Anyone have a preference for a prepaid phone? - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 9:09 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Posts: 2,680
Anyone have a preference for a prepaid phone?

I'd like to get a simple emergency phone to carry on the bike(s). My current data phone with AT&T is running nearly $1,020 per year which is way too much according to some that I've talked to about their phones and plans.

I don't know much about T-Mobile, but I stopped in their store and the guy showed me some phone for $39 and for $100 I get 1000 minutes of talk+text for one year which is a far better plan to me for an emergency or making a motel reservation on the road. I can always use the laptop on the motel's Wi-Fi dime, so data isn't important.

He also said they were soon moving to 4G as is Sprint now so there will be fewer dropped calls than with AT&T which hiccups a bit for me, probably due to all those iPhones' data network usage. Their coverage map for prepaid seems far better than AT&T too (i.e. AT&T has no prepaid service in Montana?).


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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 8:05 am
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA
Posts: 32
Pre-paid Cell Phone

Just got a tracfone ( which I believe runs on the Verizon network. That should provide plenty of nationwide coverage. The scam with prepaid is that your minutes only last for a specified time period, i.e., you buy 60 minutes which is good for 90 days. At the end of 90 days your minutes expire whether you used 59 of them or 1 of them. As long as you can work with that it should be good.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old Jul 2nd, 2010, 8:49 am
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: panhandle, FL, USA
Posts: 106
Not all prepaids work that way. I'm still using the Simple Freedom phone I bought 6 years ago. My minutes roll over, as long as I buy another card before the current one expires. Right now, I've got somewhere around $315 of accumulated minutes available, which I've built up over the years.

Simple Freedom was bought up by Alltel, which then passed into AT&T's hands, although there are still Alltel storefronts around here and The Alltel U prepaid cards are available in WalMart.

If I go up into Alabama to an Alltel store, I can get a 12 month card for $100 instead of a 2 month card for $20.

The fine print is that the renewal period starts from the time you activate the new card. It does not delay until the previous card runs out of time. So I have to wait for the actual expiration date, before activating the new card, to avoid wasting whatever number of days were remaining on the previous card.


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