Cell Phones

Help me find a cell phone/plan for my folks

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[OP]
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Feb 8, 2014
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Help me find a cell phone/plan for my folks

They have an old telus flip phone and the $10 pay as you go plan. Apparently they have to upgrade the phone because they got a letter saying they are discontinuing CDMA soon (they have a 5(?) year old phone)

Heres the deal, i'm looking for a reasonably cheap flip phone (they woudl never be able to handle a smart phone, after dozens of tries i can't even teach them how to switch the input to use the VCR, "it should work by going to channel 3"). A phone has to be as simple as dial and press the green button, and i'm looking for a $10 plan (plus tax is fine) that does not charge 50 cents a minute.
I'm in Ontario, and it doesn't need doing till the end of June which is when they Telus will start discontinuing service.

TIA
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
22 replies
Deal Addict
Oct 30, 2006
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GTA
Check out 711 speakout. Perfect plan for old people that don't use much airtime. Their airtime vouchers are good for a year, so could be 25 for the year if they hardly use it. They have pretty basic phone but will work with any GSM phone. I believe they sell a flip lol.

They operate on the fido network so good coverage, no coverage in quebec I believe though.
Deal Addict
Nov 21, 2008
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North Vancouver, BC
Basic flip phone can be purchased at many stores.

Speakout is a good deal, easy to use, and it works. I got it for my dad.
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Mar 23, 2006
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Quentin5 wrote: They have an old telus flip phone and the $10 pay as you go plan. Apparently they have to upgrade the phone because they got a letter saying they are discontinuing CDMA soon (they have a 5(?) year old phone)

Heres the deal, i'm looking for a reasonably cheap flip phone (they woudl never be able to handle a smart phone, after dozens of tries i can't even teach them how to switch the input to use the VCR, "it should work by going to channel 3"). A phone has to be as simple as dial and press the green button, and i'm looking for a $10 plan (plus tax is fine) that does not charge 50 cents a minute.
I'm in Ontario, and it doesn't need doing till the end of June which is when they Telus will start discontinuing service.

TIA
I am in the same boat as you. I have been already doing this for about 5 years. They need an easy to use and easy to understand. There is a good choice. Doro phones, ideal for seniors. Big buttons and simple.
The only problem is that they cost a bit more. Around $100-$120, when I bought it from Rogers. I bought the $100 a year pay as you go plan, 25 cents a minute. Everything was going fine all this time until about 4 months ago when I noticed that the balance was low so I started to track the calls and it did not add up. I called Rogers and they said they discontinued the plan and now charge 50 cents a minute (double). It was an easy decision for me at that point. I am leaving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu2zhbtuUJE

I took the phone and bought the 7-11 Speakout plan, $100 plan which gives me bonus $25 credit, free sim chip and $20 off phone. Since 7-11 uses Rogers line, I didn't need to unlock the Doro phone. I took the 7-11 sim chip and put it in and everything works fine. I also bought the 7-11 flip phone for $40 as a back up. My parents are not as fond of the 7-11 flip phone because the buttons are smaller and not as simple.

http://www.speakout7eleven.ca/
http://www.speakout7eleven.ca/prepaid-cellphones
Member
Apr 27, 2009
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West Vancouver
If your folks have not been using their phone that much they should have a significant balance on their account. Before you switch carriers you should consider your options on using up the balance or sticking with TELUS. You could use the balance to purchase this phone

https://shop.telus.com/alcatel_a392a_pr ... _ToDetails

or have your folks talk to telus and see if they will give them this phone for free, your argument would be that TELUS is forcing the change so they should provide a replacement phone.

The other option for a phone is the cheap SAMSUNG phone being sold by VISIONS, there is a thread on RFD on the deal.

Also have a look at the option of subscribing to the TELUS $5 texting add on as this will give 15c per minute calling, or the $10 evening and weekend option.
Sr. Member
Feb 3, 2013
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Field BC
$5 text add on to kill balance if you have any

Once that's over go to 7/11.
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Feb 18, 2016
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Depending on how much usage they make of it, 7-Eleven Speakout might be a good fit. It's prepaid at $0.25/minute, which is pricey on a per minute basis as is the case for all prepaid, but if overall usage is low than it makes sense. The flip phone is what I have, buttons are nice and big. They are 1/2" wide by 3/8" tall in the centre column. Even wider in the outer columns. I never had a need for a smartphone and only needed something in case of my car breaking down.

The above posts are good, most of the info is there, just thought I'd add a bit more:

Texts are free to receive, but cost $0.15 to send. Depending on how much the user has to say, and if it's just a 'meet me at this address' kind of message (not a conversation), this is cheaper than making a call. But it's a bit of a PITA to type a message on a flip phone.

When someone calls and leaves a voicemail, it doesn't use up minutes for them to leave the message. It does however use up minutes for you to listen to them. This is good, if you get a wrong number or someone pocket dialing your number, ie you don't recognize the number you can just delete the message without it affecting your balance.

There is 9-1-1 fee of $1.25 per month, so keep in mind that it takes $15 off your balance over the course of the year. So if you bought $50 of airtime, you really have $35 available for talk and text, assuming you don't want to top up until the end of the year. Of course nothing stops you from topping up any time which resets the expiry date.
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Jun 12, 2007
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There's still some 3g capable doro 620 seniors flip phones floating around (drop in charger and camera). They have big buttons and loud audio volume

Look for the unlocked ones, they will work on robellus
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Mar 23, 2006
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l69norm wrote: There's still some 3g capable doro 620 seniors flip phones floating around (drop in charger and camera). They have big buttons and loud audio volume

Look for the unlocked ones, they will work on robellus
Does the 3 G matter for a flip phone ?
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Jun 12, 2007
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a) If the OP stays with Telus, they don't have a 2G network, only 3G and up

b) If the OP switches to speakout, Rogers is going to start decommissioning 2G sometime in 2017. It may be fully decommissioned by end of 2017
[OP]
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l69norm wrote: a) If the OP stays with Telus, they don't have a 2G network, only 3G and up

b) If the OP switches to speakout, Rogers is going to start decommissioning 2G sometime in 2017. It may be fully decommissioned by end of 2017
The OP has become unexpectedly busy so can't look into the suggestions till probably next week, but that is good to know

I don't understand the CDMA, 2G, 3G, 4G stuff, i went quite simple and bought a nexus 4 and signed up with wind so i don't really know what i should look at for future proofing or decided what network to look into for them.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
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Feb 18, 2016
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I don't know what difference it makes in terms of performance since I don't use data, but I'm using the Alcatel flip phone and it shows 3G in the corner of the display, so the 2G eventually being decommissioned shouldn't be an issue.
[OP]
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night_kid wrote: Does that mean you can't just swap over to a SIM card for the same plan? There are some options on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_ ... Caps%2C197
Got sidetracked so finally coming back to this, thanks for linking those phones, i am planning on going with this one, seems the simplest and most network format support
https://www.amazon.ca/Jethro-SC628-Unlo ... 012S5WSZ4/

Next question is what provider to go with, my folks are used to $10 a month recurring, so thats all they need, a good per minute rate would be nice (they were paying 50 cents a minute with Telus), and it needs to work anywhere in Southern Ontario, i can deal with wind/wind away, but they can't. If it work in the US (even at a higher rate till the balance is exhausted then thats a bonus)
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Jr. Member
Feb 17, 2007
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Vancouver
Quentin5 wrote: Got sidetracked so finally coming back to this, thanks for linking those phones, i am planning on going with this one, seems the simplest and most network format support
https://www.amazon.ca/Jethro-SC628-Unlo ... 012S5WSZ4/

Next question is what provider to go with, my folks are used to $10 a month recurring, so thats all they need, a good per minute rate would be nice (they were paying 50 cents a minute with Telus), and it needs to work anywhere in Southern Ontario, i can deal with wind/wind away, but they can't. If it work in the US (even at a higher rate till the balance is exhausted then thats a bonus)
Did you ask Telus if they can stay on the same plan and give you 2 new sim cards?
[OP]
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night_kid wrote: Did you ask Telus if they can stay on the same plan and give you 2 new sim cards?
I did not, but 50 cents a minute is quite pricey, only 20 minutes a month
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
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Aug 30, 2012
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Doesn't sound like your parents will text a lot and you want flexibility in plan
so the speakout plan or petro can would be your best bet. spend 25 in speak-out which is good for a year(rogers network) and track phone usage online to see if getting a monthly plan is necessary for your folks or if use pay as you go is better(25 cents a call).
https://mobility.petro-canada.ca/anytime-plan.aspx (25 dollars good for 120 days)-Rogers
http://www.zoomerwireless.ca/ (sharing plans for seniors on Rogers network)
You can do all the top ups for any of these plans whenever required online
[OP]
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peasy9 wrote: Doesn't sound like your parents will text a lot and you want flexibility in plan
so the speakout plan or petro can would be your best bet. spend 25 in speak-out which is good for a year(rogers network) and track phone usage online to see if getting a monthly plan is necessary for your folks or if use pay as you go is better(25 cents a call).
https://mobility.petro-canada.ca/anytime-plan.aspx (25 dollars good for 120 days)-Rogers
http://www.zoomerwireless.ca/ (sharing plans for seniors on Rogers network)
You can do all the top ups for any of these plans whenever required online
No text or data at all, just voice minutes. That petro plan looks interesting. Still 25 cents a minute but the plans are cost effective. I wonder if they have an automatic payment plan.

Edit: I assume all these carriers will accept a phone that is 3G?
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
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Aug 30, 2012
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https://mobility.petro-canada.ca/suppor ... spx#top-up
https://mobility.petro-canada.ca/suppor ... count.aspx
you use your credit card then you control account and top ups .
"Need more information? Contact us at 1 (866) 788-3475 between 7 AM to 1 AM ET "

I set my mom up with 100 dollars on rogers per year-too much and I had to swap out her sim and use minutes myself. then it went to speakout for 25 dollars a year..still too much but if you renew before expiry the unused balance rolls over(same with petro can I think). I suspect your parents wouldn't use all the minutes in a monthly plan so keep that in mind in picking a monthly plan versus pay as you go. remember you can check what's left and top up as needed once you get a feel for their usage.And you can always upgrade to a monthly plan whenever you want. Speakout has online topups as well.
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Jul 26, 2007
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We cancelled my folks landline and got them chatrwirless at $20/month unlimited local calls. Chart is on Rogers Network.

This is the cheapest aside from wind and mobilcity that offers cheap unlimited calls.

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