Here's the link to Jitterbug phones, if you're not familiar with them. These are such a great idea, especially if you're buying for a senior !
Here is a link that might be useful: Jitterbug phones
I have an LG chocolate phone that I am ready to trade in for a Jitterbug. I just don't need all that stuff in my phone.
Hope this doesn't offend anyone, I'm not a stockholder or selling anything, but Verizon will let you trade your phone in if you don't like it. I now have a very simple to operate LG phone, no camera, no GPS, no music. Just a good reliable phone I can use easily. I like Verizon service.
We have decided to get a cell phone or two, and I have been pondering getting the Jitterbug for my daughter.
I sort of want a camera and an address book on my cell phone (I'm tempted, actually, toleap from "absolutely no phone, no PDA" to a "cell phone w/ absolutely everything, camera, Internet, etc., maybe even Excel & Word."
But I can't justify the expense, really.
We just need for the two family members who move around the most, to be able to call while they're on the road. Payphones aren't working well, plus we can't reach them.
I have Verizon. Verizon will let you trade in your phone - in exchange for extending the contract, or after two years of owning that phone.
Talley Sue NYC - your daughter probably doesn't need a Jitterbug - children and young adults seem to be able to pick up technology far faster than (ahem) mature people. Give her a week and she will be teaching you how to use your equipment - LOL!
Exactly, my two teen daughters have a Blackberry and an LG Chocolate. They seem to use all the features, texting, camera, GPS, etc.
Jitterbug sounds like a great idea. I wish there were greater use of appropriate technology, just the buttons you need and no more.
To save money, my senior relatives are relying on pay-as-you go plans. You buy a phone for as little as $30 (often this price includes money for initial minutes). You pay ahead for phone service that can be as low cost as 10 cents a day (ca $3 a month) plus 10 cents a minute, for minutes that do not expire. Twenty minutes of phone time a month brings the total cost to $5.
With a quick sit down talk they have all learned the important phone buttons, and the buttons to ignore. (Use White out, a permanent marker, or printed labels to help with using the phone).
I looked at Jitterbug, but it seems rather expensive for what you get. I used to use Oxygen prepaid cellular service from Ecallplus, and paid $.14 a minute with no daily access fee. I guess the phone would be good for seniors, though I would think you could find another phone with big buttons and an adjustable screen display (so you could increase the font size).
Tally Sue, go for the good phone! I use Microsoft Word on my cell phone/PDA all the time, though I thought I wouldn't be able to do it. And it's great to have your calendar, phonebook, and to do list with you all the time.
I considered a Jitterbug also, but when I started comparing phones, I found the pay-as-you-go phones offered the best deal. You don't get much with Jitterbug. I haven't committed yet, but T-Mobile seems to have the best deal.
You know, I never said Jitterbug had the best deal. My point is that for phone challenged seniors, of which my mother and MIL are, it's a good alternative. No one has any idea how many phone calls we've received trying to answer cell phone questions for our technically challenged parents. Someone once told me there's elegance in simplicity, and these phones are Very Simple. Maybe not the best deal, but a usable solution to a frustrating problem. My mother has free minutes she never uses because her phone is too complicated for her. We wanted our parents to be able to use their phones without frustration, as they had a habit of passing that on to us!
Claire de Luna, I'm glad you mentioned Jitterbug phones. And I totally agree that any extra cost can be well worth it for the simplicity.
We just gave one parent an old-style corded landline phone, so he could just pick up the handset and say Hello. The single button to press on the cordless phone was too much for him to deal with when the dang thing was ringing at him.
I wish the Jitterbug (or similar big button) phone came with lower cost plans. Other seniors in my life are cutting back on things as basic as garbage service (sure Auntie, we can take a bag home with us) and I wanted to mention the lower cost plans.
I'm going to look into Jitterbug for my 91 y/o mother, when her T-Mobile contract is up in a few months. They have a very simple, basic phone and I set up speed dial for them. But they still have problems. Depending upon the price, this may be the way to go.
I hadn't thought of the "pay as you go" plans--DH and I need to look into those. We really don't want to make lots of phone calls, I don't think.
And I'm considering being the one person in the family w/o a phone (I'm seldom "roaming," and on those times when I do, I can borrow someone else's, or I'll have someone else w/ me).
So I've thought of buying an iPod Touch; but I'm not sure how using Word would be.
Or another PDA sort of thing, but I want the WiFi access.
We had pay as you go phones for a few years. My 2 daughters wanted them, and it seemed like a good idea, since I was picking them up from sports and school and other places.
We got 3 phones - DH & I share one. I wasn't sure DH & I would use one much as we work together out of the home. We found that they were really helpful to have in unexpected ways. When picking DDs up from events, I could call when I got there and we could find each other rather than me sitting in the parking lot getting angry waiting for them. Also if we were at an event or skiing or at a theme park or whereever, we could meet up much more easily. On trips, we could call from on the road for directions. Showing apartments, DH could get calls from people who were going to be late (when he actually brought & turned on the phone), sometimes saving half hour trips and miscommunication. It was also good to have the phone when the power went out and in places where there is no landline phone (we are outside a lot). Also I didn't have to worry about rushing home for the kids since they could reach me when they needed a ride or to tell me they DIDN'T need a ride. They are great when travelling so we didn't have to use pay phones. They are also good when the kids got older & were driving and I wanted to check up on them. DH has even used his for scheduled meetings when we were on vacations, that would otherwise have had to be shortened to get home for said meeting.
I got Virgin Mobile phones, and we had to get a $20 phone card every 3 months (at least). This was affordable for all of us. I had my kids pay for their own usage (most of the time). This taught them to be aware of the cost of usage & texting.
When my older daughter started college out of state we decided to go with a regular family plan that has free texting and free calling on the same network, which works great. I was able to see what we had actually been using with the pay as you go plan online to see if it was worth getting the plan for all of us. I know I hear more from my DD in college now through text messages than if I had to wait for a weekly call (like the ones I made to my parents when I was in college). She'll just send a quick note or a picture. We use it more than I thought we would.
I have a pay as you go from AT&T. Don't use the phone much and it works for me. I have to pay $25 every 3 months and most of the time I still have $10 worth of minutes left. My kids also have them and they pay for theirs. I do have a texting DD that I wouldn't want to be on a plan with her. 1,000 isn't enough she needs the unlimited.
Regarding iPod Touch, an alternative is a Nokia N800 or N810 (has a real keyboard.) Although the Nokia doesn't have the hip factor the iPods do, it not only has WiFi, but Bluetooth, as well. That means I can "tether" it to my cell phone & use my minutes (I don't need a data plan) to send/receive email or net surf, when I'm not near free WiFi.
Although I think everyone should have to take & pass a "cell phone etiquette" class before receiving their phone, I agree with rjvt that once you have one, you end up using it more than you think you would. I've used mine when shopping for furniture while my husband was working. I'd take a photo with the phone & email it to him to see if he liked something or not. I have our home phone forwarded to my cell & so you never have to worry about missing calls or have to stay at home because you're waiting for someone to call you on your landline. I also love the forwarding when we're out of town - you don't have to call your answering machine every so often just to see if you got any calls.