Poll

I only use a cell phone for emergencies while driving . . .

Cell phone companies in Northern Illinois
0 (0%)
Cell phone emergencies
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 0

Voting closed: May 25, 2013, 02:43:03 PM

Author Topic: Cell Phones  (Read 5167 times)

Miamoo

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 234
  • Location: Somewhere near Chicago
Cell Phones
« on: January 25, 2013, 01:43:03 PM »
I only have a cell phone to use while driving if I'm gone from the house for 5 or more hours at a time.  (In other words, I hardly ever use the contraption - retired, walk most places, bla bla bla)  I could do without it entirely myself but the family wants constant contact.  It's only for emergencies!!!!

I had Boost Mobile for the longest time and their service as far as call quality and reception is great BUT!  You only have a set amount of time to use up the money you put in the account or they snatch it back.  And when you 're-Boost' (when your account hits $5.00) they charge almost $11.00. 

I hardly ever even hit the $5.00/month I use it so little so . . . my question is. . .  does anyone else out there know of anything better?  I'm sick of them snatching back my money even if it's only a few dollars a month.

We have Vonage for the home phone and that's been good for years but they've recently been jacking costs up as well so we're going to give nettalk.com a try.  Vonage is up to about $370/year for us 'loyal subscribers'.  nettalk - $30.00/year for the same service.
We'll see what happens.

Thanks for help and input.  We're 60 miles West of Chicago in a rural area.
 

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4371
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Cell Phones
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 03:30:28 PM »
Given your vague location, you're on Sprint's network (Boost is a Sprint MVNO) and Sprint has excellent coverage in Illinois, I can only recommend based on best general coverage provider in the area... which will either be a Sprint MVNO (no really terrific cheap ones exist since P'tel went to T-Mobile), or an AT&T MVNO. Given you're barely using $5 a month on Boost's 20 a minute Pay As You Go, I think the best recommendation anyone can make will be Airvoice Wireless' Pay As You Go for both cost and coverage. It's 10 per minute and text (half of what you were paying), $1 a month maintenance fee, $10 gets you 90 days of airtime, and unused balance rolls over so long as you keep the account active. (Coincidentally, this is the cheapest to maintain prepaid service available right now period, too.) I would still check their coverage map for your area first, though. As for phones, any old cheap AT&T or carrier unlocked handset with clean IMEI will be fine. You should be able to pick one up off CL, Ebay, or Amazon easily for under $25. (Heck, you could buy a cheap AT&T Go Phone and just stuff in the Airvoice SIM card if you wanted, you just won't be able to do MMS, WAP or web access.) The classic Nokia candybar handsets are always a good go-to, as are the ruggedized Samsungs.

If you want to stick with a Sprint MVNO, the only real alternative is going to be EcoMobile, where your minute costs will be a quarter of what you've been paying, texts will be a tenth, you'll have roll-over, but you'll be in for $10 a month and you'll still have to purchase a new handset as you won't be able to bring over your Boost phone.

As for VoIP service, NetTalk is certainly an option, and the quality isn't near as bad as Magic Jack is, but there's also other options out there better for less depending on how involved you want to get with configuration and your average usage patterns. If you want to do the NetTalk thing anyway, contact Ladymaier here on the forums... I know she's been using them for a few months now.

If you want to see a list of more MVNO cell phone carriers and VoIP providers, give the superguide a look.

Miamoo

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 234
  • Location: Somewhere near Chicago
Re: Cell Phones
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 01:48:52 PM »
Wow!  Thank you so much for all the information!  Much to research!!!!!!!  I so appreciate it!  Yes you're correct re: Sprint etc.   Looks like good coverage from Airvoice.  Wonder if I can still use my ancient (but beloved:-)) Motorola i265.  Not a Boost phone . . . leftover from my past life as a construction manager when cell phones were just phones and I needed it as a 'walky-talky' as well.  (No snickering ! I'm a totally technologically challenged person.  This gadget does exactly what I need it to do - very plain and simple)

Again . . . I so appreciate the help and will check out the superguide and try to contact Ladymaier to see what her experience has been.

Thank you!

Blessings

Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4371
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
Re: Cell Phones
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 01:57:59 PM »
No problem, glad to help. :)

As for the Moto i265, you won't be able to as it's an old Nextel iDEN handset. I should apologize for that misunderstanding and correct myself with my first post:
Quote
As for phones, any old cheap AT&T or carrier unlocked GSM handset with clean IMEI will be fine. You should be able to pick one up off CL, Ebay, or Amazon easily for under $25.

Miamoo

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 234
  • Location: Somewhere near Chicago
Re: Cell Phones
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 02:43:24 PM »
Well I figured I'd have to retire old i265.  The kids and grandkids make fun of me all the time.  No need for apologies on your part fer sure!  :-)

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Cell Phones
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 08:48:03 PM »
The kids and grandkids make fun of me all the time.

Well, if they feel that way about it, tell them you're leaving everything to the SPCA :-)

Miamoo

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 234
  • Location: Somewhere near Chicago
Re: Cell Phones
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 07:18:38 AM »
Ha ha!  Maybe I should bequeath it to one of 'em in the will :-)