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Thread: Is a Virgin Mobile TNT "pay as you go" a good emergency phone?

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
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    Is a Virgin Mobile TNT "pay as you go" a good emergency phone?

    I have never wanted a cell phone. In general, I don't call anyone and nobody calls me (other than my dad every day) but I've been thinking about getting one of those Virgin Mobile TNT pay as you go phones where you buy the phone for $20 and buy phone cards to activate them every 90 days or whenever you run out of minutes. I would be buying the least minutes and likely never use them. But I intend to use it just as an "emergency" phone even though it has texting and web browsing... How do you browse a website on a 2" screen? lol! It has custom ring tone capability, does this mean I can make my own ringtone and download it from my own website onto the phone or does it have to come from the phone company?

    But ultimately is this a good phone for simple emergency use? Does anyone here use Virgin Mobile TNT? Can you call long distance with it? Does it have wide calling coverage over the US? I looked at a Vonage / AT&T something or other PAYG phone but when I saw the map of the coverage area in their brochure it looked like a lot of the middle of the country wasn't serviced. Does this mean their phone won't work at all if my car should somehow break down on a road trip for instance or I need to call someone in an area not covered? The Virgin Mobile TNT didn't have a brochure showing coverage area.

    Also, does it cost something to get these "no bill" cell phones activated other than the initial purchase price?

    Sorry for all these questions, I'm still waking up to the idea of mobile phones. I've only ever used a cell phone once when my car broke down at a gas station which didn't have a public phone. The clerk took pity on me and let me use his. lol!

  2. #2
    Zero's Avatar
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    I would also like to know a good cheap$$ pay as you go phone.
    I had a at&t go phone that was $100 a year. $25 4 times a year.
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    Two flies one pitcher. Minus the crap eating. obregon562's Avatar
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    you should look into a "normal" cell phone deal from one of the "Big 3". You can probably get the bare minimum ammount of minutes, no texts, web surfing, etc...and the cheapest phone they make for ~$20 a month. And this way if something happens to it you have warranty and whatnot. Just a thought.
    "It's easy to rip on cops, when you aren't the one needing saving"

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    For that matter, if all you want it for is to call 911, I think even deactivated phones can usually make calls to local emergency dispatchers, as well as network operators. I'm in the midst of switching carriers and my old phone has been deactivated for months, but I can still make certain calls out, such as the network's accounts receivable office, or my voicemail (which now just informs me that I don't have voicemail service and hangs up.) Look around for a friend that bought a new phone recently and ask if you can have their old handset.
    ~Joe
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  5. #5
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    I have no information on this site as to how accurate or unbiased they are, but they review pre-paid and pay-as-you-go mobile plans:

    http://www.prepaidreviews.com/virginmobile.html

    About.com has a bit and compares Verizon vs Virgin Mobile:

    http://cellphones.about.com/od/servi...payasyougo.htm
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  6. #6
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    Seedjar is correct, according to my wife, and an old phone can make a 911 call. If possible, get one from someone whose service has the best coverage in places you tend to be.

    I finally relented and got a cell phone last summer, so understand the appeal of not having one.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Bruce just keep it turned off.....thats what i do
    cervid serial killer
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    I've got a magic window! elgecko's Avatar
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    My wife and I both had plans through Verizon.
    I hardly use a phone and was wasting lots of money to keep a plan for myself.
    I research the different companies pay as you go plans and found the best option for me was T-Mobile. Several companies plans, if you did not use the minutes you purchased after 3 months you lost them. T-Mobile also lasted 3 months but when you purchase more minutes what was left over gets added to the new minutes you purchase (If you have any left).
    At a certain point you reach Gold Member Status. Then the minutes you purchase (again if you do not use them all) last a year.
    I've had my phone with this service now for 3 and a half years now. I place $50.00 on the phone a year. Only 1 time did I need to purchase minutes before my year was up, 1 month sooner.


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