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Prepaid or cheap monthly services

Discussion in 'Northeastern US Wireless Forum' started by DJ Uno, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. DJ Uno

    DJ Uno New Member

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    Since I need a phone for work (independent contractor, so no company phone) but never used my cell phone a lot, I'm looking for a cheap plan. All my friends seem to be paying $40/month or more, I just can't justify that much.

    A little background:

    I used less than 300 minutes a month when I had a cell phone, mostly in the 150-200 minute a month range - and for a while I didn't have a home phone (cell only). I don't foresee a ton of extra minutes for this job, they just want me to check in every day and be able to contact me (control :rolleyes: ).

    The job involves a lot of local travel from Rochester to Wayne and Ontario county, which may be expanded to the southern tier as well (Livingston, Wyoming, and Allegany counties).

    I've had Sprint, Nextel, and Tracfone in the past.

    Sprint had terrible coverage when I had them. It was especially bad in Wayne county (I lived there at the time), although this was over 5 years ago. I actually had a $22/month plan with them, but when the battery went on my phone it was $70 to replace it or get another phone and another (more expensive) plan.

    I have a ton of issues with Nextel. Their coverage was spotty both times I had them (boss men love direct connect - overrated IMO). Then there was the phones and the prices. I never have had more problems with a phone than the Nextel Motorolas. The $32/month plan that was actually $43/month was just the salt in the wounds.

    I USED TO BE a big fan of Tracfone. I didn't mind paying for the year and buying the $80 cards to get ten cents a minute (worked out to $20-30/month for me). That was until I accidentally dropped my phone less than a week after putting an $80 card on it and getting told that there was no way they would get me those minutes back. Now I pretty much refuse to go back to them.

    I considered other prepaid plans, but most seem to charge $1/day surcharge or some other charge to connect. Net10 looked promising, but the cards expire too quick for me to use all the minutes (plus the whole Tracfone connection).

    So, is there a decent cell phone plan out there for $20-30/month (after ALL the fees)? Or a prepaid that is actually set up for people who aren't despirate to have a cell phone (that is to say, cheap without a catch)?
     
  2. n2jtx

    n2jtx New Member

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    Location:
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    My Phone:
    Motorola V330 (Unlocked)
    Wireless Provider(s):
    T-Mobile, Rogers Wireless
    You could try a T-Mobile Pay-As-You-Go plan listed here. They have a 1000 minute plan for $100 that is good for 365 days. Works out to $.10/minute and you can refill as needed.
     
  3. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Agreed, just take Note that this Only works in T-Mobile Network and
    does Not roam.
     
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  4. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    T-Mobile is pretty much going to be your best option- they have monthly post-pay plans starting at $19.99 +Taxes/Fees. They have a two week trial period, so check out their coverage within those two weeks to see if they fit your needs.
     
  5. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Location:
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    My Phone:
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    AT&T
    T-Mobile PrePay $100 cards (as Mentioned by n2jtx)
    Good: Cheap, less then $10 a month
    Bad: Have to remember to refill account. Important call gets dropped because you are out of minutes or your minutes expire, bad for business. Also no roaming.

    Cingular GoPhone/Pick Your Plan $29.99 - 200 min, but no N&W
    Good: Has limited roaming and no contract
    Bad: is linked to your checking account, and if your minutes run out your checking account is debted and your billing cycle is restarted.

    T-Mobile PostPaid / Basic Plus plan is $29.99 w/ 300 min & unlimited N&W
    Sprint PostPaid / $29.99 plan 200 min & unlimited N&W

    I would go with either one of these post paid plans, just because you will be using the phone for business, and post paid plans are less hassle. Even though you had Sprint 5 years ago I would try them out again. A lot can happen in 5 years. And as Andy mentioned try both side by side using the trial periods.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. lilaz

    lilaz New Member

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    Location:
    central AZ mountains
    My Phone:
    Nokia 2126i
    Another option might be SimpleFreedom. They are prepaid, have national coverage with better non-roaming coverage than Tracfone (If you want CDMA rather than GSM). You can buy a 1 year card for $100, 400 min. CDMA coverage might be better if you work in hills or rural areas. Minutes are not stored inside the phone the way Tracfone's are. They aren't the cheapest but are very simple to use for a prepaid company. I use Tracfone, my husband has SF (mainly because he travels & loses things!). Neither of us talk much, just check in with each other on the road or call friends once in a while. He uses a flip phone - KX1 and it's been great for reception, clarity, etc. Had it since Oct. 05.
     
  7. jones

    jones Silver Senior Member
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    Yesterday Jan 1st
    VZW was mostly ANALOG Only.
    CDMA Network must be very congested
    in NY Metro due to Holiday free weekend.

    There were many places where its ANALOG only.
     
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  8. DJ Uno

    DJ Uno New Member

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    Thanks for the information everyone.

    T-Mobile seems the cheapest way to go. When I checked them out a couple of months ago, they never mentioned the cheaper plans. The biggest problem with them was when I checked their website for coverage it was lacking in a lot of areas I will be traveling.

    SimpleFreedom has good coverage, but the .25/minute will add up too fast.

    Sprint post pay may be the way to go, the coverage seems to be good. Again, they never mentioned the cheaper plans when I checked them out. What additional charges do they have?

    BTW - nice avatar budney...
     
  9. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Sprint
    You might want to check T-Mobile's coverage map again. They've added quite a bit of roaming coverage lately so they may have the coverage you need now. T-Mobile would definately be the cheapest way to go. They have one year contracts, cheap phones, and good plans.

    According to T-Mobile's website they have a plan for $29.99 a month that includes 300 anytime minutes and unlimited weekend usage. This plan is a national plan and has no roaming or long distance charges. T-Mobile calls this plan the Basic Plus. From your earlier post it sounds like this plan may fit you well.
     
  10. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    What do you mean by additional charges? If you are talking about surcharges & taxes it depends on your area. I would recommend going to Sprint's & T-Mobile's site and do some more looking around you will probably find what you are looking for.
     
  11. Lena

    Lena Member

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  12. Suliman

    Suliman Senior Member
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    I think I read somewhere that Sprint has a Fair & Flexible Plan that starts at 29.99 for 300 minutes. I have a higher minute plan but F&F is great in that you don't get hosed if you go over your minutes.

    Suliman
     
  13. ComicalMoodyDan

    ComicalMoodyDan Gold Senior Member
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    Sprint does have a fair and flexible plan that is $29.99 a month. The plan includes 200 anytime minutes with unlimited night and weekend minutes.
     
  14. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    I'm really ashamed with how Cingular handles their prepay Go plans. It is silly to over a plan with lower coverage than post pay. Not a good situation for visitors from overseas, or even US consumers that don't want post pay.

    They should come up with a better solution.
     
  15. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    I agree- in many areas the T-Mobile map now looks close to that of Cingular, but just with much, much cheaper pricing.
     

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