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cell phones

Posted by Carole C on 1/13/02 at 09:34 (069851)

Someone was asking about cell phone plans a few weeks ago on this message board. I just got the latest Consumer Reports and they have a big cover article on cell phones. I don't agree with a lot of what they say, but it does talk about things to consider when comparing plans. I thought you might be interested.

Carole C

Re: cell phones

Nancy N on 1/13/02 at 12:15 (069862)

Carole--

Thanks for the info. I was the one who posted about a month ago. I did select a plan for myself after doing a bunch of research--CR had an article about a year ago and I read that for what value it still had. I'll check out the new one (my dad has every issue since the mid-70s, don't ask me why he keeps them all) for future reference. (So far, I'm pretty happy with the one I chose, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!)

Re: cell phones

JudyS on 1/13/02 at 13:54 (069870)

I just switched my cell phone company after using Verizon for six years. I had no problem with Verizon but, after all this time, it was time to upgrade both plan and phone. These days there are a myriad of very nice options out there. The most significant thing I found out while researching my switch was that there is, somewhere, pretty much a plan for every need and that's how I eventually chose mine. (Sprint - Costco had a great package deal with them.) I'm not certain that one company is any better than the next if they're reputable. In fact, I didn't even close my Verizon, I turned it over to my son after we upgraded the plan and the phone because Verizon offered a plan that was perfect for him away at college. My little bit of advice, for what it's worth, research research research. Be sure of what you need and what you don't need!

Re: cell phones

Janet C on 1/13/02 at 17:57 (069886)

I would avoid using cell phones, unless it was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. As a licensed Ham Radio Operator, I learned all about frequencies, and those (cell phones included) that can cause cancer. It is a very real threat.

Best wishes always ~ Janet

Re: cell phones

John h on 1/13/02 at 18:22 (069895)

I think tenhno geek Judy may have one of those internet phones where you can also get your email. I looked at one yesterday and they could probably replace a spouse and definitely be cheaper.

Re: cell phones

John h on 1/13/02 at 18:25 (069896)

Janet I worked with B-52 avionics for 4 years. I could stand about 40 yards in front of a B-52 and light up a light bulb with its radar. Wonder how much I absorbed over those years. You are probably absorbing more energy in front of your computer than you would from a cell phone.

Re: cell phones

Janet C on 1/13/02 at 18:46 (069899)

John, it's true that you probably do absorb lots of energy from your computer screen... but cell phones are praticularly damaging, because of the high frequency waves (above 900 MHz.), and the fact that you put it right up next to your brain. Many people have been ill-advised to use ear plugs, but they're even worse!

Re: cell phones

Carole C on 1/13/02 at 18:59 (069900)

Janet, I tend to think that you are right about the damage to the brain, though I'm not sure about the exact kind of damage and about the mechanism that causes it. Gabbing on the phone constantly appears to me to be a brain-deadening activity! And although one can take that as humor, I think there's some truth in it too. I've always thought that the brain is like a muscle; use it or lose it, and often one of the ways in which one can most prevent challenging thought is talking on the phone instead.

One thing Consumer Reports pointed out, that is true in my case, is that people tend to buy more minutes than they need on these cell phone plans. I have 150 free minutes and 2500 free weekend minutes, and I think the most I've ever used is 21 minutes total (and that's including my voice mail). I think I'm probably not in as much danger of deleterious effects as some people. Next time I'm going to sign up for fewer minutes and get a national plan instead of a regional plan, for the same price.

My Mom used to preach 'Moderation in all things!' and actually I suppose she was right.

I really really hope these posts are making sense, since I'm slightly high from the codeine prescribed to me for my toothache. If not, my apologies.

Carole C

Re: cell phones

Nancy N on 1/13/02 at 19:32 (069907)

Consumer Reports is totally right about buying more minutes than you need. But I found that most plans cost about the same amount, and the service you can get for that $30 or so varies greatly. I know I have more minutes than I need (I have Sprint's cheapest plan), but I also get nationwide coverage (free long distance), which isn't the case with other plans for the same cost. And I knew when I bought the phone that the only way to justify the cost was to use the cell phone for most of my long distance calls (prior to this phone, I had a prepaid plan so I could just use it for emergencies). I got a headset for those calls so that I don't have to have the phone next to my head all the time, for the reasons that Janet mentions. My phone bill should be much lower now since I have not used my land-line to make any long distance calls since December.

Re: cell phones

Nancy N on 1/13/02 at 20:21 (069915)

Consumer Reports is totally right about buying more minutes than you need. But I found that most plans cost about the same amount, and the service you can get for that $30 or so varies greatly. I know I have more minutes than I need (I have Sprint's cheapest plan), but I also get nationwide coverage (free long distance), which isn't the case with other plans for the same cost. And I knew when I bought the phone that the only way to justify the cost was to use the cell phone for most of my long distance calls (prior to this phone, I had a prepaid plan so I could just use it for emergencies). I got a headset for those calls so that I don't have to have the phone next to my head all the time, for the reasons that Janet mentions. My phone bill should be much lower now since I have not used my land-line to make any long distance calls since December.

Re: cell phones

Carol C on 1/13/02 at 22:21 (069930)

I have a Powertel/Voicestream Cell Phone and the plan I have includes
600 anytime minutes and 3000 weekend minutes for $40 per month. This
includes free nationwide long distance. The only reason that I continue
to have a home land line is for computer connections. My home phone runs
$26.27 a month and no more. My cell phone includes features such as
caller ID and call waiting, call logs, call timers, and many features
that my home phone charaged extra for. I have NEVER used all or anywhere
near all of my minutes, but it is nice to have them if the need arises.
(And by the way---I work for a Phone Company (CLEC) so, I am provided
with a certian amount of free long distance service on my home phone.)
I can talk forever and never use all my time.

Re: cell phones

Nancy N on 1/13/02 at 12:15 (069862)

Carole--

Thanks for the info. I was the one who posted about a month ago. I did select a plan for myself after doing a bunch of research--CR had an article about a year ago and I read that for what value it still had. I'll check out the new one (my dad has every issue since the mid-70s, don't ask me why he keeps them all) for future reference. (So far, I'm pretty happy with the one I chose, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!)

Re: cell phones

JudyS on 1/13/02 at 13:54 (069870)

I just switched my cell phone company after using Verizon for six years. I had no problem with Verizon but, after all this time, it was time to upgrade both plan and phone. These days there are a myriad of very nice options out there. The most significant thing I found out while researching my switch was that there is, somewhere, pretty much a plan for every need and that's how I eventually chose mine. (Sprint - Costco had a great package deal with them.) I'm not certain that one company is any better than the next if they're reputable. In fact, I didn't even close my Verizon, I turned it over to my son after we upgraded the plan and the phone because Verizon offered a plan that was perfect for him away at college. My little bit of advice, for what it's worth, research research research. Be sure of what you need and what you don't need!

Re: cell phones

Janet C on 1/13/02 at 17:57 (069886)

I would avoid using cell phones, unless it was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. As a licensed Ham Radio Operator, I learned all about frequencies, and those (cell phones included) that can cause cancer. It is a very real threat.

Best wishes always ~ Janet

Re: cell phones

John h on 1/13/02 at 18:22 (069895)

I think tenhno geek Judy may have one of those internet phones where you can also get your email. I looked at one yesterday and they could probably replace a spouse and definitely be cheaper.

Re: cell phones

John h on 1/13/02 at 18:25 (069896)

Janet I worked with B-52 avionics for 4 years. I could stand about 40 yards in front of a B-52 and light up a light bulb with its radar. Wonder how much I absorbed over those years. You are probably absorbing more energy in front of your computer than you would from a cell phone.

Re: cell phones

Janet C on 1/13/02 at 18:46 (069899)

John, it's true that you probably do absorb lots of energy from your computer screen... but cell phones are praticularly damaging, because of the high frequency waves (above 900 MHz.), and the fact that you put it right up next to your brain. Many people have been ill-advised to use ear plugs, but they're even worse!

Re: cell phones

Carole C on 1/13/02 at 18:59 (069900)

Janet, I tend to think that you are right about the damage to the brain, though I'm not sure about the exact kind of damage and about the mechanism that causes it. Gabbing on the phone constantly appears to me to be a brain-deadening activity! And although one can take that as humor, I think there's some truth in it too. I've always thought that the brain is like a muscle; use it or lose it, and often one of the ways in which one can most prevent challenging thought is talking on the phone instead.

One thing Consumer Reports pointed out, that is true in my case, is that people tend to buy more minutes than they need on these cell phone plans. I have 150 free minutes and 2500 free weekend minutes, and I think the most I've ever used is 21 minutes total (and that's including my voice mail). I think I'm probably not in as much danger of deleterious effects as some people. Next time I'm going to sign up for fewer minutes and get a national plan instead of a regional plan, for the same price.

My Mom used to preach 'Moderation in all things!' and actually I suppose she was right.

I really really hope these posts are making sense, since I'm slightly high from the codeine prescribed to me for my toothache. If not, my apologies.

Carole C

Re: cell phones

Nancy N on 1/13/02 at 19:32 (069907)

Consumer Reports is totally right about buying more minutes than you need. But I found that most plans cost about the same amount, and the service you can get for that $30 or so varies greatly. I know I have more minutes than I need (I have Sprint's cheapest plan), but I also get nationwide coverage (free long distance), which isn't the case with other plans for the same cost. And I knew when I bought the phone that the only way to justify the cost was to use the cell phone for most of my long distance calls (prior to this phone, I had a prepaid plan so I could just use it for emergencies). I got a headset for those calls so that I don't have to have the phone next to my head all the time, for the reasons that Janet mentions. My phone bill should be much lower now since I have not used my land-line to make any long distance calls since December.

Re: cell phones

Nancy N on 1/13/02 at 20:21 (069915)

Consumer Reports is totally right about buying more minutes than you need. But I found that most plans cost about the same amount, and the service you can get for that $30 or so varies greatly. I know I have more minutes than I need (I have Sprint's cheapest plan), but I also get nationwide coverage (free long distance), which isn't the case with other plans for the same cost. And I knew when I bought the phone that the only way to justify the cost was to use the cell phone for most of my long distance calls (prior to this phone, I had a prepaid plan so I could just use it for emergencies). I got a headset for those calls so that I don't have to have the phone next to my head all the time, for the reasons that Janet mentions. My phone bill should be much lower now since I have not used my land-line to make any long distance calls since December.

Re: cell phones

Carol C on 1/13/02 at 22:21 (069930)

I have a Powertel/Voicestream Cell Phone and the plan I have includes
600 anytime minutes and 3000 weekend minutes for $40 per month. This
includes free nationwide long distance. The only reason that I continue
to have a home land line is for computer connections. My home phone runs
$26.27 a month and no more. My cell phone includes features such as
caller ID and call waiting, call logs, call timers, and many features
that my home phone charaged extra for. I have NEVER used all or anywhere
near all of my minutes, but it is nice to have them if the need arises.
(And by the way---I work for a Phone Company (CLEC) so, I am provided
with a certian amount of free long distance service on my home phone.)
I can talk forever and never use all my time.