mersenneforum.org  

Go Back   mersenneforum.org > Extra Stuff > Blogorrhea > jvang

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2018-12-15, 14:25   #1
jvang
veganjoy
 
jvang's Avatar
 
"Joey"
Nov 2015
Middle of Nowhere,AR

3·5·29 Posts
Default Cell Phone Monthly Pythons

I’ll be turning 18 soon, and my parents want me to pay for my own cell phone plan, but it’s surprisingly complicated to figure out much! We're currently spending $50 per line for unlimited data, talking, and texting. Our current carrier is Verizon, and I have an iPhone SE. The cheapest plan I found that they offer for a single phone is $30, but it’s strictly for a “basic” phone, not smartphones.

I'd rather not have to switch phones, since A) it’s a nice, well-functioning phone and B) I’d get scammed in a trade-in for a phone worth several hundred dollars less than what I already have. I appreciate the other features of my phone that are a result of it being a smartphone, such as being able to surf the internet when I want/need to, or use Google Maps, or take nice pictures.

The cheapest plan I found for a smartphone is $55, which is really a lot and I don’t even need much of what it offers (besides, it’s more money for less stuff compared to the current situation). Among other gimmicky things, it gives me 5 gigabytes of data (if I’m in a position to use the internet it’s somewhere that has a WiFi connection) and unlimited talk/text, yet I don’t talk a lot or message a lot (unlimited is convenient, but I don’t think it’s necessary).

So $55 a month seems like a bit much, with no other alternatives from Verizon. But perhaps going to a different carrier is an option? From what I know so far, my phone is “locked” to Verizon services. But I’m guessing that other carriers have ways to get around this? I noticed that, if I were going to trade in my phone to Verizon from another carrier versus already being with Verizon, my phone was automatically worth less. Would they be charging me for coming from another carrier?

Last fiddled with by jvang on 2018-12-15 at 14:37 Reason: typing is hard
jvang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-15, 17:08   #2
Batalov
 
Batalov's Avatar
 
"Serge"
Mar 2008
Phi(4,2^7658614+1)/2

217368 Posts
Default

Family plans work even if you are away from home. (interestingly, auto insurance does too.)
For ~15 years we used the $49 T-mobile plan + $5 for kid's add-on lines. Well, to be fair, it had changed over the years and even discontinued but they wouldn't terminate existing plans (how nice; it is like grandfathered New York apartment leases). They have it offered again now. Data is not unlimited but there is enough for my kids. ymmv
Batalov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-15, 17:18   #3
jvang
veganjoy
 
jvang's Avatar
 
"Joey"
Nov 2015
Middle of Nowhere,AR

3×5×29 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batalov View Post
Family plans work even if you are away from home. (interestingly, auto insurance does too.)
For ~15 years we used the $49 T-mobile plan + $5 for kid's add-on lines. Well, to be fair, it had changed over the years and even discontinued but they wouldn't terminate existing plans (how nice; it is like grandfathered New York apartment leases). They have it offered again now. Data is not unlimited but there is enough for my kids. ymmv
While this seems like a good idea, my parents want me to have a separate plan, like a first step into adulthood or something like that. Paying for my third of the plan seems to not be an option.
jvang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-15, 17:28   #4
masser
 
masser's Avatar
 
Jul 2003
wear a mask

148410 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvang View Post
While this seems like a good idea, my parents want me to have a separate plan, like a first step into adulthood or something like that. Paying for my third of the plan seems to not be an option.
Having your own plan might be a good way to establish a credit record. You will need that sooner than later.
masser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-15, 17:57   #5
Uncwilly
6809 > 6502
 
Uncwilly's Avatar
 
"""""""""""""""""""
Aug 2003
101×103 Posts

23·1,117 Posts
Default

You may want to look at Straight Talk. They run on the Verizon network. You should be able to take your phone over. The prices are good.
Uncwilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-15, 20:08   #6
Xyzzy
 
Xyzzy's Avatar
 
"Mike"
Aug 2002

22·7·281 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvang View Post
I’ll be turning 18 soon, and my parents want me to pay for my own cell phone plan, but it’s surprisingly complicated to figure out much!
Your parents are probably trying to ease you into the world of adulthood in small steps rather than throwing you out there all at once.

The adult world is a very hostile and confusing place!

Xyzzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-15, 21:11   #7
kriesel
 
kriesel's Avatar
 
"TF79LL86GIMPS96gpu17"
Mar 2017
US midwest

22·29·41 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvang View Post
While this seems like a good idea, my parents want me to have a separate plan, like a first step into adulthood or something like that. Paying for my third of the plan seems to not be an option.
Learning on and making mistakes on something small is a good way to go. Gathering information and seeking advice before plunging in as you are doing seems promising. I was just looking at Wirefly the other day regarding data-only plans. There's a lot of info there about general phone plan offerings available too. https://www.wirefly.com/content/phone-plans Watch out for analysis paralysis. Good luck. Especially if you'll be paying the bill with money you earn yourself.

(I went from a monthly and very limited plan with one provider to prepaid with another provider, Tracfone, some months back, and I expect the savings to repay the Samsung J3 smartphone cost in 6 months or so from start. It's convertible to autopay via credit card. Number portability and changeover was smooth and straightforward. Projected cost is under $20/month for my low usage. There are few monthly plans in that range, and all I recall is a Consumer Cellular limited basic phone plan for less. There is a market for selling and buying used phones; I've gotten several on ebay for example.)

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2018-12-15 at 21:17
kriesel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-16, 00:23   #8
jvang
veganjoy
 
jvang's Avatar
 
"Joey"
Nov 2015
Middle of Nowhere,AR

43510 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
You may want to look at Straight Talk. They run on the Verizon network. You should be able to take your phone over. The prices are good.
The prices are indeed very good! Their website tells me that I can keep my phone with no hassles or cost to switch. $35 per month with no contract if I wanted unlimited everything, $50 per month with no contract for completely unthrottled data (they say that they might check what you’re up to if you use more than 60 GB per month on this plan).

Why would you go to a big company and pay more for less when you could pay less for more from Straight Talk or something? What do bigger companies offer that someplace with better prices doesn’t? The only downside that I see is that I can’t do a trade in, and I didn’t look very closely for that service.
jvang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-16, 01:52   #9
chalsall
If I May
 
chalsall's Avatar
 
"Chris Halsall"
Sep 2002
Barbados

3×55 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jvang View Post
The only downside that I see is that I can’t do a trade in, and I didn’t look very closely for that service.
It's all a little complicated. Which is exactly how the providers like it.

Some telephony providers will offer a "free" high-priced phone as part of a contract (sometimes with a "trade in"). What they don't mention is this usually requires a contract of somewhere between one to three years.

Quite possibly the most important lesson your parents are trying to teach you is there is no such thing as a free lunch. Take this to heart.

Tangentially, look up what "unlocked phone" means.

Often it is less expensive (over the expected usage period) to purchase the kit you want to use outright, regardless of your chosen service provider....
chalsall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-16, 07:32   #10
xilman
Bamboozled!
 
xilman's Avatar
 
"𒉺𒌌𒇷𒆷𒀭"
May 2003
Down not across

101000100111012 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chalsall View Post
Tangentially, look up what "unlocked phone" means.

Often it is less expensive (over the expected usage period) to purchase the kit you want to use outright, regardless of your chosen service provider....
I have no expertise at all in the subject of US cell phone provision (you reading this sm88?) and not much more regarding UK mobile phone providers. What little I have found out, and exploited, is that it is always cheaper to buy outright the lowest price phone with the required functionality and to purchase a pay-as-you-go SIM. I also know that it is easy to unlock a phone. I've unlocked all my locked kit.

No idea whether this is relevant --- re-read my first sentence.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2018-12-16 at 07:32
xilman is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 2018-12-16, 09:29   #11
VictordeHolland
 
VictordeHolland's Avatar
 
"Victor de Hollander"
Aug 2011
the Netherlands

23·3·72 Posts
Default

Do you really need the unlimited data? Or can you use WIFI at home/university/work?

I don't know how providers do business in the USA, but $50 for unlimited doesn't sound like a good deal to me.

I may not be a heavy smartphone/tablet user but I use 4GB over WIFI and only 1GB over mobile network each month. I've set my phone to backup photo/video and update apps when connected to WIFI and to prefer WIFI connection over mobile network when both are connected.

I pay €13/month for a 2GB data plan + unlimited voice/text. If I used 90% of my data bundle I get a text message stating so. I can then (optionally) buy extra data for that month (1/3/5/10GB for €7,50/15/20/30). I've needed it once this year when I was on holiday in Denmark/Sweden and I wanted to backup my photo's over a mobile connection, a well spend €20 if you asks me.
VictordeHolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cell Phone AstroPhotography Spherical Cow Astronomy 59 2019-01-21 22:47
How to test your cell phone warranty Damian Lounge 58 2019-01-03 18:57
IRS Phone Scam wblipp Lounge 0 2014-09-09 18:42
Cell+ tha Hardware 1 2006-09-07 16:24
Prime95 on a cell phone JuanTutors Lounge 5 2004-08-18 08:53

All times are UTC. The time now is 18:05.

Thu Dec 3 18:05:11 UTC 2020 up 14:16, 1 user, load averages: 1.93, 2.12, 2.02

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum has received and complied with 0 (zero) government requests for information.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.
A copy of the license is included in the FAQ.