster your battery life decreases. The longer your phone is on standby, the longer your battery will keep the phone operating. So far, to the best of my knowledge, battery life among current manufacturers is relatively equal.

#4. Phone durability is pretty easy, especially with the flip phones. I have used both a flip phone and one with slide screen and have dropped or thrown them (when I get ticked) several times and the phones wouldn’t die. Again, these were Motorola or Nokia phones. They are capable of taking a LOT of punishment without breaking.

#5. This is where the train starts going off the tracks. There aren’t many choices available (that I am aware of) that have easily readable screens. I am sure that SOMEONE must make one to help older people and people with vision issues such as legally blind, but I couldn’t begin to tell you whom. This is one that you would either have to discuss with a cell phone sales person or research further online.

#6. Yeah, I’d like large buttons, too. I haven’t really seen one that has buttons much larger than the head of a pin. I THINK there may be a couple of touch screen models that allow you to control the size of the “soft” buttons, but I wouldn’t swear to it.

Finally, I have used T-Mobile for years. Their coverage, particularly in metropolitan areas, is about as good as anyone’s. We have few to no dropped calls and, generally, good quality reception.

Every cell company has issues with reception and coverage, especially as you get to the edge of the cell. Depending on how they designed their cells and how much overlap they have between cells (typically, not much), you may experience call degradation as you reach the cell edge and handoff to an adjacent cell.

Another significant problem for cell designers is hilly/mountainous terrain and what is known as “urban canyons” - the “canyons” created in large metropolitan areas by lots of tall skyscrapers. All of these things can cause issues with call quality. One factor that affects pretty much all cell phone manufacturers and providers is call quality. The characteristics of RF usually consider an antenna that is either perfectly horizontal or perfectly vertical. When we look at the orientation of a cell phone antenna, it may be anywhere between perfectly horizontal and perfectly vertical. This is VERY problematic from the RF standpoint. As best as possible, most cell providers and phone Manufacturers have dealt with this issue rather well, given the physics of the technology. As of the current state of the technology, cell phones work pretty well, but bandwidth and call quality will probably always dog the industry until someone finds a breakthrough technology that allows them to overcome the currently existing physics.

Good luck. I hope this helps.


32 posted on 04/13/2012 11:45:14 AM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - Another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: DustyMoment

Thanks.

The issue I have with screen and clock readability is in extremely bright sunlight. If the text isn’t large sized and very sharp and clear, the glare from the sun washes out the image and I can’t see it. Those stupid colorful background wallpaper designs make it worse. I need plain black and white screens with huge bold block letters or else bright sunlight makes the screen practically invisible. Also, the screens are not going to stay new and crystal clear very long when I use them. My current phone has scratched and cloudy glass. This makes sunlight even more of a problem.

The problems I keep having with durability are related to moisture dust, grit, and heat...not so much dropping it. I do drop my phone but I’ve never had a phone croak on me from being dropped. I keep the phone in my pocket and I sweat a lot in summer. I am not indoors in air conditioning much. I get dirty. My pockets get full of dust and grit and at times I am completely drenched with sweat...so my phone gets soaked as well.

There’s no point in lugging around a cell phone I can’t depend on. I need a battery that won’t go dead unexpectedly in the boonies. Some phones suck the battery down terrifyingly fast when you’re in a call and are roaming. You can actually feel the battery heat up quite hot. Also, I don’t want to pay for a cell service that only works in the city or near civilization. That would be worthless for me.

as for buttons...when you are sweating in the hot sun and you can’t see cuz there is sweat in your eyes and your hands are covered in grit and/or slimy grime...touch screens won’t cut it. You need real buttons and they need to be BIG buttons.

One thing I really really hate is when I flip open my phone and push a button and then have to wait 10 seconds for the stupid phone to register the button I just pushed. I don’t know if that is the service or the phone that is the problem.


33 posted on 04/13/2012 12:21:45 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre
One thing I really really hate is when I flip open my phone and push a button and then have to wait 10 seconds for the stupid phone to register the button I just pushed. I don’t know if that is the service or the phone that is the problem.

Could be either/or or both.

34 posted on 04/13/2012 12:52:54 PM PDT by DustyMoment (Congress - Another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: DustyMoment

I think you’ve convinced me to start looking at nokia flip phones...preferrably one with an optional oversized battery. I will shop for carriers based on which ones support nokia flip phones with optional oversized batteries, and go from there.


35 posted on 04/13/2012 1:45:58 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
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To: mamelukesabre

Republic wireless is nationwide on Sprint network. I thought about the freeper angle same as you when I heard about them. Smart move not picking the name Democrat Wireless!


36 posted on 04/17/2012 9:34:39 PM PDT by Go_Raiders (The wrong smoke detector might just kill you - http://www.theworldfiresafetyfoundation.org)
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