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Old 01-25-2009, 03:38 PM   #1
JVegVT
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But as it is, we just old-fashioned Ma Bell sort of phone service. Neither of us even has a cell phone. Boring. <g>

But we are hardly typical these days.
And here I thought Bill and I were the only people left without a cell phone! We're retired and just have no need for a cell phone, though it would be handy when we might be driving in the middle of nowhere and have some car trouble. But in the middle of nowhere we might not get a signal, either, so who knows?
--Judy M.

   
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:01 PM   #2
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And here I thought Bill and I were the only people left without a cell phone! We're retired and just have no need for a cell phone, though it would be handy when we might be driving in the middle of nowhere and have some car trouble. But in the middle of nowhere we might not get a signal, either, so who knows?
I think there must be quite a few of us.

To be honest, I suspect that if I saw a cell phone that really sang to me, that I would get one. But so far, no melody sweet enough to sway me.

   
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:34 PM   #3
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If you're not offended by a product intended for (and imo, pretty well designed for) a "mature" audience, have a look at the Jitterbug.

No camera. Doesn't play MP3s. Or movies. Or do texting. Or browse the net. Or much of anything but make phone calls. So there aren't a lot of features waiting to jump out at you and confuse things when you JUST WANT TO MAKE A CALL.

Got one for mom and she's quite pleased with it. After buying the phone, basic service is under $20/month.

   
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:47 PM   #4
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If you're not offended by a product intended for (and imo, pretty well designed for) a "mature" audience, have a look at the Jitterbug.

No camera. Doesn't play MP3s. Or movies. Or do texting. Or browse the net. Or much of anything but make phone calls. So there aren't a lot of features waiting to jump out at you and confuse things when you JUST WANT TO MAKE A CALL.

Got one for mom and she's quite pleased with it. After buying the phone, basic service is under $20/month.
I’m not offended by it; and Jack might like it. I am rather attracted to the gimmicks, but not at the price-per-gimmick level I have seen so far.

If I were a betting woman, though, I suspect I might fall for something someday. What puts me off is the need to marry a phone service for several years in order to play with a phone.

   
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Old 01-25-2009, 06:53 PM   #5
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What puts me off is the need to marry a phone service for several years in order to play with a phone.
Surely you can buy the handset you like and then shop around for a phone company? I can leave mine any time I like, but don't because the plan I bought three years ago is much better for my usage pattern than anything I can buy into now.

   
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Old 01-25-2009, 11:30 PM   #6
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You don't have to be "married" to a service contract for years or actually at all. I think it is about ten years ago when I first got a prepaid phone - this is the kind of cell phone deal where you have your own phone (either bought it from a phone company, or on eBay as I usually do); you subscribe to the prepaid service of a phone company (ATT's offering is called "gophone", google it for more details), give them 15, 30, or 100 bucks for "call minutes" as you see fit on a random or monthly or quarterly or yearly basis, and voila! you have a working cell phone, no strings attached. Now you are free to play with the features the phone you chose happens to offer (if you are adventurous as Kathleen seems to be), or you don't do anything but use the phone for emergency calls when, say, you have a flat tire, or you are in the store and can't remember what it was your husband asked you to buy. Don't forget: The phone can be feature-packed, it may offer intimidating options, but you don't have to use any of them!

I am on the third generation of phones now, simply because they became smaller and lighter and more versatile; this latest set of phones for example is now compatible with international communication protocols, I can take the phone on my trips to Europe, buy and insert a prepaid SIM (tiny chip card) at Frankfurt airport and use the phone for hotel/restaurant reservations, to communicate with friends (forewarning them of my imminent arrival and stay-over!), and I won't be stranded when disaster strikes on the Autobahn (no, hasn't happened yet, but ....). I even receive text messages from people who are not as clumsy as I am composing them. So you see, you don't need to be a techno freak to find some good uses for a cell phone. I think most people agree after overcoming their initial anxieties.
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:45 AM   #7
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Steve:

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If you're not offended by a product intended for (and imo, pretty well designed for) a "mature" audience, have a look at the Jitterbug
That's available here (UK) of course. I like this one though, which only costs £60, including VAT:

http://www.easytousephones.com/shop/...Q9&shop_param=

It's got a VERY LOUD ringer and a STRONG vibrator!

   
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:03 PM   #8
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Michael,

If that one had been availalble here, Mom would have had one two years or more ago.
That's exactly what I was looking for then and it's exactly what I was looking for when her current contract ran out.

No luck either time.

Unfortunately, our mobile phone companies seem not to have realized that we're not all 20-somethings.

To Puschkinsdad ... you can indeed ignore the features you have but don't want, if you're us. I'm an expert at it. <g>

But it's not so easy for a technophobic 87-year-old with arthritic hands. She needs a phone with BIG buttons, a big, legible display, and no spare buttons scattered here and there where she can accidentally push them, sending the phone off into some mode from which it won't make calls.

   
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Old 01-26-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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Steve:

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If that one had been availalble here, Mom would have had one two years …
Binatone is a Hong Kong firm and seems to do most business in Europe and, presumably, the Far East; but it has exhibited in the USA.

One of the reasons the elderly are not popular with makers of mobile/cell telephones and handys (Germany and, I've been told, Japan) is that they tend not to use them very often. My wife and I haven't got one (we are about the same age), and the only reason why we would consider one is if we often had to wait in the cold for a taxi; as it is, we wait until we get home to call anyone, and we never call anyone to tell them 'I'm in the train'.

   
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Old 01-27-2009, 09:19 AM   #10
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Steve:


Binatone is a Hong Kong firm and seems to do most business in Europe and, presumably, the Far East; but it has exhibited in the USA.

One of the reasons the elderly are not popular with makers of mobile/cell telephones and handys (Germany and, I've been told, Japan) is that they tend not to use them very often. My wife and I haven't got one (we are about the same age), and the only reason why we would consider one is if we often had to wait in the cold for a taxi; as it is, we wait until we get home to call anyone, and we never call anyone to tell them 'I'm in the train'.
Michael,

Binatone may've exhibited here but I've never seen anything like that phone in any of the mobile phone company stores/kiosks I've looked at (and for a few years I made a habit of checking every one I went by, hoping to find something just like this!)

I'm sure it's hard to sell all the extra service plans to the older folks, but you'd think a $200 phone sale plus a steady $15-20/month income stream for doing essentially nothing would be attractive. Phones that are never used won't tax the infrastructure.

I'd love to know how Jitterbug is doing here.

   
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