Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Totally off-topic: trying to choose a cell phone/plan

Posted by Nancy N on 12/07/01 at 21:44 (066493)

Hello all. I have been wracking my brain trying to decide on a new cell phone/calling plan since Thanksgiving, when I discovered that my neat little Prepaid plan was going to cut its expiration time for new minutes in half (had been 3 months, now it's 45 days). At this rate, what's the point doing prepaid? So I am out in the murky waters of the 'regular' wireless world, trying to figure it all out. And I have decided that I would rather deal with a slimy used car salesman--at least I know what all those numbers mean!!

Anyway, I don't want to get Scott in trouble here so I won't name any companies, but if any of you have had experiences you think are worth sharing, let me know. I think I have decided on a carrier, and now I just have to decide on the phone--but I am still open to suggestion!! Feel free to email me if we shouldn't name names. (I am putting my email address in the email line, but am not sure if it will show up in the post, so this will be a trial effort!)

Thanks!

Nancy

Re: Totally off-topic: trying to choose a cell phone/plan

Carole C on 12/08/01 at 06:59 (066501)

Nancy, I just did the same thing last summer and you are right! It's not easy. It's incredibly complex! Be SURE to read the fine print. I had never even used a cell phone, but thought that since I am living in the 21st century now I should at least join the 20th century! Now I am. LOL

What I did was first, try to decide how I would be using the cell phone.

You need to think of what your needs are for the cell phone. Would you ever want to use it when you travel? If so, would that travel just be in your local area, or far away? Will you want to access your e-mail through a laptop and PDA? Can you schedule most of your long calls on the weekend? How much time will you really spend on the phone? and so on. Use the answers to these questions to help you decide what you need in a plan. Roaming fees apply on some plans if you call from outside your local area, and they are additional and not the same as long distance fees. So, you can have free long distance but still have to pay if you call from the wrong place.

What about voice mail, and caller ID, and so on? These vary from plan to plan. Personally I was surprised to find out that I hate voicemail because strangers call up, and even though they hear my name on the message I recorded, they will talk and ramble on and fill up my voicemail storage either innocently or else as a prank.

For me, the best plan was one that I found on Vxxxxxx. I have been very pleased with my plan and with their service. Even if I change plans (which I am considering) I will stay with them. They have a local office, so there are human beings I can talk to, which is sometimes helpful. I have no other experiences with cell phones, so other companies might be good too.

I also got a cute little flip phone from them that I like, that can do anything imaginable and more, and the incentives included free accessories to use it 'hands free' in the car, and to plug it into my car's lighter, if I am on the road. This is so convenient today, for example, when I am driving to see Bobbie who lives 100 miles west of here. My phone is charged up but not totally, but I can plug it into my lighter when I get in the car. On the way, we can keep in touch, so that he knows when to start getting ready. Also it keeps either of us from having to wait very long at the restaurant where we will meet. Each plan has certain phones that will work with it, so make sure the plans you are considering have a phone you like. It's easiest to order the phone with the plan, because then it comes already programmed for that company.

Feel free to e-mail me if you want more specifics about my particular plan or cell phone company. My e-mail is on this response so I think it will probably show up when the response is automatically sent to your e-mail address.

Carole

Re: Totally off-topic: trying to choose a cell phone/plan

Necee on 12/11/01 at 15:17 (066736)

Hi Nancy,
Well yes trying to decide which carrier to use can be rather confusing.
First I would make sure you understand what is included in your local calling area. When I got my phone over 2 years ago, I wanted it for emergency use only and to use at our farm on weekends. I found a plan at that time that suited my needs, I had unlimited weekends, but not much weekday minutes. That worked out great at the time but now since rate plans are getting more competitive and since I find myself wanting to use my phone more through the week, I upgraded my rate plan. I get 3,000 weeknight and weekend minutes, but now I also get free roaming and free long distance, which includes all of the state of Texas now, along with New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisianna. Before when I would travel outside my calling area the rates were rediculous, and now I don't have to worry about that.
So my advice to you would be to read the small print, always check your statement when it comes in, I have caught many mistakes that way,and make sure you know what your local calling area includes.
Another bit of advice...get one of those leather protective covers for your phone! I've dropped mine I don't know how many times and if I didn't have one of those covers it would have cracked all to pieces.
Happy Trails
Necee

Re: Totally off-topic: trying to choose a cell phone/plan

Carole C on 12/08/01 at 06:59 (066501)

Nancy, I just did the same thing last summer and you are right! It's not easy. It's incredibly complex! Be SURE to read the fine print. I had never even used a cell phone, but thought that since I am living in the 21st century now I should at least join the 20th century! Now I am. LOL

What I did was first, try to decide how I would be using the cell phone.

You need to think of what your needs are for the cell phone. Would you ever want to use it when you travel? If so, would that travel just be in your local area, or far away? Will you want to access your e-mail through a laptop and PDA? Can you schedule most of your long calls on the weekend? How much time will you really spend on the phone? and so on. Use the answers to these questions to help you decide what you need in a plan. Roaming fees apply on some plans if you call from outside your local area, and they are additional and not the same as long distance fees. So, you can have free long distance but still have to pay if you call from the wrong place.

What about voice mail, and caller ID, and so on? These vary from plan to plan. Personally I was surprised to find out that I hate voicemail because strangers call up, and even though they hear my name on the message I recorded, they will talk and ramble on and fill up my voicemail storage either innocently or else as a prank.

For me, the best plan was one that I found on Vxxxxxx. I have been very pleased with my plan and with their service. Even if I change plans (which I am considering) I will stay with them. They have a local office, so there are human beings I can talk to, which is sometimes helpful. I have no other experiences with cell phones, so other companies might be good too.

I also got a cute little flip phone from them that I like, that can do anything imaginable and more, and the incentives included free accessories to use it 'hands free' in the car, and to plug it into my car's lighter, if I am on the road. This is so convenient today, for example, when I am driving to see Bobbie who lives 100 miles west of here. My phone is charged up but not totally, but I can plug it into my lighter when I get in the car. On the way, we can keep in touch, so that he knows when to start getting ready. Also it keeps either of us from having to wait very long at the restaurant where we will meet. Each plan has certain phones that will work with it, so make sure the plans you are considering have a phone you like. It's easiest to order the phone with the plan, because then it comes already programmed for that company.

Feel free to e-mail me if you want more specifics about my particular plan or cell phone company. My e-mail is on this response so I think it will probably show up when the response is automatically sent to your e-mail address.

Carole

Re: Totally off-topic: trying to choose a cell phone/plan

Necee on 12/11/01 at 15:17 (066736)

Hi Nancy,
Well yes trying to decide which carrier to use can be rather confusing.
First I would make sure you understand what is included in your local calling area. When I got my phone over 2 years ago, I wanted it for emergency use only and to use at our farm on weekends. I found a plan at that time that suited my needs, I had unlimited weekends, but not much weekday minutes. That worked out great at the time but now since rate plans are getting more competitive and since I find myself wanting to use my phone more through the week, I upgraded my rate plan. I get 3,000 weeknight and weekend minutes, but now I also get free roaming and free long distance, which includes all of the state of Texas now, along with New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisianna. Before when I would travel outside my calling area the rates were rediculous, and now I don't have to worry about that.
So my advice to you would be to read the small print, always check your statement when it comes in, I have caught many mistakes that way,and make sure you know what your local calling area includes.
Another bit of advice...get one of those leather protective covers for your phone! I've dropped mine I don't know how many times and if I didn't have one of those covers it would have cracked all to pieces.
Happy Trails
Necee