Pay as you go phones

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    does anyone have a pay as you go phone? If so, any suggestions?

    I have been looking at them because I am just sick of these contracts. Seem to get you one way or another with different charges.

    What I have come across with the pay as you go phone is for .10 a minute you also have a $1.00 a day charge for each day you use the phone.
    For .25 a minute you do not have the $1.00 charge.

    Are there any that do not have that fee?
  2. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    I used to have a pay as you go phone. Now I have a contract with a company. I wouldn't go back to the pay as you go. They tend not to get as good of service (this may just be my area).

    The service I went with wasn't bad for pay asyou go but I do much better this way.

  3. Penta

    Penta New Member

    I feel the same...hate contracts...but was also told the pay as you go service is not as good. So, now I have a second line on my girl's T-Mobile contract. She got a deal for 1000 minutes for 59.00 per month for 2 lines, much better than what I had with Sprint. Hopefully, we'll like T-Mobile for the next 2 years!

    I don't have a landline, so this is our only phone service.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have a pay as you go. It is OK for what I need. I do not get service while I am at work, but I have a desk phone people can reach me at which I prefer because it does not cost me anything.

    Yes, it is a $1 per day IF you use it that day. You end up thinking twice about the call if the phone has not been used yet that day. LOL!

    I have T-Mobile. Every now and then Target will have $50 worth of minutes for $40. That is when I buy them. I think I end up spending about $120 a year. Which is $10 per month - way cheaper than a plan that would cost me $40 a month minimum.
  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Is this like a track phone ... where you buy minutes whenever you need them as opposed to yearly contracts??

    I've never heard the term 'pay as you go phones'.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    The pay as you go has worked out great for husband. It is rarely used
    and therefore is dirt cheap. difficult child has pay as you go and it works
    well for him, too, since he is not into conversations, lol.

    I just cancelled my Nextel contract last week because I am sick
    and tired of all the add on charges. They were shocked because
    I have had the service over ten years. It's gone...and I am really relieved. I don't want to worry about how many minutes,
    service availability etc. I am going to go to pay as you go

    Right now......I'm living with landlines only and it is SO very
    relaxing! LOL DDD
  7. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    I'm glad someone brought this up. Just yesterday I bought difficult child a cell phone and the service is KAJEET. It's for his birthday the end of October and I'm hoping it'll work out for him to have pay as you go service. I understand they use the Sprint towers. I looked at the site online and it says the coverage in our area is good. I figured if he went over the amount of $$ that I loaded on his phone...then he'll have to do without OR use his own money to load more minutes. It charges $.35 a day whether you use it or not ($10.50 month) plus $.10 talk time, $.05 per text sending and receiving, and $.25 per photo. No contract. You can also program it to not work during certain times of day or night (school or bedtime, for instance). Sounds good to me. We'll see how it goes over. You can get online and find out if they are available near you at and see how the service may be in your area.
  8. I have heard good things about T-Mobile as far as pre-pays go. We did research regarding the comparison of pre-pays at work and this one seemed to be the best overall. We suggest it to the insurance adjusters who purchase phones for emergency use for our clients.

    Personally, I use a family plan. With a child at college it has saved us a lot of money.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    difficult child had a cingular pay as you go phone for a year. It was quite a good deal. He got a cingular one because the rest of the family was on cingular and the calls to him were free for us.

    He was really good with it. Only problem that had real concerns was when one of Jess's friends had a crush on him and would call over and over (6 times in 15 mins!). Really annoying, but we worked it out with her mother. Now she doesn't call at all.

    Anyway, he tracked his minutes, it seemed pretty good. But my folks added a line to their phone after he was good for a year.

    Both my phone holding kids are great about not going over minutes. But we made sure we used the same provider that their friends mostly used, so lots of the calls are no charge.


  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    We had the Cingulair Go Phone, too. It worked well. We haven't had a cell phone at all for a while. I like it that way.
  11. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I've had a Tracfone for about 5 years and for the most part it's worked out well. I absolutely LOATHE sitting in waiting rooms, libraries, checkout lines, etc with people jabbering away on their cell phones and with this I have no incentive to be generous in giving out the number or to talk more than necessary. I wait until theres a double your minutes bonus and then purchase a one year card and only use it when really needed. I got a second phone for the kids and do the same thing for them. They only use a small fraction of the minutes and they roll over to the next year provided you buy before the expiration date.

    My one complaint is that it doesn't get service in one of the places we travel to at least once a year. No, it's not out in the boonies! It's Milwaukee so there's no excuse.
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    You only go to Milwaukee once a year?? You'll have to let me know next time you go.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    T-Mobile has a phone that is $30 for 300 minutes, $60 for 600, and $100 for 1115 minutes. Anything under $100 minutes expire in a couple of months. The $100 set expire after a year. You need to be really careful that even though you might buy them from someone else really cheap minutes usually expire after 30 days.

    husband and I have T-mobile $100 plan, and I refill them about every 8 months. It works well for us because we aren't calling each other all the time. It probably isn't the best plan for a kid.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Sign me up for those who got a TracPhone. I gave DF the at&t phone and I keep the TracPhone. I can talk faster. :thumbsup:
  15. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Witzend, I am under the impression that once you have spent $100 on minutes it brings your expiration date out to one year. I do not buy the $100 cards and my expirations is a year away.
  16. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child uses a company called MetroPCS. It is a no contract, pay monthly up front, unlimited minutes from your local area. It includes the all important text messaging also. You can pay extra to get long distance but it only works from your local area (which in our case is the entire metropolitan Atlanta area and the nearby university town of Athens). She pays about $50 a month.

    The phone not work once you leave the local area. What I like is that it is foolproof. difficult child can never go over her minutes and incur extra costs. Also, if she doesn't pay upfront, she loses the use of her phone and has to pay a late fee to get it reactivated so it keeps her motivated to pay on time.

    I think Nancy once said that they have something similar in her area. You might want to check to see if they have something like it near you.

  17. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    We use T-mobile pay as you go. It has worked fine. We have had no serious problems with coverage area. We don't have to pay a per-day charge of any kind. Once we spent $100 all minutes we purchase have one-year expiration. The per-minute rate varies depending on how much you buy: $10 gets only about 30 min. (33 cents/min), $25 gets about 150 minutes (17 cents/min), $50 gets 500 minutes (10 cents/min). You can get $100 increments too, and I imagine the rate is correspondingly better. I have found that having too great a balance causes overuse, but too small refills are too expensive per minute, so for us the best balance is achieved at the $25 level, which lasts about two or three weeks. We remind callers to call our land line first and place our chatty calls from the land line.

    We had a Nextel contract at one point. What a nightmare. First the salesperson took advantage of wife's confusion over the various plans (I believe they make them excessively complicated specifically to engender said confusion) to sell her a plan that was horrible for our needs but maximized seller's commission. Then the hardware malfunctioned - the phone unit would "connect" and start incurring airtime, but the call wasn't complete, i.e. they could hear us but we could not hear them. The company made it very inconvenient to have the phone looked at. We had to go to a service center which was only open on banker's hours and some distance away. We used up the "included" minutes very quickly by hanging up/retrying calls. Got a $750 bill for a single month. Followed by a dozen calls complaining and requesting an investigation and credit. Nextel stonewalled the issue and sent us to a collector. 30 to 45 minutes on hold only to be transferred and dropped was not uncommon. At one point a flunky of theirs left an abusive message accusing me of trying to scam them. Wish I'd kept it for evidence but I accidentally erased it. Eventually I wrote to the Illinois attorney general's consumer complaints division with all the gory details; that got Nextel's attention and they dropped the collection action and wrote off the charges.

    We learned early that difficult child and cell phones do not mix. We got some for "emergencies" at various times on various plans and difficult child always managed to maximize the bill, somehow. Not one was ever used for a bona-fide emergency. Of course when privileges were revoked the "emergency", a.k.a. the "but what if...", card was played, and we felt somehow guilty about it, like we were withholding essential safety gear or something. They are becoming more essential -- anyone tried to find a pay phone lately? -- but difficult child will have to pay her own way if she wants one.
  18. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I forgot to mention that one downside to Tracfone is that getting a customer service rep by phone is a time consuming process. I've been trying to get one to switch over to an upgraded phone and I get hold messages....Your call is very important to us (music)a customer service representative will be with your shortly (music) your estimated wait time is...30 minutes.

    How stupid is that? 30 minutes on hold doesn't constitute "shortly" in my book and if I am so valuable you think they'd have enough employees to handle the calls in a reasonable time frame.
  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Off target...but...I would love to be in Milwaukee right now
    anticipating a feast of German beer & dinner at Karl's. Last
    night we had Brats and I told husband and difficult child about the wonder of eating Brats cooked on the beach of Lake Michigan with a bunch
    of other college kids! What a coincidence to have Milwaukee on
    my mind and a few of you are Wisconsinites!

    Those were the days! DDD