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Cell phones vs tracphones

This is a discussion on Cell phones vs tracphones within the Open Discussion forums, part of the Cathe Friedrich Fitness Forums category;; Does anyone have one of those Trac phones? Where you buy the phone and then just add minutes when you ...

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2005, 01:16 PM
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Default Cell phones vs tracphones

Does anyone have one of those Trac phones? Where you buy the phone and then just add minutes when you need them? I have a cell phone from Sprint (got it about 2 yrs ago). I get 40 mins a month free, voice mail, etc.. and I pay $30. I got it just to have something for emergencies and the comfort of knowing that I had one. I don't use it that much (most I used was 8 mins) so I'm thinking of canceling it and getting one of these trac phones. But how is the reception, connection, ease of use? Anyone know?

I found two different ones at WalMart.

Virgin and Tracfone. The Virgin phones & mins are a little more expensive than the Tracfone. Does anyone have any recommendations? I'm trying to cut expenses and can't justify paying $30 for this phone that I don't use.

Kimbra
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Old 07-13-2005, 01:23 PM
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Default RE: Cell phones vs tracphones

My FIL has a tracphone and LOVES it. He is not a cell phone user either. Only uses it in emergency, etc. He pays something like $100.00 per year, for that he gets a decent amount of minutes (i can't be sure of how many tho) to use. After a year he re-ups for another $100 and gets more minutes. Minutes you don't use the year prior do not expire. They build on your account so that you can use them in the future if you need to. The phone is extra but that's a one time charge for it and I don't think it's a ridiculous price. I am thinking of getting this as I am not a cell phone user but need one around for emergencies....
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2005, 02:27 PM
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Default RE: Cell phones vs tracphones

Just make sure you are not still under contract with Sprint. They will charge you at least $125 to cancel if your contract is not up...
Lori
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Old 07-13-2005, 02:47 PM
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Default RE: Cell phones vs tracphones

My father sells the cards that youp buy to have minutes on those phones. One thing to note, that once you use the card, they expire in 6 months after the first use, or when you use up all the minutes. One thing I've notice people who use these for emergency use only, usually will forget and be in an emergency and have a expired card. I see this happen quite often when I'm at one of stores my father manages. Person is usually very upset, the card is expired and they just had to walk from the freeway down to us, so they could buy a card to call someone. Also most of these cards have an use expiration. What this means is say you buy it in January of 04, and have never used it, well say in Feb 05 you break down, and need to call someone the card will be no good, as it's use time limit is only a year. This can be cheaper then what your paying right now, but how good are you at keeping things you don't use up to date, and make sure they aren't expired with your own memory?

One thing I'd suggest, is to see if you can get an emergency plan from your cell service. My mom pays $10 a month for her cell threw Verison. No free anything, no voice mail. Just basically an active phone. But it's always active, if she breaks down or something, she just picks up her phone and calls, and doesn't have to worry about a card expiring or anything. Cell companies have all different names for this type of plan, but you only pay for the minutes you use so is very cheap most months.

And from the prices, of the cards, and the phone, the $10 a month for her is much cheaper then to get one of those Tracphones.

Also the fact that Tracephones can be a pain to use, if your not very into eletronics, or the new type of cell phones. Basically if your not 20 something and like techy gagets, these things can inspire you to drive over them. Simple isn't in, it really takes reading the instructions on those phones. I get a call from my father about every week, as someone comes into the gas station and they can't get the card to work with the phone, or it won't call out, it will only recieve calls, or it will call out, but no one can call them. All different fuctions and features, and no one ever sticks their instructions for the phone in their car. Also there is the new 911 lock, basically you call 911, it will give you the highest priority and the best line so you can talk to 911 without losing connection, etc. Just when you hang up, your still in 911 mode, if you don't know what button to push to release yourself from this mode, you won't be able to call anyone else. This happen to my dentist about 3 weeks ago, he was driving home and hit a dear and totaled his minivan. He called 911 etc, with a TrracPhone, and then he couldn't call his wife to come and get him. He had to wait for the police and have them call his wife, as he had no idea how to take it off 911.

Also note Tracphones don't work everywhere, they don't get the same service, as a cell phone. Even if you buy it from the same cell company as you currently have. If there is a storm or power out, or whatever, standard cell users get priority over Tracphones. I'm not sure what type of emergency your thinking about using it for, or how often storms etc take out your power or destory the neighborhood etc, so you may or may not have to worry about that.

HTH,

Kit
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Old 07-13-2005, 03:35 PM
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Default RE: Cell phones vs tracphones

Hey Kimbra. We have had a tracphone now for about 7 years. I love it. We only use it when needed. I get a card and write down on the calendar when it expires which is about every 10 weeks I think, and purchase and add a new card that day, (the nice thing is you can just get 20 min. or a year's worth of minutes.) Whatever minutes I have left roll over. We had up to like 400 minutes once because we were rarely using the phone. You just have to remember to add air time when your time expires. You don't have to use the minutes by that date. They accumulate.
I have never had any problems with mine dialing out, receiving calls, or a problem w/ service in my area. And it is simple enough for my 7 year old to use. Ours is a Motorola nothing fancy.
Like Lori said make sure your contract is expiring before you go with something else. Or maybe see if they can offer you a good deal if you keep it.
Good luck!:D
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Old 07-13-2005, 03:53 PM
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Default RE: Cell phones vs tracphones

I just recently purchased a Tracfone with a one year prepaid card (150 minutes and I only have to renew once a year).

I also only use the phone for emergencies, etc and the calls I make are generally only a minute or two long, so it made no sense for me to get a calling plan that cost $40 per month. I figure that by getting a one year prepaid card every year, the Tracfone should cost me less than $10 per month.

The phone I have ia a Motorola C343(or something) and live in an area with a lot of dead spots, but so far haven't had trouble with reception. It's also very easy to use.

Edited to add: It's so easy to use, both my parents have them! ;)
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Old 07-13-2005, 04:10 PM
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Default RE: Cell phones vs tracphones

Thanks guys. I don't think I'm in a contract with Sprint. I got the phone about 2-3 years ago (I think) and at that time it was only a 1 year committment. The phone is a Kyocera 2255. It's an older phone style. I'll check about the emergency plan with Sprint.

Funny note: A few months ago I was looking for a soft case for it at one of those little stands in the mall. The kid working there (couldn't have been any older than 18) looked at my phone and said "Man that's a really old phone ma'am. Like I'd bought it back in the stone age.

This is what I found at walmart:

Virgin: Phone cost is about $50 - $60 (the cheapest). Comes with $20 worth of mins. Mins don't expire. Must add at least $20 every 90 days to keep the phone activated. Calls are $.25 for the first 10 mins then $.10 after that.

Tracfone: Phone cost is about $20 - $40. A little confused on how long the cards last. For $20 you get 40 mins. Must add mins before the card expires.

I just need to make a decision and actually do it.

Kimbra

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  #8  
Old 07-13-2005, 09:33 PM
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Default RE: Cell phones vs tracphones

Hey Kimbra. It looks like to me the different airtime cards might have different exp.dates. I added air time on 6/30/05. 40 min. And I'll need to purchase a new airtime card by 9/13/05. The more expensive ones with more minutes might have a longer time period. Tracphone can let you know that before you buy. Their website is www. tracphone.com.
And however many minutes I have left on 9/13, will roll over and the new card will add on to that.
You're right. Make a decision and do it. Lol. I am the exact same way.:D
Kali
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Old 07-14-2005, 02:54 AM
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Default RE: Cell phones vs tracphones

We have both, a regular service cell phone and a (motorola) tracphone. We live in a area of poor signal strength and both phones perform the same. The tracphone might even outperform our other more expensive phone at times.

I buy one years worth of service for my tracphone at a time for around $100. The years's worth option comes with something like 400 minutes, and the unused minutes roll over to the next year. My service date is right on my phone screen so I always know when the year is up. We'vwe had it for about 3 years now and it's has been a really good option for us to have an extra phone for occasional use. You can't go wrong.
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Old 07-14-2005, 06:55 AM
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Default RE: Cell phones vs tracphones

I've had a Motorola Tracfone for a couple of years now. I love it since I live in an area with poor reception and just use the phone when I'm traveling. Its so much cheaper than paying a monthly fee for a regular cell phone.
The phone with about 20 minutes of airtime cost about $60. I purchased it at Walmart. You buy airtime cards to add airtime to your phone. I usually buy the 40 minute card which is around $19. The Tracfone website is very easy to use........just go there to activate your new card. You will get a code to type into your phone. The phone automatically shows you the minutes available and when you need to purchase a new card(its usually a couple of months between purchases). Your airtime minutes roll over.
If you don't use a cell phone often, I think its a wonderful way to go.
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