US cell phones
You guys have it so good down here!
We bought a prepaid phone to use on this trip and one in a month or so. Roaming charges from Telus or Rogers are pretty steep, so it was cheaper to get a phone from a US company.
$30 got us a decent Nokia phone including $35 of airtime from TMobile. Sure, it's an older model, but all we wanted is a basic phone to use when we're travelling. They shipped it to our hotel, so it was ready when we got here.
Wayne: you might wanna do the same thing for your vacation. Email me if you want more info.
April 1st, 2007 10:08am
yeah TMobile is the best for the once-in-awhile or drop in the bucket cellphone use (I bet drug dealers love them). the $35 credit is sweet because as you say you can buy a phone for $30-40. an annual recharge is only $100 (1000 minutes) which puts Verizon's prepaid option ($30/month not including actual usage charges) to shame.
April 1st, 2007 10:19am
Because phones come nearly free with many contracts people often change the phone as soon as the contract finishes.
The result is that the phone companies have a load of used phones, whose only outlet is to be sold to third world countries for a fraction of the cost. As a result they will be more than happy to use a second hand phone to snag a contract.
April 1st, 2007 12:19pm
Enough with those contracts. It's like indentured servitude. I don't understand why cell phones can't be like house phones and just pay by the month. It's like the olden days when you rented your phone from the phone company.
The instrument should be completely independent of the service itself.
April 1st, 2007 12:30pm
prepaid means no contract so there's no shilling involved.
there's nothing wrong or not 'free' about cellphone contracts if both parties understand terms. It lowers risk for the provider which they split with the customer in the form of cheaper rates.
No contract = higher rates. Freedom has its price.
April 1st, 2007 12:43pm
The higher rates for no-contract are to compensate for no rental. What you need to do is analyze your usage and then see what is best.
One useful hint; if you are going over your limit, you are probably in the wrong contract.
April 1st, 2007 12:56pm
I have t-mobile prepaid and unless I go over approx 500 minutes a month, it makes more economic sense than their best plan.
April 1st, 2007 3:06pm
After years of waiting I can now change to post-paid contract and keep the same number. And doing the math it doesn't seem worth it, as I would need to call Saudi for nearly 120 minutes a month to break even, and also would lose out on the discounts you periodically get for pre-paid which is money in the bank for overseas calls (which are the big expense, though Skype is at long last offering a decent connection to Lanka (though that may well be the fact I now have broadband), and, more to the point, accepting my credit card.
April 1st, 2007 4:50pm
I refuse to get a cellphone until they succeed in making them reliable phones instead of jamming video games and Google maps and whatever else into them.
This is how one starts on the road to becoming an old man.
April 1st, 2007 9:35pm
"I bet drug dealers love them"
In HBO's The Wire, they called them 'burners'. Phones were like cigarette butts in the litter they were so common.
April 2nd, 2007 10:10am