Friday, October 9, 2009

Cool Technology of the Week

In many crime solving police procedural programs (NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds etc), the perpetrator has used an untraceable, disposable cell phone.

But what is a disposable cell phone and where do you buy one? I've never seen one in my travels.

The answer - Walmart

The vendor - TracFone

The idea is that you buy an inexpensive phone (there are many options ranging from $15 to $50 dollars for Motorola and Samsung phones)

and then prepay for minutes - 60, 120, 200 without any contracts or bills.
The minutes are a single rate plan - national, international and roaming at local call rates.

The only hitch is that the minutes expire after 90 days or you can buy 400 minutes good for one year.

Since there are no contracts, you can use the phone as much or as little as you want, when you want. You just add minutes as needed.

The features of the service include

* A GSM phone
* A single Rate Plan - Call nationally, internationally or roam at local call rates
* Nationwide Network Coverage
* Features text messaging, voice mail, free caller ID, free call waiting
* Bluetooth Wireless Technology
* Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) Rating: M3
* Battery life with up to 7.5 hours of talk time and up to 10 days of standby time - it is rechargeable, so you do not toss it when the battery runs out.
* TracFone Airtime Balance Display shows you how much airtime you've used and how much is left, so you control your costs
*Includes up to 20 minutes of starter airtime upon activation

A full featured cell phone without a contract for $15.00 That's cool!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Interesting post!

The minutes actually do not "expire after 90 days," but will roll over as long as you keep the phone active with airtime. Most people use up their minutes and then buy additional minutes that include airtime, so their phones are actually active for quite a while.

I suspect that your confusion relates to "minutes" and "service time."

Minutes are used to make calls and send texts etc. Service time is the period of time for which your phone is active... months or years.

When you add minutes, your service time is also extended. It's not uncommon, in fact, for people to have several years worth of service time because they're continually adding minutes.

You can check on your phone and online to see how many minutes and the length of service time you have.

Here's what it says on the website:
"To keep your TracFone Service active, you must add airtime before the, Service End Date or, days left that is, displayed on your TracFone screen. If your TracFone runs out of airtime minutes, you will need to buy a TracFone Prepaid Wireless Airtime card to add more minutes. The amount of minutes you use is entirely up to you. Adding more TracFone Airtime cards extends your active service either 45, 90 or 365 days from the date the card is added, depending on the denomination of the airtime card. Unlike most plans, the minutes and services days you add to your TracFone will be added to the minutes and service days you already have."