What if I lose my cellular phone?
Q: How does
a wireless company give me "Free Long Distance?" I'm really paying for
Most carriers will help you get a new phone and, in most cases, offer
it at a good price, if you agree to another 2-year contract. If you
eventually find your old phone, the carrier may charge you a
"re-stocking" fee to take it back, but that would release you from the
new contract. You might hold on to the 2nd phone as a spare as long as
you don't mind the new contract. Customer Service will help you choose
which phone is active. Prepaid phones usually need to be replaced by
purchasing another. Insurance programs are rarely worth the cost.
son wants to add me to his family cellular account. Isn't there a
danger of using up all his minutes?
You are correct that you still pay for every call, but if your account
includes "Free Long Distance" it means there is no additional charge
for calling anywhere in the US. Each call is charged as if you are
calling next door. This may not be the case for people calling you.
Cellular charges by time used, not by distance.
Can I use my wireless phone for more than just calls and texts...how
It's possible, but the advantage of "Family" plans is having lots of
minutes to be used by different family members who use their minutes at
different rates in different months. Even more important to you is that
if you call any of those family members from your cellular phone to
theirs, NO minutes are used by either party.
- A: Yes you can use a "Smart" phone to access email and
most web sites on the Internet, in addition to making Calls and Texts.
Make sure that you have a plan that includes Data service...most
"Senior" plans do not. Surprise data charges can be in the hundreds of
dollars, or more, if you don't have the right plan.
I really like my old wired phones including a nice new cordless phone.
Can I switch to cellular and still use the phones I'm used to?
Yes! You can get a Wireless
Home Phone System
and plug in all your exiting wired phones.
You could save more than half of what the old phone company is charging
you and also get all the same features cellular phones provide,
including Unlimited Local and Long Distance Calls, Voice Mail, Caller
ID, Call Waiting and lots more. We show how to switch.
I'd like to try
Prepaid, but I'd forget to refill every 90 days. What can I do?
There are several Prepaid plans that only need to be refilled once a
year. You could refill at any time before that. You could choose a
memorable date like your birthday, July 4th or New Year's. There are
also a few services that will automatically renew for you from a credit
card or checking account. If you do let a Prepaid phone expire you'll
have a few months grace to refill before losing your number. The
Prepaid services themselves sell only full-priced refills, but you can
Prepaid Wireless Refills online.
Q: I just want a cellular phone for when
I'm in the car. Can I leave it there?
Most wireless plans
charge for hundreds of minutes I don't expect to use. Can I get fewer
minutes and save?
Yes. The only consideration would be the phone's battery. An unused
phone with a relatively new battery should be able to sit in the car
for several months before worrying about recharging, as long as it is
turned off. If you have any concerns, you can buy a car charger and use
it only if you need it.
get a cellular phone, I'll have 2 phones, wireless and landline. Do I
Yes. Many cellular companies, especially the smaller ones, offer
"Basic", "Security", or "Senior" plans, some of which are not
advertised. There are plans that offer FREE service after your initial
purchase. There are also "Lifeline"
plans available to people on certain types of
government support programs that could be very cheap or even FREE.
If you don't qualify, there are many Prepaid
plans that charge only for the minutes you use.
No. In these days, a phone is associated with a person
instead of a home, as in the case with your home
phone. This is the
case in over 30% of households in the US. You can drop
your wired line and use just wireless, and still have the same phone
number. Before choosing one over the other, make sure you can live with
the requirement that you must keep your wireless phone charged. This is
not a problem if you are already familiar with a cordless phone as your
to keep my home phone. How can adding a cellular phone save
Q: I'm not comfortable agreeing to
a 2-year contract. Can I sign up for a shorter time?
First, you can make all your calls that are normally "Long Distance"
with your cellular phone and only pay the normal rate. Then,
you can reduce the services on your wired phone to just basic calling,
removing the extra charges for Long Distance and Calling Features that
are normally included with wireless phones at no extra charge.
Q: I would like more information than is
available here. Where can I go?
Yes. Most contracts have gone away. Some wireless companies
have plans that don't require a long
contract and there are no contracts when you pay in advance.
includes all "Prepaid"
plans. Also, there are several "Flat Rate" companies that offer
feature-rich service and even Unlimited services. If you already have a
contract, there are ways to Get
out of Your Contract.
We have a number of links to other web sites with information about
wireless phone service, Below.
Senior Cellular Resources: