Pre-Paid Cell Phones

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zflauaus, Jun 4, 2005.

  1. zflauaus macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2004
    I know this might not be the right place, I don't know. Ok, I am hopefully going to get a monthly cell phone soon, but for right now, I think I am going to get a pre-paid one. I have come down to Virgin Mobile. In my opinion, they have the best pre-pay option because you only have to pay at least $20 per 90 days. Verizon was too expensive, Cingular service is crap (I live in the country), and TracFone seems a little to basic for me. Now I don't know which phone to get. I'm looking at the Audiovox "Vox" 8610, the Kyocera K10, or the Kyocera Slider. I like all of these phones, but I'm not sure which one to get. Anybody have the Virgin Mobile service and satisfied with there service? And which phone do you think I should get. Also, if the service is bad at my house, can I still return the phone to like Wal-Mart?

    I have actually started to consider the T-Mobile To Go thing. I would probably get the
    Siemens CF62T or the Nokia 6010. Anybody a user of T-Mobile? Is there anything better to T-Mobile than Virgin Mobile?
  2. blodwyn macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Portland, Oregon
    We have 2 of the Virgin phones. We only use them occasionally, so the $20 every 3 months works well for us (I set an iCal reminder to top up at around 87 days). So far they've been working fine, although I think they use the Sprint network which I don't think gives as good coverage as AT&T/Cingular.

    We have the an Audiovox 8500 which is about 18 months old and a K7. The Audiovox is a bit flashier, but there is only a choice of a music clip ring tone - no bells or beeps to choose from, which makes it difficult to hear in noisy surroundings. You can download other music clips if you want, for around $2 each. Later versions may have a better choice of ring tones - I'm not sure. The K7 is a bit more basic, but has a choice of ring tones that are easier to hear. Battery life is good on both.

    The first 10 minutes every day are billed at 25c, with 10c per minute after that. Overall, I think the Virgin deal is the best one out there if you don't use the phone much.
  3. zflauaus thread starter macrumors 65816

    Nov 19, 2004
    Anybody With T-Mobile Want To Say Something. I have a feeling my parents are going to let me get one tomorrow when we go to Wal-Mart. Then again, I always have that feeling.
  4. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    I have the Virgin Mobile.
    It's OK.

    The slider phone is really cute and I got it at a sweet SWEET price. :)

    I wish I had bluetooth, though. Kt is le sad. :(

    Virgin Mobile is good for pre-paid. They are relatively cheap. Tracfone, when we used it was NOT cheap and the way they spell their name. BAH! We dropped them like Windows XP. ;)
  5. sw1tcher macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    I prefer t-mobile. If you get their $100 pre-paid card (1,000 whenever minutes), the minutes don't expire for a whole year. Also, if you do get the $100 pre-paid card, all future cards will be given an extra 15% of minutes since you become a Gold member.

    Also, at the end of the year, if you add just the bare minimum of minutes ($10 for 30 minutes), all your remaining minutes get extended and don't expire for another year. If you add a $100 card again, your minutes double. So, 2,000 minutes for the second $100 card. That's what I was told.

    Virgin would probably have to be my 2nd choice, but I don't like their rates... $0.25 per minute for first 10 minutes then $0.10 thereafter, and their add $20 every 90 days thingy. You're screwed if you foget because they'll disconnect your phone.

    t-mobile is $0.10 per minute if you go the $100 pre-paid route.

    Also, check out Beyond Wireless. Their minutes never expire as long as you make one 1 minute call every 60 days.

    And there's also Cheap Phone Cards. You can use any phone, or get a free LG 1200.
  6. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004

    oh, you don't have to worry about forgetting.......they'll be reminding you! LOL.....they'll send you an email to remind you and a text message too

    and if you still manage to forget, you have a long "grace" period after the 90 days in which you reactivate your account and still retain your phone number (which they do indeed turn off but which is still yours if you want it back)

    and if you are the type who will worry about forgetting, you can set up your account to automatically purchase the $20 dollars every 90 days.....and the unused balance rolls over so you never lose it

    they make it VERY easy for you to remain a customer

    In my area Virgin has better coverage than T-mobile which is very important in deciding which service to use.....a little bit of savings in the cost means nothing of you cant use the phone when you need to!
  7. h0e0h macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2004
    West Monroe, Louisiana
    I had the Kyocera slider on my Alltel network (a southern thing). The phone was nice and it had relatively good reception. The speakerphone was a nice little feature as well. I recently switched to Cingular because i liked the phones better and the nation wide coverage was great in comparison to my old local coverage. If they don't provide very good coverage in your area YET then they should by the end of the year from what i understand. IMHO the pre-paid way is more expensive if you tlak on it constantly, so don't settle there... keep investigating into varoius contractual plans...
  8. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Anyone know if you can switch from the monthly plan to the prepaid plan? I've got Cingular and a Treo 2700 which I hardly ever use. The phone/service is nice, though, so I'd rather not buy a new phone or switch providers. I'm pretty sure I'm already through my 2-year service obligation, so I own the phone free and clear.
  9. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    What I would do is find some friends who have the different service providers and try them out where you would usually use the phone. I live in rural NH and the best coverage here is US Cellular. Some of the other big names are crap in this part of the country. It really depends on where you live in my opinion, cause you can have the coolest phone but if no service then it is worthless (except for the cool games, etc.) :D
  10. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    Well, I took the plunge. My Treo just died so I ordered two new Virgin Mobile phones. It must have been their retro-chic website that convinced me to do it. Either that or the fact that I can get two phones for $160 per year, compared to one phone for more than $360 per year. I only ever use about 15 minutes per month--mainly for coordinating when to pick up the kids from their various activities--so I doubt I'll ever spend more than the bare minimum for service.

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