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Prepaid Cell Phone Plans Tips

Read these 9 Prepaid Cell Phone Plans Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cellphone tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What can I do with my old prepaid wireless phone?

Prepaid Cell Phones: Recycle Or Resell?

When prepaid cell phones outlive their usefulness, become obsolete, or damaged beyond repair, don't throw the prepaid cell phones in the trash. Take them to an authorized recycling center or better yet, see if you can sell the phone to a service such as

These services offer to buy your old prepaid wireless cell phones if they match the current list of phones sought by the company. You can also try selling an old phone to a pawn shop once your prepaid cell phone deal has expired. There are many businesses willing to offer you cash for technology you no longer need, including prepaid cell phones.

How do I use the call timer in my Nokia prepaid cellular phone?

How to Use the Call Timer on a Nokia Prepaid Phone

Do you suspect your prepaid cell phone card is not recording your cell phone minutes accurately? A call timer is the solution. Not all prepaid cellular phones have call timers, Nokia prepaid cellular phone customers can take advantage of this handy cell phone feature.

Go to the menu and choose “Recent Calls” and "View Timers”. Look for “Dialed Calls,” and “Received Calls”. For accurate tracking, reset the timer to zero by selecting “Reset All”. This will reset the counters under all categories. Each time you get a new set of prepaid cell phone minutes, or start a new prepaid cell phone card, reset the timer.

Have there been any consumer studies on prepaid cell phone carriers?

J.D. Power Report on Prepaid Cell Phone Carriers

The J.D. Power report at on prepaid cell phone service is very useful if you are considering prepaid cell phone service but aren't sure if a major carrier or a budget company is right for you. The study measured customer satisfaction in call quality, cost of service, account management, service plan options, and customer service.

The results of the study? Wireless services resellers such as Virgin, Boost Mobile, and TracFone had the highest satisfaction ratings for overall cost and accessibility. Major carriers including Verizon, Cingular, and T-Mobile had the highest satisfaction ratings in customer service, technological advancement, voice and text mail notifications, and call quality.

Using this study as a guide, if customer service and network quality are a priority for you, compare prepaid cell phones among the major providers, such as the Verizon prepaid cell phone plan. If inexpensive, easy options are your focus, a wireless reseller will fit your needs.

How can I get better reception on my prepaid cell phone?

How Can I Get Better Reception on My Prepaid Cell Phone?

Here are a few tricks to get better reception from cheap prepaid cell phones:

  • Metal such as staircases, large pieces of equipment, or the steel framework of some buildings will interfere with your signal strength, so avoid those areas when using a prepaid wireless cell phone.
  • Try not to cover the internal antenna on the top of the phone, or touch the external antenna.
  • Keep the battery on your prepaid wireless phone charged up at all times, some cell phones reduce signal strength when the battery is low to extend your calling time.

Is there a way to block roaming on my prepaid cellular phone?

Is There a Way to Block Roaming on My Prepaid Cellular Phone?

Roaming happens when your prepaid cellular phone connects to a cell phone tower that does not belong to your provider. Ordinarily this only occurs when you are traveling outside of your state. If you live in a rural area, or on the fringe of your coverage zone, this may occur more often.

Roaming can eat up your prepaid cell phone minutes balance very quickly. If frequent roaming is a problem, call your carrier's technical support group, to make sure programming in your prepaid wireless phone is not the problem. You may need to program your phone so it doesn't connect with any other network's towers. This option is usually found under “Settings” in your menu.

Why am I using my prepaid cell phone minutes so fast?

Why Am I Using My Prepaid Cell Phone Minutes So Fast?

Does it seem like you use up your prepaid cell phone minutes faster than you are talking? Remember that every call is rounded up to the next minute on most plans. So if you talk one minute and five seconds, you will be billed for two full minutes. You may also be losing minutes by checking voice mail, so where possible, retrieve your messages from a regular phone.

Some carriers allow you to turn off your prepaid cellular phone, dial your cell phone number, and hit the star key; enter your voice mail pass code and get your messages. Another minute-killer happens when you put a caller on hold to take another call. Your minutes are being used on each line. If you keep two calls going at once for three minutes, six prepaid cell phone minutes are billed.

Can prepaid cell phone minutes expire?

Can Prepaid Cell Phone Minutes Expire?

Whether you are using a prepaid cell phone card, or a prepaid calling plan, double check the terms of your agreement. Some prepaid minutes don't roll over to the next month or billing period. Instead, they just expire.

Many cell phones have a minute tracker, but the per-minute counts aren't always accurate. Use the tools your prepaid cell phone service offers, whether it is a customer service number or a key code option to dial on your prepaid cellular phone. You may be using additional minutes for text services, voice mail, or even for calls to check on your remaining minutes, so be sure to factor this usage into your estimated time remaining.

How can I find a high quality prepaid cell phone?

Can I Get a Loaded, High Quality Prepaid Cell Phone?

If you choose prepaid cell phone service with a major carrier, you will find a wider selection of quality phones. The Verizon prepaid cell phone plan offers the eye catching LG Chocolate series with mobile email, Bluetooth, text messaging, music/video player and picture phone.

As a bonus, the Verizon prepaid cell phone plan supports the music download capabilities with V Cast Music, available for a daily access charge. Another very nice series of prepaid cell phones on the market is the Motorola RAZR V3m series also with Bluetooth, mobile email, music downloading, and picture phone capabilities. For the chatty teenager, the LG VX5300, LG VX3450, and Motorola W385 are all Chaperone capable.

Are prepaid cell phone plans always the most cost effective choice?

Prepaid Cell Phone Plans Versus Contracts

Prepaid cell phones are more cost effective than contracts if you only want a cell phone for use in emergencies, or if you use less than 400 minutes per month.

You won't pay the extra $15-20 in taxes and surcharges. If you use more than 400 prepaid cell phone minutes per month, you will pay less for a monthly plan with a contract agreement. Rates and options are better for text messaging, international calling, and roaming on a two year contract agreement.

The prepaid market is growing more friendly to data services and major carrier calling plans such as the Verizon prepaid cell phone plan offer the ability to download ring tones, music, and games for an additional charge.

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Guru Spotlight
Phyllis Serbes