Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive January 2008:
Does anyone know anything about these type of phones? I'm interested in getting one to mainly to send texts and to use for emergencies. How much do these phones cost? Where can you buy these?
We had them for a little while till we realized we would save money using a plan rather than buying minutes all of the time.
You can get them just about anywhere! Around here, even Family Dollar sells them! But Wal-mart has many different pay as you go type phones to check out and you can get them from about $20 up. And then you buy the prepaid cards as you need them.
You can also buy them online at tracphone.com. You can probably see more pricing options there, too.
My son had a really bad experience with TracFone when he broke his phone, replaced it, and tried to transfer his minutes and keep his number. I have T-Mobile, prepaid, and no bad experiences. He switched to T-Mobile a couple of years ago and has been really pleased. My T-Mobile was a gift from my bosses with 1000 prepaid minutes, and now, 2 years later, I still have about 500 minutes left. At the end of each year I paid $10 to carry over the unused minutes to the following year. I think there is some minimum number of minutes you have to buy the first time around in order to be able to carry over unused minutes at the end of the year for a nominal fee - I certainly don't consider $10 to be a burden to keep the minutes. If you are like me and will only use the cell phone for emergencies and rarely otherwise, I would think a monthly service fee would not be what you are looking for. I have the basic Nokia cell phone - no bells or whistles. Scott has photo capacity and some bells and whistles, but he uses his cell phone for all phone communication and amuses my granddaughter with the photos.
Yes, Target, Wal-mart and others all have prepaid service phones and you buy a card to add minutes when you are running low (I've bought a couple of cards for my son and they are, according to him, easy to use). I just want to say that we have good experience with T-Mobile and one bad experience with TracFone (though I know others on this board swear by TracFone). I would check with neighbors and friends and find out who has the best experiences in terms of not hitting dead spots or disconnects in your area and go with that service if they offer prepaid plans.
Both my dds have prepaid phones. One uses virgin mobile (I had the same phone # a few years back when I used it) I have never had any problem with them. My other dd has a att go phone and it is great too. I have also had a verizon one in the past. I know a lot of people that have had trouble with tracphone in the past. Unless it is a lot cheaper I would check into one of the other companies..
We have prepaid phones through AT&T. It is waaaaaay cheaper for us. We don't use our phones for much of anything. Quick calls here and there. We were paying for tons of minutes we never needed or even remotely used. We reload them every 3months online. We love them! DH tends to have more minutes carryover than I do, so we take his on long trips so we can use his minutes instead of mine. It works out for us now that we spend about $25/mth on BOTH phones, versus the $70 we were spending before.
Never had any trouble at all with the phones themselves. Never called customer service. Just reload online when needed.
I hate tracphone. My thing would never load and talking to customer service was a pain. There is so much background nosie you can't hardly hear and on top of that they don't seem to be people who have English as a first language. I'm guessing outsourcing.
A co-worker has a trac-fone and loves it. I've never heard her complain of any trouble.
We have a regular plan through US Cellular. Gary uses his a lot. His friends and family usually call him on the cell and very rarely on the landline. My phone is more just for emergencies, since hardly anyone ever calls me on my phone. Emily uses it to call for rides home from school events. Sarah's phone is her only phone access. She has free landline service in her dorm, for local calls, but doesn't use it.