Posts Tagged ‘phone

Cheap cell phone plans

Posted in Business, Reviewson Sep 3, 2014

If you are spending hundreds of dollars on a cell phone plan that you don’t use very much, you are spending too much.  Here are a couple of different cell phone services for those people who only need a cell phone for talking a few minutes a day.

Ring Plus has plans starting at just $2/month for 50 minutes.  Apparently, you get to listen to advertisements instead of ringing. While there is no contract, this isn’t a strict pre-paid plan and you can incur (reasonable) overages. Operates on the Sprint Network.

Ptel provides a Pay As You Go with rates of 5 cents/minute.  You have to recharge your account with  minimum of $10 every 60 days.  They operate on the T-Mobile network, so you should be able to use any unlocked GSM phone.

FreedomPop operates on Sprint’s Data Networks.  From what I can tell, you use a FreedomPop VoIP client on the phone to make calls over a data connection.  Since calls go over data instead of voice, the reliability, coverage or call quality may not be as good in some areas.  However, they provide 200 minutes, 500 text messages, and 500 MB data for free every month.

H2O Wireless provides a Pay As You Go plan providing 5 cents/minute, with payments of $10 or more every 90 days.  They operate on AT&T’s network, and you can bring any unlocked GSM phone.

PagePlus is on Verizon’s network.  Their Pay As You Go rate is 10 cents/minute when you add $10 every 120 days.  They provide better rates when adding $25 or $50 to your account.

Because plans change all the time, you should take all this information as a general starting point and investigate your own plans.  I’ve only listed 5 services, but there are many more.  With all sorts of various plans including pre-paid, post-paid, pay-as-you-go and unlimited plans.

This table shows an average monthly cost for each service based on a set number of monthly minutes.  The rates do not consider text-messaging or data rates, do not include the cost of a phone, and may not be valid for variable month-to-month usage.

Monthly Minutes RingPlus Ptel FreedomPop H20 PagePlus Net 10
 10 min  $2  $5  Free  $3.33  $2.50 $15
 30 min  $2  $5  Free  $3.33  $3 $15
 50 min  $2  $5  Free  $3.33  $5 $15
 100 min  $3  $5  Free  $5  $6.25 $15
 150 min  $4  $7.50  Free  $7.50  $9 $15
 200 min  $5  $10  Free  $10  $12 $20
 250 min  $6  $12.50  $8  $12.50  $12.50 $20
 300 min  $7  $15  $8  $15  $15 $20

Want to know more?  Ask a question in the comments.

android; pixelpipe

Dear Google Android Folks,

I hear Google is hiring a bunch of Android app developers to increase the number and quality of apps for the Android platform. Building a developer community is tricky, and I’m sorry to see that you think you have to pay people yourselves to create more Android developers.

One thing you should consider is to come out with cheap Android devices that aren’t phones, similar to the iPod Touch. While phone devices receive a great deal of attention, non-phone devices may also have a good share of sales. One figure has the iPod Touch comprising over one third of iOS device sales. Certainly the Android developer community could benefit from a 30-50% boost of quantity of devices.

I also suspect that many of the mobile app developers run small operations. Probably many of them use their own personal iPhone or other smart phone for testing apps. Certainly these people have a greater barrier to create multi-platform apps if it means having multiple phones with multiple phone plans. By providing a non-phone Android device, you might entice many mobile app developers into developing for the Android platform in addition to the iOS platform.

Just a thought from someone who would like to own an Android device, but hasn’t found a great way to do so (yet) without having to buy an expensive phone plan.

Some people don’t need a full-time cell phone, and don’t want a full-time cell phone price.  These people typically make most of their calls on their home phone, and only want a cell phone for things like calling home from the grocery store to see how much milk to buy.  These people use their home phone when they want to chat with someone on the phone, and only need a cell phone when they are out and about with a quick question.

For these people, I might recommend Boost Mobile.  Boost Mobile is a no-contract, prepaid cell phone service.  Here is how it works:

  • You buy a cell phone up front.  The cheapest Boost phones start at $50 (although I’ve seen them on sale as low as $30).  This is a little more expensive than other cell phone plans, because you don’t end up paying for the phone over the time of a lengthy contract.
  • This is a prepaid account, which means you put money into your account before you use it.  If your account hits $0, then it stops working until you add more money. You never have to worry about being surprised by a large cell phone bill.
  • Each minute you talk on your phone costs you 10 cents.
  • Every three months, you log into your account from a web page, and add at least $10 to your account.
  • Minutes (your account balance) never expires as long as you recharge your account every 180 days.

If you want to spend less than $4/month for a cell phone service, you buy 100 minutes for $10 every three months, which comes out to be a 33 minute/month and $3.33/month plan.

Non-disclaimer: I wrote this post hoping that it might save people money.  I was not paid to write this post.  I am not associated with any cell phone provider.

(image credit)

The wrong hangup

Posted in Lifeon Apr 16, 2010

Today I was at work, and I was talking with Sandy using my headset, while at the same time using my computer.  When the conversation was over, I meant to hang up the phone, but instead I closed the program I was using on my computer.

I guess I can’t multi-task.

Police Beat: pricing stolen clothes

Posted in Funnyon Feb 5, 2009

The latest Police Beat escaped from BYU.  I’ve got a few questions to ask about some of the entries.

Feb. 2: Laundry was stolen from a laundromat at Wymount Terrace. The clothes are valued at $300.

I don’t know about you, but I have no idea how much the clothes in a load of laundry are worth.  My thinking would probably go something like, “I think I had a pair of pants… no… two pairs… I bought them at Kohl’s maybe?  They were $23 each, or were they on sale for $17?  I had some socks in the load as well.  Do clothes depreciate in value if they are worn?  How many socks would I have had in the load, and should I count the sock that is suppose to go missing in the dryer? Then there was that shirt… what is my current subtotal?  Oh, yeah, I forgot to add in the socks…”

Feb. 2: A male student set off a stairwell alarm in the HBLL after entering the off-limits area to talk on his cell phone. When a security guard asked the student to leave the area, the student was aggressive and repeatedly used foul language. Police were called, and the student was banned from the library for 72 hours. The case is currently under investigation with charges pending.

Some people and their cell phones!  Quick sanity check: if you set off an alarm and a security guard asks you to leave the area, is arguing using foul language going to actually help you at all?  Maybe the library needs to install cones of silence for people to use when talking on their phone so they don’t have to go exploring.

Feb. 2: A suspicious man was reported entering the new OIT building on the west side of campus. Police responded and discovered the man was a subcontractor working on the heating system.

What makes a man suspicious?  I’m just curious.  I’ve got a feeling, at BYU, a suspicious man would look just like any other man, except with some facial hair.  ‘Cause that is how it rolls down in Provo.

Jan. 31: Two intoxicated men were using foul language while waiting at the bus stop east of the Wilkinson Center. The men were not allowed on public transportation due to their drunken state and called a friend to come pick them up. Both men have a criminal history and are not affiliated with BYU.

So we don’t want drunks to drive, but we also don’t allow them to take the bus?  Although I understand that public intoxication is a public nuisance, it seems like a slight mixed message to say, don’t drive, but we’re not going to let you take the bus either.

Just hang up and drive

Posted in Insightson Jan 13, 2009

Flickr Stock Photo

Flickr Stock Photo

On September 11, 2001, there were 2,752 people who died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Because of that attack, thousands of soldiers have gone to war costing the U.S. billions of dollars.

Every year, an average of 2,600 people die because of car accidents related to cell phones, nearly the same number of people ever year who died in the terrorist attacks. An additional annual 12,000 serious injuries have also occurred because of talking on the phone while driving.

But what are we doing about this to save lives?

Laws could be passed making cell phone use illegal, but it really should start with personal responsibility.

(Photo Credit)

History of weird phone calls

Posted in Generalon Jul 18, 2008

I’ve notice a pattern of weird phone calls over the last few years.

Feb 11, 2008: A female Wymount resident received a suspicious phone call in her home at 1:30 p.m. The male caller claimed to be from the psychology department and said he could try to help her relax. He got her to turn off the lights and lay down on her bed. The phone call ended when the girl’s cell phone battery died. BYU Police told her she should notify her phone company next time she receives a call so that they can trace it. (Source)

Nov. 7-9, 2007: Nine female students, living in Heritage Halls, reported receiving suspicious calls from a man who claimed that he was a BYU student doing an experiment for a psychology class. The police think this man is from California and is the same man who has been making these calls for the last four years. (Source)

Oct. 23, 2007: A 19-year-old female student, living in Taylor Hall in Helaman Halls, received a suspicious phone call from a man claiming to be a psychology student who asked her to participate in an experiment for his psychology class. She had read the police beat tip of the week in The Daily Universe on October 12, and hung up on him. (

Oct. 17, 2007: A female student living in Wyview Park received a phone call from a suspicious man. The suspect claimed to be a psychology student conducting a project, and attempted to put her in a hypnotic trance. She gave him a false name when he asked for her name. When she finally told him she had had enough, he immediately hung up. (

October 12, 2007 Tip of the week: Over the last three years, several students, mostly female students, have been receiving calls from a suspicious male individual. He calls at night, asks what they are doing, how they are dressed and if they will participate in an experiment, a study for his psychology class. He asks them to lie down on the floor then asks a series of questions and tells them to relax. An investigator from the police department has talked to a professor on campus, who is an expert in hypnotism. He says it is not possible to hypnotize someone over the phone. Some students have fallen asleep, woken up and weren’t sure what happened but whether they were really hypnotized or not is questionable. (Source)

July 4, 2007: A man was reported making a suspicious phone call to a female in Helaman Halls in which he claimed he was doing a psychology project and then proceeded to hypnotize the female student on the other end of the line. The roommate of the female came home to find her asleep on the floor. The female is reported of reacting strangely when certain words are spoken. Incidents of a similar nature have occurred about two dozen times in the past. There are no suspects, but the incident is still under investigation. (

Feb 9, 2006: A female student living in Hinckley Hall, in Helaman Halls, received a phone call from an unidentified male claiming to be conducting a survey for a psychology class Feb. 9. The caller asked the student if she was relaxed and if she was doing homework. The student hung up after the caller asked her to lie down on her bed to get more comfortable. The police suspect the call is connected to numerous similar calls made over the last two years. (Source)

May 19, 2004:Two females living at WyView reported separate accounts of attempted hypnotism on the telephone from a male suspect May 19 at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m., respectively. The victims reported a male-voiced caller representing himself as a psychology major conducting a survey. The victim of the second incident said she became suspicious when the caller said he was going to hypnotize her. Both victims hung-up the phone on the caller.

Never once did he call anyone in Deseret Towers, according to these limited reports.