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Old 06-17-2010, 05:56 AM   #1
donmcc
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I'm thinking about getting one of those new-fangled telephone thingies, and want some advice.

I got rid of my land line a couple years ago, and good riddance. My office phone has served my needs. But I have 8 weeks away from the office coming up, and I'm thinking that sometime during that span someone will need to get a hold of me, and not be willing to wait for email.

So my question is, what should I do for a cell phone? Go cheap and scottish, and buy the low end model (I will only need about 20 minutes a month ... I don't use the phone much). Or should I get something more powerful that has web browsing features, etc.
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Old 06-17-2010, 08:24 AM   #2
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We have had several threads on cell phones recently, mostly about the U.S. I know things are a lot different in Scotland and in Europe generally, But you may get some useful information from these threads:

FWIW, my current notion (which may change at any moment) is to get a low-end, no-strings phone and then see what I feel like I am missing. But in the U.S. the onerous contract is what drives my caution. You can probably afford to have a bit of fun without being too extravagant.

Good luck.

   
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:41 AM   #3
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Some carriers may still offer phones w/o a contract, KT.
Or you could get one of those pay as you go phones just to try things out.

   
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg View Post
Some carriers may still offer phones w/o a contract, KT.
Like the AT&T Go-Phone? That is what our friends have, and it is on my list.
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Or you could get one of those pay as you go phones just to try things out.
That’s what I was talking about — like Judy’s in one of the earlier threads.

Just keep waffling. I like techy toys, but the long contracts make me pause, at least until I see how/if I will use the thing. For Jack, something plain is inevitable — engineer though he be, he takes no pleasure in computerized gadgets at all.

A friend lent us a GPS, and Jack likes that. Go figure.

   
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Old 06-17-2010, 10:28 AM   #5
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One of the problems with pay as you go cell phones can be that the prepaid amount expires even if unused, after a period of time, maybe a month, maybe 3 months.

Don is in Canada it would seem, like many Scots .... <g>

I gather from posts elsewhere that cellular service in Canada is somewhat ideosyncratic .....

   
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:29 PM   #6
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The more you spend, the longer you get to keep the minutes. KT's go-phone, for example, lets you keep them for a year if you buy $100 worth at a time. I'd swear I saw a plan that let you keep your minutes until you actually used them but darned if I can recall where.

   
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
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The more you spend, the longer you get to keep the minutes. KT's go-phone, for example, lets you keep them for a year if you buy $100 worth at a time. I'd swear I saw a plan that let you keep your minutes until you actually used them but darned if I can recall where.
I think Judy said the TracFone minutes roll over; not positive it is for forever (maybe it is if you keep adding money at specified intervals).

   
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Old 06-18-2010, 10:28 PM   #8
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I think Judy said the TracFone minutes roll over; not positive it is for forever (maybe it is if you keep adding money at specified intervals).
They do roll over as long as you keep your service active. Every time you buy minutes you get a three-month extension. Any minutes left over from your previous buy roll over into the extension. You can usually get a phone with double minutes for life (meaning the life of the phone). That cuts the cost of minutes in half. The more minutes you buy, the less cost per minute. They can go down to about 8 cents a minute if you buy a fairly large amount along with a coupon in the booklet they send you with the phone.

Because the minutes roll over, you can wind up with a large number of minutes to use in a few months' time. For example, I currently have 100 service days left and 738 minutes. We don't use the phone seven minutes a day, so will probably roll over quite a few in 100 days. Service days roll over, too. Say I bought more minutes tomorrow. The 100 days I have left right now would be added to the 90 I'd get because I bought more minutes.

You can also get their Value Plan, where you automatically get a fixed number of minutes each month for a fixed price. For example, you can get 100 minutes for $10 a month if you have Double Minutes.

It can be pretty hard to figure out the best balance between minutes, service time, and price. For some people, it's probably a better deal to get a traditional plan. I'd hate to be locked in for two years, though. Tracfone doesn't offer any smartphones, so if you want all those features, look elsewhere. My Tracfone can do limited Web access for things like news, weather, sports, movie times, Google and Yahoo searches, Gmail, Yahoo mail, Facebook, and some Web sites, but you don't have full Web access by any means.
--Judy M.

   
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:28 PM   #9
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I was judging by a spot check on the prepaid cards I saw in eg CVS and I did not persue it too much.

I think in the UK that prepaid O2 rolled over and you kept the phone number if you made one call in 90 days and that could be a text message.

   
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Old 06-18-2010, 12:53 AM   #10
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I'm still hanging on to my old phone because I like the contract terms. It's a PAYG contract except that I don't pay in advance. The first 3 mins of calls on any day cost 25p/min (about 30c) and it's 5p/min after that. Voice mail is free. They bill me every now and again and I generally pay about £4 a quarter.

Every so often I think of changing and getting a phone that has up-to-the-minute gizmos but I can't find anything that cheap. I've had the phone since 2001.

   
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