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Advice requested on buying one's first cell phone

Posted on 02/26/2007 6:24:40 PM PST by jla

I'll be purchasing from Verizon.
What are the best brands of cell phones?
Do the speaker phones one can get as an additional option have good sound quality?
What exactly is bluetooth?
I want good audio, reliability, and I'd also like text messaging, maybe Internet access too, and photo taking feature on the phone.

I've never had a cell phone, I've thought them frivolous. But now I see the advantages of owning one.

Thank you.


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: cellphone; dont; dontbuy; dontbuynow; wait; waituntil; waituntilthey; workthebugsout
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1 posted on 02/26/2007 6:24:44 PM PST by jla
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To: jla

check out prepaid

if you don't use them much that may be the way to go

just be aware your minutes purchased expire.

read the fine print


2 posted on 02/26/2007 6:29:16 PM PST by bamabound (In the name of tolerance anything to do with Christianity is not tolerated.)
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To: jla

Visit your nearby Verizon store and tell the clerk of your perceived needs. He/she will take you through what's best for you, in your price range. Verizon is terrific to deal with -- have been with them for many years.


3 posted on 02/26/2007 6:29:23 PM PST by Curmudgeon
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To: jla
What exactly is bluetooth?

Most annoying invention ever.

4 posted on 02/26/2007 6:30:38 PM PST by JennysCool ("The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -Mencken)
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To: jla

You did not say how old you are, or if you have any difficulty in using one or typing with a small keyboard. Budget was also left out.

I have owned cell phones from the first Mitsubishi's.

In my opinion, Nokia provide the best combination of value and durability, - great phones, easy to use menus (for the most part). Most all phones do "internet" the difference is the screen size and what you can really do with it.

For a nice all-in-one check out the Palm 680 or Samsung Blackjack. Both have Bluetooth (short distance wireless transmission of sound and data - as in using an ear piece without wires).

There are many to choose from - spend some time browsing at a CompUSA or BestBuy - they will be more than glad to help you. Just don't let them make you feel dumb - there's no magic about them, just lots of new technology.


5 posted on 02/26/2007 6:32:39 PM PST by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: jla

I finally broke down and got one myself after the last ice storm left me without a landline for a week.

I went cheap minus the bells and whistles. I bought a $15 Motorola Tracphone. I bought 600 prepaid minutes for about $100 that are good till may of 08. In nearly 2 months I've used less than an hour but I'm pretty satisfied with it. It will come in handy in an emergency.


6 posted on 02/26/2007 6:37:08 PM PST by cripplecreek (Peace without victory is a temporary illusion.)
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To: JennysCool; pitbully

LOL


7 posted on 02/26/2007 6:37:30 PM PST by granite
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To: jla

Email from niece, I do not know if they work!

Some Real Good Cell Phone Information---Have A Great Day!

THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW YOUR CELL PHONE COULD DO.

There are a few things that can be done in times of
grave emergencies. Your mobile phone can actually be
a life saver or an emergency tool for survival. Check
out the things that you can do with it:


FIRST
Subject: Emergency
The Emergency Number worldwide for Mobile is 112.
If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your
mobile; network and there is an emergency, dial 112
and the mobile will search any existing network to
establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly
this number 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked.
Try it out.


SECOND
Subject: Have you locked your keys in the car?
Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come
in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If
you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at
home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your
cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your
car door and have the person at your home press the unlock
button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end.
Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive
your keys to you.
Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away,
and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote"
for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).
Editor's Note: It works fine! We tried it out and it
unlocked our car over a cell phone!"


THIRD
Subject: Hidden Battery Power
Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press
the keys *3370# Your cell will restart with this reserve
and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery.
This reserve will get charged when you charge your cell
next time.


FOURTH
How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?
To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the
following digits on your phone: * # 0 6 #
A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number
is unique to your handset. Write it down and keep it
somewhere safe. When your phone get stolen, you can
phone your service provider and give them this code.
They will then be able to block your handset so even
if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless.
You probably won't get your phone back, but at least
you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either.
If everybody does this, there would be no point in people
stealing mobile phones.


And Finally....
FIFTH
Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 to $1.75 or
more for 411 information calls when they don't have to.
Most of us do not carry a telephone directory in our
vehicle, which makes this situation even more of a
problem. When you need to use
the 411 information option,
simply dial: (800) FREE 411, or (800) 373-3411 without
incurring any charge at all. Program this into your cell
phone now.
This is the kind of information people don't
mind receiving, so pass it on to your family and friends


8 posted on 02/26/2007 6:37:40 PM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Vote for RINOS, lose and complain by sending a self-abused stomped elephant.)
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To: jla

Just don't come into my place of business while yapping on your phone. I WILL initiate conversation with you while yor are talking.


9 posted on 02/26/2007 6:37:50 PM PST by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: jla
I have been with Verizon for a long time....I really like my LG VX8300....I have never had any problems with it and I like how it fits in my hand.

I get a great discount through my employer so check out any employee discounts....
10 posted on 02/26/2007 6:39:01 PM PST by Kimmers
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To: JennysCool

Bluetooth, imo, works sporadically, is a pain to setup, and your entire ear aches at the end of the day.

Plus, you look goofy.

I don't use mine, and have no idea where the earpiece is, good riddance.



11 posted on 02/26/2007 6:40:23 PM PST by Hilltop (?)
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To: jla
Motorola and Nokia are good phones. I've had both. Using a Motorola Razr at the moment. I like the form and the keyboard and screen. Newer versions have higher def camera than the one I have.

Most phones have built in speaker phone functions these days. The Razr's is good, but bear in mind we're talking a bout a small external speaker, so don't expect office phone speaker quality.

Also, most phones these days are capable of Bluetooth connectivity. Bluetooth is a short range wireless communication protocol. Mostly for a wireless headset, but also for PC connectivity (if your PC has bluetooth: syncing up with address books, calenders etc..) I highly recommend the wireless headset! You can get up to about 30 ft. from the phone - no wires! If your PC does not have bluetooth, get a phone with a USB connector for communication between the devices, and you can also charge the phone from that computer connection in addition to the supplied charger.

As for Verizon, I'm not too thrilled with them. They lock down their phones, and nickel and dime you for a bunch of stuff and technology wise they're pretty much confined to the USA. Personally I like GSM phones because you can get a SIM card for another carrier, particularly if you're out of the country. But that's just me.

12 posted on 02/26/2007 6:41:14 PM PST by AFreeBird (This space for rent. Inquire within)
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To: jla

Don't.


13 posted on 02/26/2007 6:41:17 PM PST by sine_nomine (The United States...shall protect each of them against invasion. Article IV, 4. US Constition)
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To: jla
Trac Phone. Contracts are rip offs.

A cell phone is a tool. Use it only when you need to. Don't allow it to be a leash.
14 posted on 02/26/2007 6:44:16 PM PST by ryan71 (You can hear it on the coconut telegraph...)
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To: jla

"Bluetooth" is the thing that has you walking around looking like a crazy person talking to yourself. If you're already a crazy person, well, it's good "cover". In fact, I think crazy people have started just wearing dummy earpieces so nobody'll know they're crazy.


15 posted on 02/26/2007 6:44:21 PM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: jla

Don't. Any other questions?


16 posted on 02/26/2007 6:44:26 PM PST by Beagle8U (Jimmy Carter changed me into a Republican.......R. W. Reagan made me DAMN proud of it!)
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To: jla

I've had some version of Virgin Mobile for about 4 years now. My new one (a year old) has internet, text messaging, and a camera.

I don't want to be tied to the damn phone like the young people, so I have a plan where I pay $20 every 3 months, adding more if I need it, such as when I travel. You can add thru the phone, so it doesn't matter where you are when you run out of minutes.

I don't want a $100+ cell phone bill, so this suits me fine. Most of the time I keep it turned off, anyway. It's for me to call out, not others to call in. I don't want to be that available to other people.


17 posted on 02/26/2007 6:44:42 PM PST by radiohead (They call me DOCTOR radiohead.)
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To: jla
"I've never had a cell phone, I've thought them frivolous. But now I see the advantages of owning one."

Just get the one they offer for free for signing up with them.
I have never paid for a phone with Verizon.
The camera phones really don't have very good pictures in my opinion.
Oh, being ables to read the phone number (of who is calling)`on the outside of the phone (before you open it to answer the call) is a really good thing.
18 posted on 02/26/2007 6:47:39 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (Never bring a knife to a gun fight, or a Democrat to do serious work...)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

Thank you for the toll free directory number.


19 posted on 02/26/2007 6:48:27 PM PST by Hilltop (?)
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To: jla
I used to sell service and phones a few years ago. All the major carriers.

Verizon for years has been one of the best. Ask your friends who they have and how happy they are.

Everybody has certain problems. NOBODY is perfect.

When you get your service use your phone in all the areas you feel you'll use it in. But if it works where you spend 90% of your time, or where you'll make 90% of your calls, you're good.

Lastly, phones change every few months. What was great last year, is generally out of date, and maybe off the market today.

For that there is Phonescoop.com they give you the lowdown on the phones out there. They give you the options available, and what they do. They also give you reviews.

When I was in the business, we used Phonescoop.com quite a bit.

20 posted on 02/26/2007 6:51:23 PM PST by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: Emmett McCarthy
In fact, I think crazy people have started just wearing dummy earpieces so nobody'll know they're crazy.

I am on record as wanting one just so I can continue my lifelong habit of talking to myself with impunity.

21 posted on 02/26/2007 6:52:16 PM PST by atomicpossum (Replies must follow approved guidelines or you will be kill-filed without appeal.)
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To: jla
Verizon has the most reliable signal in most metro areas per Consumer Reports.

Recommend you buy a Motorola Razr (unless you need a smart phone). They are pretty cheap now, about $30 or $50 with a contract, are very reliable, long battery life, speakerphone is good, slim profile to put in pocket or purse if you like (no need for a case, unless you prefer), and NO stupid antenna sticking out to catch on your clothes when you pull it out of your pocket. They have an internal antenna, and pick up signal very very well. ... Have other handy features: calculator, world clock, calendar, notepad, alarm clock, yada yada ...

Over 50 million plus Razr's sold worldwide and counting now. They're so popular 'cause they're a good & practical phone. The old Moto Startac was a great phone, but now I think the Razr is even better. My wife and I each have a Razr, and are both happy with them.

22 posted on 02/26/2007 6:53:05 PM PST by Babu
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To: jla
I got a Verizon razorphone(?). Fits in the pocket real nice, but it took me awhile to get used to the menu system. I hate the buttons along the side (all phones have 'em), cause I always hit one accidentally when I reach for it, sending the phone into some oddball mode. I also can't read the thing unless I fish out my reading glasses. I don't use any features that cost extra. The camera is next to useless, cause you can't do anything with the photos except store them on the phone...it costs extra to get them off the phone (as far as I've been able to determine).

Other than that, I like it :)

23 posted on 02/26/2007 6:54:51 PM PST by shorty_harris
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

*reference bump*


24 posted on 02/26/2007 6:54:58 PM PST by tomkat
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To: jla

I suppose that there's good and bad about all of them. Whatever phone you get will be obsolete or a piece of junk in 6 months.

I stated with AT&T got sold to Cingular. Switched to Verizon because it was suppose to have the best reception all over the US according to Consumer Reports (so much for that!)

As soon as I got Verizon in DFW TX, my reception quality got worse. I had to go outside my old studio to make a call, whereas with Cingular it was fine inside. But in upstate NY, my old AT&T wouldn't work at all.

What works in one place may not work in another. If you travel, this may be a consideration. Maybe Verizon is just no good in DFW TX.

I think they're all hit or miss or blue sky.


25 posted on 02/26/2007 6:57:08 PM PST by garyhope (It's World War IV, right here, right now courtesy of Islam.)
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To: atomicpossum

I think the state hospitals give 'em out when they cut patients loose. That way they have a better chance of not havin' 'em come back, you know? Maybe your insurance would cover it.


26 posted on 02/26/2007 6:57:20 PM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: ryan71
Trac Phone. Contracts are rip offs.

Not if you are ACTUALLY going to use it.

There is a time and place for pay as you go. But if someone is actually planning on using it according to their plan, the plan is usually the way to go.

But if the person only wants to use the phone for a short period, then getting in a contract is foolish.

27 posted on 02/26/2007 6:57:30 PM PST by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: jla

Always seek advice from experts. Now go find a teenage girl and ask her about cell phones.


28 posted on 02/26/2007 6:57:31 PM PST by Random Access
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran
OK... you've got my attention with the remote-over-the-cell thing. I'm no electronics wizard, by any stretch, but I always assumed (most) remotes to operate via radio frequency and that by sending this over a cell phone would distort the signal to the extent where this would not work.

So, now I'm off to the garage to do some testing! ;-)
29 posted on 02/26/2007 6:57:40 PM PST by RedCell ("...thou shalt kill thine enemy before he killeth you by any means available" - Dick Marcinko)
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To: Hilltop; jla
Well, Bluetooth works fine for me. A lot will depend on your phone and headset. It does work in the 2.4GHz band, so standing next to a running microwave or a cordless home phone base unit might cause some problems but otherwise, my Jabra BT500 works great; wraps around the back of the ear as opposed to those motorola ones that that look like you've got a black turd coming out your ear.

Pairing is really an easy process, and really only needs to be done once, newer versions of the protocol will make it even easier, and their working on upping the range from 30' to 100'.

It sure beats having a wire attached to the phone that gets caught on clothing or whatever, and a lot of states require a headset if you're using it in the car. If your phone supports it; voice dialing (saving a voice prompt for an address book entry) makes it easy to use, particularly when you're driving; have your hands full, or your phone is in your pocket, purse or where ever.

30 posted on 02/26/2007 7:00:44 PM PST by AFreeBird (This space for rent. Inquire within)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

bttt thanks


31 posted on 02/26/2007 7:01:38 PM PST by petercooper ("Daisy-cutters trump a wiretap anytime." - Nicole Gelinas - 02-10-04)
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To: radiohead

Ditto on the Virgin Mobile. Only accessory I bought was a charger for my car.


32 posted on 02/26/2007 7:03:40 PM PST by OrioleFan (Republicans believe every day is July 4th, but DemocRATs believe every day is April 15th. - Reagan)
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To: jla

I'd recommend looking at LG phones. They have a good product line across all the price ranges. I've had a LG VX6100 for couple years and it seems durable and has some good features.

I am on Verizon as well and my opinion is they have the best coverage in most areas of the US. This compared to a couple other carriers I've tried. I also have family members on other carriers who get much worse coverage and call quality on their carriers.


33 posted on 02/26/2007 7:05:03 PM PST by Fish_Keeper
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To: RedCell

I've got to see how this turns out. Ping me with the results please?


34 posted on 02/26/2007 7:05:25 PM PST by listenhillary (You can lead a man to reason, but you can't make him think)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

Thanks for the cell phone info. I tried the free 411 connection - it worked like a charm.


35 posted on 02/26/2007 7:05:38 PM PST by NilesJo
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran
Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk). Editor's Note: It works fine! We tried it out and it unlocked our car over a cell phone!"

Just tested this out several times -- It does NOT work. I repeat. It does NOT work!

36 posted on 02/26/2007 7:07:37 PM PST by Babu
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To: JennysCool

What 9t is, is a very short range
radio broadcasting capability, allowing
for, among other things, data tranfers
between your phone, and a wireless headset,
or wireless speakers, or snchinfg data
wirelessly between your phone and your
PC, (depending on your phones capabilities).


37 posted on 02/26/2007 7:08:15 PM PST by NickatNite2003 (From the Man from Hope" to the wife who snarls "Abandon All Hope!")
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To: jla

+


38 posted on 02/26/2007 7:08:19 PM PST by 100-Fold_Return (Buy High--Sell HIGHER)
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To: jla
Don't go the expensive route. You, or whomever, may not even like it, may not be used to carrying one, (and may lose it or drop it consantly)and may need that money saved to pay the bill if used too much.
39 posted on 02/26/2007 7:12:12 PM PST by Captainpaintball
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To: cripplecreek; jla

I don't use my phone much so I have prepaid as well. We use Virgin prepaid because we only have to add $20 per quarter to maintain the service and the minutes never expire. I run my phone for $80 per year.


40 posted on 02/26/2007 7:12:28 PM PST by pbear8 (Pray for our troops.)
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To: listenhillary; RedCell

See my post #36 -- our test just now found that we could NOT unlock the car remotely using our cell phones ...


41 posted on 02/26/2007 7:12:40 PM PST by Babu
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To: jla

I use the Bluetooth capability to transfer information between my phone and PC. I don't use a bluetooth earpiece. The USB bluetooth adapter for my PS was $30.00


42 posted on 02/26/2007 7:12:54 PM PST by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right)
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To: jla

I totally agree with the person above who said get whatever phone Verizon will give you for signing a contract. It has always worked for me with Cingular. The last time I renewed for 2 years, I asked about specials and got a Motorola camera phone for $50, with a $50 rebate. Can't beat FREE.


43 posted on 02/26/2007 7:17:40 PM PST by JustaDumbBlonde (America: Home of the Free Because of the Brave)
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To: Babu

I was pretty sure it would not work. We'll see if any one else trys and reports back.


44 posted on 02/26/2007 7:18:41 PM PST by listenhillary (You can lead a man to reason, but you can't make him think)
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To: mountn man; jla
When you get your service use your phone in all the areas you feel you'll use it in. But if it works where you spend 90% of your time, or where you'll make 90% of your calls, you're good.

I meant to put in that you have a certain grace period when you get your service, that if your not happy within that period, you can get out of your contract.

45 posted on 02/26/2007 7:19:26 PM PST by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: Random Access
Now go find a teenage girl and ask her about cell phones.

Won't work. She'd have to hang up to answer the question.

46 posted on 02/26/2007 7:23:19 PM PST by TChad
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

freaky


47 posted on 02/26/2007 7:24:54 PM PST by Enduring Freedom (what does al qaeda and bush have in common? caves)
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To: Babu
It does NOT work. I repeat. It does NOT work!

He left out that you have to say abracadabra at the same time. Try it again.

48 posted on 02/26/2007 7:25:13 PM PST by Joe Miner
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To: jla

Bluetooth is much more than a wireless headset.
I use it to connect my Palm TX to my GPRS phone for mobile Internet access. (The Palm has a much easier to use Internet interface than phones do.) I also use Bluetooth to transfer data between my phone and PC and Palm.


49 posted on 02/26/2007 7:28:13 PM PST by pjd
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

The *#06# (serial number) code doesn't work for me. It dials Verizon and the nice lady tells me to try again.


50 posted on 02/26/2007 7:28:34 PM PST by Keeper of the Turf (Fore!!!)
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