Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Prize Arrives!

But no really big deal. You'll remember that cell phone I said I won a week or two ago. One of you said it likely could only be used with Verizon. Well, you were right. Just called U.S. Cellular and they said those phones aren't compatible with their system. So, I guess I'll just buy one of those cheap phones at Rite- Aid along with a pre- paid card as that sounds like the best deal for someone who hardly ever uses a cell phone.

This is a pretty nice phone, though, for those in to cell phones. Has all the bells and whistles which, of course, wasn't what I really wanted. It retails for just under $300 so not a bad prize. The gal at U.S. Cellular was impressed. She even made a short pitch for their equivalent version of the phone that would cost me $299, but I wouldn't have to sign up for the two year contract since I'm already a customer.

Nah. Don't think that I want to go there.

Now I'll have to decide whether to give it away or, as the gal at U.S. Cellular suggested, try selling it on Ebay. Plenty of time to decide. I'll see if Connie has any family members that want it first.


At 1:43 PM, Blogger Rose said...

Or you could switch to Verizon... Check and see, it may be that if you and C both have phones, calls from Verizon to Verizon are free, which is a nice perk. (Maybe US Cellular has that, too... I'm not up on all the plans.)

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Actually, I just bought the wifey a Trac Phone at Rite Aid a few minutes ago. As soon as it gets charged up, she'll will be driving around town, happily chatting away on her own cell phone, just like the rest of the gals!

I'll keep using my old analog bag phone until November when support for it is discontinued. If Connie likes having the cell phone to use for herself, maybe I'll buy one of my own to keep in the truck.

She's going over now to see if one of her sisters might want the one I won.

I just wish these damned phones weren't so small.

At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't you being charged by U.S. Cellular for the analog phone - I had one and received a letter a long time back stating that I would begin receiving another charge for using an analog phone only and went in and they had a special on a phone so we each got one - think it was $29.95 and came with an ear piece with attached mike and also does speaker phone and can be programmed to understand voice commands such as who you want it to dial. Can be hooked into the internet, has voice mail. Also since I have been a U.S. Cellular customer for years I did not have to sign any contract and was not on contract then either. I also pay no roaming since when I last changed my plan and did sign a one year contract that was offered. I have nationwide long distance and no charge for all incoming calls whether they are cell calls or any telephone. For two phones and a lot of minutes (I pay for extra) I pay $75 a month. Plus I can log into the U.S. Cellular site and send the other phone text messags for nothing and don't even have to figure out how to text.

I thought trac phones were high minute charges so you couldn't use them much as they are generally just "emergency phones". Maybe they have changed since the dark ages when I thought about getting a trac phone.

For someone that is already a Verizon customer your phone could be quite a deal if it has lots of features.

I now can't even think about a larger phone - used to have a bag phone and a Motorola flip phone that was too large to carry in your pocket.

At 6:36 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I never got any offer of a replacement phone from U.S. Cellular when I got the notification about discontinuing support for analog. That's probably because, although I'm a relatively long- time customer, I'm on their lowest cost plan, aka the Security Plan. It ends up being around $12 a month for 10 free minutes, which is much more time than I ever use. I would imagine customers like that they could do without so they don't make any effort to switch me over to digital.

The girl I talked to yesterday said I could buy their equivalent version of the phone I won for $299 but I wouldn't have to sign up for the two year contract since I'm a current customer. I have no need for that.

This Trac Phone looks like it will work out fine. It will cost less than the plan I have with U.S. Cellular now and give me more time.

One thing I have to look into this morning is how roaming works with them. The package the phone came in says no roaming fees but, when you fill out the online form to activate the phone, they ask for your zip code and then show a map of the zip code with different colored areas. Some are "roaming areas". If they don't charge roaming fees, why do they have a map that specifies where the roaming areas are?

At 6:38 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Oh, Connie's sister is on Verizon. They're trying to decide if they want to pay the extra $25 activation fee to add that phone to their account.

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roaming fees can get expensive if they do have them. Maybe only if you leave your "home" area. Usually if you have a no roaming fees plan the monthly charge is higher. When I used to pay roaming fees and made calls from certain places in Santa Rosa it was $4.50 per call but in another place in Santa Rosa it was $2. I was told that it depended on whose tower you were actually using and was told that U.S. Cellular paid them fees as they did not have their own towers in that area.

At 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everywhere except local calls are roaming for Tracfone. I have had one for a few years & buy the 12 month renewal for $99 for 400-500 minutes. Minutes don't expire, so once I had over 700 minutes.

At 10:40 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Yeah. I just noticed I misread the package the phone came in. Actually, I think it's somewhat misleading:

Same low rates for local, long distance, roaming and international calling

That sounds to me like they charge the same rates for roaming and local. Apparently not. Their web page says they charge two units per minute of roaming as opposed to one per minute for local.

Oh well. Hopefully it won't be used much. The only time I ever used roaming it was well worth it even though it cost $5.00 for a call of about 45 seconds. It was worth it but what got me was that $5.00 was on top of my normal monthly fee, not included in it.

Can anyone tell me about how long these phones work on one charge?

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you pay roaming charges it is on top of your bill. Sounds like Trac phones charge roaming for every minute you are on your phone at double minutes. Depends on how much you are actually paying per minute with them.

Your phone should say what length of time the charge "should" be good for.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I just went to their web site and paid $19.99 for 60 minutes that's supposedly good for 90 days. Why the phone says it's good until sometime in December is beyond me. Oh, probably because they gave me ten free minutes to start with that was good until some time in August.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

And I'm guessing the way they'll charge for roaming is just deducting two minutes instead of one from the time I've bought. How else could they do it? If they do handle it that way I think it's much better than getting an unpleasant surprise on my monthly phone bill.

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More on Tracfone: If you paid $20 for 60 minutes of time, it will cost you 33 cents for a one minute local call; or 66 cents for a one minute long distance call.

Or you can renew for one year & get 400 minutes for $99.99. This 'deal' reduces the cost to 25 cents/min local & 50 cents/min long distance. I have gotten better deals thru the mail from them, but can't remember the details.

Re battery life, it has a bar meter & is rechargeable - lasts as long as any other cell phone. Also you can buy many different types of phones - check their website.


At 9:28 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Thanks for the number crunching, GB. I actually figured that out yesterday but hadn't done equations in so long I wasn't sure my figures were right. Nonetheless, I tried figuring it a couple different ways and that's what I came up with and you confirmed it.

Even the 66cents per minutes isn't bad compared to the $5.00 for less than a minute I paid for roaming that one time. Wouldn't want to carry on a lengthy conversation,though.

I was also checking their web site for phones today. About my only complaint is they're all too small. I don't like those teeny things. But, I rarely use them so I guess it won't matter all that much in the long run.

At 11:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been with Verizon since they purchased Cal North Cellular, and have the lowest, basic service, which is $9.95 per month for 45 minutes, which in my case, is never used in total. At the end of last year I got a letter from Verizon stating that if I would bring in my outdated analog phone they would give me a new digital phone at no additional cost. I did and it works so much better than the old phone, and of course, the free price couldn't be beat!!!


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