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Written By: Gary on September 20, 2009 No Comment

This new free add-on to AT&T Cell phones that starts today for sign-up. You’ll get to choose 5 numbers with unlimited to and from calling for individual plans $59.99 a month or higher. Family plans $89.99 a month or higher get to choose 10 numbers (shared between all users). It looks like this is Unity or Nation plans; see http://att.com/alist for more info (this link still gives you info, but the login seems to generate an error, so just login normally and click on manage your A-List).

That’s calling to any other company cell phones or land-lines!  It’s a free upgrade to those who qualify so it’s kind of a no-brainer to sign up.

alist-att.png

Five numbers for an individual plan. That’s huge! I’d guess 95% of my minutes go to the same five numbers; 75% percent probably go to just three numbers.

Only standard domestic landline or wireless numbers may be added. Directory assistance, 900 numbers, customer’s own wireless or Voice Mail access numbers, and machine to machine numbers are not eligible. Only voice calling is eligible.

– From the AT&T A-List “Feature Terms & Conditions”

Even if you have enough minutes, it’s silly to not sign up and get the free leftover minutes put into your rollover account. It might even be worth it to lower your plan if you have a much higher plan.

Here’s the thing though, if you have more than enough minutes, this really isn’t going to help much, you’re probably already on an appropriate plan. It’s really most helpful if you were already considering raising your minutes. If you were considering adding another phone (or two) to your plan, you might get away with doing it and not having to add more minutes. Or if you’ve considered ditching your land-line and just going cellular. Remember AT&T is doing this to be competitive and probably did the math for everyone’s most called numbers; it was probably this or lower prices and who wants to give up money these days…?

Please let me know in the comments how this plan might benefit you most. And remember to come back in a few months and let me know how this affects your bill, especially if you change your plan and save money because of it.

Written By: Gary on January 19, 2009 No Comment

So the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association) has asked people to only text during the inauguration and not overwhelm the cell services with photo images even though they are spending millions temporarily upgrading D.C. I’m not sure how they asked them, but that’s what the NY Times says.

Here’s the fun part! CNN has asked everyone to text them a photo of ‘the moment’. Then they plan to so a PhotoSynth which is to assemble all of the photos to show it from all different angles. The photo synth is a neat option to build a viewable multi-angle “photo” from all the images. If you’re on a PC you can see samples here (actually you can create your own if you have enough photos). Let’s see how that works out. (Found at the Skype Journal.

Here’s a good YouTube explanation of PhotoSynth.

Send your Obama Inauguration photos to CNN.

Follow up articles reporting: FOXnews, PCworld, MS-NBC, CNN, NPR. Sounds like it was spotty but many calls went through first time, but those were PR people from the companies so I’ll wait to see what the attending bloggers say…

Written By: Gary on August 7, 2008 No Comment

I thought this was hysterical. I think I saw it in the movie theatre once before…

Here’s the direct link to Cell Phone Karma at YouTube

Written By: Gary on September 9, 2005 No Comment

So I know all it seems like is that I’m talking about these days is phones, music, iPods and cable bills lately, but I’ve been really geeked about the new Apple “toys” and I always like reducing costs on recurring charges (like phones, cell phones and cable). Saving $10-15 a month each on your phone, cell and cable, while avoiding any overages could be $500 year. That’s not being cheap, it’s avoiding being wasteful. If you don’t care about saving money this’ll be a boring post so just skip it.


Speaking of reducing charges, I’ve also reduced my cell phone bill and maybe my savings can help you too. I’m with Sprint, whom I occasionally hear people complain about, but I think they’re great at home (Detroit Area) and when traveling I’ve almost always had great service (it was a weak in the Grand Canyon). I had a lot of minutes on my phone, I haven’t been using them all (not even a third) but I’d rather have a cushion and not go over than the pay the huge overages (100 minutes over at 40 cents a minute is $40!). But they’ve had this fair and flexible plan which if you go over they charge by blocks of minutes at a much more reasonable rate. I looked at them before and they didn’t strike me as great, but I just looked again and it seemed a better deal (I don’t know if it changed or I just wasn’t paying attention). I lowered my plan by 400 minutes so I’m saving $15 a month and it’s $5 increments for 100 minute blocks if you go over (a lot cheaper) after that. So unless I go over 300 hundred minutes I’ll be paying the same price but at the rate I’ve been going, I’ll definitely be saving money. YMMV with other phone companies…

I also just made the leap to ditch my POTS land line, so I really wanted to make sure I’m not going to get nailed for overages. At $40+ a month with taxes, that with my other savings is another month’s mortgage payment. FYI, if you can make an extra mortgage payment a year it shaves about 7 years off your total mortgage.

With Sprint, changing your plan means generally (99% of the time, especially if lowering your plan) means redoing a 2 year contract. I had 6 months left so I really only ended up tacking on 18 more months. Plus, they gave me $150 to spend towards a new phone if I want it since I renewed the contract (for my mother’s line they only offered me $75 towards a new phone).

They also offer 6 o’clock nights so if you do a lot of you calling starting then you can add that to save some minutes (if you have a 9pm nights plan it’s $5 for 7pm and $10 for 6pm to start unlimited calling). If you’ve been with them for a bit you can usually get them to waive the 7pm fee. A little haggling and you can get them to wave the $5 for mobile to mobile free calling and if you really have been with them for a while you can get a 5% courtesy discount, I know there are people with better plans than that, but I haven’t been able to do better. To get any of the “discounts” like these you have to ask several times and sometimes re-word it before they give you some of the options. I haven’t been able to get them to give me the 6pm nights for even $5, they want to throw away my $5 discount and charge me the whole $10, we’ll see how the plan works with the new stuff.

They’ve also lowered altered the Vision data plans, it looks like if you don’t have a camera (or video-player) in your phone you can get the $10 plan ($5 for additional phones) instead of the $15 plan.

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