IT SEEMS LIKE THE CHEAPEST DEAL AROUND FOR US
My husband just wants a phone to keep in touch with me if needed, maybe few minutes a day if that. He does not care about the texting or ring tones or games, we just need a basic affordable communication tool.
After searching the net it came to a decision between Tracfone or Virgin Mobile. We had prepaid Tracfone before and I found it very complicated to activate or add airtime. Virgin Mobile gave us a free phone with 20 minutes airtime activation so I decided to go for it.
This free Nokia Shorty phone deal was on their website. I was little confused about if I had to buy the airtime to get the phone free or how this promotion actually works because the purchase option just tells you that you are paying $20 for your phone.
POSITIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE CALL!
I called to customer service to verify how I’ll get my free phone with airtime. I actually got through the option fairly quickly and in about two minutes was talking to a representative who was a young woman speaking clear English. She told me I will get my free airtime if I activate my phone in 30 days. The music on their menu and waiting options on a phone is very upbeat and this service is customized for younger users.
NOT THE FASTEST DELIVERY
I ordered the phone through the website in Sunday afternoon. The credit card ordering was very easy and uncomplicated and I got the e-mail verification. I also got an e-mail telling me when the phone shipped out.
I choose the basic fed-ex land shipping option, it was the free ship they offered with the phone. Phone arrived week later in Monday afternoon to Pennsylvania. Granted there was huge snow storm so it might have delayed the delivery to my door.
WHAT IS IN THE BOX?
My Nokia Shorty phone with the battery and charger and instruction booklets are inside bulky solid plastic holder. I understand that these hard to open plastic packages are must to avoid thieves stealing the phones from the stores. I still hate them! So hard to get into the box.
Of course I want to activate the phone ASAP. I opened the booklet which says Start Here Step-by-Step guide to activating your phone. Inside I’m browsing 7 pages about different plans I can choose for to meet my needs. The booklet does not say anything about how to install my battery so I open the Nokia Shorty User Guide to learn how to do it. Simple to do.
After reading about all these options to choose from and wondering how my free airtime will fit in I decide what sounds best for us. For $6.99 per month I can “Top-Up” time as I please and it will be dime a minute. I could also pay $29.99 for 150 anytime monthly minutes and 150 nights & weekends minutes. Only reason I do not take that option is that I do not use the phone in the evenings.
HOW TO ACTIVATE
I click on their website and choose the activate option. It asks me where I use the phone. Then what plan and how I pay for it. They also try to get you to choose automatic Top-Up option that way you never run out of time. I decide against it, I can add my own time. I don’t like any charges on my card I’m not 100% in charge off!
To register the phone I need to take the battery out and get the Serial Number. My first attempt I add the / sign like the number has. Not a valid number. They could tell you not to use it! After my number goes through I see the bars flashing on the screen and phone is “activating”.
Next page tells me my new phone number and my ID number. I’m asked to write them down. Previously I had to choose 6 numbers for my “V-code”. Now I have a problem.
PROGRAM YOUR PHONE
Before I can use my phone I have to program it. So I need to turn it on. I cannot! My phone is still charging and those bar codes are moving up and down. As I’m writing this my phone has been on a charger 65 minutes and I cannot turn it on.
I open my phone user guide and from the glossary I find the charging times. Travel Charger (ACP-12) up to 1hr 45 minutes, Standard Travel Charger (ACP-7) up to 3 hours 45 minutes. Guess which one I got with my free phone? Yep, this charger takes almost 4 hours to get my phone going!
I wish they would TELL you to charge your phone and how long it can take before you start all this activating process! I am irritated. So as of now I did print the directions from Virgin Mobile website how to program my phone when it finally is charged.
In the bottom of these instructions I’m advised that it might take a couple of hours to get you set up in their network, they’ll send you a text message to let you know when you can start talking..
In the end is a promise:
WE BET YOU’LL FIND US WORTH THE WAIT. ENJOY!
I shall see. I will update as soon as my phone comes alive and the network is working.
3 HOURS LATER..
Phone is charged and I must admit programming was a piece of cake! After typing my own number and MSID I was done. About 20 seconds later I received the text message telling me I’m in business. The airtime was added automatically. I did read from the manual that you can check your balance for free twice a day, after that it’ll cost you 2 cents! Good to know..
It seems like this was a smart buy after little hiccups on the activating. I’m hoping the service areas are decent, I know there is plenty dark spots with some other providers. I will return with more in about a week. I will also review my new Nokia Shorty phone soon after some more use. I did like the preloaded ring tone options and I will browse some of the other features as days go by. Did I mention that this phone does vibrate with ring tone if you do not change the option =)