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Thread: What Is Currently The Best Option For A Very, Very Low Usage Voice Only Carrier

  1. #16
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    Need to know what phones the op has and whether they need to buy new ones. If they only have AT&T or gsm capable flip phones that would steer them in a certain direction.

    Sent from my S3_Pro Umidigi using HoFo mobile app

  2. #17
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    Tracfone. Once you buy it its good for 1 year. Whatever balance you have at the end of the year rolls over if you renew. If you wait for an eBay promo you can bring the price down even more. This year eBay had a $15 off promo before Thanksgiving, it did take a call to get it though

  3. #18
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    Similar to truphone, there is a provider called Piranha which roams on AT&T in the US. You get a free UK cell number on Jersey Telecom. US domestic calls are 6 cents a minute. Other countries vary (I paid 35 cents a minute on Grand Cayman roaming on Digicel or Flow). Advantage of no mandatory refills; just make at least an occasional test call to make sure sim is live.

    Sent from my S90 using HoFo mobile app

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HFUN View Post
    Tracfone. Once you buy it its good for 1 year. Whatever balance you have at the end of the year rolls over if you renew. If you wait for an eBay promo you can bring the price down even more. This year eBay had a $15 off promo before Thanksgiving, it did take a call to get it though
    Tracfone has a usage requirement. Some usage in a year for feature phones, six months for smartphones.

    I can report from personal experience that they do enforce the one year usage requirement for feature phones.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LPPan2 View Post
    As background, my wife and I are both retired and we each have cell phones that we purchased unlocked. They remain 100% of the time in our vehicles because we live in a rural area with no cell phone coverage at our home. The only time we use the cell phones is when one of us is out and there is a need to call the other one at home due to a change in plans.

    In the past I had a prepaid card with minutes that didn’t expire unless you didn’t make a call for 90 days. The other day I really wanted to call home and couldn’t because my account had been suspended. Since there were definitely minutes available and I had not made call for well over 90 days (I am guessing 6 months at least) I can only assume that was the problem.

    Rather than go through that again, I am looking for something different. My first thought was the $3 per month T-Mobile plan with automatic billing to a credit card each month to keep it active. Unfortunately they have apparently transferred that plan to Ultra Mobile and that option is no longer available for new accounts.

    As a result I am now looking for recommendations on carriers. What I am looking for is a no strings plan with low monthly voice only usage (30 non rollover minutes a month would be plenty) that will always be there when I need it. Free would be great but a modest fee such as $3 a month would be fine. I just don’t want to pay a lot for minutes or data that I will never use. Would the FreeUP Mobile free plan fit the bill? Are there any plans I should consider?
    Thanks.
    Truphone is your best option. https://myaccount.truphone.com/en-US...stomizeProduct
    They say that you have to use it every 180 days. Incoming calls are free. Outgoing are 9¢/minute. They use AT&T.

    FreedomPop still has their free plan. But if you don't use it occasionally then they close your account. https://www.freedompop.com It's a little convoluted to get the free plan, but it's still there.

  6. #21
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    Wow. I cannot thank everyone enough for the responses I have received. In answer to some of your questions, when we first started with cell phones we went with Tracphone and as I recall it was about $100 for service for one year with 200 minutes of airtime per phone. The phones they provided were Nokia types with the pull out antenna. A couple of years back we noticed the phones were working in fewer and fewer locations and attributed it to the towers being switched to newer technology that was incompatible with the older Nokias. At that point we were paying $200 a year for service for two phones, we had over 2000 minutes air time on each of the phones, and I wasn’t happy.

    It seemed a lot for our needs, and since we were facing the purchase of new phones regardless of who we used for a carrier, we decided to put the money that would have gone toward a Tracphone renewal toward new unlocked phones figuring we could recover the extra cost by going with another carrier. At that time we purchased a Motorol G5s Plus that my wife uses and about a year later I purchased a Motorla G6.

    Our first foray into a service other than Tracfone was Lycamobile. I don’t think they expired the time in 90 days as their terms indicated they would, but in my case I think I pushed their good will a bit too far, and my account has been suspended. To be honest their coverage, although better than Tracphone’s, isn’t all that great either so I figured it was time again to try something else. After Analogman’s post indicating that Page Pllus would allow me to setup auto renewals I ordered a couple SIMS from them and we will see what happens when they arrive.

    If it doesn’t work out, you can be sure I will be back reading this thread over again from beginning to end. Thanks again for all your responses.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by LPPan2 View Post
    Wow. I cannot thank everyone enough for the responses I have received. In answer to some of your questions, when we first started with cell phones we went with Tracphone and as I recall it was about $100 for service for one year with 200 minutes of airtime per phone. The phones they provided were Nokia types with the pull out antenna. A couple of years back we noticed the phones were working in fewer and fewer locations and attributed it to the towers being switched to newer technology that was incompatible with the older Nokias. At that point we were paying $200 a year for service for two phones, we had over 2000 minutes air time on each of the phones, and I wasn’t happy.

    It seemed a lot for our needs, and since we were facing the purchase of new phones regardless of who we used for a carrier, we decided to put the money that would have gone toward a Tracphone renewal toward new unlocked phones figuring we could recover the extra cost by going with another carrier. At that time we purchased a Motorol G5s Plus that my wife uses and about a year later I purchased a Motorla G6.

    Our first foray into a service other than Tracfone was Lycamobile. I don’t think they expired the time in 90 days as their terms indicated they would, but in my case I think I pushed their good will a bit too far, and my account has been suspended. To be honest their coverage, although better than Tracphone’s, isn’t all that great either so I figured it was time again to try something else. After Analogman’s post indicating that Page Pllus would allow me to setup auto renewals I ordered a couple SIMS from them and we will see what happens when they arrive.

    If it doesn’t work out, you can be sure I will be back reading this thread over again from beginning to end. Thanks again for all your responses.
    Yes, PPC should fit your described needs very well, which is why I first suggested it above, and it appears that it is your best option, especially now that you have mentioned that you have unlocked phones. Good luck!

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LPPan2 View Post
    when we first started with cell phones we went with Tracphone and as I recall it was about $100 for service for one year with 200 minutes of airtime per phone.
    If you don't object to TracFone's usage requirement (6 months for smartphone), you can buy from HSN one of those phones with bundled minutes/texts/data/one year at very good price. At this moment, Moto E5 is the lowest priced-one at $50 (https://www.hsn.com/products/motorol...-1500-/8879320).

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz1 View Post
    Yes, PPC should fit your described needs very well, which is why I first suggested it above, and it appears that it is your best option, especially now that you have mentioned that you have unlocked phones. Good luck!
    If I recall correctly, with Page Plus you have to add $10 every 120 days, but you can't do this on auto-renewal. The auto-renewal is on a monthly basis only. What you can do is sign up for auto-renew with the first renewal set to occur at 119 days. Then cancel auto-renewal and set it up again for 119 days in the future.

    I thought that Truphone would be better because you don't have to deal with these constant renewals.

  10. #25
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    CallingMart will let you set up auto-renew for PagePlus at whatever interval you want (119 days, or whatever).

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobdevnul View Post
    Tracfone has a usage requirement. Some usage in a year for feature phones, six months for smartphones.
    Didn't know that, thank you.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by mframe View Post
    CallingMart will let you set up auto-renew for PagePlus at whatever interval you want (119 days, or whatever).
    CallingMart is easy and reliable to deal with. Minutes after I submitted my first order, they phoned me to verify my credit card info, so expect a call on the initial transaction.

    Page Plus -- why 119 days versus the advertised 120 days? In my experience, the residual PAYGO balance expires at the beginning of the 120th day, so any auto-refill setup must be able to refill on less than a 120-day cycle. I refill manually; a tip I learned here is to count down exactly 17 weeks on the calendar from the day I refill...that's the 119th day.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockchuck View Post
    CallingMart is easy and reliable to deal with. Minutes after I submitted my first order, they phoned me to verify my credit card info, so expect a call on the initial transaction.

    Page Plus -- why 119 days versus the advertised 120 days? In my experience, the residual PAYGO balance expires at the beginning of the 120th day, so any auto-refill setup must be able to refill on less than a 120-day cycle. I refill manually; a tip I learned here is to count down exactly 17 weeks on the calendar from the day I refill...that's the 119th day.
    The Page Plus website offers an auto-refill option for the standard plan. I have not used it so I can't vouch for it.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockchuck View Post
    CallingMart is easy and reliable to deal with. Minutes after I submitted my first order, they phoned me to verify my credit card info, so expect a call on the initial transaction.

    Page Plus -- why 119 days versus the advertised 120 days? In my experience, the residual PAYGO balance expires at the beginning of the 120th day, so any auto-refill setup must be able to refill on less than a 120-day cycle. I refill manually; a tip I learned here is to count down exactly 17 weeks on the calendar from the day I refill...that's the 119th day.
    I guess with Callingmart the renewal issue goes away and Page Plus is cheaper for outgoing calls, though if you had an equivalent number of incoming and outgoing calls then Truphone would be less. Page Plus is on Verizon which usually has better coverage than AT&T.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianAngela View Post
    If I recall correctly, with Page Plus you have to add $10 every 120 days, but you can't do this on auto-renewal. The auto-renewal is on a monthly basis only. What you can do is sign up for auto-renew with the first renewal set to occur at 119 days. Then cancel auto-renewal and set it up again for 119 days in the future.

    I thought that Truphone would be better because you don't have to deal with these constant renewals.
    As already mentioned above, you can now have Standard Plan auto-renewal using PPC directly, or CallingMart also works. Also regarding adding funds every 119 days for the Standard Plan, even though I sometimes also mention 119 days since I did it for so many years with the legacy PPC, sometime since the America Movil purchase, it truly is 120 days now.

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