Virgin Mobile

Virgin-Updated-Logo-300x300I bought my first cell phone in 2002 against my partners wishes because he didn’t think I needed a cell phone, which if truth be told I really didn’t.  I mean, I don’t go to work everyday and need to make important phone calls, in fact I really hate talking on the phone lol.  I will call people from time to time, but I don’t spend a lot of time on it.  The main reason I wanted one was because I was traveling to visit family on the Greyhound and Amtrak busses back then two or three times a year and I didn’t like having to use dirty pay phones when I got there to have them come get me.  It was also difficult making and receiving long distance phone calls on their home phones, so I needed my own cell phone to call home.

nokia 3390 The cell phone that I bought was with T-Mobile and it was the Nokia 3390 which was fine at the time.  I had that phone for maybe 8 years and I hadn’t really used it for the last 4, but I kept paying for it just in case I needed it.  I had Gold Rewards, so I only had to pay for 1 month, but got a whole year of time.  I forgot to buy another card for another year and lost the number and the phone was no longer valid.

samsung-T401G-net10-hero-lg My next phone, which I am still using is a Samsung T401G, which is a great phone for texting, but the internet sucks on it and my signal is so weak that it drops calls on me all the time.  I got a “Are you there?” thing going on.  I have it with Net10 so I don’t have Gold Rewards which means I have to buy a $20 card every month to keep it even though I never use it.  I would use it more if it had more features though.

That’s where I am at now.  I really want to buy a smart phone to keep up with the times.  I have been shopping around, but nobody has given me any really good prices.  My partner has an iPhone with Verizon and he pays more than $100/mo for his service and he is stuck in a 2 year contract with 1 more year to go.  I don’t like that their smart (Android) pre-paid phones are $50 a month.  Net10’s smart (Android) pre-paid phones are also $50 a month, but they won’t sell one to me through their website and they are too expensive in the stores.

That brings me to Virgin…

I saw a commercial for Virgin, and even though I have seen this commercial a million times, it never clicked until last night.  They have Android smart phones and you never have to sign a contract.  You get 300 minutes with unlimited data and unlimited texting for only $35 a month.  That’s $15 more than I pay for my Net10 phone.  They also have another plan which is the same, except you get 1200 minutes for $45 a month and then unlimited everything for $55 a month.  That’s not bad.  Although I would get the $35 plan since I never use my minutes, I just want to use the apps with the unlimited data and texting.

What I really want a smart phone for is for certain apps that will make me money.  Like Staree which pays you when you take a picture and share it on Facebook and Twitter.  Viggle also pays you (with gift cards) when you check in when you are watching TV.  I mean, it’s not a steady income, but anything helps.  Plus I would like to read Kindle ebooks that aren’t available for my Nook without needing to buy a Kindle.

I also want a smart phone so I can do Facebook and Twitter updates and check email when I am not at home and don’t have a computer nearby, like at the doctor’s office while I’m waiting for him to come in the room for example.  I would also like to be able to play certain games that are only available on cell phones too.  My Samsung T401G has games, but they are nearly impossible to play with the numpad.

htcevov-gallery-angle-3 So, this is my Christmas wish.  I want a new HTC EVO V 4G Prepaid Android Phone (Virgin Mobile) .  Right now, this phone is $249.99 but on sale for $189.99 on the Virgin website, but it is on sale for $199.99 on Amazon.  Of course I don’t have the money for it now, but I will put money in PayPal every month until I can afford it.  I’m always broke so it’s difficult to save any money, and paying this much money up front for something like this would break me for the rest of the month. It’s not easy to just make a decision to spend that much money when I really don’t need to lol.

I chose this phone because it looks like a good phone.  It has a front facing camera and a 3D camera for video and pictures in the back.  According to a review, it’s good for playing games.  Even though this isn’t my main focus, I’m not going to buy a phone that doesn’t want to play games, because if it doesn’t play games well, then how would I expect it to run apps very well?

If/when I do buy this phone, I will probably give my current phone away to someone who doesn’t have a cell phone.  I won’t be able to keep my phone number, but I haven’t really given it out to too many people anyway, so changing my number won’t be a real issue.

I really don’t need this, but I want it, and why shouldn’t I have something cool, eh?

Oh and by the way, this is my commentary on my experiences and my wish for a new phone.  I am not getting paid for this.  It’d be cool if I were (hint hint wink wink Virgin Mobile).

Update: This is edited.  Previously, I chose the Kycera Rise and then I decided on the HTC One V.  I then decided that I wanted to spend a bit more and buy the HTC EVO V 4G.

Obviously I don’t have the money for this phone, but like I said in the paragraph with the phone, I will have to save up the money for it because this is a good phone.  Who knows, maybe by the time I have the money saved, it will go down in price and I’ll actually be able to afford it.

My Net10 Phone Works

Two weeks ago I bitched that my Net10 phone was rubbish and I would like to give an update on that issue.

Last year I bought my Net10 cell phone because my old T-Mobile phone had been disconnected for a long time because I just never used it.  It was an old phone I bought in 2002 and it wasn’t working anyway so I just let my service lapse.  I bought my new Net10 phone so that I could ride my bicycle for exercise without worrying about not having the ability to call 911 if I had to.

On December 1st Darrin bought me a $25 phone card for my phone.  I normally buy the $20 cards because they only have 200 minutes and the $25 card is a monthly plan with 750 minutes that don’t roll over.  I don’t use my phone enough to need that many minutes, but it was a nice gift and I accepted it.  I just assumed that I would keep the $25 plan so I wouldn’t have to worry about buying a card every month, I could just let Net10 charge me automatically with the plan.  Bad idea.

On January 1st, Net10 was supposed to charge my debit card, but they didn’t and I was unaware until January 3rd.  I went to make a phone call and my service was deactivated.  I went to the Net10 website and clicked reactivate which brought me to the menu to buy time.  I started up the $15 plan which is 200 minutes that don’t roll over.  I figured, if I am going to do a plan, I might as well go with the cheapest since I don’t use my phone that often, but that didn’t work because my phone never activated.

I called Net10 and told them what happened and they told me to wait 1 to 24 hours for it to activate, but it never did so I called them on the 5th.  They walked me through the process of reactivating the phone by going into the code entry mode.  I punched all these numbers in and did everything the guy told me to.  We were on the phone for a little over an hour and he came to the conclusion that my phone was the issue.  He sent me a new phone and told me that it will come with an envelope to send my phone back to them.  I wasn’t happy about that because I lost all of the games that I had bought for my phone.

I had to wait until Monday when the FedEx guy delivered my new phone.  I activated it, but I thought I must have done it wrong because it didn’t activate.  I waited an hour but nothing so I called them and they told me to wait 1 to 24 hours.  If after 24 hours it doesn’t come on then call them back, and I did.  They told me to wait an hour and if it isn’t working call back, which I did and the woman told me to wait another hour and I said no, I want my phone on NOW!  Not in 1 hour, not in 24 hours, I want it on NOW!  She walked me through the code entry bull again and it changed my phone number.  Now all of a sudden my phone number was gone, but she told me it was ok, it will go back to my phone number, but it didn’t so she told me that I needed a new SIM card.  UGH!

I had to wait for my new SIM card to arrive, when it came I called Net10 to activate it and they told me 1 hour.  I called back in an hour saying it’s not working, so they said 1 hour.  What the hell is up with them and 1 hour?  I was sick to my stomach and Darrin had called and said he wanted to go to dinner.  I didn’t want to go because I was too upset to eat, but he wanted to go so we went.

Saturday I called them as soon as I got up and I was on hold for 2 1/2 hours.  I got so tired of waiting so I just hung up and watched Grimm on Hulu since I missed it because we went out to eat.  I called them back and was lucky that I only had to wait 10 minutes.  I spoke to a guy for 90 minutes and he kept telling me that I need to buy a new phone card.  I kept explaining to him that I paid $15 and that was all I was willing to pay because why the hell should I keep buying phone cards if my phone isn’t working?  He tried my debit card and despite the fact that my bank had $400 in it, the card declined so I gave him my master card number and that also declined.  He told me that I need to call the bank and I told him absolutely not.  2 different cards from 2 different banks are not going to just decline when I know both accounts have money in them.  The problem isn’t me, it’s you.  He wanted to hang up on me because he didn’t know what to do and I told him to connect me with a supervisor.

I talked to a supervisor for at least 30 minutes and she couldn’t figure it out so she connected me with a tech person.  Um… aren’t they all supposed to be tech people?  I talked to him for another 30 minutes and he told me that there was an error with my account.  He told me he was going to personally try to fix it and if he does by that night he would call me, if not he would call me the next day.

This morning I woke up and tried my phone and it was still not working.  I went to the Net10 website and saw that the new and old phone were in my account so I called that direct number and was connected immediately.  I asked them if I bought a new phone card and entered it, would my phone work?  They said sure, go for it, so I did and it didn’t.  I called back and gave the guy the whole story from the beginning and he walked me through the code entry mode BS again with 3 different codes.  I gave him my phone card code and viola, time appeared on my new phone.

My phone works and I have 30 days with 200 minutes.  That $15 card that I got never got put on my phone, but at this point I don’t really give a crap, I just want my phone to work and that’s all that matters.  My phone number is different, but I didn’t really give the number to too many people so it doesn’t matter.  All that matters is that my phone works and I will never do the plans again, I will just have to buy phone cards every month and deal with that.

I know what people are going to say, drop Net10… blah blah blah.  Look, I was already told on Google Plus that I should just drop Net10 and go with a reputable phone company, but what people don’t realize is, I can’t afford to pay a reputable phone company for their expensive prepaid service.  I hardly ever use my phone so I can’t afford to spend $50 or $100 a month for a phone I never use.  I can’t really afford $20 either, but that is the only way to keep my phone active.  As long as I keep up with buying phone cards, then I will be fine with what I have.

Now that is solved so I can go back to worrying about other things.

 

The LG DoublePlay by T-Mobile

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LG DoublePlay™ for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

LG DoublePlay

I recently saw the review for the new T-Mobile exclusive phone the LG DoublePlay™.  It showed many of the good points of the phone, such as the amazing multi-tasking ability with it’s dual touch screen displays.  You can browse the internet with the screen above while posting the links to Facebook and Twitter.  Or you can be chatting in an instant message while playing a game or watching a movie.

It has a 3.5 inch main display and a 2 inch sub display.  Does your phone do that?  Mine certainly does not.  Mine has a slide out QWERTY keyboard but the buttons are so tiny that I can barely text with it.  This phone has a very strange split keyboard, which at first looks very difficult to use but the woman who reviewed the phone in the video that I saw today said that it doesn’t take very long to get used to it.  In fact she typed out a sentence in just a few short seconds with not one typo.  I can’t even type one word on mine without making an error.

This phone uses Android 2.3 Gingerbread and uses the Android market.  Ok I have no idea what Gingerbread is but doesn’t it sound cool?  I can just hear this conversation now “Hey, what OS does your phone have?  Oh, gingerbread, that’s cool.”

I spend 16 hours a day on social networking websites on my laptop.  I would use my phone if it wasn’t a pre-paid cell phone.  If I had one of these phones, I’m almost sure I would rarely ever use my laptop, well, except to blog.  I’m pretty sure that if I had this phone, I would never look up again.

How many hours a day do you spend on social networks on your phone?  What about per month?  How would this phone change the way you spent your time online?  Don’t you think it’s worth checking out at T-Mobile?  I do.

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Amazon Wireless

amazonwirelessAmazon has added a new service to their website called Amazon Wireless.  This is kind of neat because you can choose your wireless company, which by the way they only have 2 so far which are AT&T and Verizon Wireless, then choose a phone then choose whether you want a new individual account or if you are already part of an existing individual account or family account.

Most of the phones are only a penny and so you basically get a free phone but when you click that you already have an existing account the price may go up to about $50-$75 or more depending on the phone.  I found that certain phones you still get for just a penny with an already existing plan.

I think that’s great that they will give you a free phone if you are upgrading your cell phone but not your plan because it just makes it easier to get a new phone.  I’m sure people don’t want to upgrade because they just can’t afford to so this makes it easier.

I didn’t see any iPhones listed but I did see Blackberry Curve and Blackberry Bold.  They also have some other well known companies like Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony to name a few.

Now here is my question and I hope someone will find this via google blog search so they can answer.  I have a pre-paid cell phone with T-Mobile.  Of course they don’t offer T-Mobile yet but it says coming soon.  But when they do get T-Mobile I wonder if I can buy a new phone for my pre-paid plan with GPS and Mp3 capability.  I wonder if it would work.  I don’t need internet, I just want to be able to have the GPS and Mp3 along with being able to call people.

I currently have a Nokia 3390 cell phone pre-paid plan with T-Mobile that I’ve had since 2002.  The reason I got a pre-paid plan is for 2 reasons.  #1 being that a friend of ours in Hollywood was always driving to Malibu to visit her mom (this was 1997-1999, she passed away in 2000) and she couldn’t get reception and she was having nothing but problems but to be fair she knows that she didn’t have reception due to the mountains that she was driving through but she blamed it on the cell phone company anyway.  She insisted on getting out of her contract to go with another company and she had to pay big bucks to get out of it which was dumb because she had the same issue with another company lol.  So it’s for this very reason that Darrin forbade me, yes, I said forbade, from getting a contract.

Reason number 2 is that I have a little to no credit score since I never really established credit in my late teens.  No credit cards means bad credit score which means the cell phone companies will only give me a cell phone with the highest paid plan which makes absolutely no sense to me.  They should offer me their cheapest plan so they know they get their money every month.  Also, I’m on disability so I can’t really afford a monthly plan fee.  All I really can afford is the pre-paid because I only pay for minutes when I need them and I don’t use it that much to warrant buying a lot of minutes.

Darrin has taken over the phone though because he needs a phone at work so when he’s driving if he needs to make a call to AAA for a tow or whatever then he has a phone.  Also if he has to call 911 then he has a phone.  He usually uses it to call me at the house on his way home.  But he’s always asking me to go to map quest and tell him the directions that he writes down and I think it would be much easier if he had a GPS on the phone.

Sorry I rambled on but you have to know the full story of why I’m asking lol.  Thanks for your response in advance.

Go Phones

I’ve been doing a little research today trying to find a good cell phone plan for the both of us but can’t really find something that has a good price.  I mean, they are all expensive and I can’t justify spending $100 just to be able to call each other for free when he’s at work or when he goes on his breaks.

The only reason we need these cell phones are so when I’m riding my bike or I’m at the store or at the mall then he can call me and I’ll be able to answer the phone.  I think I might have found a solution to the problem.

AT&T has the Go Phone that is a Nokia 2610 for $30 and it’s a prepaid cell phone so you pay $25 for the phone card and they basically charge you $1 for every day that you use your phone plus .10 cents per minute.  So it wouldn’t be very good for using every day if you are strapped for cash.  But it does have free unlimited mobile to mobile calling which is what we are looking for.  Now, I don’t know if that means that we still have to pay $1 per day with the unlimited mobile to mobile, I’m sure it does.  But that’s ok, it’s only $25 a month each phone.

I bought the cell phone that I have now in 2002 when I first started visiting my aunt in Simi Valley because Darrin would call me and it was irritating her.  So I bought a pre-paid cell phone through T-Mobile and it has served it’s purpose but it’s time to let it go.  The phone got so old that it would just die all of a sudden.  I’d charge the battery fully but the phone would still die.  I ended up buying another one to replace it last year at the swap meet but this one is shutting off while Darrin uses it now too.  It’s the same model so maybe I should have upgraded lol.  So it’s time for new cell phone(s).

The Go Phone just seems like the better plan for us right now.  At least it has a color screen and you can download ringtones that aren’t midi.  I hate those old ringtones lol.

Skype Vs. Vonage

I’ve been seeing these commercials for Vonage constantly on tv about how they are better than the telephone company because they only charge you $30 per month and you use your current internet connection to connect to your phone service.

What about Skype?  Skype has phone service that works with your WiFi connection and it’s only $2.95 a month.  Since it works with your WiFi connection at home you can also use it at WiFi hotspots like the cloud (whatever that is) and t-mobile hotspots. They have a USB phone, 2 WiFi phones, even a video phone. You can call anyone who uses Skype for free if you only want to call other Skype users.  Or you can also call landlines and cell phones for $2.95 per month.  You get a phone number that only costs $30 per year.  Their best phone is the black WiFi phone that is on sale right now for $129.99.

They have a phone that is currently only in europe right now that uses the 3G network but I guess you can use it like a cell phone because you can make a call anywhere, you aren’t limited to WiFi hotspots like the ones I just talked about in the above paragraph.  I look forward to that coming to the states.

Right now I use Skype on my PSP to make phone calls.  I don’t have a phone number for it but I do have the option and since I am signed up with their unlimited calls to US and Canada they have given me a $30 coupon for a phone number for 1 year.  I don’t want to use it for my PSP because I won’t have it turned on long enough to receive phone calls.

Personally, if I had to choose between Vonage and Skype, I’d choose Skype, especially if I was on a budget.  Also I can take my Skype WiFi phone with me wherever I go because it will work wherever there is a hotspot like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Hotels, Airports, your friends and relatives houses etc.  With Vonage you are limited to only being able to use it at home.

Edit:  Ok I was looking at the Skype phone on their website and was watching a video (take a tour) and it was saying “for just pennies a minute”.  So maybe you have to do the Skype as you go or I don’t know, maybe it works with the monthly subscription.  The only way to know for sure is to get the service and find out I guess.  Skype as you go gives you a bit more freedom to be able to call other countries if you have to call people who are in another country and you only pay a few cents to about 20 cents a minute depending where you are calling.

Skype Phone Number

Well, I’m sorry to say that I will not have a phone number for Skype. I refuse to pay $24 a year to have a phone number when I wont have it turned on enough to need a phone number for it. And that was with a $30 discount. And I’m not even sure if that discount was for the first year or not. I’m not going to have Skype running or even have the PSP running constantly so it’s just not worth it.

If I want to use it to call someone it will only be because either Darrin is on the phone and wont let me use it or if were not even home and I am too cheap to use the cell phone and we are near a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Which reminds me, I am gonna need to find out how to use the AT&T WiFi hotspots with my PSP. I know it works with my laptop but I can’t get it to work with my PSP. T-Mobile has Wi-Fi hotspots too but since I get AT&T hotspots free because of my DSL why pay more when I will probably only use it once a year you know? I’ve yet to even use it as it is.

Skype for PSP

About a month or so ago Sony added Skype to their Sony PlayStation Portable but you have to buy the headset with the microphone and the remote control. Of course not long after that they created the combination for sale. Before you could only buy the headphones with mic by itself and then you’d have to additionally buy the regular headphones (minus the mic) with the remote control. You need the remote control for it to work.

I have started thinking about how maybe it is a good thing because if you have a cell phone and have unlimited calls that’s fine but I don’t. I have a pre-paid cell phone and so my calls cost .40 cents per minute. It’s especially frustrating when I am roaming. I think I should be able to call out for free on a cell phone like everyone else. Of course with Skype it is only free if you call other Skype users, otherwise you can buy time which is like 500 or 600 minutes for $10 which isn’t bad or you can pay $2.95 a month for unlimited calls (which is about 10,000 calls per month, they added that in there).

But you have to be in a wi-fi hotspot to be able to take advantage of that. I don’t know what T-Mobile has for you to use though. I was given a 6 month free wi-fi hotspot thing with the purchase of the PSP which I have not used yet because I don’t take it with me everywhere I go. I’m thinking that maybe the $10 phone card is a good idea cause I probably wouldn’t use it all the time and that 5 or 600 minutes wouldn’t expire after a month, you keep the minutes until you’ve used them up.

As soon as I get the money I’m going to think about getting the headset with mic from Game Stop and then setting an account up for me. I think it’s a good deal. And I want to see what T-Mobile does for PSP users per month.