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Cell Phones Service In The USA  
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 13
Posted (12 years 10 months 20 hours ago) and read 2702 times:

Hi folks...
I need a cell phone plan/service that doesn't require a deposit. With as many free minutes as I can get. Local & long distance as well. What cell carriers has the best deals & plans? Any opinions & helpful advices appreciated. Regards.

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineLearpilot From United States of America, joined May 2001, 814 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (12 years 10 months 19 hours ago) and read 2663 times:

Whatever you do, avoid the Sprint Stores like the plague. I signed up for new service & a phone last week. 6 days later, the LED on the INSIDE of my phone split completely in half. I took the phone to the sprint store I bought it from, they looked at it and told me that it broke because of "customer abuse" and I was gonna have to buy a new one. The phone didn't have a scratch on it. I called the customer complaint line and raised he!!, and they sent me a new one.

Moral of the story: if you go with sprint, buy the phone at Circuit City or Best Buy.

Heed our warnings or your future will be underpant free!
User currently offlineTwaneedsnohelp From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 10 months 19 hours ago) and read 2658 times:

i have att. its fine.

User currently offlineIllini_152 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1000 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (12 years 10 months 18 hours ago) and read 2651 times:

Depends on your credit rating on whether or not you need a deposit. Verizon wanted one from me, then screwed me over.

I'm with Sprint PCS right now, mainly because I need nationwide coverage. Most carriers throw in long distance free anyway, so, in essence, all calls are local.

Wireless providers DO introduce a new concept instead of long distance though, roaming. Essentially, whenever you are out of your calling area, you get charged $$ in addition to airtime (minutes). Sprint's "calling area" covers the nation, just not very well. Over most interstates, and most urban areas.

Verizon, I remember, let you choose your level of coverage- state, zone, or nation-wide. When I was with them, I had the regional coverage; my home area was IL, WI, IN, IA, KY, MO, MI and OH. I figured, "how often am I out of this area right now?" Well, over the next 6 months, I placed calls from TN, FL, AL, and SC. Roaming charges add up.

Since I've been with Sprint, I've also been in OH, PA, NJ, NY, Delaware, MD, DC, VA, and WV.

My Mother, on the otherhand, hasn't left Illinois in 4 years, but visits my grandparents out in the sticks quite a bit, where Sprint doesn't reach.

Analyze where you go and how much you would use your phone.

BTW- my plan right now is
350 anytime minutes,
unlimited nights and weekends (9pm-7am)
unlimited Sprint Vision (wireless internet, I can hook my laptop up to my cell and surf the web while in my car!)


Other carriers to look into are T-mobile, AT&T, US Cellular (don't go with them they just bought right to rename Comisky Park from the White Sox, bastards) and Cingular.

-- Added:
When you buy your phone, I recomend Circuit City. It's not often I even have an opinion, but their customer service has been great lately. When I got my new phone, not only did they call Sprint and help me get my rebate (it was $100 for new customers, or those that had been with sprint for more than 8 months. I had renewed my contract a month ago and didn't qualify. It was applied to my account balence), but the sales associate who sold me the phone called me 3 days later to tell me that the price had dropped $50, and I could come in and get that + 10% refunded. I ended up getting a $150 phone for -$10!!!

Mike O'Malley

[Edited 2003-02-06 07:26:39]

Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy
User currently offlineYbacpa From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1108 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (12 years 10 months 10 hours ago) and read 2620 times:

I have Cingular with rollover right now-
$39.99, 450 weekday minutes, 3000 night & weekend minutes, no roaming / no long distance. If I don't use all of the 450, the balance carries over to the next month. Keep in mind the no roaming / limited roaming plans cost a lot less per month, but I travel a lot.

One thing to ask when you sign up is if you are free to switch between rate plans before your contract period is up. Cingular allows this, but only between similar plans (I couldn't go to a 'no-roaming' plan to save money, etc.), so if I realize I need more minutes all I have to do is call customer service.

SkyTeam: The alliance for third rate airlines finally getting their act together!
User currently offlineFlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 13
Reply 5, posted (12 years 10 months 9 hours ago) and read 2623 times:

Hi folks...
Thanks for everyone's replies. They are truly helpful. The reason I post this topic because if anyone remembers my thread some weeks back on "Small Town Americana", I'm renting a RV for the summer & checking out all the small towns that everyone have recommended. So this is why I need a cell phone that pretty much covers the USA & Canada. But I certainly don't want to pay an arm & leg for its services. The deposit that most cell service providers want I can use toward the RV rental. Most providers want at least $200. Just doesn't seem worth it for that much of a deposit. Since there will be alot of downtime on my journey, the cell will be my only line of communication with my kid & family/friends. Again thanks, and more advices & opinions are welcomed. Regards.

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
User currently offlineSeb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13338 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (12 years 10 months 5 hours ago) and read 2624 times:

You should also look into pre-paid service. I currently have AT&T Pre-paid (Free2Go) and I have roaming in the USA and Canada included. A $50 card usualy lasts me a month and I get about 120 Minutes. I think you can get nationwide roaming with all pre-paid services (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile) but check it out before you buy!

One reason I swiched from Verizon Pre-paid to AT&T is Verizon takes away minutes if someone leaves a voice mail or sends an e-mail to my phone. When I check the voice mail from a different phone, they charged minutes, too and they had no coverage in eastern Oregon/Washington.

Life in the wall is a drag.
User currently offlineYbacpa From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1108 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (12 years 10 months 3 hours ago) and read 2598 times:

If you are only going to need the phone for a few weeks over the summer then I'd definately avoid anything with a contract. Your best bet is probably to go with a prepaid phone. You should carefully consider coverage also, the GSM networks in the US are good in the cities, but in the small towns they are spotty at best. One of my work colleagues who did the same thing you are going to do swears by Verizon for just this reason... of the 5 people that went, with 4 different phone companies, his was the one that worked the most often (of course your mileage probably will vary).

Anyway, good luck with your trip.

SkyTeam: The alliance for third rate airlines finally getting their act together!
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