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no contract cell phones

Posted by Linda V on 12/05/04 at 14:34 (165224)

time for a new cell phone and service. i really only need a cell phone for emergencies while traveling, and hate to lock into a long term plan at a high rate where they make me buy a phone with games, text messaging, etc. my question is...has anyone tried one of those pay as you go phones? what did you think? thanks...

Re: no contract cell phones

Carole C in NOLA on 12/05/04 at 21:22 (165244)

Hi, Linda! I'll be interested to read the responses you get to this post.

I only got my first cell phone three years ago, and took advantage of a deal that Verizon had at the time... No games or test messaging, but it does cost $30/mo for 400 free minutes (3000 extra night and weekend minutes) with no long distance or roaming charges if I'm calling from a Southern state. And, I got a cute little Motorola flip phone for half price.

I use the cell phone for all of my long distance, and it is great to know that I have it in the car when I'm traveling, driving at night, or even during the Hurricane Ivan evacuation a few months ago. But I've never become totally adjusted to using it on a day to day basis, and only my brothers and one of my friends have the number.

Recently I looked at the rates at various cell phone companies and they have risen dramatically! I'm still 'grandfathered' into my present plan, thank goodness. But Verizon is not contractually obligated to continue my plan indefinitely. I can sure understand the attractions of a 'pay as you go' plan phone, since that would save me $360 per year (less the cost of my long distance calls).

I hope you can find a pay as you go plan that meets your needs!

Carole C

Re: no contract cell phones

Kathy in Ky on 12/06/04 at 16:30 (165277)

We currently have Cingular cell phone service which works great for us with a teenager. But our first cell phone was a TracFone. You can buy cards from Walmart or online & get just the # of minutes you need. It was just used for traveling & in the car for emergencies. You can do a web search under Trac Fone or Tracfone.

Re: no contract cell phones

john h on 12/07/04 at 11:25 (165305)

I recently purchased a new car for my wife. Due to her various medical problems I purchased one with ONSTAR. What a great idea. I bet some day most cars will have this feature. There are three small buttons on the rear view mirror. One she can press for a medical emergency. Another connects her to the ONSTAR help operator who will answer any questions and give her directions to any where such as the nearest hospital,hotel, or whatever. If an air bag deploys ONSTAR sends the signal via satellete and your position is pinpointed to within a few feet. ONSTAR can dispatch help or ask you over the built in hands free phone if everything is ok. Your doors can be unlocked via satellite. You can run diagnositc test on your car via satellite. You can use it like a cell phone hands free and dial by voice. If your car is stollen it can be tracked as it moves anywhere.Amazing technology. You cannot add these features on your existing car but must be built into the car when manufactured. Most GM cars now have this feature available as do some other brands. Also has a satellite radio with around 120 commercial free channels. You select the type of music you like such as rock,opera, 50's,classical,etc.Also the several news or sports channels. CD quality reception anywhere anytime. Sure a step up from my 37 Dodge I usually had to push to start.

Re: no contract cell phones

Dorothy on 12/07/04 at 15:06 (165314)

John - see other note re. this post - but no kidding, this truly is an amazing thing.

My first car was a 1941 Chevrolet Deluxe which I bought for $65.00 in 1965 or 1966. Later I bought a 1950 Dodge(I think that was the year - it had a feature where you could drive either in manual transmission or in automatic; I think it was called 'fluid drive' or something like that, but it could be used either way. Pretty amazing technology, too, really. It threw a rod I don't know what that means, but that was the diagnosis and I like saying it; it sounds like something Phillip Marlow, P.I. would say....anyway, it threw a rod and for a long time, I drove around town clanging and banging like something horrible was about to happen. It kept me and my passengers in bad headaches all the time, but other drivers kept their distance so I had the roads to myself!) Then I bought a 1953 Pontiac in 1967 or 1968 for about $125.00. As my dad used to say of cars (he was strictly an Oldsmobile man), 'she was a beaut'). They all went the way of the junk heap for lack of money and good sense. It is the bane of my greedy little heart that I didn't keep those cars; I would be a rich woman today - I'm sure of it!! But as is too often true in life: you don't know what you've got until you lose it. That 1941 Chevrolet was my very favorite car of all cars I've ever had. With that one, you had to bang on the battery to get it started. So I kept a hammer under the driver's seat. I used to be a lifeguard and all the lifeguards would go out to lunch together. We had 30 minutes to grab a burger and get back to the pool. So this one day, I had a car full of lifeguards, all in swimming suits - and we wore our 'LIFEGUARD' sweatshirts and pith helmets cause we were being cool. Well, we got a burger near the city jail and as usually happened, the car wouldn't start up again - so I grabbed the hammer and all of us swimsuit-clad 'guards got out to 'work on the car'. All of a sudden the city jail came alive with catcalls, whistles, hoots and hollers coming from the upper reaches of the barred windows. We hammered fast and hightailed it away from there, but we were laughing to beat the band. An old boyfriend of mine bought a 1957 Jaguaur for $700.00 in 1967. Then he couldn't afford all of its maintenance demands and had to sell it - but OHMYGOODNESS what a car! The SOUND that car made was truly a deep growl. I loved it. Gone, gone, gone.....Ok, thus ends my cars I have known and loved reverie. None of them had ONSTAR (but I had a hammer!)

Re: Cars

Julie on 12/08/04 at 03:06 (165335)

In 1956, my penultimate year of college, I learned to drive and bought a 1949 Nash Rambler and drove with my friend Judy around the States - a great loop from Indiana up through Minnesota and North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana, out to the coast at Seattle and down it to southern California, then back through Arizona and New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas and Missouri, back to Indiana where I Left Judy and headed back for New York. The Nash looked like a pregnant banana, and that's what we called it. Its seats let down into a bed and we camped in it for ten weeks, dining off a board attached to the trunk that Judy's brother Mike fitted up for us. It let us down a couple of times - needed a new clutch in New Mexico and new brakes in Los Angeles (where we were visiting an uncle who owned garages and did it for us gratis). The suspension went shortly after we turned east, and we bounced gently over the great plains. It was a wonderful trip. I kept the Nash for a couple of years and then sold it to friends in Chicago - a poverty-stricken lecturer and his wife, a colleague of mine at the University Press.

I wonder what that car would be worth now if I'd kept it. It was dark green and I loved it - it was my home for ten weeks.

Re: Cars

john h on 12/08/04 at 08:43 (165342)

Ah yes Julie the Nash Rambler. I drove one for a short while. One of our early small cars. When I was in Iceland in 1955 one of our guys had some sort of car made in Europe. It would carry two people and was about the size of a large desk. It had one door which basically you opened the entire front including windshield. Probably had about a 35 HP engine. Made a lot of noise and could not have been much longer than 10 feet.

Re: Cars

Julie on 12/08/04 at 11:21 (165355)

I think that was an Italian job, John: the Isetta. The logo on the bonnet was kind of curly, and for years I thought its name was 'Fzetti'. It was very noisy.

The Nash Rambler was not a small car! Please! It was very big. Well, I thought it was big. But then I am small. Judy and I slept head to feet and took turns to be the one with the feet under the steering wheel. Ah, memories.