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Author: emma06 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 19378  
Subject: Cell Phones Date: 12/27/2006 9:13 PM
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A few years back I bought a Nokia phone from AT&T on the Pay as you go plan. That was fine until now. I really don't use the cell phone that much. But according to Cingular I have to buy a new phone because they will no longer support the Nokia phone which is a better phone than the Motorola C139, but that's beside the point. I have to buy the phone for $40 and also a $25 prepaid minutes card. I will get a rebate of $40 for the phone. It's not worth that much to begin with. New cost of minutes for local and long distance through Cingular will be .25/min.

Can I buy one of those prepaid cell phone cards at Sam's Club and use that with my current phone ? I really don't know how that works but they sell the cards and I figure if you have a cell phone you should be able to use it like the land type phone cards they sell.

I'm looking into going with TracPhone instead of Cingular and wonder how that service stacks up. Cost of minutes for local and I think long distance through TracPhone are .33/min. I'm not sure if they charge more for long distance calls.

Any advice ?

Michelle
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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10982 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/27/2006 9:22 PM
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A few years back I bought a Nokia phone from AT&T on the Pay as you go plan. That was fine until now. I really don't use the cell phone that much. But according to Cingular I have to buy a new phone because they will no longer support the Nokia phone which is a better phone than the Motorola C139, but that's beside the point. I have to buy the phone for $40 and also a $25 prepaid minutes card. I will get a rebate of $40 for the phone. It's not worth that much to begin with. New cost of minutes for local and long distance through Cingular will be .25/min.

I am allergic to Sam's, but I just oredered a new phone here:

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/rates/home.do

for which I will use the 18¢ a minute plan, no monthly fee, no roaming, and no long distance charges. I figure I will use less than $10 a month. But don't tell anyone. It's a secret.

cliff

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Author: emma06 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10983 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/27/2006 9:41 PM
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Thanks Cliff --

Once you get going with this phone how about posting back with what you think about it.

It looks like you can also buy the phones at Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy and Radio Shack.


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Author: emma06 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10984 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/27/2006 9:48 PM
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Cliff,

Just saw this as I reading through the website.

$5 Low Balance Auto Top-Up works great with 18¢ TALK
We'll automotically add $20 to your account whenever your balance drops below $5 or every 90 days, whichever comes first. That way, you'll always have money in your account — simple. Plus, you'll never have to worry about topping up every 90 days — we'll do it for you. That way, your service will stay active.

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10985 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/27/2006 9:58 PM
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$5 Low Balance Auto Top-Up works great with 18¢ TALK
We'll automotically add $20 to your account whenever your balance drops below $5 or every 90 days, whichever comes first. That way, you'll always have money in your account — simple. Plus, you'll never have to worry about topping up every 90 days — we'll do it for you. That way, your service will stay active.


Yup, it's a pre-paid plan. You have to have a credit card.

Actually, my missus has been using it, and it is as advertised, Saved her business some money, always a good thing.

cliff

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Author: DorothyM Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10986 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/27/2006 11:49 PM
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$5 Low Balance Auto Top-Up works great with 18¢ TALK
We'll automotically add $20 to your account whenever your balance drops below $5 or every 90 days, whichever comes first. That way, you'll always have money in your account — simple. Plus, you'll never have to worry about topping up every 90 days — we'll do it for you. That way, your service will stay active.


I have this Auto Top-Up with Virgin Mobile and it works out fine for me. They top up whenever necessary and I don't have to keep track of anything.



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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10987 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/28/2006 12:09 AM
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DW and I have had TracFones for a little over a year. We have been happy with the service. You buy minutes and they charge you one minute for each minute you use for local service. They charge two minutes for each minute you use in long distance service.

The thing I like about TrakFone is that they do not have their own network. They have agreements with the vast majority of other carriers to use their networks. Therefore we seldom have trouble getting connections when traveling.

Our primary purpose in having them is "in case of trouble." We use very few minutes. Our problem is that the minutes expire after a certain length of time unless you buy more. I always have minutes left over, but all in all the service costs me about ten dollars a month, which I think is hard to beat. I buy the yearly plan, so only have to take action once a year. (Of course since I almost never use the phone and the minutes, my per minute cost is high.)

Ted

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Author: arahfool Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10988 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/28/2006 8:12 AM
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I have used Tracfone for about 2 years. As previous posters have noted, their service is pretty good though somewhat expensive on a per minute basis. When my last annual card ($100 for 300 minutes) was due to expire I still had probably 100 minutes as I seldom used the phone. As I had decided to start using a cell phone more frequently for 'business' purposes I changed to their 'no expiration' plan that for $7.99 per month allows you to extend the expiration date of your minutes another month. I gave the phone to DW who carries it for emergency purposes. Of course the only 'emergency' she has experienced to date was locking her keys in the car, along with her purse and the phone <g>.

I am now using T-Mobile's prepaid plan. The phone I purchased was $100 though they had cheaper ones. For an additional $100 I purchased 1000 minutes good for 365 days. For my purposes it is the best deal I could find. No monthly fees, minutes can be added online or with the phone itself. Their 'service area' covers me very well. Highly recommended.

arahfool

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Author: tilnow One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10989 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/28/2006 1:24 PM
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tedhimself says: "DW and I have had TracFones for a little over a year. We have been happy with the service. You buy minutes and they charge you one minute for each minute you use for local service. They charge two minutes for each minute you use in long distance service."

We've used a TracFone for almost 5 years and are very satisfied. Ours only charges the 2 minute rate if you happen to be in an area where roaming kicks in (very infrequent). Ordinarily, long distance is one minute.

In our area, Cingular is the TracFone carrier. We have used TracFone across the Eastern seaboard and as far west as Michigan, with reliable results. We don't use many minutes, and I like the convenience of once yearly renewal with rollover of unused minutes. No additional taxes, fees, or contracts.

tilnow

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Author: emma06 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10990 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/28/2006 4:36 PM
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Thanks to all who shared their opinions.

I know what's bugging me with cell phones is that they have to be replaced after a few years. I paid $100 for my Nokia a few years ago and if I stay with Cingular they want me to buy a new phone. I'd rather switch to a different carrier and it's probably going to be T-Mobile since they seem to have the best reputation according to Consumer Reports. I was on vacation in Texas in November and my cell phone didn't work at all. Cingular is just a slight notch above Sprint, which is at the bottom of the pile in customer satisfaction. I'm checking with T-Mobile to see if they can unlock my present phone instead of me having to buy a new one.

Michelle

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Author: TwoCybers Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 10991 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/29/2006 8:39 AM
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Michelle there are two separate items/issues that apply to AT&T cell phones that are more then about 2 years old. Based on what you posted, I can not tell about item #1 below. Item #2 does apply to all AT&T brand phone purchased from the old AT&T wireless before it was purchased by SBC (about 2 years ago) -- Note - the old SBC changed its name to AT&T

Issue #1 - Analog phones. At some point in time that is sooner as opposed to years from now, the cell phone people will no longer be required to support analog phones. Since the number of calls per cell phone tower is much lower with analog phones, it is doubtful analog phone service will be continued. If your phone is analog, its value as a phone, even for 911 usage will be zero in the vast majority of the USA. (There may be some areas - I expect mostly sparsely populated rural areas - where analog service will continue.)

Issue #2 - There are a few parts to the issue -- but the bottom line is this -- when the old AT&T was acquired, everything associated with the systems for the AT&T cell phone systems was frozen. No new phones (only Cingular brand phones), no new calling plans, no new anything. Under the rules, most things could be extended.

2-a It may be AT&T (the former SBC) is now terminating some of the service you have been using. It may be you want to upgrade something or change something - that is not going to happen either.

2-b Most users don't know, but cellphones has a list or directory of cell phone towers stored in the phone. As new towers are added, these are not added to the directory in the old AT&T phones -- like yours. Where this gets problematic is if you are in an area where cell phone usage has increased significantly. Your phone does not know a significant percentage of the towers exist. So as you move from place to place you can easily move out of the range of the towers you phone knows about. This problem will only get worse with time.

Gordon
Atlanta

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Author: emma06 Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11007 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/30/2006 2:28 PM
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Gordon,

Thanks for a very informative post. My phone is a Nokia 5165. It's 5 years old. I believe it's analog/digital because it shows both signals on the display. I emailed T-Mobile and if I understand their reply correctly I need to have Cingular unlock the phone or remove the SIM card. T-Mobile will insert their SIM card and I can then sign up for their prepaid plan. I'm not sure until I take the phone to T-Mobil if my phone is obsolete. I still have a few months of minutes left with Cingular before I lose out. I like the phone and hate to throw anything away.

2-b is an eye opener.

Michelle

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 11008 of 19378
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Date: 12/30/2006 3:04 PM
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Hmmm. I happen to have a Kyocera K10 Royale which I don't use. It's about a year old. I got a new flip-phone instead.

The phone is here
http://reviews.cnet.com/Kyocera_K10_Royale/4505-6454_7-31476425.html

or here
http://www.phonearena.com/htmls/Kyocera-K10-Royale-phone-p_1216.html
or
http://www.amazon.com/Kyocera-K10-Prepaid-Virgin-Mobile/dp/B0007XJS7G

It may only work with Virgin Mobile.

If anyone is interested, contact me and we will discuss it.

cliff

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