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Shopping for cell phones/service for your trip

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Aug 29th, 2006, 02:34 PM
  #1
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Shopping for cell phones/service for your trip

I am shopping for a new plan that will work on our upcoming travels and in most locations we will be visiting in the near future. Here are some good comparison sites I've found:

http://shop.foncentral.com/

http://www.myrateplan.com/

http://www.cellreception.com/

If know of others, please post link here. Thanks!
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Aug 29th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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BayouGal:

We have never had a cell phone but think perhaps this would be helpful here at home and when we travel.

You stated you are shopping for a new plan so it sounds to me you know some of the pros and cons.

We need only a very basic plan. Once we decide on this where is the best place to purchase phones?

Unsure why but this seems so confusing to me so any other tips you can share with a newbie about cell phones would be appreciated.

Thanks for the links.

Sandy
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Aug 29th, 2006, 07:54 PM
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I got my last phone from Amazon.com. They have some fantastic deals on phones, such as even getting money back if you purchase the phone with new service. For example, earlier this year I switched to T-Mobile and got a Motorola phone that was free plus gave me a $100 rebate. LetsTalk.com also has good deals sometimes.

As for traveling and phones: one approach may be not to pick a service provider based solely on traveling, unless you will be gone for many weeks. Most of the time you will use your phone at home or work or in between, so you should pick your provider mostly based on that. An option you can use is to get a 2nd prepaid phone like Tracphone or Virgin Mobile just for use on trips, if you find it will work in the area where you travel. If you get a great deal on some other service provider that happens not to provide good service in your travel region, this could wind up even being cheaper than just paying more for one service.

I think you'll find Verizon has the best nationwide service in general but it's also more expensive than some of the others. I dumped Verizon not because of poor service but because of lousy customer service.

Andrew
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Aug 30th, 2006, 05:32 AM
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Andrew - Thanks for your very informative input and helpful links.

Sandy
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Aug 30th, 2006, 05:37 AM
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Sandy,
I find navigating the waters of cell phones very confusing. I have had Sprint (and only Sprint), but I have adult children who have had other carriers. Their attitude is pretty much, they'll all basically the same, just find the best deal. My response: "WHAT?!"

I have only gotten phones from Sprint, and learned right away to deal with problems with the phone before the warranties run out - usually 6 months. My kids have bought phones online, from friends, you name it. I haven't yet, but I need to take care of this pronto.

I have a shared minutes plan with DH and youngest daughter now, and will need to keep a shared plan. Our contract is expired (has been a long time) and I need to see if there are better options for us out there, DD is going off to college, and my phone screen is blank - tough to see who's calling or to look up numbers! ;-)

I don't think I've addressed your concerns, because I don't know too much about this either.

If anyone reads this who does understand the ins and outs of cell phone plans and phones, I hope they will post in order to help us all out!
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Aug 30th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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Thanks for the input, Andrew. Sprint customer service can be shoddy, too. It often depends on who answers the phone, if you know what I mean.

Since we share minutes, I want phone to phone minutes included free in the plan for my DH, DD, and me, plus I need as many minutes as I can get for sharing in prime time day use. And since we travel, I'd like a plan that is nationwide. Many say they are, but their areas are limited. Sprint is not as nationwide as they pretend to be.
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Aug 30th, 2006, 07:29 AM
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Sprint is getting much better, the past few years there have been many cities in the western states added to their list. One that comes to mind is Great Falls MT, last year no service. We have had them for 5 years and have had no problems. No cell service is going to be perfect and make everyone happy. Our plan has nationwide 300 anytime and unlimited nights and weekends, $35 including all taxes. For those dead spots in coverage, or when we do not want to pay roaming fees etc, we carry a Sam's Club AT&T Phone Card, 3+ per minute. Works well for us.
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Aug 30th, 2006, 09:15 PM
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Thanks, RedRock. I agree, no plan is going to be perfect. We really use the PCS to PCS (sprint phone to Sprint phone) service a lot. That is not something we can do without. We also need new phones and more minutes. Sprint may still be our best way to go.

Good idea about a phone card.
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