Phone Phact #11 (Loosing Minutes)

Old 10-29-02, 08:39 PM
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Lightbulb Phone Phact #11 (Loosing Minutes)

I do not usually deal with cell phone issues but I got an email and I did some research on it and found out some rather interesting facts.

Question: I have a cell phone minute plan for X amount of minutes. I didn't use the phone at all for two months but yet they stated that I had usage on it.

Answer: If you do not use your phone at all, turn it off and rip out the battery you still may be using minutes. If someone calls your number YOU are charged for that minute even if you don't answer it. Even a wrong number or someone just trying to get in touch with you. Frequently checking your voice mail also tends to burn up quite a few minutes. The best way to save your minutes is to tell people to call you at HOME! Consider using the fading away technology of a plain and simple pager. Anymore you can get a pager cheaper than a pack of cigarettes and the monthly fee is probably less than the extra minutes you spend calling your voice mail on your cell phone. If you want to get creative have your cell phone forward to your pager voice mail and check that voice mail from a regular phone. Checking your cellular voice mail from a regular phone still adds used minutes to your cell since you usually call your own cell phone number to retrieve your messages. So there it is folks, personally I just use prepaid phone cards and call people when I get home and not give my cell number out. My pager also works just fine!
Old 10-30-02, 05:47 AM
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You may also want to look into the increasing number of flat rate plans - no minutes involved, you just get charged a flat rate for cell phone access per month. Long distance is usually not included in these plans. Yet.

Additionally many plans come with so many minutes that you're unlikely to go over them. A 4000 minute plan gives you over 2 hours of cell phone usage per day. Most people don't use cell phones that much on a consistant basis.

Either way cell phones are rapidly becoming an alternate to regular phone service -- a lot of people have ditched their land lines and opted for a cell-phone only existance. If you don't use DSL and don't need some of the capabilities regular phones give you (multiple people on the line at once for example) then you may want to consider dropping your land line - if you have one with lots of bells and whistles (caller id, call waiting, etc) then ditching the land line may pay for the cell phone!

All that said, I don't have a cell phone and don't plan to get one despite the occassional urgings from my wife!
Old 10-31-02, 07:21 PM
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I have heard that cell phones are becoming many peoples ONLY phone these days. I personally do not see that everyone will be switching to that, at least not in my lifetime. First of all they are nowhere near as reliable or as durable as a land line. How many times can you get away with dropping your cell phone? I use a cell phone every day at work and I'm on it for many hours. I go through several batteries and I have dropped it of course. In 5 years I have went through 12 cell phones. Most of the time the displays die. I have had them just loose capability for being able to complete a call, I have had the buttons go bad. I have also had so many batteries go bad as well as the chargers. I think I am on charger number 5. Granted, most people probably do not use theirs as much as I do but I couldn't imagine what the cost of battery, battery charger and cell phone replacement has been up to this point. So as far as cost savings of my home phone just in replacement I'll stick with a regular phone.
There is also the other arguement about health risks. If anyone gets brain cancer from cell phone use I am a primary candidate so I will let you know. If I get that then I guess I don't have to worry about smoking anymore.
The freedom of using a cell phone is getting less and less. They have made laws locally and I'm sure in other parts of the country concerning cell phones. They are trying to pass a law that states you cannot use it at all while driving. In some areas you can only use it in your car while parked or with handsfree or speaker phone. In one local city here you cannot pump gas while using your cell phone. That is totally nuts since it is impossible to cause a fire with a cell phone but it is true law. Unless maybe you splatter it on the pavement into a puddle of gasoline but even then causing a spark would be tough. They are tying to pass one for using them in some public establishments, trains, hospitals, planes and Telco offices. There is no solid evidance that cell phone interfere with any equipment especially digital cell phones.
There is also a device out which can block cell phones from being capable of getting a signal. There are movie theaters that have been using prototypes of this device so cell phones do not ring during a movie nor can people make calls and disturb other customers trying to watch their movie. You would think that is quite a bit of liabilty for the reason they could get a lawsuit if you didn't get your call in a life and death situation. I guess common cortesy comes at a price.

In a nutshell with all those factors I'm sure to have a job fixing land lines for the rest of my life and perhaps my 18 month old son should he carry on the tradition with not worry of not having a job
as well. With all those reasons and many others the "conveinance" of having a cell phone will be so inconvieniant the price won't be worth the hassle.

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