Author Topic: Can someone check my numbers, please?  (Read 9473 times)

Starstuff

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Can someone check my numbers, please?
« on: November 15, 2013, 07:17:12 AM »
Hi! This is just a quick "make sure my reasoning isn't wrong" question. Thanks for taking a second.

I want a cheaper cell phone bill, so I'm switching to Republic Wireless. The question is when. If I cancel my line on a Family Share Plan with Verizon as of Dec. 1, here are the costs:

$299 for a phone
$45 for a case/shipping
$180 early cancellation
$150 earned for selling my iPhone

$25 per month for the new contract
$68 per month now (1/3 of the family plan)

So.... By my calculations, I break even in July, which happens to be the month my Verizon contract can be cancelled without a fee. So why not wait until July? Because (this is where I need checked) I would still have to put up the $299 + $45 for the phone, etc and chances are my iPhone 4S would lose at least $50 in value, if it was even still salable at that point. So technically, it would take me minimum 5-6 months to break even from the start-up cost, so I wouldn't really be saving anything until Jan 2015.

So, by paying the cancellation fee and starting next month, I can start seeing a savings in July 2014 rather than Jan 2015. Is this logic correct? Am I missing something?

Thank you!!

Ipodius

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 07:40:22 AM »
Can't you get your iPhone 4s unlocked at the end of your contract, and use it as a GSM phone on one of the MVNOs? That might work out cheaper.

Le0

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 08:01:45 AM »
As far as I can tell.

If you Switch Now

It will cost $574 between now and July.
This requires money upfront.
New phone already bought.

If you Wait

It will cost $544 between now and July
Does not require money upfront.
You will still need to buy a phone at the end of July ($299)


I think the switch is good, you will start making profit in about August. But its a lot of money up front. Maybe waiting until your plan is cheaper to cancel, or selling your phone and buy a cheap temp between now and January then Canceling.

Can't you get your iPhone 4s unlocked at the end of your contract, and use it as a GSM phone on one of the MVNOs? That might work out cheaper.

This is a good option.


Starstuff

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 08:03:43 AM »
Can't you get your iPhone 4s unlocked at the end of your contract, and use it as a GSM phone on one of the MVNOs? That might work out cheaper.

Because that's illegal.... And I don't care how frugal something is, or how wrong a law is, I'm not going to carry around an illegally unlocked phone. Besides, I'm not 100% certain this iPhone has enough life in it to make that a worthwhile option.

arebelspy

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 08:05:39 AM »
Can't you get your iPhone 4s unlocked at the end of your contract, and use it as a GSM phone on one of the MVNOs? That might work out cheaper.

Because that's illegal.... And I don't care how frugal something is, or how wrong a law is, I'm not going to carry around an illegally unlocked phone. Besides, I'm not 100% certain this iPhone has enough life in it to make that a worthwhile option.

...whatttt?

[Citation needed.]

At the end of your contract, you ask the carrier to unlock your phone (reread what Ipodius posted).  Completely legal and ethical.

Don't let propaganda fool you into thinking otherwise.  :)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 08:07:29 AM by arebelspy »
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Le0

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 08:06:05 AM »
Can't you get your iPhone 4s unlocked at the end of your contract, and use it as a GSM phone on one of the MVNOs? That might work out cheaper.

Because that's illegal.... And I don't care how frugal something is, or how wrong a law is, I'm not going to carry around an illegally unlocked phone. Besides, I'm not 100% certain this iPhone has enough life in it to make that a worthwhile option.

Really its illegal? Can't you pay your phone company to unlock it for you? We can do that here in Canada, once the contract is up. Sometimes the cost way too expensive to make sense.

olivia

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 08:06:36 AM »
Can't you get your iPhone 4s unlocked at the end of your contract, and use it as a GSM phone on one of the MVNOs? That might work out cheaper.

Because that's illegal.... And I don't care how frugal something is, or how wrong a law is, I'm not going to carry around an illegally unlocked phone. Besides, I'm not 100% certain this iPhone has enough life in it to make that a worthwhile option.

If you're out of your contract it's not illegal.  So the suggestion is to wait until the end of your contract, get the iPhone unlocked legally, then use it.

Cinder

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 08:09:25 AM »
Besides, I'm not 100% certain this iPhone has enough life in it to make that a worthwhile option.

FWIW, I'm still running around with an Iphone 4 that my dad got me the Christmas after it came out, without a functioning home button, still serves me plenty well!

huadpe

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 08:15:32 AM »
I would look into Ting service as well as Republic.  If you don't want a "latest and greatest" phone, you can get one there much cheaper than from Republic, and you aren't locked into any weird software for wifi calling.

Starstuff

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 08:15:45 AM »
Can't you get your iPhone 4s unlocked at the end of your contract, and use it as a GSM phone on one of the MVNOs? That might work out cheaper.

Because that's illegal.... And I don't care how frugal something is, or how wrong a law is, I'm not going to carry around an illegally unlocked phone. Besides, I'm not 100% certain this iPhone has enough life in it to make that a worthwhile option.

...whatttt?

[Citation needed.]

At the end of your contract, you ask the carrier to unlock your phone (reread what Ipodius posted).  Completely legal and ethical.

Don't let propaganda fool you into thinking otherwise.  :)

It's illegal to unlock you phone yourself, and the carrier has the right to refuse to do so. The Library of Congress made a copyright ruling on that a little while ago. I've heard that Verizon frequently exercises the right to refuse. However, I haven't asked. And, apparently, the new FCC chairman is going to chance things.

http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/11/new-fcc-chairman-tells-wireless-carriers-to-unlock-cell-phones/

Starstuff

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2013, 08:22:10 AM »
I would look into Ting service as well as Republic.  If you don't want a "latest and greatest" phone, you can get one there much cheaper than from Republic, and you aren't locked into any weird software for wifi calling.

I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city). Otherwise, based on my actual usage, Ting is about twice as expensive for me as Republic. (My parents live 300 miles away and my boyfriend lives 200 miles away--quite by accident--so I use a lot of minutes and texts, or my mothers starts to think I'm dead.) And I consider the access to VOIP calling a plus because it gives me signal where I wouldn't otherwise have it. I chose Republic because I'm *pretty* sure it's the cheapest based on my usage, but I won't swear to that.

arebelspy

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2013, 08:23:00 AM »
That is correct.

Much more so than a blanket "it is illegal."  :)

Ask your carrier to do so, I doubt they'll refuse to unlock a several year old iPhone 4.  And if they do, politely say thank you, hang up, and call back, and the next rep will do so.
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arebelspy

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2013, 08:23:31 AM »
I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city).

Buy a cheap GPS unit from craigslist?
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huadpe

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2013, 08:41:33 AM »
I would look into Ting service as well as Republic.  If you don't want a "latest and greatest" phone, you can get one there much cheaper than from Republic, and you aren't locked into any weird software for wifi calling.

I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city). Otherwise, based on my actual usage, Ting is about twice as expensive for me as Republic. (My parents live 300 miles away and my boyfriend lives 200 miles away--quite by accident--so I use a lot of minutes and texts, or my mothers starts to think I'm dead.) And I consider the access to VOIP calling a plus because it gives me signal where I wouldn't otherwise have it. I chose Republic because I'm *pretty* sure it's the cheapest based on my usage, but I won't swear to that.

Yeah, you can run your usage numbers through Ting's calculator and see.  I don't think that the wifi calling is a bad feature mind, I just dislike that you're very locked into their software for the phone. Ting on the other hand will let you root your phone, use it as a hotspot, etc, and doesn't care.  Heck, they have a whole section of the official forums devoted to hacking the phones.  https://help.ting.com/forums/20464296-Hacks

Personally, if you're in the $300 area for a smartphone, I'd look seriously at the Nexus 5 from google play, which can be brought to a bunch of different carriers, and is $350 fully (and legally) unlocked.

Le0

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2013, 09:19:55 AM »
I would look into Ting service as well as Republic.  If you don't want a "latest and greatest" phone, you can get one there much cheaper than from Republic, and you aren't locked into any weird software for wifi calling.

I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city). Otherwise, based on my actual usage, Ting is about twice as expensive for me as Republic. (My parents live 300 miles away and my boyfriend lives 200 miles away--quite by accident--so I use a lot of minutes and texts, or my mothers starts to think I'm dead.) And I consider the access to VOIP calling a plus because it gives me signal where I wouldn't otherwise have it. I chose Republic because I'm *pretty* sure it's the cheapest based on my usage, but I won't swear to that.

Yeah, you can run your usage numbers through Ting's calculator and see.  I don't think that the wifi calling is a bad feature mind, I just dislike that you're very locked into their software for the phone. Ting on the other hand will let you root your phone, use it as a hotspot, etc, and doesn't care.  Heck, they have a whole section of the official forums devoted to hacking the phones.  https://help.ting.com/forums/20464296-Hacks

Personally, if you're in the $300 area for a smartphone, I'd look seriously at the Nexus 5 from google play, which can be brought to a bunch of different carriers, and is $350 fully (and legally) unlocked.

I second the Google Nexus 5 option. I bought a nexus 4 last year and it is fantastic!

madage

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 09:25:44 AM »
Can't you get your iPhone 4s unlocked at the end of your contract, and use it as a GSM phone on one of the MVNOs? That might work out cheaper.

This is a good option.

No, it's not. Verizon will unlock the sim slot for international use on an iPhone 4S, but US carriers are still blocked. There are hacks that can make a Verizon 4S work with US carriers, but I'm not recommending them.

I'm also not going to recommend Republic Wireless at all. I will recommend the OP read at least the first two posts of the Superguide, and pay for what you need.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 09:26:25 AM »
I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city).

I'll just suggest that the only way to stop relying on GPS is to stop using it altogether.  If you can get somewhat comfortable finding your cardinal direction, you'll be fine. 

Starstuff

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2013, 09:42:23 AM »
I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city).

I'll just suggest that the only way to stop relying on GPS is to stop using it altogether.  If you can get somewhat comfortable finding your cardinal direction, you'll be fine.

A. I have a measurable difficulty with spatial perception. Telling me to get comfortable with cardinal directions is like telling a dyslexic to learn the alphabet better.
B. That doesn't do me any good when I need to find 2459 West 20th St....

I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city).

Buy a cheap GPS unit from craigslist?

I walk and bike more than I drive, so a car GPS is fairly useless.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2013, 10:03:11 AM »
A. I have a measurable difficulty with spatial perception. Telling me to get comfortable with cardinal directions is like telling a dyslexic to learn the alphabet better.
B. That doesn't do me any good when I need to find 2459 West 20th St....

A. Fair enough.
B. Have you tried finding West 1st street and keep walking the direction the numbers go up?  Cities are much, much easier to navigate than rural areas because of the grid/numbers system. 

Ipodius

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2013, 11:07:33 AM »
Sorry, looks like it is the case that they will unlock it, but only for international use. My bad!

Considering that, I think getting a Nexus 5 or a Nexus 4 second hand is a great option, or infact any relatively recent iPhone / Android phone. I don't know what it's like over there, but I've consistently got almost new phones (2 or 3 months old) for half price over here. Combined with a prepaid plan, it saves me more than $1000 a year vs the contracts everyone else seems to have. So good job on deciding to change!

Another thing is to mention on Facebook that you are looking for a second hand phone - you'll be amazed by the number of people who have 100% useable phones sitting in a drawer at home because they are too lazy to sell it. They'll end up selling it to you for way below market value because there is no risk or hassle in doing so, vs selling on Craiglist.

Starstuff

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2013, 12:27:26 PM »
A. I have a measurable difficulty with spatial perception. Telling me to get comfortable with cardinal directions is like telling a dyslexic to learn the alphabet better.
B. That doesn't do me any good when I need to find 2459 West 20th St....

A. Fair enough.
B. Have you tried finding West 1st street and keep walking the direction the numbers go up?  Cities are much, much easier to navigate than rural areas because of the grid/numbers system.

I live in a city that seems to find it amusing to not label streets and buildings. Or, W 1st will start here, go half a mile, turn into something, and then two miles and a right turn later, turn back into W 1st. (I wish I were exaggerating with that example....) There are very, very few areas that are a reliable grid. I'm not trying to make excuses or anything, but this city is absurd to navigate.

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2013, 12:36:26 PM »
Just out of curiosity, which Ohio city? (I've lived in several.)

You are right: older cities (like Boston) have streets that were basically paved cow paths. Newer cities (like Minneapolis) are indeed relatively easy to navigate. If your city is more like Boston, don't feel the least bit embarrassed to use GPS/smartphone. It's more intelligent than wasting time wandering around lost.

Starstuff

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2013, 01:03:30 PM »
Just out of curiosity, which Ohio city? (I've lived in several.)

You are right: older cities (like Boston) have streets that were basically paved cow paths. Newer cities (like Minneapolis) are indeed relatively easy to navigate. If your city is more like Boston, don't feel the least bit embarrassed to use GPS/smartphone. It's more intelligent than wasting time wandering around lost.

Cincinnati..... It's a love-hate relationship.

footenote

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2013, 01:14:23 PM »
I have lived in Cincinnati and feel your pain.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2013, 02:24:12 PM »
I live in a city that seems to find it amusing to not label streets and buildings. Or, W 1st will start here, go half a mile, turn into something, and then two miles and a right turn later, turn back into W 1st. (I wish I were exaggerating with that example....) There are very, very few areas that are a reliable grid. I'm not trying to make excuses or anything, but this city is absurd to navigate.

"I'm on the intersection of...1st and 1st!?  This must be the nexus of the universe!"

arebelspy

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2013, 06:53:18 PM »
I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city).

Buy a cheap GPS unit from craigslist?

I walk and bike more than I drive, so a car GPS is fairly useless.

I'm not sure what a car GPS is (like the built in-dash ones?), but I meant a little handheld unit.  I just looked on Craigslist in my area and see you can get one for about $20.  That seems to solve your reason for a smart phone over a flip phone quite cheaply.

(Aside from old school techniques like maps, or calling for directions, or printing directions ahead of time - none of which require a good sense of direction.)
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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2013, 07:03:07 PM »
Can you use facetime or skype or google hangouts? $299 seems a lot for a phone when you can buy a refurbished EVO 4g for like $50 on glyde/swappa/amazon.  I think Virgin Mobile might be a good bet for $45/mo unlimited talk, and their phones are super cheap too.

Starstuff

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2013, 11:30:00 AM »
I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city).

Buy a cheap GPS unit from craigslist?

I walk and bike more than I drive, so a car GPS is fairly useless.

I'm not sure what a car GPS is (like the built in-dash ones?), but I meant a little handheld unit.  I just looked on Craigslist in my area and see you can get one for about $20.  That seems to solve your reason for a smart phone over a flip phone quite cheaply.

(Aside from old school techniques like maps, or calling for directions, or printing directions ahead of time - none of which require a good sense of direction.)

I was under the impression that most of those hand-held ones had to be plugged in to run? My last GPS unit needed to be plugged into the car and updated with a disk. I'm clearly a little out of touch there.... I suppose I should have known better, given the state of mobile technology. I guess it's time to start looking at that option instead. And while I appreciate the ability to get around using maps, things tend to end in disaster if I'm not using something that can find me... Seriously, you'll think I'm exaggerating or straight lying if I tell you how easily and thoroughly I can get lost. 25 years later, I still surprise myself.

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2013, 12:39:03 PM »
I seriously considered a flip phone, but I'm pretty heavily dependent on GPS to get around (still new-ish to the city).

Buy a cheap GPS unit from craigslist?

I walk and bike more than I drive, so a car GPS is fairly useless.

I'm not sure what a car GPS is (like the built in-dash ones?), but I meant a little handheld unit.  I just looked on Craigslist in my area and see you can get one for about $20.  That seems to solve your reason for a smart phone over a flip phone quite cheaply.

(Aside from old school techniques like maps, or calling for directions, or printing directions ahead of time - none of which require a good sense of direction.)

I was under the impression that most of those hand-held ones had to be plugged in to run? My last GPS unit needed to be plugged into the car and updated with a disk. I'm clearly a little out of touch there.... I suppose I should have known better, given the state of mobile technology. I guess it's time to start looking at that option instead. And while I appreciate the ability to get around using maps, things tend to end in disaster if I'm not using something that can find me... Seriously, you'll think I'm exaggerating or straight lying if I tell you how easily and thoroughly I can get lost. 25 years later, I still surprise myself.

We have an ancient handheld that runs on AA batteries. It's been working for us in woods and on roads since ~2002 or 2003.

arebelspy

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2013, 06:56:31 PM »
Many of them have internal batteries and need to be charged to run, but don't have to be constantly plugged in.

Think of a little rectangle you can carry, about the size of a smartphone or smaller, like this or this:




Like I said, they range from $20 - $100 on Craigslist.  No ongoing costs (subscription or anything) required.
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Le0

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Re: Can someone check my numbers, please?
« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2013, 09:27:44 PM »

Like I said, they range from $20 - $100 on Craigslist.  No ongoing costs (subscription or anything) required.

Maps do get old. However they are often update-able for free via downloads. However most people don't bother, because city street names stay the sameish.