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Since when are cell phones...

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CrookedRock

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A necessity or a right?
Really? I pay my lovely bill every month bc I choose to have a cell phone. Actually it''s the only phone I have. But I choose to do it bc I want it.

I keep seeing ads on TV for govt assisted cell phones. HERE is the link to the site offering this in our state and a few others.

I agree that it is a huge convenience to have a cell phone, but what do you think about this? Is it a right or necessity to have one?
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Reading the gov't website it isn't exactly free cell phones for all like the ads make it seem. It is simply helping people who can't afford it get a telephone for their primary residence which could be a landline or cell. And it's only discounts as far as I can tell, not free.

So it's a bit misleading for them to be advertising free cell phones/service unless there is something I am missing.

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/lllu.html
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
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We''ve discussed this in another thread (can''t recall the name or I''d direct you there), and while some people didn''t understand why, cell phones are/can be a necessity for some people in some situations.

For me personally, my cell phone is a necessity for my career. Thankfully, I can write it off on our taxes as a result (along with some other frivolous things like beauty products and such). However, I''d imagine being able to write off a phone on one''s taxes is not a good enough option for some people in some careers that also require cell phone access.
 

Dreamgirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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5,070
I think it continues to become a necessity for many in today''s life. Remember way back when...you''d be out and couldn''t call anyone until you got home? Sometimes I kind of miss that...lol
 

CrookedRock

Brilliant_Rock
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I apologize, i didn''t see the other thread. I would love to read it though.

It actually does say on the site that their particular service is FREE. I mean we are talking about people who probably receive other types of assistance. I don''t think these are the thyps of people that need a cell for business purposes.
I just have to wonder where we are going to draw the line? Should a car be a right too?
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Date: 3/9/2009 6:29:36 PM
Author: CrookedRock
I apologize, i didn't see the other thread. I would love to read it though.


It actually does say on the site that their particular service is FREE. I mean we are talking about people who probably receive other types of assistance. I don't think these are the thyps of people that need a cell for business purposes.

I just have to wonder where we are going to draw the line? Should a car be a right too?
On the business website it does, but not on the FCC's website unless I am missing it...so the gov't isn't giving these services away free, they are just subsidizing the start up costs and the monthly bills a bit.

This is all the gov't is offering:

What Benefits are Available Under the Lifeline and Link-Up Programs?

Lifeline Assistance provides discounts on basic monthly service at the primary residence for qualified telephone subscribers. These discounts can be up to $10.00 per month, depending on your state.

Link-Up America helps income-eligible consumers initiate telephone service. This program pays one-half (up to a maximum of $30) of the initial installation fee for a traditional, wireline telephone or activation fee for a wireless telephone for a primary residence. It also allows participants to pay the remaining amount they owe on a deferred schedule, interest-free.

Residents of Native American Indian and Alaska Native tribal communities may qualify for enhanced Lifeline assistance (up to an additional $25.00) and expanded Link-Up support (up to an additional $70.00). For more information on these enhanced Lifeline and Link-Up programs, visit www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/tribalfactsheet.html.
 

DiamanteBlu

Ideal_Rock
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Waaaah!!!! I want a discount [or free] too! It''s not fair that I have had to buy my phones for full price and then to have to pay full price for the service for the last 25 years! I demand a rebate! Waaaaah!!! [please note sarcasm
]
 

DiamanteBlu

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/9/2009 6:24:48 PM
Author: Dreamgirl
I think it continues to become a necessity for many in today''s life. Remember way back when...you''d be out and couldn''t call anyone until you got home? Sometimes I kind of miss that...lol
That was quite nice! LOL! I sometimes forget my phone when I go out. It is very peaceful!
 

steph72276

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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I think it is ridiculous. Another example of our "I want it all and I want it now" society. I was talking to a friend the other day and she said she had just gotten her 5th grade daughter an Iphone. Really? Does an 11 year old need that? Apparently it is the norm in their school
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/9/2009 6:29:36 PM
Author: CrookedRock
I apologize, i didn''t see the other thread. I would love to read it though.
No need to apologize!
It wasn''t about this govt. program, so it warrants its own thread. It was about something else and went off topic onto the cell phone necessity question for awhile.
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/9/2009 7:57:19 PM
Author: musey
Date: 3/9/2009 6:29:36 PM
Author: CrookedRock
I apologize, i didn''t see the other thread. I would love to read it though.
No need to apologize!
It wasn''t about this govt. program, so it warrants its own thread. It was about something else and went off topic onto the cell phone necessity question for awhile.
It was about the poor acting poor and I think had something to do with food, if you want to try to find it. I''ll go do a quick search...
 

FrekeChild

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Yup, here it is: Link
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/9/2009 7:37:52 PM
Author: steph72276
I think it is ridiculous. Another example of our ''I want it all and I want it now'' society. I was talking to a friend the other day and she said she had just gotten her 5th grade daughter an Iphone. Really? Does an 11 year old need that? Apparently it is the norm in their school
Seriously?! Sheesh. I remember my parents gave me a hand-me-down brick of a phone when I got my first job "for emergencies only." I think I was 16.

I can''t even imagine what a 5th grader would do with a phone. I didn''t have any desire to talk on the phone at that age, unless to invite someone over
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/9/2009 8:03:26 PM
Author: FrekeChild
Yup, here it is: Link
Thanks, Freke! I tried to find it, somewhat halfheartedly. That thread was a doozy.
 

luckystar112

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
3,962
Um, yeah. Pretty sure people know where I stand on this.
A cell phone is a luxury, IMO. In almost all circumstances.
 

steph72276

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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4,212
Date: 3/9/2009 8:04:32 PM
Author: musey
Date: 3/9/2009 7:37:52 PM

Author: steph72276

I think it is ridiculous. Another example of our ''I want it all and I want it now'' society. I was talking to a friend the other day and she said she had just gotten her 5th grade daughter an Iphone. Really? Does an 11 year old need that? Apparently it is the norm in their school
Seriously?! Sheesh. I remember my parents gave me a hand-me-down brick of a phone when I got my first job ''for emergencies only.'' I think I was 16.


I can''t even imagine what a 5th grader would do with a phone. I didn''t have any desire to talk on the phone at that age, unless to invite someone over
That''s so funny....my first cell phone was for emergencies only also and I got it at age 18. It was sooo huge...Zac Morris anyone?
 

fleur-de-lis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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CrookedRock, the link you posted doesn't seem to be working; might you have the name of the program? I'm really curious about the terms of such a program. No similar ads air here... at least not yet.

It seems so illogical for there to be federal government-assisted cell phones for all. Having a cell phone is certainly not on par with having clean running water, but it sure does make life a lot easier.

Here in CA, they have programs like Neatfreak describes for landlines. A friend of mine developed a pretty severe medical problem that resulted in a major reduction of income, and I helped her find ways to cope. One of the things that helped was the Lifeline program; in order to qualify one needed to be able to document really low household income (something like $16,000 a year?), and one could qualify for a program that provided basic phone service for something like $12 a month for local service and the ability to dial 911. It allowed her to call for doctors appointments, lifts to the same, and the 800 numbers to handle the business of restructuring her life. I think one could also pay for long distance by the minute like in the old days, but she chose to supplement with pre-paid calling cards to keep costs down. There weren't any cell-phone plans (but after looking at switching her over to a Go-phone to avoid big monthly bills, a family member was able/willing to put her on a $9.99 friends and family program).

If one has a landline, a cell phone is a bit of a nicety. Assuming some rationality in the program (and yes, I know that makes me a big ole' naive optimist
), I understand that there are some rural parts of the country which have not been wired for landline phones (!!!); might the program in question be one that has a fallback option of cellphones if areas are so rural that landlines were never laid in the area?
 

musey

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
11,242
Date: 3/9/2009 8:49:43 PM
Author: fleur-de-lis
CrookedRock, the link you posted doesn't seem to be working; might you have the name of the program? I'm really curious about the terms of such a program. No similar ads air here... at least not yet.
If you looked at the URL, the beginning was just mistyped.

https://www.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublic/benefits.aspx

instead of http://https//www.safelinkwireless.com/EnrollmentPublic/benefits.aspx
 

fleur-de-lis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,343
Okay, delved into the site a little bit. Clicking on the NY link, it gives 68 minutes for free if you qualify. More interesting, however, is that they include a way (and only one provider) for getting more minutes: "you can buy TracFone Airtime Cards at any TracFone retailer (Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Family Dollar, etc)".

Does anyone else wonder if this program is sponsored/subsidized by TracFone, because someone has done a business model and determined that if you give a low-income person a free cheapie cell phone with only 68 minutes on it, they are statistically very likely to buy a few hundred minutes a month (at full, hyper-inflated prices) at Wal-Mart, thus making it more for-profit than for-charity?





EDITED TO ADD: Okay, some additional info. Note that nowhere on the website does it say that the government is paying for this "service" or that it's a government program; if you read carefully, you will see that this "offer" is only limited to those who can demonstrate being poor and helpless (i.e., on public assistance). Assuming a person with poor money skills begins to feel comfortable with using that cell phone for over 1 minute and 1 second per day, the way to get more minutes is buy them from the ONLY company that can give you more-- TracFone charges 25 cents or 33.3 cents per minute. (!)
http://www.phoneshark.com/showwirelesscard.cfm?f=11&t=11&p=9044&ad_campaign_id=65

Seems to be a for-profit idea by TracFone corp. that targets the least-able and weakest among us, don't you think?
 

neatfreak

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/9/2009 9:11:20 PM
Author: fleur-de-lis
It''s interesting to see the list of states which have this program (*Florida * Georgia* Massachussets* Michigan* New York* Tennessee* Virginia* Pennsylvania). Clicking on the NY link, it gives 68 minutes for free if you qualify. I also find it interesting that they include a way (and only one provider) for getting more minutes: ''you can buy TracFone Airtime Cards at any TracFone retailer (Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Family Dollar, etc)''.


Does anyone else wonder if this program is sponsored/subsidized by TracFone, because someone has done a business model and determined that if you give a low-income person a free cheapie cell phone with only 68 minutes on it, they are statistically very likely to buy a few hundred minutes a month (at full, hyper-inflated prices) at Wal-Mart, thus making it more for-profit than for-charity?



EDITED TO ADD: Okay, some additional info. Assuming a person with poor money skills begins to feel comfortable with using that cell phone for over 1 minute and 1 second per day, the way to get more minutes is buy them from the ONLY company that can give you more-- TracFone charges 25 cents or 33.3 cents per minute. (!)

http://www.phoneshark.com/showwirelesscard.cfm?f=11&t=11&p=9044&ad_campaign_id=65
Yes, this is why phone companies like the one CR linked to are advertising "free" phones and trying to legitimize it by referencing these government programs-because they want the business from the gov''t subsidized people. People will just read the companies'' websites rather than actually reading the terms of the gov''t program and think they are getting a phone they can use all the time for free subsidized by the gov''t, when really they can only get a reduction in costs. They are exploiting them if you ask me. Not cool.
 

fleur-de-lis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,343
TOTALLY not cool, I agree. It appears to legitimize the program for the uneducated poor by implying it''s governmental help backed by the full faith of the US government, and makes the casual observer who doesn''t read the fine print hate the government for taking working folks'' tax dollars to pay for lazy-folks'' privileges. (And seriously who, other than lawyers, read the fine print?)

Oh, and BTW, sorry for editing my post while you were citing it, neatfreak. You''re just too quick! LOL
 

miraclesrule

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 29, 2008
Messages
4,442
I still have a brick of a phone. My realtor tried to send me multimedia pictures...YIKES!! I told her NOoooooooooooooo, it might blow up my oldarse Nokia. However, there is just no getting around it, the phones are a necessity and not a luxury these days. The charges for them are ridiculous in my opinion. If I could get away with not having one...I would.

Having said that...I would much rather have my tax $$$ subsidizing someone who needs a phone than I would some corporate firm charging $600 for a hammer or a failed bank. But that''s just me..
 

Miranda

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 18, 2006
Messages
4,101
When did TV become a right? We are now paying people to convert their TVs, too.
 

fleur-de-lis

Brilliant_Rock
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Messages
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Date: 3/9/2009 11:51:06 PM
Author: Miranda
When did TV become a right? We are now paying people to convert their TVs, too.
True. But if the government was able to successfully switch people over to digital without too much complaint, the megahertz spectrum of analog TV could be sold by the government to private endeavors. By tossing people some $40 rebate vouchers, the government was able to sell those rights (to players like Google) for-- hold onto your hats-- $20 Billion Dollars.

Money out of thin air-- literally.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/9/2009 11:16:28 PM
Author: miraclesrule
I still have a brick of a phone. My realtor tried to send me multimedia pictures...YIKES!! I told her NOoooooooooooooo, it might blow up my oldarse Nokia. However, there is just no getting around it, the phones are a necessity and not a luxury these days. The charges for them are ridiculous in my opinion. If I could get away with not having one...I would.

Having said that...I would much rather have my tax $$$ subsidizing someone who needs a phone than I would some corporate firm charging $600 for a hammer or a failed bank. But that''s just me..
Ditto -- at least to the extent that phones are definately a necessity, and in many cases cell phones getting cell phone service is probably cheaper than getting a land line set up. Can you imagine trying to find a job or apartment, or making a doctor''s appointment, without access to a phone and a call-back number?

I live and work in an area with a lot of homeless people, and I keep expecting to come upon one chatting away on a cell phone, but it hasn''t happened yet.


BTW, every time I go grocery shopping I find myself wondering how people ever managed to do their groceries without a cell phone! I mean really, the world will not end if you choose the wrong can of corn or the "wrong" flavor of ice cream (as if there were such a thing!)

As an aside, I am one of the hold-outs -- I don''t have a cell phone and I''m perfectly happy without it. However... I expect I''ll have one within a year or so.
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
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Date: 3/9/2009 7:37:52 PM
Author: steph72276
I think it is ridiculous. Another example of our ''I want it all and I want it now'' society. I was talking to a friend the other day and she said she had just gotten her 5th grade daughter an Iphone. Really? Does an 11 year old need that? Apparently it is the norm in their school
GASP!
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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I guess the argument is that a phone is a necessity so that someone could reach the hospital, the police, or the fire department.

I have a cell phone. Don''t have a land phone. I could easily afford an iphone, blakcberry, etc... but I only use my phone maybe 30 minutes a week... I just don''t like the phone like I used to. I prefer to accessorise with jewelry!


Thing is, I like the razor because it easily fits into my hydration belt (a belt made of water bottles you wear on your waist when running), and I can carry it with me when I am out on a 2-3 hour run... when I could get injured, or worse. I basically just use mine for emergencies, or talking long distance.

I''d say children don''t need phones either.. but now they are doing away with pay phones, so if an emergency arose, they''d be lost. I''d be more apt to get my kid a pay as you go phone, and make them pay their allowance money for any minutes over the practical set amount. I''m not paying so they can text their friends in between classes. That is just silly.
 

steph72276

Ideal_Rock
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4,212
Date: 3/10/2009 11:56:06 AM
Author: tlh
I guess the argument is that a phone is a necessity so that someone could reach the hospital, the police, or the fire department.


I have a cell phone. Don't have a land phone. I could easily afford an iphone, blakcberry, etc... but I only use my phone maybe 30 minutes a week... I just don't like the phone like I used to. I prefer to accessorise with jewelry!



Thing is, I like the razor because it easily fits into my hydration belt (a belt made of water bottles you wear on your waist when running), and I can carry it with me when I am out on a 2-3 hour run... when I could get injured, or worse. I basically just use mine for emergencies, or talking long distance.


I'd say children don't need phones either.. but now they are doing away with pay phones, so if an emergency arose, they'd be lost. I'd be more apt to get my kid a pay as you go phone, and make them pay their allowance money for any minutes over the practical set amount. I'm not paying so they can text their friends in between classes. That is just silly.
Ditto to you on that post. When my little guy gets older, I will get him one of those phones that only dials a few numbers (mine, hubby's, work, 911) for emergencies, and if he wants something more, he will have to work to earn it!
But it's the same way with cars too. My hubby works in the auto industry and can get cars at wholesale value, but there is no way we are buying our son a brand new Lexus or BMW like you see around here. We have a plan that our son will work and save for a car and we will match whatever he earns....he WILL learn the value of a dollar and WILL learn to work for what he has. I wish more parents would do this and maybe our country wouldn't be in such a financial mess!!!
 

Italiahaircolor

Ideal_Rock
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5,184
I have been donating my old personal and work cell phones to battered women''s shelters for years...the reprogram the phone so it can make calls to the shelter and to 911 only.

If you''re getting a free phone, you should be able to use it for emergencies only...no downloading music, or texting or chatting for hours.
 
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