Pay as you go phone plans

20 replies [Last post]
Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Any advice on these types of phone plans? Whose work best in the most locations, that sort of thing. I may be getting a cell phone. Whoda thunk it!

__________________

Never judge a person's story by the chapter you walked in on.

 

IvyLee's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/09/2008

Until a few weeks ago, I had a Sprint phone for 'personal' use and ATT for my work Crackberry.  I found that Sprint had amazing reception everywhere (I once got a call in the Bowling Green subway station) and was fairly priced, but had horrendous customer service.  It was very difficult with Sprint to have any mistakes in billing corrected, and more than once I had my service turned off for bills that I paid weekd prior but somehow got 'lost in their system'.  The hassle of Sprint wasn't worth the reception.

My crackberry for work was on the Cingular, the ATT network.  The reception was so so in NYC, and throughout the North East.  many times when I was travelling, I hit dead spots, or could only get a faint signal not strong enough for data.  I liked the rollover minutes. 

I decided that carrying two phones was absurd and made me feel like a weirdo, so I dropped both Sprint and ATT for Tmobile which had a great plan, and so far the coverage has been great.  The Tmobile customer support folks have been great as well.

 

 

Offline
Joined:
05/30/2008

We have a Sprint family plan & brought it here from TX.  I do use my cell phone all the time, in fact have considered getting rid of the land line because of the issues with it.  What I like about it is that we can call Sprint-to-Sprint for free anytime which works out for the majority of people that I call on a regular basis, in addition to our immediate family.  I've never experienced static and all that with mobile phones, just an occasional dropped signal. 

I'm convinced that different carriers have better service and plans regionally so it probably depends for you up North. 

I guess I'm also used to using one all of the time because of my corporate jobs where it was a requirement Smiling

__________________

People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
~ Anton Chekhov

 

Offline
Joined:
09/22/2008

I have an AT&T Pay As You Go plan, and I use it for many of the reasons you want to use it, Bree.  We have Vonage at home, so we use that, as it's only $15 a month and I get everything with it free.  But when we travel, we need a way to make calls.  I just have our home phone forward to our GoPhone (it's free with Vonage to forward calls), so that way, people aren't always calling our cell phone, they can just call our house. 

I love my AT&T Plan. I travel for five days out of each month.  I loaded it with $50 to start, and the minutes last for 90 days.  There is one thing to note, however.  With AT&T, you can choose a couple of options.  One of them is a higher cost per minute, but there is no access fee.  The other is a lower cost per minute that they deduct from the value, but you pay a $1.00 fee per day of use.  In our case, the fee is worth it.  If we use the phone, we pay $1.00 from it, but then after that, all the minutes are at the lower cost.  So if you used it 10 minutes or more, the $1.00 saves you money.

I am in a fairly rural area and get coverage in most places. I've always had good customer service, as well.

 

 

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

We wanted to go with Vonage also. No can do. Verizon (FairPoint) won't sell them our exchange. Too many long-time guests have the phone number in their books for me to change that horse in midstream.

Offline
Joined:
09/22/2008

That's too bad.  Vonage has been wonderful for us, and I've heard of Verizon (that's our local landline company where we live, as well) has been difficult about transferring numbers. I believe that Verizon actually sued Vonage over the technology about a year or so ago, so maybe that has something to do with it.

My father swears by MagicJack, which is similar, but you only pay $20 a year, regardless. The only downside is that the computer needs to always be on for it to work.

 

 

Offline
Joined:
06/02/2008

The best service in the midwest is Alltel.  I had alltel for about 10 years but didn't use it very often.  They have a national plan.  There are many rural places here where it is about the only one with service.

I had Sprint nation wide for 2.5 years.  It was good, but if I got out of town or off the I80 corridor, I would lose service.  In fact when I went to my daughter's house on the edge of town, I would lose service.

I now have US Cellular and have not had a dead zone with it.The service is better than with either Alltel or Sprint that I had.

You have to find what works in your area for best service.  If you are using something for travel, then the tracfone might work well.  We had a problem with tracfone.  One night we still had 30 minutes left and the next morning, nothing and no one had used the phone.  So how do they figure the minutes.  We felt like it had been stolen from us. Don't know if anyone else has had this problem.

swirt's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/17/2008

We use AT&T (former Cingular) as a plan, not pay-go.  Has good coverage in most of the places we travel.  Rollover minutes are a GREAT thing.

If you are going to use it around town, check with others in-town to see which one covers the best for your area.  We tried Verizon for a while, but couldn't get good signal here at home so we went kept AT&T

Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

We have At & T and we can't get a "pay as you go" plan. We very seldom use the things..just have for safety sake and heck I have over 5,000 rollover minutes and lose at least 500 a month. I hate paying $85 a month for this as we don't use it. Is it called something special?? Maybe I can go to the AT & T store and switch??? I DOUBT IT!!! They will probably make us pay a penalty fee.Sad

swirt's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/17/2008

Our plan is 450 minutes a month plus nights and weekends and unlimited calls to each other.  Our bill for two phones is $60 per month by the time you include all the various taxes and charges.  I know you have to ask for smaller plans, if I remember right, the plan we got was not really advertised.

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

We have the lowest plan Verizon offers. We started off at $19.95 and it's been going up every year since with no added benefits.

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

PS Tracfones have all the same gadgets as the rest.  Caller id, voice mail, texting etc.  I encourage all of our overseas guests to buy one instead of paying OUT OF COUNTRY ROAMING FEES! 

If you USE a cell phone regularly get a plan don't get a tracfone. That was what I was saying, only one person has my tracfone #, well three since I was stranded going to GA that time.  But it is only on when I am gone.

__________________

"What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds." Will Rogers

 

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

The beauty of the trac fone is it used all cell carriers towers, so no matter where you go you will get a signal. 

PROOF: I am in the giant Redwoods in CA and mine worked, noone else's worked. Everyone was amazed.  I am not a cell phone junky, so the add minutes as I go works well.  It is for out of town trips for me.  In fact I am more anti cell phone.  IN CA they give out big fines for those driving with hands on a cell phone, so GOOD DEAL! 

GPS units offer hands free calling for cell phones, fyi. 

PS BTW I was in the Redwoods when Swirt was, I would have probably bumped into him, but I do not know what he looks like! LOL!

swirt's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/17/2008

I was the guy hugging the giant trees.  Sarcasm

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

swirt wrote:

I was the guy hugging the giant trees.  Sarcasm

Well I guess that sorts you out from all the rest aye.  nawwww

seashanty's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/02/2008

i have a trac phone

i love it.

no cell signal in port clyde, so a plan where i have to pay anything by the month is ridiculous for me. folks who don't live in a 'dead zone' just don't get it when i try to explain ... no cell towers, at sea level, no cell reception. 

the trac phone is i just prepay some minutes, i especially go for deals, and i only use it when i travel. the only thing is i have to remember to charge it before i head out because it is so infrequent that the charge dies. 

 

 

YellowSocks's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

A timely topic.  My contract's up on Thursday and I have until then to decide whether to keep it,  switch, or go with the pay as you go.

I've been using 130-150 minutes a month, but that doesn't count cell to cell with dh and my friend in Maryland, or evening and weekend use.

=)
Kk.

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

See, I don't like talking on a cell. Too much delay, too much static, too hard to hear. I call everyone using my landline.

Offline
Joined:
06/24/2008

I have heard that Sprint and Verizon have the best coverage but I have AT&T who claims to have the fewest dropped calls.  (but if that is the case, I sure would hate to have one of the others)

Bree, why go with a pay as you go instead of just getting a plan?  Calls are so much higher with the pay as you go and you constantly have to add to your account.  My younger sister has this type and it is a pain. 

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

The least expensive plan we can get with 'regular' cellphone service is $44/month for 250 minutes. We only go over that 250 minute limit on vacation. We don't use the phone. We need it to travel, but that's the only time we use it. The plan we looked at is $100 ($2 access fee, $.06/minute for calls, rollover minutes). With the amount we use the phone, it would cost us no more than $200/YEAR to have the phone vs the $528 we pay to have a regular cellphone now.

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

My DS has Sprint Nationwide - I think that is what he called it - that works all over the country. He got it when he was working consrtuction and could be going almost anywhere (and did). One day I got a package in te mail with a cell phone held together with rubber bands and a note telling me this was my phone (his old one) and this was my number and how many minutes I had, I am probably on my 4th phone now. I works most places - unless I dr v  beh nd a h ll and then it might go               . There are a few towns it does not work in here. We now have cell service all along the I-79 corridor, even into PA! It is lovely for checking the answering machine and calling guests back. I never would have gotten one on my own - now I spaz if I forget it. Added bonus is that Martin pays the bill, refuses to let me pay him for my portion of the bill.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.