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Need cell phone advice for my Dad

Old 09-23-18, 10:41 PM
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Need cell phone advice for my Dad

My Dad just turned 70. He is so technologically inept. Knows absolutely nothing. He and my Mother share my cell phone account. We pay about $200/month for 4 lines (one is a ghost line) and that money also includes the $30/month that I am financing for my Galaxy S8.

Anyways, my Dad was using an old junky T-Mobile flip phone that was a hand me down from my Mom. It's sim card just crashed and died. It would cost $25 + tax to get a new one.

Here's my question. My Dad basically only has a cell phone for emergencies. He never calls anyone. I mean never. I think he's used maybe 2-3 minutes total in the last 12 months. Would I be better off just cancelling his line off my subscription and getting him a disposable phone with some cheap pre-paid minutes. I feel like it's a waste for him even being on my subscription with that very very low usage. What are my option for cheap disposable flip phones? Any suggestions? Do pre-paid minutes expire? If he doesn't make a call in say the next month or two, would all those minutes expire? What kind of plan would work best? Or am I better off just buying him the new sim card and keeping him on my line?

As I said, my Dad never makes any calls or texts. He will only call maybe once every 3-4 months if that and only for an emergency.
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Old 09-23-18, 11:24 PM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

You could probably go to Walmart and get him a burner.

Verizon has a pay-by-the-month plan where it’s, like, $15 a month, but you can get a $100 card that lasts for 365 days. The minutes expire if you don’t use them in the alotted time period, but they do roll over if you pay by the deadline. It has two simple plans: $2 per day with unlimited call time on days you use the phone, or $1 + $0.10 per minute for each day it is used and they waive the $0.10/minute if you call another Verizon line. Days when the phone isn’t used cost nothing.

Some other companies that cover his area might have better deals.
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Old 09-24-18, 12:05 AM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

there are so many options these days

have you thought about freedom pop? just get him a cheap phone, they have several for under $50

https://www.freedompop.com

and the minimum service level is FREE

just make his home screen have limited options so he does not get confused



Red Pocket has a nice plan on ebay

$100 for the year

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Red-Pocket-....c100005.m1851

This can work on just about any unlocked phone , like a cheaper Blu brand

Amazon Amazon
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Old 09-24-18, 05:02 AM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

Here is a nice comparison of some plans for seniors:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/util...nior-citizens/
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Old 09-24-18, 01:39 PM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

My mom is on AT&T paygo plan:

$25/every 3mo., .25/call (.10 for her, grandfathered), balance rolls over. Can't remember if there is $2/day charge if she does makes a call.

I bought her a ZTE Z223 3G flip phone to replace her Samsung when AT&T discontinued 2G.
You can get the Z223 on eBay for $36.
Best Buy has an AT&T LG flipper for $30.
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/at-t-pr...?skuId=5444000

Last edited by dleedlee; 09-24-18 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 09-24-18, 09:20 PM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

OP, maybe I'm technologically inept, but what's a "ghost" line? Why do you keep it if you purportedly never use it?

I'm glad there are cheaper plans available for those who don't need unlimited minutes and text messaging like Apple and all the usual suspects "force" you into with their super-expensive plans and phones.

I also use a cell phone for emergencies and probably use less than 5 minutes per month. My solution: Knowing some "low-income" friends who can get free phones and free monthly plans, and simply use their phone on perpetual "borrow" status.

Solution found, thousands of dollars down the drain per year to Apple, AT&T, Verizon, et al avoided!
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Old 09-25-18, 12:50 AM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

How's Apple forcing anyone into minutes and text messaging?
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Old 09-25-18, 11:04 AM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

I have FreedomPop. Something like 200 minutes a month, 500 text messages, and 500 MB of data a month for free. I also snagged a free phone during a deal.

That said, if he's as inept as you say, I wouldn't go with FreedomPop. It uses a proprietary app to do the calls and texts, which doesn't sound too bad, but can be a pain in the ass if you don't use it often. I only use my phone once every month or three, so it often defaults to using the phone's texting service instead of the FreedomPop one. There's not really any tech support, just forums and "knowledge bases" to search for your issue and maybe some help. They also use Sprint's core network, not their extended network, so coverage isn't great. I believe there's a plan that covers roaming, but it no longer remains free.
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Old 09-25-18, 11:12 AM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

I got my daughter a tracfone flip phone for maybe 40 bucks?

I pay 20 dollars for 90 minutes and 3 months of service, and the minutes donít expire. She has hardly ever used it for calls so has a ton of minutes, so itís basically 80 dollars a year for emergencies.
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Old 09-26-18, 03:41 PM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
How's Apple forcing anyone into minutes and text messaging?
I don't see any $10 montly plans from Apple or any cheap phones, do you? Apple are masters at upselling and they've convinced the masses that they 'need' their (very expensive) phones / plans. Masterful marketing.

Can't tell you how many people I know that've purchased Apple phones for all of their family members 'by default'. As in "No argument, I'm getting an Iphone, there is no other choice, the world revolves around Iphone!" I seriously think some kids of families I know would think it "child abuse" if their parents didn't buy them Iphones only. And so they do, they do, indeed.

That's masterful marketing!
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Old 09-26-18, 04:01 PM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
I don't see any $10 montly plans from Apple
Let me start by saying Apple is not a company I like.

BUT

Last I checked Apple did not provide cellular service, did that change?


You are correct in that Apple is a successful marketing company. Just about everyone I know with an iPhone feels superior to everyone that does not

Then the newer the model iPhone you have, the more superior you get to feel
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Old 09-26-18, 05:11 PM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
Then the newer the model iPhone you have, the more superior you get to feel
No, Apple doesn't offer plan service, but I don't know anybody who owns an Iphone who has a $10 plan, either. AT&T and Verizon are in bed with Apple in upselling their upscale plans to Iphone owners (those superior folks who like to throw money around!).
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Old 09-26-18, 07:40 PM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
Last I checked Apple did not provide cellular service, did that change?
Right, Apple has nothing to do with selling cellular service and messaging plans. If anything, they push iMessage that uses data rather then traditional text messaging, so there's actually not much incentive for them to ask cellular providers to upsell in that regard.

zyzzle being zyzzle.
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Old 09-26-18, 08:26 PM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

Update. My Mother found one of her older T Mobile cell phones. Probably from 9-10 years ago. It’s a Samsung Gravity TXT model. Fairly simple that I think my Dad could handle.

I ended up buying him a new Sim Card for $25 and bought a new battery for this old phone from EBay for $2.89. Hopefully the battery works, but I think this will end up being cheapest option for him and he can still keep his line and number on my account.
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Old 09-27-18, 02:15 PM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

I see all the discount prepaid guys selling iphones these days

https://shop.straighttalk.com/shop/e...ghttalk/phones

even people with cheap plans can feel superior
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Old 09-28-18, 12:28 AM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
I ended up buying him a new Sim Card for $25 and bought a new battery for this old phone from EBay for $2.89. Hopefully the battery works, but I think this will end up being cheapest option for him and he can still keep his line and number on my account.
You really should look at the T-Mobile Pay as You Go plan. Based on what you said his usage was, you'll only be paying $3/month for his line:

https://prepaid.t-mobile.com/prepaid.../pay-as-you-go

He can keep his number and stay on T-mobile too.

Then, you and your mom can get a cheaper 2-line plan. A 2-line T-Mobile Essentials plan would cost $90/month. Plus $30 for your phone (and $3 for your dad) means you'd be saving $77/month.

Last edited by TheBang; 09-28-18 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 10-18-18, 02:24 AM
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Re: Need cell phone advice for my Dad

A Samsung flip cellphone is good for your dad
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