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Plan Is Good Phone Logistics Is Confusing

Reviewing: Alltel Family National Freedom Plan  |  Rating:
Joan Young By Joan Young on
Badge: Editor | Level: 34 | Mobile Expertise:

We have switched to this plan which keeps our home phone number but puts all our numbers on cell phones. It seems to be economical but I don’t care for keeping track of the phones.

We recently chose to go with the Alltel Family National Freedom phone plan, and put both our cell phones and our home phone together on one plan. Here’s how it works. We were able to keep our home phone number that we have had forever, and transfer it to a cell phone. Both hubby and I had a cell phone on a pay-as-you-go plan. Both of those numbers stayed the same, but they were added to the plan. So we now have 3 cell phones.

There are various levels of this plan that you can choose from. We chose the $59.99 one with 10 “My Circle” numbers, 900 “free” minutes a month, and up to 4 extra phones at $9.99 each. So for three phones, if we don’t go over the 900 minutes on calls to numbers other than the 10 “My Circle” ones or other Alltel/Verizon customers, we pay $79.97 a month. If you go over the 900 minutes, you pay 40 cents a minute!

For all but the cheapest of these plans you don’t pay for calls to or from other Alltel/Verizon customers (apparently the “mobile-to-mobile”).. So those don’t count as part of your 900 minutes. Nights and weekends don’t count as part of your 900 minutes.

The coverage is very good. There are only a few spots anywhere in the US where roaming charges would apply. Of course, I tend to go places where you can’t get cell service at all, but that was true with any plan.

It has the following features that I don’t care about except for the voice mail, but others probably do. Basic voice mail, caller ID, 3-way calling, no answer transfer, call forwarding, call waiting, and text messaging on a pay per use basis.

You can change the My Circle numbers on line any time you want.

We were previously paying about $100 a month (it varied) for home service with AT&T, plus hubby used his cell phone quite a bit– about $20 a month worth. I used mine very little. The months that I forgot to make a call at all cost me $2, so let’s say that we were previously paying $122 a month for all the phones. So we are now saving $43 a month. Hubby is very happy. Me, not so much.

I use the old home number for my business. Previously, with extensions several places in the house I could hear the phone ring wherever I was. Now I have to carry a stupid cell phone around with me all the time. Hubby has an early morning paper route. He has to make a phone call around 3 am every day. So the phone has to be put at his desk when I go to bed, and he has to put it in the bedroom before he goes to work so that I can hear it if it rings in the morning (I’m not an early riser).

We have to remember to charge the phone every day. I simply hate being forced to remember to feed and care for a piece of technology that I don’t like anyway. With my personal cell phone I pretty much only use it when I’m traveling. I guess I’m willing to be a bit more diligent then, but just hate remembering to deal with it at home.

I have avoided giving out my cell phone number because I don’t want to be that available to people. Now I have the dilemma of carrying around the home cell phone that is larger than mine, or give people my cell phone number because that phone is smaller and easier to carry. I know that’s a fault of the phone and not the plan, but it’s just one of the consequences of the whole system.

The truth is that I hate using the phone and I really hate paying attention to where the cell is all the time. I hate wondering about chewing through those 900 minutes whenever I get put on hold. I hate having every single call I make be the terrible reception one gets with a cell phone. But the plan is saving us money.

I think it’s a great plan, but I hate it.