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#845079 - 08/19/04 01:31 PM Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
I read thru the "Cell phone" thread below, but I have a couple of questions...

Like most of the people who posted in the cell phone thread, I hate them too. Actually I hate phones period but they are a necessary evil.

I currently have a Tracfone which is something I wouldn't recommend to my worst enemy. I've spent roughly 5 hours and several days over the past 2 months on the phone with them trying to fix various problems.

In any event, I think it's time I got a "real" cell phone but I want the smallest phone possible as well as the cheapest plan possible.

I know plans are regional and I'd have to determine if a carrier is right for me, but I haven't got the patience to wade thru the tons of information I've seen on the internet.

Therefore, can someone recommend a good, very small phone that has long battery life?

And, can someone recommend a cheap RELIABLE carrier? I don't need a lot of minutes but would like to be able to make long distance calls on nights and weekends.

Thanks,
Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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Piano & Music Accessories
#845080 - 08/19/04 02:55 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13707
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I have been happy with Sprint for the last 6 years. Good quality service, and I like their plans.

The CON:

Their customer service is HORRIBLY SLOW.

The PRO:

I've only had to use customer service twice in 6 years.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#845081 - 08/19/04 04:27 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Dan Offline


Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 1031
Loc: Colorado
There's great hope for a new retro-virus drug from Merck that will attack the carriers behind the current cell phone epidemic.

Only through advanced technology and research do we have any hope of overcoming and ending this horrible plague of the 21st century before all are infected.

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#845082 - 08/19/04 05:41 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
reblder Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/21/01
Posts: 1237
Loc: Sherman Oaks, Calif.
Kreisler.........

But I just changed to Sprint from Verizon today and that's because it'll work in at least one hillside area(in the Hollywood Hills)that Verizon and the others can't. Also, I can call anywhere in the country at no extra charge.

Mark Mandell

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#845083 - 08/19/04 07:08 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
I have PCS phone with Sprint for my wife and it has been trouble free except when she dropped it into some water (or so she says). I took the phone back and after they told me the problem was the battery . They tried a new battery that would have cost me 60 bucks and it didn't work. Well, then they got around to "you need a new phone". They had a 179 dollar model with a 150 dollar mail in rebate that (after all is said and done, mailed in and mailed back) would end up costing less than a new battery. I am still not dissatisfied with Sprint.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#845084 - 08/19/04 07:29 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
Derick

I have a Motorola i90c, and a Nokia 6610. Both are nice compact phones, but there are smaller ones.

The battery on the Motorola has a 2 day life even if not used and shorter if used.

The Nokia battery will go 4 days even with lite use.

Service providers? They all suck IMO.

lb

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#845085 - 08/19/04 07:33 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
They do all suck. Agreed.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#845086 - 08/19/04 07:44 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
JB

I have a Nextel anytime anywhere plan with 900 minutes per month, for $99.00.

But since 1/3 of my calls are international, my bill is quite a bit higher. I have never used my 900 minutes in one month on domestic calls.

The problem with all providers is you run into dead areas with all of them. This only happens when you are on an important call though.

lb

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#845087 - 08/19/04 07:45 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by lb:
Service providers? They all suck IMO.

[/b]
Just like Tracfone. It's amazing how many people mention "customer service" when discussing cell phones. Shouldn't they just work like the thing that sits on your wall?

Anyway, thanks for the info. I was afraid the smaller phones had a shorter battery life. I guess I'll have to do the unthinkable and actually stop in a store instead of ordering it over the internet.

Thanks again,
Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#845088 - 08/19/04 08:13 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
Derick

I use the Nokia with a Eurotel prepaid plan in Europe.

Unbelievable customer service when needed, which is seldom. Nothing in the U.S. I have seen come close to this.

Very economical also, international calls are about 25% of Nextels, and domestic cell to cell calls run about .03

lb

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#845089 - 08/19/04 08:17 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by lb:
JB

I have a Nextel anytime anywhere plan with 900 minutes per month, for $99.00.

But since 1/3 of my calls are international, my bill is quite a bit higher. I have never used my 900 minutes in one month on domestic calls.

The problem with all providers is you run into dead areas with all of them. This only happens when you are on an important call though.

lb [/b]
As one who designs coverage I have to agree. They never do all of what I propose. That, of course, is their decision. ;\)
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#845090 - 08/19/04 08:25 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
JB

And they don't like it when you say "I told you so", especially when you paraphrase it with "you stupid idiot". \:D

lb

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#845091 - 08/19/04 08:28 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
No, they like everything best when it sounds like it was their idea to start with unless it was wrong.

A consultant's life.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#845092 - 08/19/04 08:38 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
JB

"No, they like everything best when it sounds like it was their idea to start with unless it was wrong."


Perfect

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#845093 - 08/19/04 09:19 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
JB

I did a consulting job a few years back for furniture manufacturer that landed a huge contract with one of the largest telephone companies in the U.S.

The contract was for individual computer stations that all linked together and when linked formed geometrical designs instead of straight rows. Since this was beyond the norm for the manufacturer, they called me in to help.

When I first saw the blue prints and was mentally able to see what it would look like I said “that is going to be one ugly piece of Sh*t. I questioned this with the phone company and was told that it was done by their designer, and to do it to the prints.

Shortly after the job was shipped, the manufacturer called me and said that the whole job was rejected. Since this was several million dollars, we took off immediately for the site.

Upon inspection we could find nothing wrong with the units except that they were ugly. The installer contracted by the phone company though was not capable of doing the installation, and they were having trouble aligning the units, so was putting all the blame on the manufacturer.

In this meeting the manufacturer was making all kinds of concessions to save the job, while I stayed quiet and stewed. The man from the phone company, his name was Barry, after each concession would say “ Do you think this will satisfy me?” and then bitch about something else. When it reached the point that the manufacturer was going to really lose his *ss on the job and was still kissing *ss, Barry looked at me and said again “Do you think I will be satisfied?” I replied, Barry you wouldn't be satisfied with a piece of *ss and a bowl of ice cream. There was dead silence for awhile before the room exploded into chaos.

Barry's boss heard the shouting and came to see what was going on. Barry told him what I said, and he asked me what happened. I just explained the facts and offered some recommendations for solution of the problem. We ended up getting paid in full for the job plus extra for the modifications to improve the looks of the units. When the meeting was over, Barry's boss said that he wanted to buy me the biggest bowl of ice cream he could find. I took a crew to the site and oversaw the installation myself.

Consulting is an interesting job.

lb

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#845094 - 08/19/04 11:24 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3288
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
Derick-

I swapped my big, chunky phone for one of the new, smaller jobs back in March. I ended up giving the new phone to my daughter because I couldn't use it.

Why? The buttons were too small for my big fat fingers, the text was too small for me to read without glasses and it had so many features on it I never could figure out how it worked. The instruction book that came with it looked like the telephone directory. Who needs it?

Caveat emptor.
_________________________
Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#845095 - 08/20/04 01:05 AM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
That's a good point Steve, I certainly don't want the telephone that exceed the programming capability of a VCR.

And what's the thing with cameras and video recorders in phones? I don't get it.

I think I can live with short battery life (well I'll have to since it being very small is very important), but I really want a cheap plan. 10 minutes a month is good. Doubt they have such a plan but it would be great for people like me.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#845096 - 08/20/04 03:31 AM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
Derick

I don't know if there any prepaid plans available here, but that is what you need.

Anyone know anything about prepaid plans?

lb

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#845097 - 08/20/04 03:53 AM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
I do know of a couple of prepaid plans beside Tracfone, but the problem with them is that the phones they offer are just like the ones Tracfone offers - as big as microwave oven.

It would be great if Sprint or AT&T offered a prepaid plan. A few years ago, prior to going with Tracfone I looked into prepaid plans but at that time none of the "big players" had anything.

But that is a good option that I had forgotten about. Assuming a few carriers do, that would certainly limit the field to where I can digest all the info. And thanks for the phone recommendations.

A couple of sites I looked at gave out free phone, but they were huge. But if you scrolled down thru the 10,000 phones they offered, invariably they had one with millions of features that retails for $250 but there's a $200 rebate. I even saw a couple of $200+ phones that, after you apply the rebate, you actually make money. That doesn't make sense to me; give the cheap phone away with a signed contract, but give a customer $50 if they "buy" the most expensive phone available.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#845098 - 08/20/04 06:59 AM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
iainhp Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/18/01
Posts: 803
Loc: San Diego
Pre-paid plans _ I used Virgin Mobile for a while, and both my kids are on it. It uses the Sprint PCS network so it will work anywhere Sprint does. You must add $20 every 3 months to keep the phone and number alive. $0.25 a minute anywhere in the US - drops to $0.10 a minute after you have used 10 minutes in a day (drops only for that day).

I ported my phone number to Sprint PCS - it took almost 4 months and I am now well acquainted with Sprint customer service (was actually a Virgin Mobile problem as they wouldn't release the number). What I learne with Sprint is that if you have a problem and don't get satisfaction through customer service, you write a very nice letter to the head of Sprint PCS and copy it to the ceo of Sprint. Sprint PCS has a special group in Kansas city who supply email addresses and phone numbers and actually call you with information! One of the head honchos at Sprint will have them contact you. Key is to write a "nice" letter pointing out their failings.

I have a Sanyo 5600 (or 6500 - don't have it with me on vacation). It is a largish phone - batteries will maintain it for 15 days in standby, and about 4 hours of talk time. I generally charge it about once a week - take it on trips without charger. Great speakerphone - rivals my desk phone. And a great address book which is easy to use.

If you ever drop your phone in water I can advise you to submerge it in isopropyl alcohol for 10 or 20 seconds (wiggle it around some). The iso-propyl will displace the water. Leave the phone to dry for a while (the iso-propyl will evaporate). Should work fine afterwards (I used to work with underwater equipment which was flooded with sea water on a regular basis).

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#845099 - 08/20/04 08:02 AM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13707
Loc: Iowa City, IA
BTW, my Sprint plan:

# $45.00 PCS Free & Clear Plan
# All Minutes Include Long Distance
# 500 Anytime Minutes
# Unlimited Night and Weekend Minutes
# Nights: M-Th 9PM-7AM Wknd: F 9PM-M 7AM
# Caller ID, Call Waiting
# Three-way Calling
# Voicemail

If you don't call that much, or call different amounts each month, also check out Sprint's Fair and Flexible plan (I'm probably going to switch, myself.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#845100 - 08/20/04 08:58 AM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
justme Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/03
Posts: 4418
Loc: Englewood, FL
Derick,
I've had three different cell phone carriers. ALLTEL (which sucked), Verizon (which sucked more), and now Cingular (which doesn't suck as much.)

With ALLTELL the coverage was terrible. With Verizon the billing was horrendous. Cingular has fairly good coverage, has made a few mistakes in the billing which they were fairly prompt to fix.

I believe all cell companies are pigs.

Sorry for the strong language. It couldn't be helped.
_________________________
justme

http://toosad4words.blogspot.com/

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#845101 - 08/20/04 11:52 AM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
I'm beginning to wonder if I should just stick with Tracfone! That commercial of the guy being rushed into the emergency room after seeing his cell phone bill seems to apply to at least some aspect of cell phone usage.

Regarding the PCS network, if I remember correctly, Consumer Report said that there were a lot of dead spots with it and that it doesn't, or can't roam? Do I have my story straight.

$45/month is a bit steep UNLESS I could dump the wired phone which costs $36/month with ZERO phone calls. But I could look into the F&F plane.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#845102 - 08/20/04 11:58 AM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
PCS networks tend to have more coverage holes than cellular because they are on a higher frequency that does not propagate as well. Roaming is the same as cellular. No problem there.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#845103 - 08/20/04 12:14 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13707
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Yep...the Sprint system does have holes here and there, but I haven't had much trouble with it in the past. Sprint does seem to be pretty quick about adding more coverage and strengthening what they do have. I've used Sprint throughout the midwest and from Louisiana to Texas with no trouble. Also, Sprint has covered all (I think) of the major interstates in the US, so if you do a lot of road trips, you won't be considered as "roaming" as long as you're on the major interstate system.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#845104 - 08/20/04 12:25 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
They also have roaming agreements with a lot of the cellular companies so if you have a dual band phone you can roam onto the cellular systems where the PCS is not covering. Mostly in the rural areas.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#845105 - 08/20/04 12:35 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Dumb question, but do they, or can they deduct roaming charges from your anytime minutes?

I'd pretty much like to know exactly what I'm going to have to pay every month - I forgot about roaming.

Maybe I'm making a bigger deal of this than it is, but quite honestly my eyes glaze over looking at these wireless websites...

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#845106 - 08/20/04 12:50 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
netizen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/02/01
Posts: 1926
Loc: New York
I've used both Nextel and Verizon. Very happy with both as far as that sort of thing goes (coverage, etc). My preference is for nextel --I like the push-to-talk feature. I don't like talking on the phone in general, but I do like gadgets. So the camera/ringtone thing appeals to me...

...as does this nifty mp3 playing watch

N.
_________________________
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt

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#845107 - 08/20/04 01:22 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
That's a cool website. I really like the Swiss Army knife with the built in USB flash. What a great idea.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#845108 - 08/20/04 03:07 PM Re: Cell phones and cell phone carriers
WynnBear Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/13/03
Posts: 698
Loc: Dallas, TX
Derick, I don't think any of us can talk about cellphone coverage with you unless we live in your area.

For example, I just dropped Sprint because the phone spent way too much time in either "Analog Roam" or "Searching for Signal" mode. In fact the Samsung phone I had used up its battery in a fourth the time it should because searching for a connection was burning up the charge.

I just switched to Verizon and service and coverage is much better in the areas of New Orleans and South Louisiana that I travel. .

My point is just that every city and every area is different. Ask your neighbors and co-workers which carriers they use and what they think about the service.
_________________________
Wynne

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