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How to Buy a Pre-Paid Cell Phone



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   Pre-Paid Cell Phones

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How to buy a prepaid phone

Getting started with a Pre-paid cell phone

- a real world step by step experience
- How I did it (Oct. 15, 2009)

Cell Phone Wireless hand-held

SUMMARY of what you need to do:

• Buy a kit at a retail store like Wal-Mart, Walgreens etc. The kit includes the phone, SIM card and other things you need.
• Buy a refill card with enough mins. for you to talk for a while.
• Insert SIM card and battery into phone
• Charge the phone
• Activate service for your phone with your carrier
• Activate your refill card mins.
• You are ready to go.

What I did

1. Go to Wal-Mart and purchased a T-Mobile KIT (box) for $19.88 cash.
T-Mobile Kit contains NOKIA 1661 cell phone, flat lithium-ion battery, charger, headset, SIM card, Nokia User Guide, Packet with terms and conditions, warranty, T-Mobile Services Guide, T-Mobile prepaid plan guide, T-Mobile activation card, recycle mailer.

2. Purchased a T-Mobile refill card for $25 cash.

The T-Mobile Nokia 1661 cell phone has a very good feature set, is small and flat, has very good volume and many options. The included headset has an earbud and a clip-on mic for hands-free operation. I am very pleased with every aspect of T-Mobile. Setup was easy and everything works.

Setup Phone: (refer to included User Guide)

Insert SIM card into phone (remove back cover of phone, orient SIM card and insert)
Insert Battery into phone
Replace back cover onto phone
Connect charger to phone, plug in A/C outlet and Charge battery (at least 4 hours)

Activate account:

Choose type of service (various plans) see below
Gather information prior to activation as follows:

SIM card Serial number (19 digit number)
area code = 3 digit number of your location for carrier to issue you your phone number
date of birth = mmddyyyy
pin 4 digit = nnnn (your choice)
phone serial number (15 digit)
activation code (11 digit pre-printed on paper activation card in kit) = nnnn nnn nnnn

To Activate Service:

• online - or
• by standard touch-tone phone - 1.877.778.2107 follow instructions. Voice recognition.

your new phone number received as a text message on your cell phone confirms activation. nnn-nnn-nnnn

To add mins.

1) purchase refill cards at retail stores (cash) and redeem
2) online - visit website (credit card, debit card or checking account)
3) from your hand-held wireless phone

T-mobile customer support - 1.800.937.8997

Refill cards redeem - service available for 90 days after activation. scratch box on refill card with a coin for card number then call T-Mobile at 1.800.385.1977 from your wireless phone or any touch-tone phone, enter refill card number when prompted.
For one year service choose $100 card (10 cents per min.)

pre-paid refill cards - redeem mins.

call 1.800.385.1977 from touch-tone phone
enter your 10 digit cell phone number xxx-xxx-xxxx
enter actual number on refill card nnn nnn nnnn (scratch off with coin).
1 to verify
1 to verify
get total dollar balance from T-Mobile
get total mins. balance from T-Mobile
get expiration date - mm/dd/yyyy (90 days from activation) from T-Mobile.

Refill cards - options for T-Mobile

Refill Amount:

$10 - 30 minutes ($0.33 / minute)
$25 - 130 minutes ($0.19 / minute)
$50 - 400 minutes ($0.12 / minute)
$100 - 1000 minutes ($0.10 / minute) does not expire for 1 year.

The minutes expire after 90 days but if you refill prior to the expiration date, the minutes you have at the time will rollover when you refill. With the Pay-as-you-go Plan, once you've purchased over $100 worth of minutes you're automatically enrolled in the Gold Rewards program. Gold Rewards Whenever, like Whenever Minutes, are minutes that can be used at any time and anywhere on T-Mobile's nationwide network. However, when you become a Gold Rewards customer by adding $100 in refills, you get at least 15% more minutes on all refills and your minutes won't expire for a year.

The features included with prepaid -
Included services

Nationwide long distance (including calls to Alaska and Hawaii)
National roaming on the T-Mobile USA network
t-zones (free shopping for HiFi Ringers, MegaTones®, wallpapers, and more)
VoiceMail, caller ID, call waiting, three-way calling*
Free e-mail address (

Other services

Text messaging ($0.10 to send, FREE to receive)
Picture messaging ($0.25 to send, FREE to receive)
Download ringtones and wallpaper (prices vary)
Download games and applications (prices vary)
411 & More directory assistance ($1.49 per call plus airtime)
International dialing to over 150 countries (international rates apply)

Keep your phone number

To keep your mobile number active, refill within 90 days after your minutes expire. After 90 days, your account will be canceled and you will lose your phone number. If you want to restart service, you will need to activate new service.

T-Mobile pre-paid plans as of Oct 2009

T-Mobile offers two pre-paid plans. Each has slightly different features.
The Pay-by-the-Day plan offers unlimited calls after 7pm and before midnight (your time-zone) for $1 and then 10 cents per min. at other times. You pay the $1 per day only on days you use the phone. If you only make calls after 7pm and before midnight, you still pay $1. With the other plan, the Pay-as-you-Go plan, you only pay for the mins. you use. Depending on the refill card you buy, you pay the per min. rate on the card. A $25 card comes out to 19 cents per min. (130 mins.) or you can get the $100 card for 1000 mins. and the mins. are good for 1 year at 10 cents per min.

How to buy a prepaid cell phone - Carriers, Providers

How to buy a prepaid cell phone - Advantages, Disadvantages, Plans, E-mail

How to buy a prepaid cell phone - How I did it. Real world experience Step by Step

How to buy a prepaid cell phone - SIM card

How to buy a prepaid cell phone - Details about Providers, Phones

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Surround Sound Glossary
How to hookup surround sound
Surround sound over HDMI
TV introduction
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