T-mobile Pay As You Go Cell Phone Plan

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Tech Talk' started by Denise Richardson, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. Denise Richardson

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    I must admit I am one of the rare few that doesn't have a cell phone. Today, I wished I had one. My land line service was out for several hours and I didn't have a way to report it. I am unable to drive so I had to walk and find a neighbor that was still home. This made me wish I had one just for emergencies maybe once or twice a year if that much. I had one at one time but never used it but I had to keep buying minutes to keep it activated. The minutes rolled over but still that was too much when I wasn't using it. I found a plan that sounds like it might work for me. It is the T-Moble Pay-As-You-Go plan. This is the information I found on it: seniors: T-Mobile

    • Monthly price: $3
    • Minutes/texts: Includes 30 minutes or texts. Additional talk and text are 10 cents per minute/message
    • Data: Not included
    • Phone prices: Start at around $60, but you can bring your own device, if it’s compatible.
    • Activation fee: $20 “SIM Starter Kit” fee

    Learn more
    WHY WE LIKE IT:

    This plan is as basic as it gets. It’s also as cheap as it gets. For just $3 per month, you can use any combination of 30 minutes or 30 text messages. And, if you have a compatible device, you don’t need to fork over precious cash for a new cell phone. This plan is perfect for people who don’t really want a cell phone, but want the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can reach family or a medical professional in an emergency.


    Does anyone have it and if so, how do you like it? Is it as good as it sounds or what is the catch?
     
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  2. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    If you are income-qualified, you can get a free basic cell phone; so you might want to check on that before you spend money. If you qualify for the phone, you also get 250 free minutes each month, which is more than enough for emergencies.
    They are small phones, and hard to read, and you sure do not want to try and send a text with one; but it can be done when necessary. The only requirement is that you use up at least part of the minutes each month, or you lose the phone.
    I have one because I am low-income; but we use it as a backup phone because my daughter got me an iPhone, which is much easier for me to see and use.
    Another possibility that we have done before is to get a Trakfone. The webpage has several different options as to what phone you get, and some of them are free when you purchase minutes. The minutes are usually good until you use them up, at least that is how it worked when we had one before. You also have choices about how many minutes you purchase, and some come with extra minutes for the same cost.
    It is at least worth looking into before you spend $60 for the T-Mobile phone.
     
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  3. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    @Denise Richardson I have looked at that plan, too. Like you, I don't have a cell phone, or actually I do have a cell phone, but it's not activated to a service, because I don't have the money for one right now. What you could do if you're interested in that plan is ask on your local Freecycle/TrashNothing group if anyone has the type of phone needed to work with that phone plan/service, assuming you have someone who could pick it up for you or take you to pick it up. I'm keeping that plan in mind for the future, if I can knock out a few bills and the money frees up a little.

    I have a friend with the plan @Yvonne Smith mentioned, and she's not exaggerating about the phones being small and sort of low tech. My friend didn't have another phone for a long time, and had difficulty with that little one, but it was his only option. He was finally able to get a used smart phone and low cost service, but the service is poor where he lives, and so he's ended up using the 'Obama phone' more than the plan he got.
     
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  4. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    I use my cell as kind of a business phone, because it is easier to make calls that are easily tracked on it. Also, since I am in a rural area, and do a fair amount of driving, I am much more comfortable when I have a phone. The last thing I need is to break down in the middle of nowhere with no phone available. Actually, something like that did happen once, and I had to borrow someone's phone so I always try to have a cell with me. I mean my smart phone plan is extremely affordable, I wish I could get T mobile though.
     
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  5. Denise Richardson

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    Thank you everyone for your replies and information! Right now I am leaning toward the T-Mobile Pay as you go plan. I don't mind paying $3 a month just to have a backup. I don't want it too small but I won't be using it for text either so it may not matter there. My sister had the TracPhone but she had to keep purchasing minutes just to keep it activated although she hadn't used her other minutes. That was a few years ago and they may have changed it since then, I don't know. Thanks again everyone!
     
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  6. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    We always had ours activated months ahead of the amount of minutes we used. We only needed to purchase minutes when we actually used up the ones we had, and that would extend the activation for another 6 months or so. We had one of the very cheap phones, and only used it for short and necessary phone calls; so it worked great for us.
    Walmart also has a pay as you go phone service that you might want to check out before you make your final decision, @Denise Richardson . My son and his wife got their phones there. They got a set of Blackberry phones, and a cheap plan, and seem to be very happy with it.
    Walmart looked like they have everything from the cheapest cell phone to an iPhone, so you can definitely have a good selection of styles and prices there.
     
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  7. Denise Richardson

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    Thank you for this information! I will certainly check it out before I made a final decision!
     
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  8. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I used to have a Net-10 phone, and I seemed to have the problem that the minutes would last for about 3 months, then I'd have to do something to keep it activated, so there were ongoing costs, otherwise the minutes would expire. I'd be happy with something I could use just for emergencies, where the minutes didn't expire for about a year, with the option to upgrade to a plan with texting and/or data later on. I'm happy with using my smart phone from home via wifi, and I don't use a phone when driving anyway, but I would feel more comfortable having something for emergencies.
     
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  9. Denise Richardson

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    The Net-10 sounds like the Boost Mobile I use to have. That's exactly how it operated. I was buying minutes more than I was actually using the phone. If you find something that works like we want it to, let me know and if I find anything besides the T-Mobile, I'll let you know. In the mean time, I am leaning toward T-Mobile Pay As You Go.
     
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  10. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    I sure will, thanks. By the way, eBay is a good place to buy used cell phones if you don't already have one, or the provider isn't offering one you're interested in, but you have to make sure the IMEI/ISN is clean, otherwise you won't be able to activate/use the phone without paying off the previous person's outstanding bill.
     
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  11. Denise Richardson

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    Ok. Thanks! I'll look there and see what they have but I'll be sure to keep your advice in mind if I find a used one!
     
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