Trac Phones? Need ideas for saving money on phone, Internet, etc. - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-03-2011, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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First, we are not big media users at our house.

We do not have cable, and we don't want cable.

 

We do, however, feel that we have to have a high-speed Internet connection. 

We are paying about $55.00/month for that.

 

And then there's the phone. DH and I both have cell phones, but they get limited use. We prefer to talk on a land line due to potential radiation from the cell phones. So we are spending another $50+/month on our land line.

 

My cell phone is about $29/month for something like 60 free minutes (which I never use up in a month).

 

DH has a trac phone. It was pretty cheap. I think I paid $100, but then got enough minutes and air time to last us a year. So a little less than $10/month.

 

It seems crazy that we are spending almost $150/month on this stuff altogether!

 

Are there less expensive Internet connections out there? I'm thinking we don't need top-of-the-line high speed, since we are basically just surfing and checking email. Although I do like to upload high resolution photo to sites like Snapfish.

 

I'm thinking I could switch to digital phone and get a package deal for phone and Internet? Does anyone have something like this?

 

We're also thinking about dropping my cell phone plan and getting another trac phone for me. On the trac phone website, they say you can get one phone for $9.99/month and a second for only $6 extra/month.

 

However, we have found DH's trac phone to be a piece of junk. Half the time it doesn't even work! I'm not sure if this is the phone service or if we just have a cheap phone. In any case, we need a phone/plan we can rely on, in case there's an emergency.

 

Anyone have any experience with trac phones?

 

Thanks for any advice you have on this stuff!

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Old 04-03-2011, 06:55 AM
 
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Dh and I have had tracfones for years.  I find they have good coverage where we live, and I've never had a problem when we travel.

 

The phones themselves are pretty basic, but  I don't text or need to do much but use the phone once to talk in a great while, maybe 20 min/month, tops.  It's fine for that, and it's less than $200/year for both of us.

 

If you need their customer service it is beyond dreadful.  You'll be on hold, get cut off and have to start all over, be forced to repeat your problems endlessly, get shuffled from rep to rep, all of whom read from a script and aren't allowed to deviate.  Many are very difficult to understand.

 

DD13 has  Virgin Mobile for $25/month, which is unlimited texting, etc., plus 300 minutes per month.  That's also worked out fine.

 

I'll bet you could save money buy switching to digital phone and internet.  I know I could save probably $65/month, but I don't want digital phone.

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Old 04-03-2011, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks EFMom! That's good to know about the Trac phones. I guess I should just try them. I can always switch if they're no good.

 

Can I ask why you don't want digital phone? I didn't want it in the past, because I worried I'd have no phone if the power or cable went out (that seems to happen frequently in my area). But of course it wouldn't matter if the power/cable went out, because we'd have our cell phones.

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Old 04-03-2011, 08:53 AM
 
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Around here, if the power is out, it's not uncommon for there to be no cell phone reception.   That's the primary reason I don't want digital phone. If it's out for a few days, you can't recharge the phone. 

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Old 04-03-2011, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post

Around here, if the power is out, it's not uncommon for there to be no cell phone reception.   That's the primary reason I don't want digital phone. If it's out for a few days, you can't recharge the phone. 

 

That's interesting. I wonder if we are losing reception here when the power goes out. I'll have to test it next time! We live in a very large suburb, but we have lots of trees and lots of power outages. We once lost power for 5 days! But it was only portions of our town without power, so you could charge your phone at the library, etc.
 

 

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Old 04-03-2011, 06:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taubel View Post



 

That's interesting. I wonder if we are losing reception here when the power goes out. I'll have to test it next time! We live in a very large suburb, but we have lots of trees and lots of power outages. We once lost power for 5 days! But it was only portions of our town without power, so you could charge your phone at the library, etc.
 

 



We've also lost power for many days at a time, sometimes more than a week.  On occasion, the entire region will be out.  I don't want to be home with no working phone in the event of an emergency.  At that point, it's not helpful to me to know that I could get in the car and drive somewhere to charge my phone--I just want to be able to call.  It's a chance many people are willing to take to save the cost of a conventional landline, but I'm not.

 

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Old 04-03-2011, 06:59 PM
 
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We had a Verizon cell phone plan for $40 a month for 1 phone. We switched it to 2 pay as you go phones. The phones were $20 and we put $100 on each phone. We are on track to use only the initial $100 for the whole year. We each have a phone we use only in emergencies and we get excellent coverage from Verizon.

Each day we use a phone, we get charged 99 cents, plus 10 cents a minute to non Verizon numbers. We use the phones about 2x a week, just to let each other know we will be late, etc. Another great bonus is - no more talking and driving!

So glad we did this, we are saving $20 a month and now we both have phones. I love not having a phone to answer all day. Everyone knows to call me at home now.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:03 PM
 
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“What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil: envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil. And what is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.”
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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Are the pay as you go phones still Verizon? We have two phones through Verizon and are paying $73 a month. But generally dh and I are only talking to eachother. They are our only phones and so if we make other calls we use them, but then it's not often and usually not long calls. So I'm assuming you have a landline too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline529 View Post

We had a Verizon cell phone plan for $40 a month for 1 phone. We switched it to 2 pay as you go phones. The phones were $20 and we put $100 on each phone. We are on track to use only the initial $100 for the whole year. We each have a phone we use only in emergencies and we get excellent coverage from Verizon.

Each day we use a phone, we get charged 99 cents, plus 10 cents a minute to non Verizon numbers. We use the phones about 2x a week, just to let each other know we will be late, etc. Another great bonus is - no more talking and driving!

So glad we did this, we are saving $20 a month and now we both have phones. I love not having a phone to answer all day. Everyone knows to call me at home now.


 

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Old 04-04-2011, 02:00 PM
 
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Yes we have a Verizon landline/cable/internet package. Our cell phones are also Verizon. I wanted to stay with them because around here, the call quality is excellent with them. 

 

Most everyone I know also has a $50+ cell phone/data plan as well. It was scandalous that we downsized our phones to pay as you go! A few people act put out that they have to call me at home and sometimes "wait" for me to call back. I am so happy with my decision to ditch the constantly ringing cell phone. Even if I turned it off there were always messages to check, and sometimes double messages at home.

 

Now when I am out I am focused on what I am doing. When I get home, I return calls. I will keep going this way for as long as I can until my kids become teens, I guess, and force the texting issue.

 

I don't feel comfortable not having a landline, but for us texting or using the internet on the go is completely not neccessary.

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Old 04-04-2011, 09:55 PM
 
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We have a landline with caller ID (no long distance), and FastAccess DSL Xtreme 6.0 through AT&T and pay $69.38 for that together. We also have Pay As You Go phones through AT&T and like a previous poster said, you can get air time for an entire year for $100. We usually end up putting a $30 card on our phones that lasts 3 months though, just because we don't have the money to put up front.


treehugger.gifWAH and homeschooling mom to my two boys: E (9) and E (7) 

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