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SmartPhones & 'senior' plans

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by lparsons21, May 10, 2013.

  1. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    I'm in the market to change my cell service. Currently I have T-Mobile and the plan I'm on is great from a financial standpoint, but the service isn't all that good in my area. Talk/Text coverage is OK around here, but there are some gaping holes in the coverage, but data is all at 2G. The plan I'm on is $30/month for 1500 talk/text and 300mb data. Those amounts are just fine for what I do, or at least what I do with the phone and service I have now.

    So I started looking at 'Senior' plans. AT&T and Verizon both have plans for those 65 and older. 200 anytime minutes, 500 night/weekend, unlimited mobile-to-mobile on their network. Both will allow for Smartphones, though Verizon in much more vague about it on their website. So far this is what I've learned.

    Both AT&T & Verizon have great coverage here, both have 4G LTE? service in this area. Both cost about $60/month for the 'senior' plan, plus the minimum data they allow for the smartphone. 2Gb for Verizon, 3Gb for AT&T.

    Are there other services I should consider that have similar plans?

    I'm also very tossed on which phone to get. I've looked at and like the idea of the iPhone and wonder just what I'll miss if I took the free iPhone 4 over the 4S or 5. I'm mostly Mac oriented at home, so that is a strong contender as they would integrate the best.

    But then, my eyes ain't what they used to be, so a bigger phone has a certain allure also. I looked at the HTC 8X and Nokia 920 Windows 8 phones and liked both of them. Does anyone know how well they hold up for the long haul? Android isn't out of the picture, but it isn't a strong contender as I'm not overly enamored of my HTC Wildfire. But there are some nice phones there, and maybe even a 'phablet' is something to consider??

    Any ideas and suggestions are certainly welcome and encouraged.

    thanks.
     
  2. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Out of the box a bit, but how's Sprint in your area? If Sprint coverage is good, you might consider Ting, which uses that network. No iPhone, but good devices and very compelling plans (with credit if you don't use it all.)

    www.ting.com
     
  3. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks for the info and link. I never heard of Ting, but it does look interesting.

    Sprint coverage in my area is 3G according to their coverage map, which isn't a deal killer.

    I'll do some comparisons and juggling to see if Ting is right for me.
     
  4. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    Ting is a fairly new service, though their parent company has been around a long time, Tucows. They also have a great domain registration service, their customer service is definitely a level above the major carriers.
     
  5. gov

    gov Legend

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    keep in mind there will be much hand wringing, gnashing of teeth, sack cloth and ashes in the executive board room at Verizon if you have a plan that costs less than $100/month.

    :eek2:
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Tell me about it! I went to the Verizon store yesterday and they swore there was no way in hell to get a Smartphone and plan for less than $100. AT&T was adamant about their $80 or so minimum. Now in Verizon's defense, the local store is a Verizon retailer and not a company owned store.
     
  7. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Yup, they are expensive and their customer service makes D*'s customer service look great, but you can't beat the network.

    Rich
     
  8. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Worse than AT&T?? :)
     
  9. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    My son and I are on the same plan and the monthly total is ~ $178. My wife's company pays for her iPhone and service. We dropped our landline and the money we saved by doing that makes up for the high cost of our phones.

    Rich
     
  10. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    My wife's iPhone is on AT&T and she has problems with reception. I don't know anything else about AT&T's service, but I never miss or get dropped calls on my Verizon phone.

    Rich
     
  11. Sixto

    Sixto DIRECTV A-Team

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    Love Verizon. Phones $40, Datacard $20, iPad $10, shared data with everything unlimited. Nice to not need to worry about anything any more with minutes and texts and data. I expect that I'll buy every future device with the cell version so always on the network.
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    That was interesting, all my posts on this thread just got deleted. What happened?

    Rich
     
  13. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    And now they are back???

    Rich
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    About the phones: I looked at all of them in December and my son and I settled on the Sammy Galaxy 3. Best cell phone I've ever had. My housekeeper has an HTC and is always having problems with it. Even bigger than the phone I have are the Galaxy 4 and Note 2 (or whatever it's called).

    Rich
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Huh. I paid $112 for each Galaxy 3. Should have waited longer.

    Rich
     
  16. Sixto

    Sixto DIRECTV A-Team

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    Yep, the above was plus the data charge. I pay $100 for a shared 10GB, but it's tiered.
     
  17. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Well, after all the faunching around, and reading here (thanks for the replies!), I just went to the local Verizon store a couple blocks away and got the iPhone 5 and the Senior plan.

    200 anytime minutes
    500 night/weekend
    3Gb DATA
    unlimited mobile-to-mobile.

    $59.99 a month.

    Of course, I had to take a printout of the deal so they would admit to it existing! :)

    Now to clean up the contact list. Mine with Apple goes back over 10 years and is loaded with crap!
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

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    You nailed it...unfortunately.

    I signed up for Freedom Pop late last month and have had their WiFi device up and running for a week now. Like Ting they use Sprint's 3G/4G coverage area, but it's for data only. I signed up for 2 GB for $19.99/mo. and I'm liking it so far. I'm using an HP Touchpad w/ CM 10 (Android 4.1.2 Jellybean) ported and the Skype app installed. I also have a Tracfone with Double Minutes for Life and 400+ unused minutes with service until the 11th of next month. When I signed up for it was $99.99 for 365 service days and 1,000 minutes (voice, message, web). Problem is I'd be surprised if it were 2G service and web browsing on 2.2" screen is downright painful. So, I'm trying to decide if Skpe through the tablet would be a suitable alternative. Yes, I'm aware of no 911 calls, something that does give me pause.

    I can understand why DISH is aggressively pursuing Sprint. Mobile is a still-growing market, while pay TV is saturated and showing signs of decline. I'm grateful that a company like Freedom Pop exists. It suits my current need for mobile just fine. I pay ~ $100/mo. for High Speed Internet and HDTV and I can't afford to double that for the sake of mobility.
     
  19. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise DBSTalk Club

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    Some of the plans offered by resellers can be quite inexpensive, depending on your usage. I don't make that many phone calls so Consumer Cellular works fine for me. My last bill was $35.57 for two phones (I only use wi-fi for data). You can change plans at any time and there is a 10% discount for AARP members. You don't need to use their phones (any phone which works on the ATT network is acceptable and they don't charge for a SIM card). They have a few smartphones but they are mainly last-years models (the prices are without any provider subsidy).
     
  20. gov

    gov Legend

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    In Verizon's defense, the company I had before them was awful. They charged for services they were unable to deliver because the closest tower to my house was an old analog one. Their billing system blipped me for services every month (caller ID, call waiting, etc.) that were not supported by that old analog tower. 2 phones I had would occasionally call themselves and waste my minutes, the only way to stop it was to pull the battery pack.

    As soon as I could port my # I went to Verizon. That took 3 weeks, the old company was so screwed up they couldn't transfer my #, Verizon had me on a temporary # till all the paperwork was straightened out. I called customer service at the old company serval times and taunted them about how much better Verizon was than they were.

    Not too long ago, I noticed I had 4 bars of signal near that (infamous) tower on my Razr-M, so somebody must have finally upgraded the darn thing.
     

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