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Please Help Me Find A Basic Cell Phone/service


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#1 mommabear

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 06:16 PM

This is what the hubby and I want in a cell phone.

1. Ability to call out.
2. Ability to receive calls.
3. Optional, but would be nice to have: a bigger number pad.

That's it. That's all. Does such an animal exist?

Right now we're paying $45 a month for AT&T (started out as Cingular.) Everything is included, no roaming charges, lots of free LD time, which we forget to use because we hardly call LD anyway. We often get told we have x-number of missed calls, but have no idea what to do after that. And if I'm not mistaken it also does text messaging, but we haven't touched that either. lol! In short, we are incurably cell-phone illiterate, and at our age that's not likely to change.

Hubby needed the phone for his job, but we're now retired. We don't use the cell phone that much but the convenience of having one, especially when not at home, is obvious.

I just tried Google with "cell phone+basic" and I'm overwhelmed already. But I did catch some things that I think I should consider. I don't want to accidentally get into a plan that only works as long as the people I call are on the same plan. Something pre-paid (something like a calling card or it's built in?) would be best, I guess. Don't want any surprises for going over.

If the cost of the phone and the service meets our basic needs and is affordable, we would not opposed to the idea of a 1 or 2 year contract, but would like to avoid a contract if possible.

Well, I'm going to stop here because right now I really don't even know what kinds of questions to ask. But maybe some of you can point me in the right direction for what I'm looking for?

Thanks.

Oh, if it helps, I'm in Indiana.

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#2 MattV

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 06:42 PM

You'd probably be just as well off with a couple of pre-paid phones (like the TracPhone). If all you need is to be able to make and receive calls that would suit just fine. Especially if the calls are generally in a local area. And when your pre-paid minutes are getting low, you just go to the web-site and add some more. From 2000 - 2004 that was all I had for a phone and it was all I needed.

Edited by MattV, 05 January 2008 - 06:45 PM.


#3 Sterling14

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 06:49 PM

What about a jitterbug? I saw a commercial one time, but never have seen one in real life. http://www.jitterbug.com/ . I don't have a cell phone and don't really know much about them, but you might want to check that out.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#4 Dialer

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 06:53 PM

My sister has a prepaid Verizon, but I don't know if she has a contract. I don't have a cell and don't know much about them, but I'd guess you might have a better phone/keypad choice with a company like Verizon.

#5 garmanma

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Posted 05 January 2008 - 06:54 PM

Unlike my daughters, who have cell phone implants in their ears, I'm neither cell phone or wired phone-friendly. That's why I buy burners at Walmart. They're usually 20 - 30 bucks and you pay by the minute with Virgin Mobile. 20 dollars last me all month. As far as larger buttons go, they are starting to cater to the older market
Examples.
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#6 Wildabeast

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 12:40 AM

I use one of the Pay As You Go phones, I bought it at Walmart for $45 and I "refill"(?) it every 2 months for $20. That gives me about 100 minutes. I almost never use my cell phone, I have it because I live 30 miles out of the city and if I break down I could use it to get help. I have Alltel for a service so it's pretty much nationwide, with exceptions, like there is no service at all. You might want to check into something like that...


edit for spelling... :thumbsup:

Edited by Wildabeast, 06 January 2008 - 12:59 AM.

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#7 mommabear

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:37 AM

Thank you all, for your responses! It's going to help me a lot.

Mark, you had the magic word for Google....'seniors'. Now why didn't I think of that? :flowers: :thumbsup:

#8 garmanma

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:13 AM

Mark, you had the magic word for Google....'seniors'. Now why didn't I think of that? :thumbsup: :flowers:

Kicking and screaming all the way :trumpet:
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#9 Teenage.Zombiee

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 09:52 AM

Some of the older Nokia phones have large buttons
As does the Motorola W156.

Shop around though, you'll find something that suits your needs for quiet a fair price :thumbsup:

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#10 JacksonT

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 12:55 AM

I recommend TracFone I use them and have no complaints the only place I cant get a signal in is Ikea and know one can anyway and as for the phone you should try the Nokia 1100 its simple has fairly large buttons the screen is black and it does texting.

#11 Garric

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 02:22 PM

I like verizon. The network is big, and it is free calling to anyone else with a verizon phone. My family uses the verizon family plan to keep in touch. It works out pretty well.

#12 mommabear

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 04:53 PM

Thanks everyone. It'll be a bit longer before we make the switch. We found out recently we still have 6 months to go on the darned contract. :thumbsup:

#13 MattV

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 08:30 PM

Thanks everyone. It'll be a bit longer before we make the switch. We found out recently we still have 6 months to go on the darned contract. :thumbsup:

That's probably the greatest thing about the pre-pays, like the TracFone - there are no contracts. If you don't find that it meets your needs, you're not out a whole lot. And you're not stuck putting up with something you don't want until the "contract" expires. Or paying exorbitant and usurious amounts to get out of it.

#14 Teenage.Zombiee

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 03:44 AM

Thanks everyone. It'll be a bit longer before we make the switch. We found out recently we still have 6 months to go on the darned contract. :thumbsup:

That's probably the greatest thing about the pre-pays, like the TracFone - there are no contracts. If you don't find that it meets your needs, you're not out a whole lot. And you're not stuck putting up with something you don't want until the "contract" expires. Or paying exorbitant and usurious amounts to get out of it.

You're right there are no contracts on pre paid. However, if you buy a phone with a certain company (like 3 in Australia) you're phone could be locked to that telco forever. Most just have a rule that if you want to swap network's you can if you have recharged over a certain amount.

This doesn't bother alot of people though but try and find out just in case you find a better deal elsewhere :flowers:

Edited by Teenage.Zombiee, 15 February 2008 - 03:46 AM.

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