PDA

View Full Version : Reasonable Cell Phone Service & WDW?


mello
05-24-2007, 12:54 AM
Hi all, I'm looking for me to tell me all about your good deals on cell phone service. Who are you with, how much was your phone, what do you pay monthly (or otherwise), and do you get service when you go to Orlando? (with or without roaming charges?)


We don't have cell phones, and I'm extremely reluctant to take on a $50 a month or more plan. But all of our extended family members have them, and we thought it would be nice to get some before our next trip (which will be with all the relatives) so we can keep track of everyone while there.

We had a tracfone once, and while the pay as you go card thing worked fine for us, the phone was cheesy and got horrible reception. I wouldn't mind doing that again with a better phone (if anyone could recommend a good one to use with that service) but I don't know if we would have service/reception while at WDW on that.?

So please, tell me all about your phones!

gk90
05-24-2007, 01:13 AM
DH and I got Tracfones 18 months ago. We both got their cheapest model, the Nokia 1100, and have had no problems with them. We've used them in several states and in Canada. I don't see the Nokias on Tracfone's website now but you can check reviews of their current phones.

Stitch-626
05-24-2007, 05:34 AM
My wife and I went with T-mobile prepaid, they give more minutes then tracfone, also little nicer phones, but with T-mobile we bought an unlock Peble phone and a T-mobile Razr phone and they both work great with the prepaid service, we try to use the unlock phone with tracfone and it wouldn't work, also got a great signal in WDW.

DJT
05-24-2007, 06:54 AM
I have T-Mobile and it works great in WDW. I have the $19.95 monthly plan which is 75 monthly minutes (weekdays/nights) and 500 weekend minutes. I haven't seen this plan advertised recently though so if you want this plan, you might call T-Mobile and ask to speak to a supervisor to see if you can get it. Sometimes the supervisors have authority for things such as that. I got mine mainly for emergencies. My phone is a cute little red flip phone made by Samsung.

Kies99
05-24-2007, 07:11 AM
Virgin Mobile works great at WDW. The plan is a straight $0.18 a minute anywhere in the country, at any time. You have to "Top-Up" with $20 every 90 days (or sign-up online for "auto Top-up" which lets you do $15 every 90 days). There is no contract and you can cancel anytime. There is a very nice, small phone out right now that is $19.99 at Wal-Mart and Target. Plus, Target runs a deal every 6 weeks or so where you can get two $20 "top-up" cards (like gift cards) for $30.

Plannergirl
05-24-2007, 08:02 AM
We use Cingular?at&t at WDW and have never had problems. Our whole family is on Cingular so the calls to each other are free.

milleali
05-24-2007, 08:44 AM
We have "The New AT&T" formally Cingular. I work for a local telephone company that is a reseller for AT&T. They have plans that are not advertised in the brochure. For example: Family Talk Plan for $59.99 (includes 2 lines) that has 550 peak min and unlimited mobile to mobile to AT&T customers and unlimited night and weekends. They have many free phones that are nice to choose from with a new 2yr contract. Then if you prefer prepaid they have several different plans you can choose from and several phones that are very good.

Signal at WDW has always been excellent.

Muushka
05-24-2007, 08:55 AM
Virgin Mobile works great at WDW. The plan is a straight $0.18 a minute anywhere in the country, at any time. You have to "Top-Up" with $20 every 90 days (or sign-up online for "auto Top-up" which lets you do $15 every 90 days). There is no contract and you can cancel anytime. There is a very nice, small phone out right now that is $19.99 at Wal-Mart and Target. Plus, Target runs a deal every 6 weeks or so where you can get two $20 "top-up" cards (like gift cards) for $30.
I also have Virgin, with the auto-top up for $15. But I pay $0.25 a minute and not $0.18. What am I doing wrong?

Also, I got the new flip phone at Target last week for $20. Nice new phone!

mello
05-25-2007, 01:37 AM
So far it looks like T Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Cingular/ATT are worth looking into.

Any other info?

We stopped at a couple kiosks downtown today and picked up brochures on Verizon and Cingular, but the Cingular gal seemed really off-put when we said we were looking for a very basic plan. She said her least expensive one was 59.99/mo. Verizon has a $40/mo plan, and the salesperson showed us a free phone that's "good for beginners" lol. Any thoughts on the pros and cons of those two companies?

We also looked online at Disney Mobile. It definitely looks like the most fun and family friendly (surprise surprise! lol) The true surprise though was that it seemed in the ballpark cost-wise with Verizon (or possibly even more-for-your-money than verizon if we're interpreting the features right. Anybody here have personal experience with it? What plans/features do you use or like best about it? Does it seem a good value to you?

Keep the suggestions coming, we're such newbies at this we need all the help we can get. Thanks!

Ciao Mickey
05-25-2007, 07:42 AM
Everyone I know has Cingular/AT&T or Verizon. We have Cingular/AT&T.

AT&T has the best coverage area in the USA and we can also use our phones in Europe.

Cingular has different plans with free phones or low-cost phones. Just check out their website. Sometimes you can get a better deal there than in their store.

I can't live without my cell-phone.

pigletof4
05-25-2007, 08:07 AM
I also have Virgin, with the auto-top up for $15. But I pay $0.25 a minute and not $0.18. What am I doing wrong?

Also, I got the new flip phone at Target last week for $20. Nice new phone!

You may have one of the older plans. They discontinued some of the plans last fall, but if you were on one of the plans they discontinued then you could stay with that plan. I would call and see what plan you are on. I know one of the plans was $.25/per minute for the first 10 minutes of each day and then $.10/per for the rest of the day. They no longer off this plan though. HTH.

Faerie
05-25-2007, 08:08 AM
I just made the switch from Sprint (run, run far far away) to T-Mobile. I love the 5 favs and don't mind a contract since I don't have a landline. Reception for my area is great. I got a cute samsung flip that (free) has a camera and bluetooth.

Kies99
05-25-2007, 08:21 AM
I also have Virgin, with the auto-top up for $15. But I pay $0.25 a minute and not $0.18. What am I doing wrong?

I know one of the plans was $.25/per minute for the first 10 minutes of each day and then $.10/per for the rest of the day. They no longer off this plan though. HTH.


The original plan with Virgin was as quoted: $0.25 per minute for the first 10 minute and then $0.10 a minute each minute thereafter. This was per day. They now have some monthly plans and such, but their pay-as-you-go service is now a flat-rate of $0.18 a minute. You might want to check into that. They do also have a plan that you pay $6.99 a month (no contract) and then all calls are $0.10 a minute at anytime/anywhere.

solfan68
05-25-2007, 08:23 AM
Had a very basic ATT/Cingular Plan, till they put it through the roof six months ago. Dumped that and the wife and I ponied up for the one year card on a Tracfone. I got a "candy bar" style, while the DW opted for a flip phone. Have been VERY happy, since we don't 'live' on our phones and the reception has been better than the old service. Then again, I believe they use whoever's towers seem to be most plentiful. In our area, I think that's Verizon.

So yeah, it may not be for everybody... but the Tracfone has been a real winner for us. :thumbsup2


BTW... my model is the Motorola C155, and the wife has the V170, which appears to have a special deal going at the moment.

BCV2003
05-25-2007, 08:44 AM
I have Verizon and have had them for about 15 years. I have never once had any problems with them traveling anywhere in the US, especially Orlando, and have always been happy with their cell coverage and customer service.

I have some friends and family that have Cingular/AT&T and there are some cities like Chicago and Pittsburgh where their coverage is spotty.

You might want to check to see if anyone in your family gets a discount with any of the major carriers through their employer. I am able to get 20% off my bill through one of those discounts and their are multiple carriers that offer discounts to my employer.

ps...one of my friends and I were actually comparing cover the other night. She has Cingular and a 350 min/month plan and I have a 900 min/month plan with Verizon for the same price. We also both work for the same employer so we are both getting some type of discount.

Muushka
05-25-2007, 12:44 PM
You may have one of the older plans. They discontinued some of the plans last fall, but if you were on one of the plans they discontinued then you could stay with that plan. I would call and see what plan you are on. I know one of the plans was $.25/per minute for the first 10 minutes of each day and then $.10/per for the rest of the day. They no longer off this plan though. HTH.

The original plan with Virgin was as quoted: $0.25 per minute for the first 10 minute and then $0.10 a minute each minute thereafter. This was per day. They now have some monthly plans and such, but their pay-as-you-go service is now a flat-rate of $0.18 a minute. You might want to check into that. They do also have a plan that you pay $6.99 a month (no contract) and then all calls are $0.10 a minute at anytime/anywhere.

Thanks! Hmmm. Food for thought. Stay with old plan or switch to new.:dance3:

Praise God
05-25-2007, 11:39 PM
I bought Virgin Mobile last Nov after having ATT/Cingular's prepaid one.
It worked out to be the cheapest for me since I don't use up all the minutes. Tracfone's timeframe didn't work as well for me. I haven't tried it at Disney yet - will have it in Aug, but have had no places where I haven't been able to use it up and down the east coast.
If you go on Virgin Mobile's web site, sometimes they have a model where you get $20 worth of free airtime with purchase of phone, which is how I got the one I have.
There is no shipping and handling for standard delivery, which was about 3 business days.
Also if you don't like it, they offer a 30 money back guarantee.
Also if you are willing to go online you can get free minutes (up to about 5 or so per day) by watching silly videos. They are short. See the sugar mamma section for details.

Piecey
05-26-2007, 12:17 AM
I have Alltel and loooooove them!

I get a better signal, clarity and reception than my dad's "super-spiffy" Blackberry through Cingular.

I've never had any troubles at WDW using Alltel!

Kellydelly
05-26-2007, 07:05 AM
I recently switched from my Sprint contract to a prepaid T-Mobile phone. It's the cheapest one I found when shopping around, only .10 per minute with no contract. You can buy cheap sim cards on ebay which will take the per minute cost down even more (less than .05 per minute).

fkj2
05-26-2007, 07:32 AM
I have Alltel and loooooove them!

I get a better signal, clarity and reception than my dad's "super-spiffy" Blackberry through Cingular.

I've never had any troubles at WDW using Alltel!

Yeah, I'm another Allltel customer too who's never had problems with the system at WDW. All you have to do is make sure your triangular roaming icon is "flashing" when you call--that's how you know you're in a non-roaming mode.

I'm not sure what the plan price cut-off is (I think $59.00/month) but you'd be eligible for My Circle, where you can choose any 10 numbers to call, land line or cell, for free and not have it charge up against your monthly allotment of numbers. Calls to other Alltel users are free also.

VanessasMom
05-26-2007, 07:54 AM
I have a Cingular prepaid plan. It is great. I paid $30 for a refurbished Nokia on their website (no problems with it for the past 1.5 years!). I have a plan that is $1 per day to make any amount of calls. On top of that, non-Cingular calls are $.10/minute. If you are calling another Cingular customer, calls are free. This works out great for me since my whole family has Cingular phones. So, I can call all of them and talk as long as I like for $1/day. If I don't make a call that day, no $1 charge. My parents even got a prepaid just to talk to me (we are long winded).

pigletof4
05-26-2007, 08:06 AM
I bought Virgin Mobile last Nov after having ATT/Cingular's prepaid one.
It worked out to be the cheapest for me since I don't use up all the minutes. Tracfone's timeframe didn't work as well for me. I haven't tried it at Disney yet - will have it in Aug, but have had no places where I haven't been able to use it up and down the east coast.
If you go on Virgin Mobile's web site, sometimes they have a model where you get $20 worth of free airtime with purchase of phone, which is how I got the one I have.
There is no shipping and handling for standard delivery, which was about 3 business days.
Also if you don't like it, they offer a 30 money back guarantee.
Also if you are willing to go online you can get free minutes (up to about 5 or so per day) by watching silly videos. They are short. See the sugar mamma section for details.


As long as there is service, you shouldn't have any problem using it at Disney and what I like about Virgin Mobile is that there aren't any roaming fees.

mtblujeans
05-26-2007, 08:52 AM
We have Alltel and I could NEVER get a signal at WDW last year when we went. I would walk around with my phone held out in front of me looking for signal bars. When I finally found a signal, I could not move from that spot to make a call. That was only 2 or 3 times at best! It was awful!! I would not use our cell phones at WDW again....I would go with a prepaid and leave the monthly Alltel service at home. :sad2:

Piecey
05-26-2007, 11:38 AM
We have Alltel and I could NEVER get a signal at WDW last year when we went. I would walk around with my phone held out in front of me looking for signal bars. When I finally found a signal, I could not move from that spot to make a call. That was only 2 or 3 times at best! It was awful!! I would not use our cell phones at WDW again....I would go with a prepaid and leave the monthly Alltel service at home. :sad2:


Thats weird. My brother (we share a plan) was even on the phone while we were in line for Space Mountain! We were deeeep into the tunnel, as well.
Talking to someone in Australia, no less. He had no problems.

mtblujeans
05-26-2007, 12:36 PM
I wonder if the phone model makes a difference with Alltel. All the parks were bad but MGM was the worst park for a signal for us. :confused3

Piecey
05-26-2007, 01:13 PM
I wonder if the phone model makes a difference with Alltel. All the parks were bad but MGM was the worst park for a signal for us. :confused3

I don't know. :confused3

Which phone do you use?

Greg, my brother, also moved to Orlando last month. I asked him and he hasn't run into any problems at all down there-- even though it's still a "WV" account.

I have a Motorola E815, he has a Motorola V265.

mtblujeans
05-26-2007, 02:01 PM
We had Nokia phones at the time. We now have Kyocera flip phones. DD's boyfriend had Verizon and he had some problems, too. :confused3

IDoDis
05-26-2007, 09:31 PM
We have Alltel and have the old brick phones :lmao: that came with the plan for 99 cents each about 4 1/2 years ago! The phones worked great at Disney last summer -- no problems at all. It's $39.99 per month for 1000 min. per month. When we travel, I call Alltel and have them switch me to the no roaming plan for an extra 10 bucks. I get 100 minutes of no roaming for the extra $10.00. After we get back, I call them and cancel it. I pay the $10 only once for that month -- no extra contracts to sign. I'm going to keep my brick phone until it dies! I'm surprised that I can still charge the battery on it!

I believe Alltel's plans are now $49.99 per month, but our prices haven't gone up. My contract expired over 2 years ago so I just pay month-to-month.