Sunday, January 28, 2007

Who Has Cricket?

I need advice and feedback from my readers.

I recently had to cut off cell phone service for my daughter, young Galadriel Tanqueray Onassis, after she ran up a bill of over $500.00. I gave her a verbal warning when she "only" doubled our bill a few months ago. This was over the top. Mostly text messaging.

I'm looking for economically sustainable alternatives. Most of her friends are on T-Mobile, so that is a possibility.

I like the idea behind Cricket. $45.00 a month and everything is unlimited. But it sounds too good to be true, and you know what "they" say. I know they have a limited footprint. Galadriel lives in Ray County and the official Cricket footprint doesn't extend that far. Yet I have anecdotal evidence of people using Cricket phones from Richmond. I also wonder about their roaming policy/pricing.

So I am mainly interested in real life Cricket experiences, good and bad. But I am also interested in any recommendations on how I can give her voice and text access without dipping so deeply into my discretionary spending budget.

Help me out. Please?


travelingal said...

First, your daughter should pay back the difference between what you would have expected her to spend and the $500. Clean your house, wash your car, whatever. Teach her the value of a dollar. Then, when that is cleared up, sit with her and go over the options WHICH ARE AFFORDABLE and give her the options which SHE will be responsible for.

In my humble opinion, and having raised a daughter and made lots of mistakes, it's more important to teach her the value of what she's given than it is to teach her how great one gadget is over another.

And, as an aside not to do exactly with this post, a wise man once told me to teach your children how to avoid making the life-changing mistakes in life .. such as what happens when you wreck your credit.. the little stuff will take care of itself.

Xavier Onassis said...

travel - That is good advice. I know it's good advice because it is the same advice that all my other friends and loved ones are giving me.

My problem is, I don't know how to suddenly switch gears from pretty much spoiling her for the last 12 years to all of a sudden turning her into an endentured slave working off my debt. How do I switch those gears without being percieved by my daughter (and my ex) as a petty, greedy, asshole?

Janet said...

slowly, and with warning.

Have you sat down with your ex and discussed how she handles money with her? You might want to present a united front on this one, it will be a lot easier. Sit her down together and tell her how things are going to work in the future. You may have to let this one slide.

I know that cingular has plans with high amounts, maybe even unlimited txt messaging. I get 200 for $5. and it's not counted in your minutes.

emawkc said...

If you're interested, I might know someone who can get you this deal. Let me know.

Sprint Employee Referral Plan

Faith said...

I'm a Sprint customer, and as soon as I started dating the fiance oh so many months ago, I learned the value of having a good texting plan. I pay about $50/mo for 300 anytime minutes, unlimited afterhours (after 7 p.m.) and weekend minutes, and unlimited texting. Works pretty well for me. But I'm a grown up and have control over my usage.

p.s. My dad put limits on what I could and could not have when growing up, and I've never seen him as being a petty, greedy asshole, even though he's a millionaire and can afford to give me anything I ask for. I know it's probably different with exes involved, and all, but I'm with travelingal. The more you spoil them, the worse off they are. I wouldn't hesitate to put the smack down on this sort of manipulation ASAP. (I'm sure she's adorable, and very smart, and really loveable. They can manipulate the best, in my familial experience!)

Keith Sader said...

Is a nunnery out of the question? ;-)

Xavier Onassis said...

Janet - I don't talk to my ex anymore. But I do know that she and her new husband don't spoil my daughter. My ex is a teacher's assistant with the school district and makes next to nothing. Her husband earns his living cleaning other people's piss off of toilet seats on the graveyard shift at a post office.

I am the only parent in this dysfunctional scenario with the means to spoil anyone.

faith - "I'm sure she's adorable, and very smart, and really loveable. They can manipulate the best, in my familial experience!" You ain't lyin'.

keith - sometimes, "nunnery" means brothel.

So yes, I certainly hope it's out of the question. LOL!

hip critic said...

T-Mobile is great. I have a flexible plan which includes 5 cell phones, 3000 anytime shared minutes, free nights and weekends, and all T-Mobile to T-Mobile is free. Price: 129.00 monthly. Xavier, all the useless knowledge you possess and you didn't know this? Sprint. Phooey. US Cellular. Phooey. Nextel. Phooey. T-Mobile's the shizzle. Its great for me because everyone I know has T-Mobile. Even some Sprint employees. Hee hee.

Faith said...

See, my twin has one of those t-mobile thingies, and it never fails that when I really want to talk to her the most, she's "out of area" or some shit. Frustrating! I've tried talking her into switching, but she'll have none of it. I personally like that my Sprint phone works just about everywhere. (There's this one spot on Lamar at about 91st St where it inevitably drops least it used to. It always happened right when I was passing this church that's there on the corner, and it was always when I was on the phone with the Twin on the way home from my old job, and I'd always warn her, "Hey, I'm coming up on the evil church, so if I lose you, you know why...") Anyway, I've been happy with Sprint for over 7 years works pretty well for me, anyway.

And yeah, I knew you'd understand that manipulation thing, XO. Smack down time! Yeehaw!!

Spill the Beans said...

You got reviewed.

I think someone loves you.

Aliecat said...

Considering I didn't get a cell until I was 25 and could pay the bill myself, I don't think making her work off the difference is such a bad idea. And if she thinks you're being unreasonable, well, so what, you're the dad. That's what dad's do. Plus, she'll get over it, trust me. Another thing that hasn't been suggested is a pre-pay option. I heard it's a bad deal, but it would be worth looking into.

travelingal said...

Strike a compromise. Get her an inexpensive cell phone with a reasonable plan, no text messaging. Tell her if she acts responsibly, you will upgrade her to a phone with text messaging in 6 months or so. If she does not, she will be given disposable phones for emergency purposes only.

I didn't realize she was only 12. I wouldn't be too hard on her for her past bills, cause kids that age just don't understand money, but if you don't begin to teach her now, you'll really be paying when she's a couple of years older.

Xavier Onassis said...

travel - that's good advice. Don't think I haven't been tempted to humiliate her with one of those phones with just three buttons...Call Mom, Call Dad, Call 911. That's it. No text messaging, no IM, nothing.

Right now she has nothing.

She has to use her mother's minutes and her mother is stingy.

I'm paying a BASIC fee of $140.00 a month for a Family Plan that is 90% her, 10% me.

That's without overages.

If I could get her a Cricket-like, flat fee, $45.00 a month deal, I could throttle my plan back to a minimal $35.00 a month contract.

That's a savings of $60.00 a month.

Joshua Xalpharis said...

I use T-Mobile as well. Hasn't let me down yet.

My brother in Pittsburgh has Cricket, and he can't use it outside of the city. Makes it impossible to call him when he is traveling here (Northwest Ohio).

I don't trust limited footprint carriers. Do any of the carriers even charge for roaming anymore?