No. of Recommendations: 3
I was looking for a cellphone service back in February. I had never had one before but had decided the time had come for one because:

1. My pager (through Airtouch Paging) was OK but I needed to make calls now and then.

2. I could afford one, having terminated my home ISP. (I do it from work now, and yes when I'm off the clock.)

3. Airtouch offered a package for $25 a month with 60 weekday minutes and 500 weekend minutes per month. This was well more than sufficient for my needs. (Nearly 3 months later, it still is.)

I sprung for the Motorola StarTAC phone because of its small size, the keypad is protected when the cover is down, and I just plain like Motorola. (Nearly 3 months later, I still like the choice I made.)

Among the features I really like: on-phone caller ID with name cross reference if they're in my phonebook. So I can see who's calling before I decide to answer.

Automatic forward to voicemail (slightly extra per month) if no answer, I'm busy, or phone is off.
The plan also includes call waiting.

Here's some of the things I like about it all, some of them not realized until after I had the phone a while.

I don't need to use a payphone anywhere in 5 Southern California counties to call anywhere else in those same 5 counties. And there are no toll charges.

From Van Nuys CA, I can call Santa Clarita, Westminster, Blythe or Riverside, and it's just against the airtime for the month.

If I am ever stuck in slow traffic or running late, I can call ahead and let someone know the situation. (This happened to me at least 3 times in the past year; maybe it'll happen again now that I have the phone, so that I can know it was worth it for that feature!)

I chatted with my folks for 30 minutes last night (May 4th) while out for a walk in the neighborhood. I was burning up some of the spare minutes on the monthly airtime, which (for me) begins on the 5th of each month.

If I'm at the supermarket and it strikes me that maybe I need to buy something for someone else, I can call them while I'm in the store and see if they want me to get it while I am there.

I am aware of cellphone etiquette and I always speak normally into mine and have no trouble at all. But I have seen some others nearly yelling into theirs and being a big nuisance; maybe they need to get digital service like mine. Or maybe just turn up their volume? And yet I do not usually use mine at restaurants or where it could irritate other people.

And now I am already astounded how useful this is. I don't know what I'd do without it now.

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