Author Topic: Tween Phone Recommendations  (Read 3562 times)

Midwest

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Tween Phone Recommendations
« on: November 30, 2015, 12:43:21 PM »
I'm looking at a cheap phone for my tween.  Need unlimited talk and text.  Data can be had from wifi (ie I'm not paying for a data plan for my 12 year old).

Was set on republic wireless $10 a month plan (recommended by MMM and Clark Howard), but the tech superguide recommends against republic.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/

Any thoughts/experiences with Republic and/or other recommendations (first hand)?  Don't mind paying for the phone, but don't want a huge monthly bill.

Thanks,

MW


Scandium

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Re: Tween Phone Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2015, 01:06:40 PM »
A lot of options if you have limited minutes/text, but airvoice has a plan with unlimited, and 100MB data, for $20
https://www.airvoicewireless.com/Plans.aspx

kd2008

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Re: Tween Phone Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2015, 04:20:32 PM »
For a GSM LTE phone look at something like ZTE maven 4G for $18 on bestbuy or ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/191702885931?rmvSB=true

Pair it with Airvoice plan ($10 monthly plan for low usage) or H2O wireless plan (1GB with unlimited talk & txt for $27 on autopay) or Cricket Wireless basic plan ( 2.5 GB with unlimited talk & txt for $35 on autopay)

A bit of setup  cost of about few dollars may be involved.

Cricket Wireless has $100 port-in credit for non-AT&T lines, some great phones deals for cyber monday and also $25 referral credit. PM me if you would like referral.

Be warned that I am a very different recommend-er and different philosophy person than IP guy. He will take exceptions to all my recommendations.

Daley

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Re: Tween Phone Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2015, 09:21:34 PM »
I'm looking at a cheap phone for my tweenNeed unlimited talk and text.  Data can be had from wifi (ie I'm not paying for a data plan for my 12 year old).

Emphasis added, this is bonkers. A 12 year old doesn't need unlimited anything, especially if you can't justify paying for any data to begin with.

I wasn't allowed my own phone growing up until I could budget and pay for it myself and that shapes my own approach. They want a mobile phone? Fine. They can manage and budget usage themselves if it costs money. Otherwise, they can wait until they're 13 (age of legal consent for any services that requires collecting personal information from any provider unless they offer an under-age parental opt-out), then they can get a Google Voice account and do free phone calls and texts from the home computer at that point.

Even if you want to pay for it, make it a teachable moment and set a budget. You mentioned Republic Wireless, let's use this budget to set numbers - $120 for service, $70 for a refurb phone plus about $40 for taxes. Let them read the guide, give them that $230 budget, and tell them they can buy any phone they want with it and then figure out how to make the rest of the money last for a year of phone service. If they run out of cash, you're not going to make up the difference and they basically take away their phone service from themselves. It's not an unreasonable budget as new carrier unlocked Windows and Android smartphones can be had for as little as $50 most days now (look into Blu and Nokia handsets) and we're not even considering the used market here, and $180 can buy a lot of talk and text time in one year with PureTalk USA, especially if they don't use mobile data.



Be warned that I am a very different recommend-er and different philosophy person than IP guy. He will take exceptions to all my recommendations.

You know, I really don't appreciate so many people putting words in my mouth these days.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2015, 09:35:35 PM by I.P. Daley »

Midwest

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Re: Tween Phone Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 08:12:45 AM »
IP -

I plan on using it as a teachable moment.  Specifically that monthly costs/payments need to be controlled/considered.  That "free" phone with a $70 monthly cost is actually costing you $840 a year. 

A Moto E is $130 and  $10 a month for service.  If she loses or breaks the phone, she can use her own money to replace.

With regard to the unlimited voice/text, I probably should have said prefer.  The preference is for my sanity.  If she's constantly going over, it will be a pain to me.  No data means no overages and unlimited talk/txt means she can text to her hearts content.

For what I want, republic seems the best value but your guide (which is comprehensive) indicates republic is a bad deal.  Specifically bad math, gotcha's and poor execution.  Could you elaborate?

Thanks for any insights you may have.

MW

Daley

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Re: Tween Phone Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2015, 09:04:22 AM »
I plan on using it as a teachable moment.  Specifically that monthly costs/payments need to be controlled/considered.  That "free" phone with a $70 monthly cost is actually costing you $840 a year. 
(snip)
With regard to the unlimited voice/text, I probably should have said prefer.  The preference is for my sanity.  If she's constantly going over, it will be a pain to me.  No data means no overages and unlimited talk/txt means she can text to her hearts content.

Aah, but killing the need to ration and prioritize personal communication usage is part of the bigger teachable moment regarding budgeting on a whole, not just money, but time as well. It'll help self-restrict and prevent usage abuse, over-reliance and addiction, as well as help develop better time management skills and give consideration to where the lines are between useful information, meaningful communication and idle gossip, and placing a tangible price and consequence on that idle gossip. They basically become their own bad guy when they use the phone for more than say 30 minutes a day and then lose phone service for two weeks because of it.

For what I want, republic seems the best value but your guide (which is comprehensive) indicates republic is a bad deal.  Specifically bad math, gotcha's and poor execution.  Could you elaborate?

There are three posts over on my site that'll probably be worth reading regarding this topic to help you better understand why I don't typically recommend "unlimited" plans as a default and where my concerns are with Republic specifically:

The Math of Unlimited
Ask Daley: The End of Google Voice & Republic Wireless
Democratic Motors


Here's also a Republic Wireless Wikia entry on the complete list of caveats with the service.

A tl;dr nutshell can be boiled down to: no real customer support, punitive legal agreements, proprietary lock-in, show-killer technical issues, a poorly executed and hacky approach to hybrid calling, and overpriced as a VoIP service but under-priced and too unreliable as an actual mobile service for what's being promised.

gliderpilot567

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Re: Tween Phone Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 10:20:20 AM »
Until I was 22 years old, my mobile phone plan consisted of making sure I always had two quarters in my pocket wherever I went, so I could use a pay phone if needed. Two coins are a hell of a lot lighter to carry than a cell phone was back then, and easier to replace if they get lost. And it taught me to make sure I really needed to place that call, since I would only get one... eliminating long-duration and frivolous phone use.

Unfortunately, these days pay phones are almost extinct in many parts of the US, so you can't really use that old technique anymore.

Midwest

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Re: Tween Phone Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2015, 02:40:20 PM »
Thanks for all the recommendations.  Especially helpful to find out some of republic's terms of service.

Appreciate all the information.

Thanks again.

MW

kd2008

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Re: Tween Phone Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2015, 08:25:47 PM »
Thanks for all the recommendations.  Especially helpful to find out some of republic's terms of service.

Appreciate all the information.

Thanks again.

MW

MW, I am glad you found your answers.

If I were a tween, I may not receive the message of teachable moment nor welcome it. Instead I would prefer my parents to teach me to be entrepreneurial. Like get a 99c sim on tmo prepaid, activate it but do not fund it, port it to cricket for $100 rebate plus score a free phone with free sim and free activation online, use a referral for $25 credit, refer 10 other friends for $250 credit, get the basic plan of unlimited talk and text plus 2.5 GB data and low speed data afterwards good enough to stream music, change the plans twice a month to get additional high speed data etc. Never worry about "artificial" scarcity or judge someone else's "excessive" usage as wasteful, etc. Teaching a child to be judgmental like that is to limit their world view of possibilities and frame their young mind from a seat of fear. A big no for me.

But this is me and not you. These are my values and not yours. You have the freedom and choice to parent your tween as you see fit. And that is a good thing.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Tween Phone Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2015, 06:01:10 AM »
A lot of kids are using chat apps like Messenger, Hangouts, etc where it's just small amounts of data or WiFi that you'd need instead of SMS.

I don't get the love prominent folks have for Republic, as so many of the "real" people I've known who tried it have run into the very pitfalls Daley has so helpfully been warning us about. I would have gone Republic (not knowing better) without his guide.