Cell Phone Web Browsing

January 29, 2010 at 13:11:55
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Pro, 2.8 GHz / 2 gb
If there's a better forum for this question, feel free to send me packing...

This is as much a rant as it is an actual question.

Verizon has recently changed their calling plans such that new activations of any multi-media phone will require at least their minimum data package ($9.99/month) with some requiring the full blown $29.99 package.

They currently offer only 2 models of QWERTY phones that don't require the package. After that, you're limited to the basic flip or slide open phones with the standard phone keyboard.

So here's my issue:

For $9.99 you get 25 Mb of data transfer per month. When I spoke to the CSR at Verizon last night - the kind that puts you hold while they look up the answer to every single question you ask - I was told that the typical web page contains about 24 Kb of data.

Therefore it seems that I would be able to download ~ 1000 pages per month minus however much gets transferred back when I send form data or click a link.

Basically, I have no idea if I should upgrade my phone and be forced into a 25 Mb package that will do nothing but frustrate me because I'll either:

A - Never use 25 Mb in a month, 1000 pages is a lot
B - Use 25 Mb in a week and not be able to browse until the next billing cycle
C - Use 25 Mb in a week and run up huge overages because they sucked me in and I just can't stop browsing the web on my phone even though I know it's costing me my life's savings, the house, the love of my family and my self esteem.

Wait...hold on...OK...I'm breathing again.

So what's the deal? Is 25 Mb a month "worth" $9.99? Is that a decent amount of browsing or will I be staying up nights worrying about how many Mb I've used like I used to worry about cell phone minutes?

I know that $9.99 a month sounds like chump change, but when you're already paying for 5 lines, unlimited texting, insurance on the kid's phones and everything else, the total bill is significant.


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#1
February 2, 2010 at 06:15:34
Just recently updated to this plan. Before I was paying $60 a month for 450 minutes, 1500 hundred texts, and no data. It had been years since I had renegotiated my contract, so I said something about it when I recently got my new phone. Now I pay the same for 450 minutes, unlimited texts, and 25mb of data. Just checked my account to give you a little bit of an idea. I have had this plan for 23 days now and have used 4.5mb of data. This is with somewhat regular usage, usually checking my facebook or googling something around once or twice an hour during the day. I think you'd be happy with the data, probably wont use it all though. I think you can always take it off your contract within the next billing cycle if you don't like it. Hope this helps your decision.

My name is JRComp, and I approve this message.


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#2
February 2, 2010 at 06:49:54
re: "I think you can always take it off your contract within the next billing cycle if you don't like it."

Not any more.

Now that Verizon is requireing the data plan on all web-enabled phones, once the data featured is enabled, it cannot be taken off.

This applies to new phone activations as well as adding the feature to existing phones.

This all started because one of my daughters wanted to try her sister's enV Touch for a few days to see if she wanted to upgrade. The CSR told me that even though Daughter 1 doesn't require a data plan with her existing enV Touch, as soon as we activate it under Daughter 2's number, the plan would be required. Once the "test" was over, and we re-activated the phone under the original number, it would have to retain the plan because it's considered a "new" activation.

I just called and asked them about putting the feature on an existing phone/number that wouldn't involve an activation and was told once the feature is enabled, it can not be taken off, period.


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#3
February 2, 2010 at 10:39:34
You may be happy with the plan, may never use it, or may spend $1700.00 a month for its usage regardless you have been pushed into something you did not ask for. Years ago I was with verizon when I moved from Pa. to Fl. my wif was with AT&T. After settling in I went to an at&t store here in town to change her number to be local here. It was no trouble and no charge. The drive took 20 minutes the service took 3. I went to verizon for the same thing. My phone was working fine at the time just did not have a local number. They took my phone and transfered my address book and photos to another phone and atempted to charge me $102.78 for the new phone. When I baulked at them they said that my old phone would not work in this area. They were rather forceful about this. When I attempted to retrieve my old phone they continued to try and force the new one on me so I smashed it and took my old phone. Ofcourse the police were called. After 5 months the case finally went to court they didn't even show up. The judge said it was probably not worth their while as the phone was only valued at $19.95. He asked me why I smashed it and I explained what they had done and that I feared they would pirot my data from it. He dismissed the case.

I have since been with at&t and have held a job as one of those call center flunkies for them. I have made the same change for lord knows how many people over the phone many times. Now and again it does require a new sim card but at&t supplied it for free.

Likely


I want to go like my grandfather did. Peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming at the top of my lungs like the passengers in his car.

(\__/)
(='.'=)
(")_(")


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#4
February 2, 2010 at 13:45:24
I agree that the way Verizon seems to run their business is somewhat shady. Phones are made so they cant be changed to another network (for the average customer, ie. no sim cards) and other random things such as phones that even if they are mini usb, will not charge with a non-verizon mini usb cable. The only thing I am 100% satisfied with them is the wireless service, and apparently thats enough for me, for now anyways.

My name is JRComp, and I approve this message.


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#5
February 3, 2010 at 08:34:21
"I know that $9.99 a month sounds like chump change, but when you're already paying for 5 lines, unlimited texting, insurance on the kid's phones and everything else, the total bill is significant."

I might suggest that the kids get part time jobs (if old enough) and have them pay for their own line plus ;-)

IMO....there is nothing worse than seeing a 10yr old or younger with a phone strapped to their ear...that is overkill in my mind

Some HELP in posting on Computing.net plus free progs and instructions Cheers


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#6
September 20, 2010 at 16:42:26
I feel your pain. We too pay for our daughters phone and insurance, cause teens can't be trusted to keep a phone in good condition, and then ours. We had no choice but to go to Verizon when they bought Alltel. It hasn't been a fun time. They don't know much, in fact we had a question went to them they didn't know the answer was discussing it in front of our teen and she told us the answer. maybe they should hire teens!!!! We are looking at the new Walmart family plan they just came out with today. Yes I know, Walmart controls everything but god for a person who isn't rich, you can't hardly go else where. the cell phone places can anger a person into a prison term, I refuse to talk to them and make my husband do it...:-))
My teen even has a job and pays towards her phone but the costs still are crazy, especially when you use the phone for business.

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#7
September 23, 2010 at 12:45:28
My kids all wanted phones as well. They were told when they got jobs I would by them a pay as you go phone so if they needed a ride or something they could call but when they waste that time on texting they would be S.O.L. It didn't take long before they got their own plans and dealt with the costs on their own. Why on earth would I spend extra cash so a child could sit on their backside dumbing themselves down texting all day? One child tried to claim it was a form of freedom. They can't spend hours on end yacking on my phone so if I get them a cell they get freedom. I suggested joining the sevice and shedding blood for their freedom like myself and many others. They desided life wasn't that bad without it. Now that they all work and spend way too much on a phone so they can get their text messages they all understand. To be honest I just do not see the reason I need to be able to be contacted at all times day or night and as an adult with a job and a mortgage if I don't need that kind of access why does a bloomin child.

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#8
September 23, 2010 at 20:26:54
re: Why on earth would I spend extra cash so a child could sit on their backside dumbing themselves down texting all day?

Great question.

Next time I get a chance I'll text both my National Honor Society/International Baccalaureate High School Senior and my 3.85 GPA college sophomore and ask them. It'll be just one of the many thousands of texts they'll get this month.

Did you ever consider that it's not the phone that's dumbing them down?


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#9
September 26, 2010 at 02:24:58
Yes I did but why should I help and pay for it to boot. Sounds to me like your kids have plans other than responding to their next text. I haven't seen much of that out of many teens. Mine already have dvd players and video games to use as excuses as to why we live in Florida and they appear to have never gotten any sun they don't need another excuse. If the kid goes off to college then yeah I would be happy to set them up a plan. They won't be home for me to be in touch with and they may need their mommy and maybe even me too now and again.

One more question? Would it kill them to use a pay phone? They were alright for me growing up and I had to walk several miles most times to be able to use one. I understand the needs for a cell phone but these needs are not what I see them used for by many that have them. I guess I was just brought up hearing " If Johnny jumped off a bridge would you jump too". Just because one kid on the school bus has some cool new phone that he can browse the internet with on the way home from shool and send and recieve texts to and from the kid three seats behind him with is not a good reason for me to lay out cash for my kids to be able to do the same thing. Not to mention the fact that I have been on the scene to watch paramedics pull some kids body out of a crashed car because he was texting while driving. I'll give ya 500 to 1 odds that text was not about anything important even to the kid that ended up dead! Yeah I still believe that cell phones are dumbing them down. Sure there are always those people that pay attention to what is going on and have decent priorities those like your kids appear but they are a small percentage. I have another example. My youngest daughters last year in high school she had a friend that was on the deans list. Very brite girl. She got a scholarship to Penn State through academics. Just a few months before graduation mommy bought her a cell phone. Two weeks later she fell down the stairs while reading a text about how stupid some teacher was. My daughter sent it to her. She broke her leg. So yeah I stand by the thought that they are dumbing them down.


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#10
September 26, 2010 at 05:47:39
I'll try this one more time: It's not the phone.

A phone can't make anyone dumber. If a person is making dumb mistakes when using a phone, then you need to work on the root cause - the person.

If a person has an auto accident due to cell phone use, why don't they arrest the phone? Why don't they arrest the car?

If a person falls down the stairs because they were texting, why don't you blame the other inanimate object involved - the stairs?

In each of these cases the person involved made a conscious choice to do two things at once. The phone didn't make them dumb enough to text any more then the car or stairs did.

Heck, you said it yourself:

Sure there are always those people that pay attention to what is going on and have decent priorities those like your kids appear but they are a small percentage.

Are these people somehow less susceptible to the magic "dumbing powers" of the phone? Of course not. It's just like you said: They pay attention to what is going on and have decent priorities.

If a parent doesn't want to spend the money on phones for their kids because they don't think they need them, that's understandable, but they shouldn't blame the phone for the dumb things people do with them.

Bottom line: It's not the phone.


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#11
September 26, 2010 at 08:12:33
I thought I might shed a little light on the subject of data usage with Verizon's smart phones. I have had a titanium Voyager since March of 2009. I enjoyed using the internet so much on this phone, that I also purchased a Hp netbook (from Verizon) with a 2-year service contract in May of 2009.

As far as I know, Verizon was the very first major carrier to offer a netbook computer with wireless service in the USA. I checked with Sprint and AT&T back in May 2009....and they did not have netbooks available. But, they did have plug-in modems for laptops. The cost was exactly the same per month for 5 Gigi byte of data usage...which is what I have on my netbook through Verizon.

My Voyager phone is on a 4-phone "premium plan" with unlimited text, photo text and video text. For an extra $15 per month...I have unlimited internet usage. After getting my netbook...I don't use the phone for internet access like I did before the netbook....but, still keep the unlimited usage. (The Voyager total cost is around $50/mo).

Just last month I was checking out En-v touch by LG at my local Verizon store. It is nearly the exact same phone my LG titanium Voyager is. Except it has a better camera (3.2 pixel with flash...compared to my 2 pixel w/o flash). By the way, I took pictures of a fantastic light show at a concert with my phone when most phones couldn't. The powerful lights screwed up the cameras & phones of all the people around me.

I prefer the keyboard over a touch screen on any phone. Luckily the En-v Touch & Voyager have an outer touch screen and a full size inner screen. When opened...both phones look identical and remind me of a baby computer...that you can hold in your hand...lol. (Both have a full html browser also). Both phones also have stereo speakers when opened...and I talk on speaker phone 95% of the time.

I was informed that I would have to pay $29.99 per month, if I wanted to keep unlimited internet on a new phone. But, for the 25 mb of data usage...my cost would be only $9.99 per month. So, I can save $5 a month...and get a new phone March 2011, if I choose to do so. I spoke with a CSR (at store) and he claimed 25 mb is approximately 250 pages of data. He also stated I probably will never exceed that in a month. But each additional 1 mb would be only 20 cents if I should go over. ...and you can switch back & forth on internet usage amounts anytime. By the way I got a live wireless CSR when I went on site to confirm the preceding facts. They communicated with me via live chat as I was searching the site...lol.

I know I may be sounding like a Verizon "fanboy" but I am not. I don't agree with everything that Verizon does (or charges you for). However, I mostly use my phone and netbook in PA. But travel to OH, WV & NY frequently. AT&T and Sprint cannot touch the wireless service that Verizon provides...anywhere I travel in these 4 states. Walmarts cheap phones are just that...cheap. My buddies daughter is on her fourth Walmart phone in 2 months. The second 2 are more expensive models than her first 2 phones...and she is already complaining about her fourth phone screwing up...lol. Bottom line...get wireless service from the best coverage provider in your area...and live with the costs and fails of that company.


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#12
September 26, 2010 at 16:30:08
Derby I understand it is not the phone. The phone is the excuse. My point is that I don't believe many people can make good choices when it comes to things like this. To me a phone with unlimited texting is an excuse to be a vegetable with really large limber thumbs. Heck when I was a kid only the very wealthy had a cordless phone not to mention a mobile phone. There was no excuse for sitting on our butts twittling our thumbs. For interaction I went outside and visited with friends face to face. Played baseball or football in the front yard. This is what I mean by dumbing down. These phones are an excuse to not do these sort of things and I personally feel something is being lost here. How cany your best friend in the entire world be someone you may spend 50 minutes with once a day five days in a row in the same class in school when the only other interaction you have with that person is texting? I live in a neighborhood that has many kids that I rarely see because they have cell phones. There are very few kids out in the summer playing ball or just talking. To me this is dumbing down. Yeah the phone did not do it. The phone was an excuse to do it.

@ Mr. Tard. Bring your verizon products to Florida. You'll cuss them just like we do. Their service sucks here. I know in other states they are great but not here.


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#13
September 26, 2010 at 18:37:55
Well, at least you've moved away from the "phone is dumbing them down" (which you clearly stated at least 3 times in this thread) and have come closer to acknowledging the root cause.

Now, as to some of your other statements, all I can say is that it must be saddening to live in a world such as you describe. Teenage vegetables with huge thumbs, Vitamin D deficient because they never go outside, no social skills because they never talk to anyone face to face.

My world is different. Remember those daughters I mentioned? One of them has Varsity letters in Softball, Track and Cross Country. The other played soccer for years and currently plays in an Ultimate Frisbee league. My son not only plays Ultimate, but also coaches Ultimate in a town youth league and just started an Ultimate club at the High School he graduated from.

But this isn't about them, per se. It's about the fact that they participate in team sports and I'd be willing to bet your annual cell phone bill that the vast, vast majority of the thousands of teenagers and young adults that participate in these leagues have unlimited texting plans.

And you know what? The coaches do too. I've coached Softball for many years and you have no idea how much easier our job is now that 99.99% the girls have cell phones and texting plans. No more phone trees, no more "I missed the game because Mom got lost". No more staring towards the parking lot wondering if my starting 2nd baseman is going to show up. I can tell 14 girls that the game is rained-out in about 10 seconds. If they're going to be late, they text me.

You see, there is a world where millions of teenagers and young adults from communities all over the planet can both text and "play baseball or football in the front yard". They "visit with friends face to face". They organize fund raisers so their teams can travel to tournaments. They build floats for Homecoming parades.

Dare I say it? - They socialize.

re: "I live in a neighborhood that has many kids that I rarely see because they have cell phones. "

And you know this, how?

Are the local soccer fields all empty? Is the High School football field dark on Friday nights? No Little League games because the kids are all home texting each other?

What a shame. You should move.


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#14
September 28, 2010 at 16:10:57
I would love to but I get no cell reception where I would like to move and that would suck.
The highschool games I played in and later attended after school are down in attendance. I don't have any numbers but in the late eighties it would take us at leats 30 minutes to get out of the game because of a full lot. Now we just pull right out. The seats we sit in we can now lay in. There is a soccer field about a mile from me. Soccer just isn't my thing but the first year it opened about 6 years ago it was booming. Now the newness has worn off to the point they have removed the concession stands. I have heard they have cut back on the number of teams but like I said it's not my cup of tea so that may just be hear say. Little league? There used to be 3 different fields within 5 miles of me now there is one that I never see a crowd at. How do I know this? I like to sit on my porch. In the evening these kids come out and walk back and forth in front of their own homes with their phones.

I have no doubt that millions have these phones and these plans and still function I also have no doubt that millions don't. I know I have not expressed my point properly. It seems to me these things are being displayed as something so great and I just don't see it. Yes I do see some needs for them. Yes many can use them with a little common sence. No they will not keep your nobel prize winner from knowing how to tie their own shoes nor will it make your ditch digger come up with a cure for cancer. I agree the problem is the user. I am just the type of person that if you have an excuse I am all for removing that excuse. Go ahead and get philosophical and explain how everything around us is an excuse. It won't do you any good. Be proud of your kids it sounds like you have done a great job with them and they sound like they will do the same in the future. For us however on this subject we will always disagree.


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