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haldir

cell phone services

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thinkin of getting one before Rcon this year, as you never know if something goes awry while down there or whatnot (in 05 I had to change plans with my wife for picking me up at the airport). I Really don't need one that bad, so a cheap one would be prefered, just curious if there was anything that would work while down there & where I live (eastern OR) & not have to pay any extras due to out of my home/service area. Is there anything like that out there?

 

thanks

RM

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I have an AT&T Cingular national plan, although I use my cell phone ALL the time, it's pretty much my primary phone, so I have a rather large bill (with 2 phones and boatloads of minutes). It works everywhere I've gone (except EXTREME rural areas like my mom's house where they don't deliver mail in the north woods of MN)

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I have a Cingular plan similar to Erins - I have to have nationwide coverage including rural areas for my job, which really leaves two choices - Cingular and Verizon. It's pricey though - after taxes and such, about $50 a month.

 

In your case though - don't worry about your cel phone coverage at RCon when going to purchase. Take a look at the areas you'll spend most of your time, and where you'll need the coverage the most - then go with the company that serves you best. If you only go out of that area 2-3 times a year, then unless you get a really crappy local company, even having to pay the roaming charges will save you money in the long run.

 

You pretty much have to choose plan based on where you expect to use it and what you expect to get out of it. Not all providers are equal in every area of the country - heck, not even in the same city sometimes. Verizon and Cingular have great coverage in Denver, but they each have their dead spots, and it's different for each provider. Cingular has the best coverage at my house, but it's crap at my parents, so they have T-Mobile. I couldn't go with T-Mobile because their rural coverage sucks, even though they have some of the best deals/rate plans.

 

As for Rcon - don't worry about your phone not working there - if it doesn't, get yourself a cheap calling card, and you'll be fine using pay phones, or hotel phones when you're not around someone like me with boatloads of rollover minutes and free long distance who will let you borrow their phone for a few minutes. Unless you're planning on moving to Denton...

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Steve and I are on Verizon. Our coverage is national with very few areas where we couldn't get a call through. On the plan we use (I forget the name of it) we got two phones, unlimited night and weekend minutes, unlimited minutes to other Verizon users and 500 additional minutes. In the two years we've been on that plan we've only gone into extra minutes one month. Also, we get an equipment upgrade option two years after signup. I have absolutely no complaints with them.

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I use a cheap prepaid. I may even someday upgrade to the $90 phone if they'll let me transfer all my account information and pictures.

 

I think if you do it right, you get the phone and a small amount of airtime for $20. Then, if you don't use it much (I don't), you basically pay about $25 every 3 months. Most of these are national plans, too.

 

Cricket advertises that you can use their phones from any of their markets without any extra/roaming costs.

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Disclosure time: I work for one of the MAJOR cellular providers in the US.

 

I agree with the others; check your coverage before you buy. I know FREX that T-mobile will provide you with coverage info at the corporate retail outlets. As for a cheap phone there are a lot out there. But if I were (today) to buy a cheap standard handset, I'd spend my money on a Nokia. IME they get the best signal and are the most reliable phones I have experience with. They may not have all the bells as whistles, but I've seen someone drop one into a LAKE, dry it out, and use it.

 

Nokia also offers a nice amount of support, including proprietary application software for their in-house OS.

 

Last, I wouldn't put too much stock into the propoganda about the various carriers out there. The network with the least dropped calls...is true from a certain point of view (I ask: is that nationally, or where it's most important...hmmmm...), and instead educate yourself on the services....

 

Damon.

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Unofficial survey done in Chicago last summer showed that "the provider with the least dropped calls" actually had nearly the most.

 

Don't forget that most providers provide a free phone in the contract or at least give major discounts.

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I believe that they are truthful when applied on a national basis. But it will vary widely depending on where you are and where you go. I drove across Kansas on I70 with my wife once - I had a company Cingular phone, and she had our personal T-Mobile one - my phone had signal the entire route, while hers kept coming and going. Yet there is a road here in my area where the exact opposite is true.

 

Also be aware that the coverage for some areas - particularly rural areas - is provided to the major carriers on a contract basis by local companies. Often those companies will be in a contract with only one or two of the major carriers. And sometimes those local companies will decide not to renew their existing contracts, and go with another carrier. That happened to my parents - they were six months into a 2 year contract with Cingular when the local company who provides service in their area didn't renew the Cingular contract, and signed one with T-Mobile instead. So all of a sudden they had no coverage. Fortunately Cingular waived the contract fees, and they moved to T-Mobile.

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there is local place downtown that'll have to check out & compare vs various national brand websites.

 

Thanks for the suggestions, guys, I appreciate it. Later this year my wife & I are gonna head over the Oregon Coast for our 10th wedding anniv, so I'll probably use it there as well (kids in all staying with grandparents while were gone).

 

thing that irked me, was while I was at Rcon in 05 I bought a phonecard at 7-11 down the street from the motel, & when I went to use it, it said invalid, so I called the rep & they said well the card is invalid, I was like gee thanks & hung up on them, really annoying so I ended up having call my wife by toll charges & such, just kinda annoying. (bill was like 20 - 25 dollars for that one call).

 

again thanks

RM

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There's a reason why Nokia has produced more than 50% of the worlds cell phones. They're the best. Tried a Sony-Ericson for a short time... bad idea.

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my two coppers or tin because it's becoming more valuable.

 

I actually don't own a cell phone, but I was provided one through my employer and we went through several different plans. My point being I live in a decent sized city (we were the second largest in New England until Providence passed us a few years ago) and the only service that worked at my house was Cingular. Verizon was a complete no show near my property, and I don't live in the sticks or in a valley (i'm actually on a good sized hill overlooking part of the city). So if i wanted people to get in touch with me when i was in the bathroom i'd go with cingular.

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Don't get edge, I currently am stuck in a contract with them and they just plain stink.

 

Every minor thing done to your phone and they are pushing another 2 year contract down

your throat. Also trying to get a hold of a customer rep with them is the worst

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Look into prepaid if you aren't going to use it that much (which it appears will be the case for you).

 

I had Tracfone before and was happy with them. That is, until I dropped the phone and it broke, costing me the $60 in airtime connected to the phone. I wouldn't go back after that.

 

I use Virgin Mobile currently and my account is not connected to the phone. I accidentally washed my phone (left it in my pocket) and had no problem adding a new phone. My Oystr (yes, that's spelled correctly) flip phone only cost me $20 (they recently were on sale at Target for $18). I had the $6.99/month with 10¢ minutes, but switched to no monthly fee and 18¢ minutes (I HATE using a cell phone). Unlike Tracfone, Virgin Mobile doesn't charge you extra for minutes if you use smaller value cards. Additionally, Target sometimes runs specials on the Virgin Mobile cards, last week I got 2 $20 cards for $30. Your account stays current if you add $20 every 90 days (IIRC, Tracfone is every 60 days unless you buy the yearly service). Virgin Mobile uses the Cingular network around here, I'm sure they have some more info on their website as to coverage in your area.

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I thought about the prepaid services last year & thought about this year as well, I'll have to look into that one as well, thou I've heard at work we sell tracfone, but the service is for the Boise ID area (some 60 miles away) & is basically worthless in my area.

 

I'll have to check out Virgin Mobile later today

 

RM

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