tracfone good or bad

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by plankman16, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. plankman16

    plankman16 Member

    Mar 1, 2003
    i just purchase a tracfone as my second phone, does anyone have opinion on them my frist phone is wire base and runs about 40.00 a month i can not aford a second wireless plain nor do i think ineed one doint talk on phone that much
  2. Nancy in Maine

    Nancy in Maine Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    I've had a tracfone for 2 years now. Before my tracfone I had a monthly cell phone service but I hardly ever made a phone call. At $35 per month (very basic plan) that was too much for even the peace of mind that a cell phone provides. I still wanted to have a phone with me on the road so I looked into the tracfones. Seemed to be just what would work for me. Granted, the minutes are a bit pricey. If you used this phone as your primary phone it would get really expensive, but I only want to be able to make a quick phone call maybe once every couple of weeks. I purchased the full year's service.

    The phone comes in good. As good as any other cell phone would. We have a few spots around my neck of the woods where you can't get service, but not too many. At least not where I would normally be travelling. I went to New Brunswick last summer and just for the fun of it checked to see if I could get service over there. I didn't actually make a phone call, but the phone said it was roaming, so I assume it would've worked.

    My older daughter just got her driver's license last fall. The first stop was to the insurance company. Second stop was Wal-Mart to get her a tracfone too.

    I'm happy with mine. I don't think they would be for everyone, but for an occasional use phone, I think it's a good deal.

  3. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Western NY
    My husband used one for a couple of years, he forgot to buy a card when they sent a reminder and he lost the phone number he had and had to get a new phone number. It wasn't a problem for us, as we didn't give the number to anyone the phone was just used for emergencys, but be aware what can happpen. Other than that, ours doesn't work at our house, we can't get a signal, but again not a huge problem,

  4. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    May 12, 2002
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    I have carried a trac fone for about 20 months now due to a heart condition; at $.30 cents per minute it is too costly for every day use, but it could be a life saver if I really needed its abilities. The one person whom calls me often does just ring it twice, I see his number and return his call via land line to keep the cost down. It works well for the few times I have needed it to do so.
  5. GaitedRider

    GaitedRider Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    Illinois for now
    I haven't used tracfone. I use Virgin Mobile. I have been very happy with their service. I have used it across country with no problems. It is cheaper than Tracfone at .25 a minute for the first 10 minutes and .10 for every minute after that. I only have to put $20 into it every 3 months.
  6. Hank - Narita

    Hank - Narita Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2002
    Ours is in the closet. We used it twice and let it lapse. You get charged if the line is busy; for 800 numbers. We don't recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to constantly buy added minutes. The best is to get a local cell phone from a local company.
  7. frontiergal

    frontiergal Well-Known Member

    Oct 3, 2002
    Washington State
    I've had my tracfone for four years and it is great for what I use it for. I have it for calling home to say I will be late or that I'm stuck in traffic,or do we need this or that from the store. I would not recommend this phone for calling long distance on a regular basis or using it as a main phone. But as a phone to have for an emergency or to report in it's great. I have over 400 minutes on mine because I rarely use it. I do recommend buying a yearly card though it saves money and your not having to worry about it if your card is due. Also if you give them your email address they will notify you when you are due to buy a new card. Heidi
  8. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2003
    New Mexico
    I must be behind the times. I operate a business that requires me to be "out and about" most of the time. I don't have a "yuppie" phone. Most of the teenagers I see have one though. (Like any of their business is that time sensitive.)

    I carry a Motorola "Advisor Gold" digital pager. (Actually, it usually stays on the sun visor of the truck.) The service I use also provides voice mail. When somebody calls the phone at the shop, it's forwarded to voice mail. People at the service listen to the message, transcribe it and page it to me. I can also call and check the voice mailbox for messages if I happen to have been "out of range" for awhile.

    I can also be paged using a paging program on a pc and modem or through the internet. One can send an e-mail to the pager. I actually have some equipment that pages me itself when it has problems. Since the pager has a dedicated phone number, somebody can call THAT number and leave a message,
    toll free. I actually wouldn't really need a telephone myself.

    All this for about 26 bucks a month, flat.

    If I have to return a phone call, sometimes I have to find a pay phone. I carry one of those 5 cents a minute Wal-Mart phone cards for that if it's long distance.

    The only drawback is that with the proliferation of cell phones, pay phones are getting harder to find. (Guess there's just not the money in them that there used to be.) Where I travel regularly, I've pretty much got them all located though.

    Now you ask: What happens if I'm out on the highway and have a breakdown?
    I'm an amateur radio operator and have two-meter rigs in all the vehicles. I can always get hold of a ham with a land line and get him/her to call for help.

    To me, the bad thing about phones is that if they ring, one feels compelled to answer!