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cell phones?

Okay.. I really need a cell phone. Nothing fancy, not too much money, and hopefully as little contractual obligation as possible (without being prepaid).

Working Assets goes for $29.99/mo and runs through the Sprint network. Unlimited nights & weekends (9pm-7am), plus 250 anytime minutes. Good, but if I end up in Pittsburgh again, or something, am screwed. (Small roaming area).

Verizon has a plan for $39.99/mo with "unlimited IN calling" (which means free calls to Verizon customers whose numbers aren't Caller-ID blocked). Covers most of Pennsylvania, but not WV. (Sorta the opposite of Working Assets, only covers more ground in the country overall). May be able to get this for only $9.99 by getting added to my parents' plan in NJ, though that does mean getting a NJ number (instead of MD).

There's Sprint, but they have this kooky system of automatically charging you for extra minutes you may not use once you get close to using most of your minutes. I dunno about that. $35/mo for a good coverage area, or what looks pretty good but won't let me zoom out.

Cingular also costs $39.99/mo with 450 anytime minutes, in this case 5000 night/weekend minutes instead of unlimited. But also has rollover, so unused minutes carry over to the next month. Covers most of the US, except for boonies areas and most of NV & MT and such. No problems in MD, NJ, and most of PA. No roaming or long distance charges (unless of course out of coverage area).

And whatever else.. not sure. Am gonna need to get this taken care of pretty quickly, so that people can actually contact me. (Like, I dunno, job people.. ee) Going to be talking to my parents again tomorrow, see if they've found out anything about possibly adding me in. That would be the cheapest route, but if not, what should I go with?

--Score so far--
Verizon: 5
Cingular: 3.5
Sprint: 0
Other: 0


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 19th, 2005 12:43 am (UTC)
I'm not a big fan of Sprint - they screwed me with the disconnect fee, plus their network is pretty bad. Also I hear their customer service sucks even more now than it used to.

I've generally been pretty happy with Verizon - which is what I'm using.
Jun. 19th, 2005 12:46 am (UTC)
Sounds good. I've heard Sprint==devil before (the main thing being really horrible customer support). I have heard nothing but good things about Verizon so far. Am sorta leaning towards them, but seeing what people think (and if there are other plans am unaware of).
Jun. 19th, 2005 01:03 am (UTC)
Yeah... my big beef was with their service. I was working in Kansas City, where Sprint has its corporate headquarters, and seldom got adequate reception. I think that's pretty sad.

The disconnect fee was the icing on the cake - that I changed to Verizon a few *hours* before they said it was the end of my contract ( and two days after I thoguht it was supposed to end)
Jun. 19th, 2005 01:03 am (UTC)
I've heard people happy with V and C equally.. I guess whatever experiences you have determine your bias for one or the other. I still recommend Nokia though.
Jun. 19th, 2005 12:58 am (UTC)
I've found Verizon's help center folks to be pretty close to inept when asking questions about their own service. I switched to Cingular and have been happy ever since. The rollover is fabulous if you're not a gabber; I have the same plan you're looking at. I also recommend Nokia phones. Best reception rating and lowest repair rate. Flip phones get problems with the button between the two halves and then there's the risk of breaking it in half. I got my Nokia for 50$ and it has speakerphone. I also recommend getting an earpiece for when you don't want to use the speakerphone (if you get a phone with it). I am either sensitive to energy or they really do have a powerful signal, but I can feel the signal going through my head and it heats up my ear. Maybe its the shape of the phone. I like talking on the phone while its on the desk with either speakerphone on or with the earpiece in my ear. Best of luck! Let me know if you want any more details.
Jun. 19th, 2005 01:04 am (UTC)
Have heard that actually.. rialian says the same thing. (About the signals).

Cingular royally screwed me over with my prepaid phone, and have heard from a lot of people that their signal drops in a lot of places, where Verizon covers pretty much anywhere. So have been leary to try them out.. but we see. More info is good. (^*^)
Jun. 19th, 2005 02:15 am (UTC)
I'm a Sprint user.

I've not had a lot of problems with their service, I have to admit. I lose reception in places that have a lot of steel in the superstructure but that's about it. Their net.access is expensive; they've finally gotten around to ala carte service plans, which is what I did when I got my new cellphone.
Jun. 19th, 2005 02:33 am (UTC)
I'm happy with the cingulare plan, but my experience with the customer service has been really really really bad.

but coverage is good, and so is the minute plans.

if it's going to be your only phone, why not look into Cricket?

Jun. 19th, 2005 04:45 am (UTC)
Oop.. unfortunately, no Cricket in Maryland. Looks like a pretty spiffy service too.. mrar
Jun. 19th, 2005 02:56 am (UTC)
i have Virgin moble- prepaid thinger. Its 20$ every 90days and add more when ever. it is not costly on minutes the phones are about fifty bucks and have text messaging. I've had no problems with my phone and have had good reception wherever i went. you dont have to worry about any weird area charges eather. I like it and still have it. I found that it is much much cheaper than having a plan.
Jun. 20th, 2005 01:09 am (UTC)
Jun. 19th, 2005 05:26 am (UTC)
Actually, I have the new Verizon pre-pay and it's not really that bad of a deal. It's 10 cents a minute from 8am to 9pm and free after that. There's a 99 cent per day surcharge, but if you don't use the phone that day, then you aren't charged. The range is pretty good, but I completely lose my signal when I cross the Canadian border.

On the plus side, if you don't have creidt or have bad credit then it's a good option for not having to end up paying a rather large deposit. On the downside, calls to Canada cost more money and you don't get the free airtime after hours on calls to Canada or to any other country for that matter. They will also charge you the higher rate when someone from another country calls you. This may not be a problem for you, but since the two Tuatha that I'm closest to are not stateside, it's kind of a pain -- not so much the 20 cents a minute to Canada, but the charges for my friend calling me from the UK are icky.
Jun. 19th, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC)
Thankfully, I do have credit.. (^*^) I really do plan on getting a real phone this time, instead of a prepay. I've lost my phone number twice using prepay, so it becomes very unefficient if you don't make sure to renew ASAP. Plus if I end up using it daily for work, people, etc., I'd be paying as much anyways.

Calls to Canada can probably be made on my calling cards from a landline, so no biggy there. (Not that I know many people up there, anyways.. ee)

Thanks for the input. (^*^) Will see if my parents have looked into adding me to their plan yet. Verizon/Cingular seem to be pretty well even on people's opinions of them.
Jun. 19th, 2005 05:29 am (UTC)
Switched to Cingular from Verizon. Happier now. The rollover is fantastic and the majority of the folks I know are on it as well so most of my calls are FREE. and the rollover minutes just keep piling up ... I have a few thousand now...
Jun. 20th, 2005 01:07 am (UTC)
That's good to know - I'd been considering verizon, but maybe I'll stick with Cingular.
Jun. 19th, 2005 07:58 am (UTC)
You realise that if you choose Cingular, you may just get someone here in NS, at the call center I work at??
Jun. 19th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
hehehee.. that would be funny. I'd have to ask them to transfer me to the cafeteria.. ee
Jun. 19th, 2005 02:54 pm (UTC)
We're on a separate phone line as we're strictly not Convergys employees. Still, it would be rather funny to have one on the phone reps come in and tell me that... That would be most amusing...
Jun. 20th, 2005 04:56 am (UTC)
I have Verizon. Actually my parents do, I have the 3rd phone on their plan. The coverage generally is really nice, but I can't help with any pre-paid aspects of it, since my parents have a regular plan. My mate has the pre-paid Cingular account and phone, and he's pretty happy with it. The signal does drop a bit though, and calls get disconnected randomly, but he's not sure if that's Cingular or the phone itself. Another downside is that they charge him every month, even if he hasn't used all the minutes (excluding rollover). It's about $43 a month, and he now has something like $75 in his account now, because they keep taking the money out of his checking even if he doesn't use up the minutes.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 28th, 2005 01:22 am (UTC)
Nifty. (^*^) My parents are looking into it Wednesday, when they have some free time, and will get back to me then.. :noddle:
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )


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