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Thread: Does here anyone actually burn through their minutes bucket?

  1. #1
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    Does here anyone actually burn through their minutes bucket?

    Most on here have massive minutes buckets. I just checked mine, about 1800. It always hovers around the 2000 tally.

    It's so comical to think back to 2010 when I got my first Tracfone. I kept my landline, fearful that using a cell phone would be too expensive. I'd also chastise people for calling my cell rather than the landline.

    Almost the same "fear" with the data bucket. I went on a long trip recently and for the first time left data on (for streaming music and the map app). I checked the usage and it was barely anything of consequence.

    But anyway, does anyone actually buy minutes as a separate purchase? I'm trying to figure out why anyone would especially with GV which pretty much everyone here has. Yes, everyone's situation is different, I get that, but I can never chock through all my minutes.

  2. #2
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    I only use about 100/50/50 each month, so it would take 4 years to burn through my current balance. My wife uses her phone for her small business and was using about 250/100/0 each month. However, since the pandemic started, her sister got couped up at home and called her a lot to chit chat. They also texted hi-res pictures of their home gardens, friends, etc. We try to limit in-person contact, so her customers also are using more texts with pictures to describe what they want to do. Her phone usage jumped up to 500/500/3GB each month. Her balance was 8000/10000/12GB a year ago but it's going down fast. I’ve had to use reward points to add more units to her phone.

  3. #3
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    I had to switch my sister in law to the unlimited plan, so yes.

  4. #4
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    When my husband was in the hospital I had to switch to the unlimited plan as I frequently had calls with the doctors regarding his progress due to COVID recovery so the $20 plan was the best for me. To answer the OP question, yes I remember burning through minutes quickly. If you are a light user maybe the $15 will work for you but if you talk a lot $5 more will get rid of the minutes thing.

  5. #5
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    I continue to use more talk than text or data. Although my text and data usage has increased over the years. There haven`t been enough savings to buy only minutes, that do not come with days.

  6. #6
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    My aunt is on a $20 unlimited TracFone plan, she talks a lot on the phone and always has - and no longer has a landline as of 8 or 9 years ago. $30+/mo wasn't worth it for a line which didn't even include long distance. I did set her up on a $3/mo backup phone in case her phone ever doesn't work or is lost/dead, which has happened a couple of times over the years.

    For my own TracFones, no, I've only been refilling text and data. My family plan on T-Mobile is unlimited everything but I use my TracFone as an extra # and while traveling. With Covid, I have not traveled and don't plan to but I've kept a line with TracFone since the late 90's and will for the foreseeable future. For a couple years it was my only cell phone.. you talk fast and sparingly when you're paying 50 cents a minute! No caller ID back then, but no spam calls either.
    Castrol EDGE 0W-20 is my drug of choice.

    Primary: iPhone 12 Pro eSIM; Pixel 2 XL
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  7. #7
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    My main phone has about 5000 talk/4000 texts/13gb. I mostly just use data, but only 100-200 mb per month. My service days are out to 2039. I could probably go without adding anything for a few years.

    At home we have a Google Voice number and an Obi200 box for free calls over the internet. We use this for our longer phone calls.

  8. #8
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    My basic answer to the question is that never in using Tracfone for 20 years have I bought service for minutes, text, or data MB. I have only bought for service time and a little bit of the service units that come with it.

    My main purpose in having cell service is so that I can do calls, texts, and data when I am away from home. Data use is rare. Overall, I use about 100 units each of talk, text, data MB a year.

    I do use my cellphone a lot on Wifi like a micro tablet.

    I do use 30-60 minutes a day on my home landline type service. I get that with Google Voice through an Obi or Wifi on the cellphone for free. If I needed to do this much calling with paid cell service, I would need to use something other than Tracfone. The units are too expensive.

  9. #9
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    I don't buy airtime cards anymore, so do add some talk time on occasion. Additional talk time is very cheap at $0.02 a minute. In the days of buying airtime cards I would always run out of minutes before the service end, so accumulated a lot of service time over the years. I also buy a bit of data, as I use it for some apps. My state does not charge sales tax for telephony, so it is cheap overall.

  10. #10
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    Our cellular usage here is very low. Data is what is consumed very very very fast when I use it. All I have to do is give or receive a couple of emails, view one or two or three web pages for three or four minutes and suddenly, 15 to 20 MB of data was used. Sign on to any available wi-fi as "guest" whenever it is available!

  11. #11
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    I just noticed: This question is in the tracfone/net10 section. What I said in post #10 was not experience in those service providers.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by joseg2016 View Post
    Our cellular usage here is very low. Data is what is consumed very very very fast when I use it. All I have to do is give or receive a couple of emails, view one or two or three web pages for three or four minutes and suddenly, 15 to 20 MB of data was used. Sign on to any available wi-fi as "guest" whenever it is available!
    Best to use a VPN if at all possible when on public WiFi. I usually make my own hotspot if possible while traveling or if I need it for another device. If I can't, VPN it is!

  13. #13
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    One thing about the data for me is that I really don't use it except maybe when I use the phone on the go to use Apple Pay or maybe retrieve my order from a place I pickup food from. When I had to do Facetime on my phone it was maybe 400mb of data for a 45 minute session so that was a lot I consumed there. If you have Low Data or Data Saver on your phone its a godsend to conserve data

  14. #14
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    I always had TMobile to fall back on when I had a old TracFone line. I mostly used my TracFone line to test ATT service. I ended up in a hospital a few years back. My sister that was on my line ended up porting her and my parents lines to Family Mobile. So I had a enormous bill with TMobile and left on bad terms. So TracFone became main line. I bought data and days mostly. I also tested alot of other mvnos too. I ended up getting Xfinity mobile because it was very cheap at the time. I even ended up porting my TracFone number to it which was a big mistake.


    Sent from my iPhone using HoFo

  15. #15
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    A cellphone is necessary in my job. So, yes, I've had periods when I had to add minutes, or texts-- and sometimes on a weekly basis. (In the earlier days, I'm not sure there were really minutes-only add-ons, so buying a refill before the service days ran out was the way.)

    I moved away from Tracfone as my everyday phone for precisely this reason, although I've always kept a Tracfone Verizon line for areas where my primary (non-verizon) line doesn't work. My wife doesn't need to use her phone for work stuff, and we don't have to add minutes.
    My Tello referral code is P3BSR5HV, and gets both of us 10 Tello Dollars to pay for a plan.
    https://tello.com/account/register?_referral=P3BSR5HV

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