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Thread: I need help understanding cell phone contracts.

  1. #1

    Default I need help understanding cell phone contracts.

    This might sound a bit odd but go with it.

    I work as a caretaker for a man in his 80's. He likes to get out and about but he cant drive. What his family has in mind is to get him a smart phone so we can use services like uber and lyft. taxis are out of the question, oddly enough.

    heres the kicker: this phone would not be used for anything else, AT ALL. I suggested a prepaid phone instead of a plan. I've been looking into phones we could use this way but I've come across a few problems, most companies charge a monthly rate even though they call it prepaid. Also, I haven't seen a price for internet use.

    Im asking for help on here to see what you guys can recommend. Thanks for the help

  2. #2


    I got a Samsung Galaxy Centura off ebay with 1200 minutes, texts, & mb data for $80 and one year service. Comes to $6-7 a month and I am set for a year. With TracFone you can get a plan to get $ deducted from your credit card monthly or buy service cards. If your service lapses you loose your phone number. I just make it a point not to register my credit card number with them and they won't be able to charge me for extras. If I run out of minutes, i'm out of luck until I buy another card.

  3. #3


    how does the internet work on these phones? if I download apps, do they work fine? im guessing internet usage takes minutes but is it costly?

  4. #4


    You can get a data only plan from most providers but getting plan with more data and a few minutes of calls might be best stop by your local corporate att or the other providers they will be better able to help get you on a correct plan and they will know if they have deals for seniors I find non corp owned stores some times sell you what's best for them commission wise then what's best for you the customer

  5. #5


    Data only plans vs normal plans isn't really going to save any money. These providers will hike up the rate of data only plans and will be close to a normal rate. As far as costs, T-Mobile (if available in your area) would be ideal and the cost isn't as expensive as AT&T or Verizon. They also offer payment plans for the phone itself so you don't have to throw in a bunch of money all at once. They have simple Non complex plans. If you run out of 4G data, they can continue using 2G data, unlimited.

    Another one to check out would be Straight Talk provided by Wal-Mart.

  6. #6


    I got my dad a phone when he was in his 70s. He couldn't figure out how to use it so I cancelled the plan and the phone. So my advice is make sure he knows how to use a phone before investing in one of any kind.

  7. #7


    I've not used Lyft but I do use Uber, you WILL need telephone and text service ontop of data to make use of Uber. Drivers will call or text clients for clarifications sometimes.

  8. #8


    I would have said just get a 3G/4G tablet and that would get you a data only plan if its not going to be used for calls or texts. However apps like this need to be able to manage calls and texts as its how they receive notifications to say your driver is near, or for the driver to call if there is a problem.

    I can't really think of any providers in the US who offer Pay Per Use data services for smartphone handsets. They all seem to only be available for standard handsets.

    Its going to be quite expensive to do it this way. The cheapest I can think of would be a $35 monthly Virgin Mobile plan, plus the cost of the handset itself (Basic smartphones start at $29.99) so I know you said taxis are out of the question but a basic phone and calling plan to call for a taxi is going to be better than getting a smartphone (which someone of an older age will more than likely struggle to understand how to use) if you ask me.

    I'm not sure why taxis aren't an option here? In my area its around the same price (Sometimes even cheaper) to take a taxi, they accept card payments, I feel safer in a standard taxi, plus the drivers have more experience and knowledge of the area rather than following GPS which is being fed to an unreliable app.

  9. #9


    thanks for the advice guys, his family decided to buy a cheap plan instead of prepaid. They decided to go with t-mobile.

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