Cell phones? Any recommendations?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by mum2JK&TH, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. mum2JK&TH

    mum2JK&TH New Member

    easy child has been itching to get a cell phone. We have okayed that she can get one (she is starting high school, so it's for our peace of mind), but don't know where to start.

    husband and I probably have the cheapest ones there are because we don't use them often. easy child is set on a Razr but I was just reading an article that said they aren't that great. I also hear that texting is more the thing to do and I don't know if this or what supports them. Forgive me, I am completely out of the loop when it comes to cell phones, lol!

    What do kids have these days to support all of the things that they do these days? I don't want to get a cheap phone only to have to replace it because it won't have what she wants in a year or two.

    Any suggestions??
     
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have 2 close people in my life that have the Razor phone - 1 loves it, the other hates it.

    I think it looks cool. Not sure it gives any more than any other phone performance wise.

    I think make sure it has a camera in it as everyone's will soon. Also, did you know you can get GPS installed and it is only like $5 a month to be able to monitor where your child is. Not only where your child is, but if it is lost or stolen - you can see where the phone is. As long as it is on.

    But, I am no expert. I have a cheapo Tmobile pay as you go phone.
     
  3. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I've been seeing a commercial for a Disney phone. The kid is 10 or 11, and all his friends marvel at all the cool stuff the phone does, and tell him that he has the coolest mom. Then cut to the mom, who is showing off to her friends how she can monitor this and that on her kid's phone, and then the other moms tell her how she must be the coolest mom.

    I have no idea how much something like that costs, or if you have to buy a particular plan, just thought I'd throw it out there.

    I have a Rokr, and I HATE it. I much preferred my way less expensive Samsung that is now obsolete.
     
  4. Stella Johnson

    Stella Johnson Active Member

    I personally like the Disney phones. The plans are a bit more expensive but you can track your kid. :smile: You can also set when and who they can call.

    Steph
     
  5. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    Make sure you get unlimited text!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and insurance on her phone.
     
  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child has a very old phone. Actually starting to fall apart. He wants a Chocolate. After reading about them...so do I!!!
    I have been looking at Verizon because they are the only ones I find that have a one year contract vs. two year contract.

    My easy child has a razor. Hates it. Had it 9 months and had to send it back because it froze up and didn't work at all. Not even when you took the battery out. That was one year ago. It hasn't worked well in about 4 months now. He gets little bits of what you say and has to find a LAN line phone to call you back. Thought it would be under warrantee, as phone had 1 year warrantee, so we foolishly thought when he was sent the new one there would be a one year warantee. NOPE. Contract expires in December and not keeping that phone or the service he has.

    As for camera phone - everyone has one, some are video camera's. But, difficult child had his taken away many times at school. Atleast in our school district cameras are not allowed on school property. We still send his phone with him, but make sure he doesn't take it out until he is off school property. (after school). You can take pictures, but unless you subscribe to the service and the other person does too, you can't send pictures back and forth.
    I had to get a text message package for easy child. He had as many as 1300 text's a month. It is usually around 15 cents per text if no package. We also got some internet package since easy child would access the internet to check certain things. With that he is able to send a picture via email to anyone's email address.

    There are a ton of packages out there. Be careful. They seem to get you someway. Then there is a ton of taxes.

    And, you can get insurance for about $5 a month. Incase the phone gets lost or stolen. $50 deductable and you get a new phone. OR you end up paying like $200 for a cheap phone.
    Phones are cheaper when you get a package, or upgrade your contract. To just go buy a phone with no contract they are ridiculiously high.

    Experience talking here. Many lost phones. Many contacts, upgrades. Tried several different services. Now for myself I am just waiting for contract to expire so I can get a "go" phone and pay by the minutes.

    I really like the features that the phone...Chocolate has.
    MP3 player also.
     
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    No advice on the type of phone but BIG advice on rules for the
    cell. Boy, I wish I had known this six years ago..lol. Make a
    rule before she gets a phone that "the cell phone is turned off
    and turned in to parents" either "at bedtime" or "at 10 PM ??".
    I have had over 40 years of parenting, and gone with the flow,
    but in a zillion years I did not realize that teens talk on cells
    all night..........even on school nights! I also didn't know that they could/would do conference calling or 3 way so they have
    conversations with strangers. YIKES!!

    Whether it's Mickey, Nextel, Boost or whatever avoid a huge problem and absolutely stick to the turn off/turn in rule. DDD
     
  8. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    talk to people in your area. Find out what the better service is - not all phones work well with all towers.

    In our case, we have our cells through our local home phone service. NO CONTRACT - however, they have never raised the price of our service unless we change things. You can also get the "deal" on a new phone if yours is a year or more old.

    Our service is 4 phones - shared minutes:
    2000 peak minutes
    1000 mobile to mobile minutes
    unlimited other time minutes (after 9pm weeknights and all day Saturday and Sunday)
    unlimited text message (in or out)
    some amount of internet (never used it, so I don't know how much)
    No long distance and no roaming

    You can also call and stop coverage if the phone is lost, and you have up to 30 days to reinstate it WITH NO CHARGE if the phone is found (I know this from experience!).

    We all have Nokia phones of one type or another because we've found the work best in our area, and we've had coverage in other areas where no one else does. None of us have every had trouble with our phones.

    Our cost (without taxes) is $115 for this. With one away in the Navy (he's the one that uses most of those peak minutes!) it's definately worth it.

    We also have a deal because we have our local phone and broad band on the same bill (and I'm looking to cancel cable and also add satellite to this).
     
  9. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    My daughter adores her Chocolate. The other hot one here is the Envy which is easier for texting. Both allow computer downloads and video camera. Both are Verizon exclusive phones. Verizon does have a nice plan -- VCast -- for downloading from their site.

    As you were told, be sure to get unlimited texting and insurance. Both are Godsends. I'd also recommend a plan that adds downloading to the mix. As much as I hate it, camera pics are big things for MySpace.

    I would make some specific rules for the phone. No using phone at school except for emergencies. She must give you the password to the phone (lets you know what is being texted, downloaded, etc.). Turned off at a certain time every night and/or left in plain sight at bedtime. She must answer the phone when you call. This was the big one with my daughter. She would deliberately ignore my calls. She got the message when her phone was turned off for one month by Verizon ($15 charge).
     
  10. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Skeeter - I want to know what service you have? We cannot do that here. No contract? Sounds terrific.
     
  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with a lot of what others have said. My daughter loves her chocolate phone also, she had the mint green one and now has the pink one. They just came out with a newer version so make sure you know which one you are looking at. The new one comes in dark blue, red and black. If you've ever used the older version you will see the newer one has improved on some of the features, like adding a vibrate feedback to let you when a call has been placed and an easier click wheel for navigating.

    Unlimited text is very important or you can find yourself paying a lot in overages. We have a family plan with 1400 shared minutes, free calling to other mobile phones on the same network (so all of our calls to each other are free and any calls she makes to her friends with the same service).

    Insurance is a must, especially for teens. I don't have it on mine but both my daughters do. If you don't have insurance and your phone breaks or is lost or stolen you will have to pay full retail price for a new phone and that is anywhere from $200-300.

    Since this is her first cell phone you can start with a smaller package, say 500 free texts, to teach her responsibility, and increase it to unlimited later. I guarantee you will want unlimited at some point because they use the text feature more than the phone part.

    I think the Disney phone is great but it's a little juvenile for high schoolers. It's more for preteens.

    The GPS feature is a great feature and I am considering getting that so I can keep track of my difficult child. It's a great safety feature to have also, but probably not necessary at this point.

    by the way I always thought and was told that water damage is not covered by insurance. My difficult child dropped her one month old pink chocolate phone in the bathtub and it was covered under insurance. All she had to pay was 50.

    Nancy




     
  12. mum2JK&TH

    mum2JK&TH New Member

    I looked up Verizon but it only seems to be for the states :frown:
     
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It sounds as though it is time to look into a family plan. You will want to be sure to set limits before she gets into bad habits with overusing the internet and sending pictures. Those are the most expensive features. I wish I could be of more help, but husband and I only use ours for emergencies, so we just do a pay as you go throw away type phone.
     
  14. stepmonster

    stepmonster New Member

    Oh ya, that's right, that's the big $ is when they get online. Don't even give her internet access. She'll eventually say, "but I want to download ringtones". Nope, nope, nope!!!! and warn her about those "dial 505050" for so and so ringtone, because in the small print it says they'll be charging you $5.99 a month for that one stupid ringtone. Then by the time you don't want it anymore and you need the disconnect code, they don't advertise it anymore!!!been there done that
     
  15. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We have something here called Metro PCS that works great for a difficult child. It is a no contract, pay in advance (monthly) with unlimited local minutes and texting. It costs her approximately $50 a month.

    It only allows you to make calls from and to your local area (which is the entire metropolitan Atlanta area as well as the nearby Athens area where the University of Georgia is) which is all a kid needs. But it is foolproof and if my difficult child does not pay on time each month, they simply turn off her service until she pays.

    I don't know if it is available in other places (particularly Canada).

    As far as the actual phone, you get the phone through MetroPCS and I don't know which model she has.

    easy child, husband, and I are on a family plan of shared minutes. We recently got new phones and both my husband and I are having battery problems with our new Samsung camera flip phones. They look cool but have problems holding a charge for more than a day or two. I didn't have this problem with my previous Samsung phone (that didn't have a camera).

    ~Kathy
     
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Kathy, we have a similar service called Cricket. That is what difficult child has. No contract, unlimited everything, for $50 per month.
     
  17. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    I agree with the buy insurance thing...I put easy child's in the washing machine after she had it a few weeks. wahhh!
    Also, I bought her new phone on Ebay (someone at Cingular told me to do that) and I just called Cingular and gave them the code on the phone and they activated it...very simple.
    I think all of the plans have good and bad sides to them, but we have found out that you can return the phones and cancel your contract within 30 or 45 days I think and they will refund your money and cancel your contract (that was through Sprint). We took them out through Radio Shack, but could not get a signal in our own frickin house.
    I have also had the Go Phone and really liked it, my bill ran about $50 a month and that was just buying more minutes.
    We have Cingular/ AT&T now, and for the past year and half and husband wants to switch to Verizon next Spring when the contract is up, just because they offer alot more stuff.
    Tina
     
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