View Full Version : Pre Paid Cell Phones?

06-08-2008, 04:31 PM
I have had cell phones for some time.
We don't use them much to tell the truth.
We may use them more once we get out there full time but I have been thinking of the pre paids to save some money.
I know of the costs and all.
My question relates to availability of a signal without being on some sort of roaming charges to your prepaid.
Is the service as good as a regular contract phone?

06-09-2008, 07:26 AM
Pre paids work wherever the host companies phones would work. However you may not be saving any money.. Unlike AT&T's rollover minutes pre-paid minutes DO expiere. so you pay say 30 bucks a month for minutes and if you don't use them you loose them. PLUS if you run into a problem and you need more minutes than you have.. You get cut off.

On the other hand you buy a contract and well.. The very lowest monthly contract is usually about the same as the pre-pay minutes. With some plans unused minutes roll over so your minutes build up and then when suddenly you need 'em, you got 'em

And even if you don't have a rollover plan.. You don't get cut off (you just pay more)

06-09-2008, 08:15 AM
I am wondering about connectivity.
I would not want to get into an area of the country where it was roaming all the time and special higher rates applied.

06-09-2008, 09:33 AM
I am wondering about connectivity.
I would not want to get into an area of the country where it was roaming all the time and special higher rates applied.

Six years ago when my daughter's first was born we had a pre-paid for me to carry in case I was out and about and they wanted to let me know what was going on. I got the phone then it took several minor disasters and 3 or 4 months to get it on line. First right after I bought it I had to call the company to find out why I couldn't get it to work. They told me well, you bought the wrong phone, the phone couldn't operate on the mode required here. I asked why wouldn't it work I bought it only 10 miles from the house. I got no definitive answer. So I had to wait for them to send me another. When I finally got it running and could use it, I quickly found out that if the tower is busy I couldn't get through and no one could call me. But by that time my grandson was already born. I ended getting a second line with our other carrier and haven't had a problem since.

Most cell phone companies have a 30 dollar a month plan, with more minutes that you would use, which is cheaper than a land line.

06-09-2008, 10:43 AM
OK, that was some time ago but if it's still happening I would not want a pre paid.

06-09-2008, 11:47 AM
My brother has been with Trac Phone for a couple of years now and it works for them.


06-09-2008, 04:13 PM
My grandmother has one, but like the posters above, does not use all the minutes, and it ends up costing her. What I ended up doing was buying another phone and adding it to my plan. Total cost was 9.99 a month. Since she does not use it often it works out. One of the best things we as family get is she has the ability to call for help when needed.
If you don't use it much you might want to see if a family member or close friend would let you piggy back on their plan.

Manual Garcia O'Kely
06-09-2008, 04:58 PM
Had the same dilemma: Mine was who's minutes would not expire in 90 days - we need a phone for this trip, but I don't want the constant billing, and did not want to have to recharge in a couple months.

T-mobile, if you buy 1000 minutes [$100], you get a year to use them, and I think you get to keep all your minutes for a year after that. I may or may not keep the phone after the trip. I got a promotional deal that included a pretty decent free phone.

As said, coverage depends on the network, I'm happy with T-mobile so far, but I don't pretend they are going to cover me all the way to Alaska.

The thing that drives me crazy with these phones is the latency in the network - it's really annoying - like having a satellite always in the circuit. I cannot get used to it.

I have to admit that the damn thing has come in handy more than once.

06-10-2008, 08:01 AM
I too use T-Mobile.. AT&T Claims "More bars in more places" but T-Mobile and AT&T have a full roam agreement There is no extra charge for roaming (Like there was in the old days) and the two networks are both GSM and there is a full agreement between them so if your AT&T phone works then my T-Mobile works and the other way around. This was not always the case but it is now.

This is also true of most of the other cellular carriers.. If you buy the "National" plan there is no roaming charge anywhere in the United States... Some of them it's anywhere in North America.

Some companies have "emergency" plans.. No minutes (or like 10 minutes a month) for well under 20 bucks even after taxes.

Here is T-Mobile's plan list http://www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/

They have plans down to 30 bucks

06-10-2008, 08:43 AM
T-Mobile is $40 for only 300 minutes? Seems a little high.
AllTell, who I am currently with, which apparently was just bought by Verizon (yet to be approved) is $60 and I get 900 minutes.
Seems like a lot of minutes for just $20 more but that rate may not stay put when my contract is up and if Verizon takes over.
I think I will just have to see how much more use I use the phone once I hit the road.
I may find I use it quite a bit more traveling.

06-10-2008, 11:37 AM
OK, that was some time ago but if it's still happening I would not want a pre paid.

As far as I know they are never primary user of the towers because they don't own any.

06-10-2008, 04:03 PM
Scroll down 40 bucks gets you 1,000 minutes

the 300 minutes for 40 bucks is the "Fave 5" plan

I don't have fave 5 since my "Fave 5" happen to be T-mobile customers so they are handset to handset minutes (all free on my somewhat old plan)

I'm on a family plan 1000, 3 phones 1000 shared minutes, and less than 100/month