Simple. I switched from a monthly plan to Speak Out. It drove home the fact that every single minute on the phone costs real money. My wife and I only use our cells for short calls - I'd say that 90% of them are less than two minutes and are used to schedule things with friends and each other.
When it comes time to gab on the phone, we use a VoIP landline - I've got a $20/month plan with Vonage that gives us 500 minutes of free long distance anywhere in North America.
I also try to use text messages when passing along addresses or phone numbers, especially since SMS is cheaper than voice and avoids having to hold a phone to your head.
My wife has always been reluctant to use mobile phones because of concerns about the health effects of RF, so she's a great influence on me - her calls are always short and to the point.
I'm glad I found this forum last year - it's saved me hundreds of dollars and dramatically changed the way I think about my phone (I laugh whenever I hear the phrase, "system access fee" and grin when people start raving about Kodoo's new "low prices).
Well we got the speakout wireless and did not activate voice mail, this saves airtime as no messages left and wait till we are near a landline to call the person back as they will show on the caller ID :).
I don''t like talking on cell phones and really don't know how people have whole hour long conversions on them walking down the street.
SO is great to limit the phone usage. We got it for emergencies and to contact one another when the baby is getting fussy 🙂
I vote for ksl427 - that's so funny!
I just bought my PCan 2630 and probably used a small chunk of airtime just testing features.
Like most others, only a few family members have the number (3) and I check messages using the landline. However, my purpose was to have an inexpensive cell for times when needed. For me it's a functional, not a social device. So if the contractor I've hired needs to contact me when I'm on the road he/she can. The phone is not used for chatting.
I am experimenting with text messaging for the first time and find it a great inexpensive tool. I think Yak Mobile would be helpful too for long distance.
I use Virgin Mobile, which has email-to-text feature, as well as free incoming text messages (!!!). Not only that -- I don't have a landline phone at home at all, just Skype Out (about $30 a year, allows unlimited calls to North America.)
How do I manage to pay $7.50 a month ($10 if you count Skype) for my telephony needs?
(1) My voicemail says "If you'd like to get a hold of me, text me or email my phone at firstname.lastname@example.org". Most people are reluctant to use text messages (because their wireless plans charge them extra for SMS, while giving them a lot of voice minutes). However, people who call me usually have handy access to email.
(2) My phone doesn't ring at all when people call, but it DOES ring whenever I receive a message. This means that most people who call me get the voicemail that tells them to text me, and then they text me!
Most of the time they'll leave their contact phone number in a text (as opposed to my voicemail, so never have to listen to it to get that important phone number). If the matter can wait an hour or so -- and it usually does -- I proceed to call them from Skype or my office phone.
If it can't wait at all -- almost never happens -- I fork out the airtime for the phone call. After all, I got my cell phone exactly for situations like those!
(3) When I want to chat, I do it from work or from Skype. When I want to communicate something on the go, I text. It's 5 cents for me.
I do, however, use cell phone voice service whenever I need to sync up meeting friends in crowded places. For instance, if I need to pick them out of a line to a concert. Conversations like "Are you there? Where are you? Do you see me? Okay, I see you!" never take more than one minute anyway -- and it's USELESS to ask someone to tell you where they are over SMS.
I have to say, Virgin for me can't be beat with its free incoming messages (omg, I have Google Calendar send me alerts to my phone for free! It's the swellest keenest thing, folks! =) ).
I'm entering this contest because I intend to purchase a Speak Out SIM card for my mom, who lives in the States and comes to visit me in Canada every once in a while. Last time she came, her US cell phone company billed her for $200 worth of roaming! (turned out they charged $1.20 per minute. Plus taxes. Ouch.) This way she can maintain a canadian number at only $25 a year, pay 20cents/minute and still use her american GSM phone, that has all the important phone numbers in it.
The contest is now closed! Thanks to everybody for participating and sharing their tips. The winner will be drawn shortly.
June 2 update: the winner, as chosen by an Excel random number picker, is locotri. The voucher number was received by locotri this morning. Congratulations and thanks to everybody for participating!