Simplist Mobile Phone?

Aug 3, 2019
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Greetings Phone Gods!

First, thanks in advance for any advice you can share.

I'm hoping you can help me find a very simple mobile phone experience. I don't even want a cell phone really, just getting one for road emergencies and other such rare calls. As you might guess, I know very little about cell phones.

As best I can tell so far, a flip phone would be good for me. I don't wish to connect to the net from my phone, don't want to text, just make phone calls, that's all. Yes, it's true that I was born in 1902, thank you for asking.

Ideally, I don't want to shop data plans, activate a phone, sign up to anything, or deal with anybody or any company. I'm hoping to learn how to buy a flip phone that comes with X minutes for Y period, turn it on, and start talking. Is that a burner phone?

Cheap, easy, no features or hassles, these are my priorities.

Thanks for any advice!
 
Aug 3, 2019
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Thank you for your reply COLGeek.

Can I use any of these phones without setting up an account with Verizon or anybody else?

I'm looking for something like this. I go in to say, Walmart, and buy a flip phone. Maybe I buy a card with minutes on it? Plug card in to phone, and start talking. When card runs out, buy another card.

No account with anybody. No activation. No BS of any kind.

How do I do this?

Thanks!
 
Aug 3, 2019
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Thanks again. Mister Clueless is still trying to wrap his tiny mind around the details of how this works.

The pre pay plan comes with the phone? Or is it a separate purchase? How does the pre pay plan work? You buy X minutes and when that's gone you buy more minutes some how? How exactly?

What's the setup? Activating the phone? If yes, how is that done? Do I just text in some code to some number? Do I have to contact some customer support system?

Sorry, I realize this is incredibly basic stuff for you, but it's all new to me. I'm trying to understand this before I walk in to Walmart so I'll have some clue what's going on. You know, the clerks often don't really.

Thanks again!
 
Aug 3, 2019
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Thanks, yes, I'd already read that entire article. It doesn't seem to answer my questions, and as best I can tell from it, the simplicity I'm looking for doesn't exist.

I already had a Tracphone. Dealing with these companies is a pain in the butt I was hoping to avoid.

I'm guessing the gang bangers who use these phones to be anonymous don't open accounts. So it seems there must be some way to buy minutes on a card, or some other method which doesn't require opening an account.

Anyway, I'll keep looking, thanks again.
 
You must have service with some provider, under some name and with some method of payment. There are services that can "re-charge" your account by purchasing minutes via a card. What not just enroll in a simple, basic plan with a traditional carrier and save the hassle you seem to be creating for yourself? Just a thought.
 
Aug 3, 2019
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How about this? You know how the gangbangers and mafia etc buy some kind of phone that doesn't require them to disclose their identity? Presumably they aren't opening accounts with the service providers, right? So it must be technically possible somehow.

Like I said above, I already had a Tracphone account. It's a pain in the butt. All accounts with all companies are a pain. As example, Tracphone wants me to sit and stare at an empty chat box for a half hour or more until they get around to answering in order to renew my Tracphone. Their online account interface stinks, which is dumb because that just generates more support calls to them.

And what often happens everywhere is that once you finally get to an account person, they don't know much, can't help you, they barely speak English, the answer changes every time you contact them etc. You know the drill.

I'm not making trouble for myself, I'm trying to see if there is a way to sidestep all the troubles from the start. You'd think there'd be a market for that, eh?

If I was in the mafia, how would I get a phone?
 
How about this? You know how the gangbangers and mafia etc buy some kind of phone that doesn't require them to disclose their identity? Presumably they aren't opening accounts with the service providers, right? So it must be technically possible somehow.

Like I said above, I already had a Tracphone account. It's a pain in the butt. All accounts with all companies are a pain. As example, Tracphone wants me to sit and stare at an empty chat box for a half hour or more until they get around to answering in order to renew my Tracphone. Their online account interface stinks, which is dumb because that just generates more support calls to them.

And what often happens everywhere is that once you finally get to an account person, they don't know much, can't help you, they barely speak English, the answer changes every time you contact them etc. You know the drill.

I'm not making trouble for myself, I'm trying to see if there is a way to sidestep all the troubles from the start. You'd think there'd be a market for that, eh?

If I was in the mafia, how would I get a phone?
Even the mafia and gangbangers are registering phones (and paying for their service) using some registered name. Good luck.
 
Aug 3, 2019
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From the article linked just above...

"Unlike standard cell phone plans, you do not need to undergo a credit check, give your full name and address or show your ID. Buying and activating a prepaid cell phone can be completely anonymous.

While buying your phone at the store, ask the store clerk to activate the phone for you. This usually requires simple information such as the SIM card number, but doesn’t require any personal information from you."


If I don't give a credit card, name or address etc, then I don't really have an account with a provider. They can't bill me, I don't have to straighten out their problems etc.

That said, I'm not yet clear what the procedure would be for buying more minutes.
 
Aug 3, 2019
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So I've been shopping for flip phones. Best I can tell, there literally are no simple phones, not even flip phones. What's a simple phone, you ask? A phone that makes phone calls. One feature.

I've been reading reviews of phones for seniors. Again and again the stories and reviews are written by the family member who had to set the phone up for the senior. Um, that's not a phone for seniors.

Here's how simple would work. You walk in to a store, hand them some cash, they hand you a phone, and you start making phone calls. A child of five could buy and use such a phone.

It's interesting that as 7,000 vendors all scramble around desperately trying to get more business not a one of them has figured out that some people don't actually want to become a power nerd just to buy and use a portable phone. Every feature under the sun is available, except for simple.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
So I've been shopping for flip phones. Best I can tell, there literally are no simple phones, not even flip phones. What's a simple phone, you ask? A phone that makes phone calls. One feature.

I've been reading reviews of phones for seniors. Again and again the stories and reviews are written by the family member who had to set the phone up for the senior. Um, that's not a phone for seniors.

Here's how simple would work. You walk in to a store, hand them some cash, they hand you a phone, and you start making phone calls. A child of five could buy and use such a phone.

It's interesting that as 7,000 vendors all scramble around desperately trying to get more business not a one of them has figured out that some people don't actually want to become a power nerd just to buy and use a portable phone. Every feature under the sun is available, except for simple.
Walk into a convenience store, many have several pre-paid cell phones on display. Or to WalMart, or Target or Best Buy. Tell them you want a pre-paid phone. You are making things way more complex for yourself by looking around for some special thing that you want that may or may not exist. Get what is available or don't get it. Seems like you are looking for a car, but then only want one that runs on leaded gas with no seatbelts but brand new. You can only get what you can get. If you can't find what you want, that is when people start new companies to meet a demand. Although I doubt you will find many investors jumping on making phones that would sell to maybe 1% of the market in developed countries.

Simple flip phone https://www.walmart.com/ip/TracFone-Alcatel-MyFlip-Prepaid-Phone/564300365
 
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