OT Any cell phone advice?

Hey guys (and gals)
I'm giving a little thought to buying a cell phone. I have absolutely no knowledge of how they work, what kind of deal I might expect, like that.
It would likely receive precious little use, more or less for the rare occasion when we might be traveling, or away from home for the day. We're pretty much home bodies, rarely gone. Any advice for someone like us?
Thanks,
Harold
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On Thu, 13 May 2004 20:46:51 -0700, "Harold & Susan Vordos"

I'm sure you will get better advice than I can give but I'll go ahead anyway. :o) I'm like you. I have a cell phone to use only when I got out of town. Since I didn't want to pay a monthly charge I got a trac phone. The phone itself is a Nokia and I pay for a certain amount of time. You get different amts of minutes for different prices. It's prepaid. You can get less but, since I have a receipt in front of me here I can tell you that 150 minutes cost $39.99 but you can buy less and there are often "deals". The disadvantage to this way of having a cell phone is that you have "X" number of days to use your minutes. They don't expire but if you don't use them in the allotted time you have to get a new phone # (I think that's what happens - I've never let mine expire). I finally bought a bunch of minutes (300, I think) which will keep me good for a year. The phone keeps track for you as to how many minutes you have left and when you have to re-up. I don't even know my phone # as I don't want anyone to call me on it. It's strictly for my use in an emergency on the road. I keep it in a drawer at home the rest of the time. Now, my daughter, on the other hand, does use my minutes as she doesn't have a cell either so she uses it when she goes out of town, too. I think she may even know the number. :o) They sell these phones at Wal*Mart and Radio Shack. Sue

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wrote:

Yes, I was also thinking of the various prepaid services. If you are really going to just use a few minutes per month, then compare on the basis of coverage area and expiration time of your minutes. A used phone might work just fine.
Another important detail is that if you really only need a cellphone for true emergencies, you don't need to subscribe to anything. "911" works even for non-subscribers in the USA. Many organizations collect used cellphones, check them out, and distribute them to elders for just that purpose.
Vaughn
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"Vaughn" wrote: (clip) Another important detail is that if you really only need a cellphone for true emergencies, you don't need to subscribe to anything. "911" works even for non-subscribers in the USA (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^ A "true emergency" is one requiring lights and sirens. It does not include many serious situations which occur much more frequently: flat tires, engine breakdown, lost keys, late to appointments, can't find address, "Where are you, I've been waiting quite a while."
Most of the people I know who start out with minimal service for "emergency only" begin to discover how handy the phone is in general, and gradually increase their use. Fortunately, any contract can be upgraded if you are willing to pay a little more.
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no
Not that its gonna be of any help, but heres a little story.....
=My son got a cell phone a couple years ago and I saw it laying on the counter one day, so out of curiosity I picked it up.....
I turned on the power to it and pressed a button or two, trying to figure out how tha darned thing is sposed to work....then I notice the darned thing is apparently dialing out......
So there I am frantically trying to figure out how to turn the danged thing off, not having the foggiest notion what number it was dialing, when my own phone ( Land Line ) starts ringing......rings about three times so I figure I better quit fiddling with that stupid cell and answer my own danged phone......
Doh!!!
Musta been some telemarketer, else maybe I was calling myself I guess--cause there was nobody there when I answered......
I finally got that cell phone turned off--and I havent touched one em ever since.
<G>
--

SVL







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Ha ha. Got that one beat - this morning I showed up at work, and the message light was blinking. There was an endless message from my wife, who had eaten out with my parents last night.
The message was a continous replay of the night's conclusion, as heard from inside her purse. I think I'm on her speed dial or something....
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================
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My brother had his new cell phone for a couple of days when the Sheriff's department called him on it. The dispatcher asked if he had a new cell phone. He said the department had gotten several emergency calls from his number and nobody was on the line. He asked if it was set up to dial 911 by simply dialing "9" ...........
--
Randy Replogle (Central Indiana)

email address is legit
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vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!: uncap my header address to reply via email
hmmmm. I was with a "company' of people (?).
One of them sat on their phone one day after a business meeting, and luckily it was one of _our_ phones that could listen to their discussion of the "dickheads" they had just met with.
Score zero for one-touch-dialing. Score infinoity for Keylock.

Sometimes in a workplace you find snot on the wall of the toilet cubicles. You feel "What sort of twisted child would do this?"....the internet seems full of them. It's very sad
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    Greetings and Salutations...
wrote:

    Yea...that is one reason why I insisted on a "flip" or "clamshell" phone. For those of us that don't have a slick, belt clip it is too easy to call folks randomly. I had a couple of friends that ran into that problem.     Actually, I got an amusing story yesterday about that. While I was being towed back to the shop (another long story), I was chatting with the driver, and, we got on the subject of cell phones. He said he had really dodged the bullet the other day and proceeded to explain. He had picked up this woman's car and was taking her home, and, as they were talking, apparently she was taken with him enough that she propositioned him. Although, like most of us guys, he certainly thought about it for a moment, good sense kicked in and he said that he really thought that his wife would not appreciate him taking up her offer. Well, seems that he had his cell phone in his shirt pocket, and because it was one of the "standard", non-folding types, it had, at some point in the conversation, redialed the last number he called - his home number! After he dropped his tow off, he was going to call home again and see about what groceries to pick up (it was the last tow of the day). Well, he was surprised to see the timer ticking along at about 28 minutes. He put the phone to his ear and said "hello? Is anyone there?". He was surprised, to say the least, to hear his wife say "the ONLY reason you are coming home tonight is that you gave the RIGHT answer to that B**ch!".     So...get a folding phone..or always remember to give the correct answer to questions, as someone might be listening.     Regards     Dave Mundt
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Heh. I think I might have been greeted at home with a bit more of a welcome than that, if it had been me. Sounds like he might well consider tossing the cell phone and giving that lady another tow.
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================
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I hope that tow truck operator didn't feel too flattered by that proposition.
Considering what the last tow job I got cost me, I can well understand what that lady was up to...
Jeff
--

Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"If you can smile when things are going wrong, you've thought of someone
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Heh.....
If your gonna get screwed anyways, ya might as well try and enjoy it ???
--

SVL






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wrote:

Get that from Junior quite often, he even forgets the thing is in his pocket and I think he hits speed dial when he scratches. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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On Thu, 13 May 2004 20:46:51 -0700, "Harold & Susan Vordos"

Digital gives excellent communication in limited ares, Analog has wider coverage with slightly lower quality. I use an older Nokia 6188 which is dual mode and am quite happy with it. I use the pay and talk plan which costs me ten dollars for 30 minutes which expires after 29 days if not renewed - it is supposed to be 30 days but the thirtieth day becomes day one of the renewal. I use it very little, actually it is a security blanket for SWMBO and we have close to 600 minutes available. You may have a hard time finding a dual mode phone, we have had this one for about five years. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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It's basically like a wired phone, but without the wire! Tends to use end/start call buttons, rather than hook switches, for obvious reasons. As the handsets are expensive, especially the smaller, or fancy ones, they tend to be subsidised by the phone networks.
Locking you in to 12 month or longer contracts, at higher prices than you may otherwise have paid.
Consider if you want it to work overseas. Would internet access be handy, checking email, or are you not bothered. Most new phones have around a week or more standby time. Consider if you want one that can take AA batteries. Ask neighbours about coverage on the network they are on. Assuming that it's similar to the UK, there will be several companies with overlapping networks. Some may have agreements that will let you use your phone on some other providers networks, for a small fee. Coverage may vary by network, in some places one provider can give better coverage than others.
When you've worked out your list of features, take it to a local cellphone shop, and ask what they'd recommend. Get a feel of the handset, have a play with it, to see if the buttons are big enough, you can see the display, ... Now, say you'll come back later, and check out the product they are proposing to sell you on the makers website. Work out how much it will cost you over 12 months. Read all the small print.
I for example have a phone that I paid 39.99 for ($70 or so) 4 years or so ago. This probably cost the vendor $150 at the time. However, I have only paid for $30 or so for calls, as there is no monthly minimum top-up, and call-time does not expire.
They've certainly lost $50 or so on me, as it's just being used as an emergency phone.
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The first feature is COVERAGE. In any given location (at home, at work, on vacation) will the phone work AT ALL? Option 1 - digital network - phone gets no signal in remote areas Option 2 - roaming - phone will work at $0.70/minute roaming charge Option 3 - in-network - phone works and only plan minutes are used If in doubt, use the vendor web site zip code lookup or call the vendor to see if local residents can use their plan in Boondocks Montana (or wherever). Most plans allow a trial period to allow you to return the phone and cancel the plan. If you don't like the instrument or coverage is not adequate, use that trial period to find out.
The second feature is INCLUDED MINUTES. Several plans now allow rollover of unused minutes, so don't sign up for more minutes than you will use, on average. Nights and weekends are typically free, so a 200 minute plan may be entirely adequate. Start small, since they will be happy to upgrade your plan to more minutes next month if you find that you are constantly going over the plan allotment.
Be sure that you have a landline calling card available on trips out of your area. This keeps expenses down if the cell phone: - indicates roaming mode - cannot connect - battery dies
Our first plan was one GSM phone 200 minutes - urban and interstate coverage. Our current plan is two tri-mode phones in a 400 minute family plan, calls to each other and any other customer of the same vendor are free.
I recommend that you obtain the phone and plan at one of the vendor's retail shops or mall kiosk, NOT at a business where cellphones are a sideline offering.
On Thu, 13 May 2004 20:46:51 -0700, "Harold & Susan Vordos"

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Harold I second what Thomas says. Make sure that you get the phone home and try it there before committing. You may find that the hills your in block signals. When I travel to Puerto Rico and stay in a rental beach cabin cell phones will not work in that location except for one area on the access road where they have drawn about a 10' circle on the road where cells will work. If you want to make a cell call you walk down the road to the circle and make the call, and likely you will not be alone. lg no neat sig line

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If you have older eyes, look for one that is easy to read. My old Nokia was impossible, but the new Motorolas with color screens are pretty readable with no corrective lenses.
wrote:
||Hey guys (and gals) || ||I'm giving a little thought to buying a cell phone. I have absolutely no ||knowledge of how they work, what kind of deal I might expect, like that. ||It would likely receive precious little use, more or less for the rare ||occasion when we might be traveling, or away from home for the day. We're ||pretty much home bodies, rarely gone. Any advice for someone like us? || ||Thanks, || ||Harold || ||
Texas Parts Guy
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I have one that is used just as you describe. It is a prepaid Cingular (Motorola 120T). The phone cost me $100 when I signed up. It costs me $7 a month which gets me about 60 min. talk time locally, less if I call long distance. The minutes carry over if you don't use them. Every three months I pay $20 to keep it alive. The hardest thing about it is remembering to take it with me when I leave the house.
See http://cellphones.about.com/cs/serviceplans/ if you want to see what's available
Randy

no
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On Thu, 13 May 2004 20:46:51 -0700, "Harold & Susan Vordos"

I'm by far good at them , but it seems simple unless you want to beat $30 a month. $40 a month gets you about everything and yak all day. Call them and tell them what you want. They give me free phones for signing up and more if you kill it. Call them all and then call them back saying so and so will beat your deal and then call so and so back.
How to use them is another story. They do about everything. Getting rid of text messages from spamers and endless messages from funny friends that call and forget to hang up is hard to remember how to do for me. I want one that rings like an old phone , hell they've got 50 kinds of rings to choose from.
I don't see how I got along without one. I broke down after half a day looking for a pay phone that wasn't ahhh numerous ways of being screwed up and a couple of dollars in change. I was even getting crap for just asking for change at convenient stores. Crusing shopping centers looking for phones. Sorry , but this town sucks. I'm sick of buying stuff I don't need to use the bathroom or for change for telephones that are not there or beyond belief screwed with. Now I turn it off for days when I just don't want to hear it.
$30 a month is easy to make up in long distant calls in just one weekend. Not to mention all the other life saver things.
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