Pay As you Go Cellphones

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by blipndub, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. I'm in need of a phone and know that the plans are Trouble. Anyone use one of those pay as you go? Bout $.10 minute from what I can see on amazon - seems fair for a non contract situation.

    Any nightmare situations I should know about?
  2. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    If you talk a lot you'll be better off with a plan most likely. 10 cents a minute can get used up fast when you talk a lot. There are good deals to be had in plans out there with the phone thrown in when you sign up. The pay as you go is good if you only use the phone every once in a while.

    brad cook
  3. Well I'm moving out of my girlfriends house (bad year for girlfiends in Oly I guess) and would be using the phone as my main phone, not a lot of long distance but probably daily use.

    What regular plans do you guys like?
  4. canopener


    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    They're good if you have bad credit, too.

    ...But even if you don't talk a lot, the pay as you go minutes expire quickly (i.e. a $15 will expire in 15 days, $20 in 20 days, etc...something like that).
  5. O wow I didn't realize that the units expire even if you don't use them. I thought they were like regular calling cards you had a set number of minutes and it didn't matter when you used them.

    Thanks for that inforamtion
  6. My virgin mobile phone lets you have the minutes forever, but you need to top up (read: pay $20) every three months for your phone to stay active.
  7. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX

    If it's going to be your main phone then definitely get a plan.

    Everyone has had their good and bad experiences with various cell phone providers. I've had both Cingular and Verizon (currently on Verizon) and my experiences with both were positive. Some here though have had bad experiences with Cingular. T-Mobile has the most minutes for the dollar but I've talked to several people who've had bad experiences with them and in my area they don't cover a lot of places that I typically travel. Do some searches in OT for "cell phone" and you'll find several threads about cell phone providers. A couple of reasons I chose Verizon is that they have excellent coverage and they have the fewest customer service complaints to the FCC of any cell phone provider so I figured that going with them would lessen my likelihood of having a negative experience.

    brad cook
  8. Thanks to all. I'll do some searches.
  9. My Wife has the same thing. I have the Cingular KIC phone (a nokia 3595...nice phone) and I think it's a great alternative to a plan....

    then again, I don't have the stupid phone imbedded in my ear all day either.

    My phone gets me extended minutes after 7 & on weekends, and I never use it during the day, so...

    10 dollar cards get you x amount of minutes for 30 days.

    20 and up is good for 3 months.
  10. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    Damnit....I'm annoyed at how useful my knowledge from radio shack can be on these forums.....

    Ok, I highly recommend virgin mobile as far as pre paid phones go(I'd also recomend them over contract phones for people who don't use the phone a lot).

    Unless it has changed in the month since I left RS. Virgin mobile was 25 cents a minute for the first 10 minutes everyday and 10 cents a minute that day after the first 10 minutes are used

    In one day

    1-10 minutes = 25 cents per minute used

    11-rest of minutes in day = 10 cents per minute used

    Its cheaper than a pay phone.

    Customer service(I only delt with them 3 times) was very helpful. The automated thing is annoying because it tries to be cool, but just hit 0 on the phone or say operator(I forget which with their system) and you'll talk to a real person.

    Virgin mobile phones are also pretty cheap and come with $10(as of when I left RS) worth of minutes on them.

    The main reason I recommend them

    I repeat


    is that it is extremely easy to use. Putting minutes on the phone is really easy and fast. You type in one code on the phone and within 30-60 seconds or less, it's on the phone. If you have ever tried to deal with know it's a BITCH to add "airtime"(minutes) to your phone. Also, when I delt with tracfone if you had to call them, you were talking to some guy from india....who was just doing his job(I feel no need to go any further on that topic, you know exactly what I mean).

    I have only delt with Virgin Moble and Tracfone. Other services may be good, but I have no experience with them. I highly prefer and recommend virgin mobile of the two. I would definately, and may, purchase a virgin mobile phone in the future.

    NOTE: Some of the information I gave could be out of date...but it would be only out of date by a little over a I doubt it's out of date :D

    hope this helps....if anything needs clarificatoin just say...I've been drinking and forgot what the original thread was about...I'm just promoting virgin mobile...I should be paid for this...
  11. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    oh yeah...

    virgina mobile minutes come in $20, $30 and $50 increments.

    They all last for 3 months before needing to "Re-Up."

    VM also has a service which will add so much money to your phone once youre phone reaches $5. That seemed pretty cool to me.

    Ok...enough free promotion..... ok well I'm just trying to help out my fellow talkbassites mobile should still pay me...

    I'm gonna go drink
  12. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Dude....if you need a phone, I'll give ya one of my Nokia 3560's from AT&T/Cingular.

  13. Hey thanks for the offer Mike! You're such a stand up guy!

    When you said that I remembered that I actually have a phone laying around i had service for a year and then quite but I guess I can just restart service? Can you use any phone with any plan? Like I had Cingular but what if i want to use my old phone with Verizon, can you do that?

    BTW that Big Muff freakin' rocks! There's a sweet spot of butt thumping low end with just enough treble to give it some deffinition. It's the first fuzz that my guitarist (Bill Nash, you know him?) is like, "hey, use the fuzz on this one too!"
  14. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I think phones are locked in to a particular company but i don't know that for sure.

    One more thing you might want to do before deciding who to go with is talk to as many people as you can in your area who have cell phones. Ask them who their carrier is, if their satisfied, if they ever have problems and if they ever lose reception and where. It can vary by region.

    brad cook
  15. SirPoonga


    Jan 18, 2005
    pay as you go is really good for an emergency phone. Keep an unactivated card with the phone in case of emergencies.

    Minutes expire.
    When your phone minutes expire you have to reactivate, this gives you a new number.
    You don't lose minutes if you keep adding on just before exipiration.
    Most cards can only be inactive for 1 year from purchase.
    These are usually much more expensive then a plan, hence why I wouldn't use one as a regular phone.

    My mom uses one. It's a way for people to contact her while she is online (modem). Also it's her emergency phone.
    My boss gave one to his daughter when she went on a trip so she could call him if needed.

    Edit: Since I have experience with Tracfone I will discuss them. The nice thing about them is they work on top of other companies ssytems. You put in a zip code (which you can change at anytime) and your Tracfone's home range is whatever carrier is in that area that tracfone uses. For example, My mom lives on the northern boundry for home area when she puts in her zip. This covers the bottom half of Wisconsin and a little bit of Iowa and Illinois. If she puts in a zip code for a town a couple miles north her phone's home range is now the top half of WI, MN, and the UP. So when she goes on vacation up north she has to remember to change ZIP.
  16. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    my girl and I have used Tracfone since they came out. In the beginning they were bad, out dated, refurbs and a pain to refill. Now I buy a card from Walmart every other to every 3rd month (not the receipt codes like from radioshack... they ALWAYS give me hastles trying to use) for ~$30 (100minute, but I always get coupons for free 50 to 100 minutes on top of that) and add the time to my phone right at their website. Around here the phone ties into the Cingular network and I even have Cingular VM.

    [Disclaimer]I nor my girl talk on the phone to socialize. If we don't talk to people in the flesh, we talk to them online[/Disclaimer]

    I have issues with signal within my home (works perfect everywhere I go but my house :mad: , so I just picked up a Nextel "Boost" phone. it's a lot cheaper to use as I do. The walkie talkie crap is WAY expensive, and the internet is just silly (but not bad $$$ wise). I haven't set it up yet.. but I have some Nextel friends (sis-in-law works for them) and they all have reduced signal around my area but have full use of their phones. So I'm giving it a spin.
  17. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA

    Hey bro....glad to hear you are liking the pedal. It is indeed a great pedal.

    As far as those questions....yes, you can use prepaid cell service with any cell phone. I have two 3560's, and we have used one of them with a prepaid card when our son went out of town on vacation, and he wanted to have a phone with him. However, you can not use a cell phone from one provider on another.

  18. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Nextel has free incoming call plans now, and rated second by a hair lower than Verizon in DigMe's FCC report.
  19. UnsungZeros

    UnsungZeros The only winning move is not to play.

    No. Two reasons:

    1. Cingular runs on GSM, which means your old phone is a GSM phone. Verizon uses a CDMA network.
    2. Even if Verizon had a GSM network, Cingular uses subsidy locks to prevent their phones from being used on other networks (this excludes roaming onto a competitor's network and such).

    You could, however, restart your service with Cingular and use your old phone.