dealsfree cell phone & 250 min. monthly plan + 250…

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I know complaints will be issued, but in this day having a car, cell phone, and internet is required of parents with school children.

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Come on Deals, why can't I ever get pics automagically? Little help?

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@thepenrod: It depends on how they put their pics on the page and whether our software can pull them out. Prettied it up for you.

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@thunderthighs: Thank you. Although I would have gone with a pic of the cell phone. I suppose I should have been more specific in my request. Still better than nothing.

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@thepenrod: Ask and ye shall receive....sometimes.

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@caffeine_dude: Agreed...but only with the 250 minute plan. Low income families shouldn't "need" a whopping 1,000 minutes and an astromical 1,000 texts on a taxpayer dime. (Not specified, but there are certainly subsidies on this deal.)

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@spyder69696969: The service is primarily funded by the Universal Service Fund, made up of fees paid by providers in return for use of the public airwaves. Considering how cheaply the providers get something which belongs to the American people, it's a pretty good tradeoff.

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@augustepdx: And those fees are passed onto the customers of each provider... hence these are wellfare phones. Those of us who do not qualify yet pay our bill on time are subsidizing these phones...

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@kwebster3: We're paying that fee even if they didn't do that program, so I'd rather they have this program than have that surcharge/fee disappear into the ether.

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@spyder69696969: In essence I agree. However, I don't think any minutes over 250 are subsidized.

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@sdzman: Actually, anybody below a certain income can get this deal. When my wife and I were in college, we made under $13,000 a year and we weren't on any programs and did not use any government paid services (except the Library, but that's paid for by city taxes).

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@kwebster3: If you do not qualify for subsidizing you probably benefit from someone who does. The night manager at your favorite eatery. The person who buses your children to school. A new employee at your place of work, I do not know your specific life but if you take a moment I am sure there are people in that make your life easier who would qualify for a phone.

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@augustepdx: Google Voice allows people to have a Phone Number in all 50 states (localized) and the ability to route that number to any other number they choose (pay phone, shelter, etc.). Not everyone needs a cell phone, let alone under assistance.

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@zapp brannigan: Who are you talking to when you say "you all?" Some of the commenters thought it was a good idea. I myself posted the deal. I also didn't see anybody here claim to be a "good Christian." For that matter, nobody said anything about that.

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I think this is a great deal, just commenting that not everyone needs a cell, and they may be able to put that $20/mo to better use. Google Voice will archive their phone calls and voicemails so they can retrieve them later from a computer (library for example). Many churches also provide Tracfone\Virgin Prepaid phones for this very purpose though.

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@jgmcgowan: Poor people need cell phones more than most, in fact. I have a few friends who have had occasion to utilize welfare programs, and they needed contact with different agencies frequently. Offices with finicky hours, where calling back is barely an option, and they don't talk to voicemails.

Google Voice is no substitute for a cell phone. Google voice is not a direct line. It's just a number and a voicemail. You can't do anything with Google Voice if you don't already have a phone/computer. This deal is for a phone. Important calls typically CANNOT be done from a public line. Public (ex: shelter) means other people need access to it as well. In emergency situations, call phones are all you got. Payphones are virtually nonexistent throughout much of the country. Not an option anymore, as the phone companies removed so many after cell phones became the norm.

Anyone who doesn't understand the necessity of this offer should slum it for a few months before posting.

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As I said before, I don't think it's unreasonable for "poor" people to be provided with the phone, but I do find it more than troubling that these same "poor" peple are given the option to spend their (supposed lack of) money on absurd amounts of minutes and, even worse, texting.

One does not send 1,000 texts nor spend 1,0000 minutes trying to get a job. Employers don't ask you to do telephone interviews that last hours and hours. Assistance programs neither want nor expect you to have a 400 text conversation with them.

Simply put, the nearly free phone is a great idea, but they went too far. That other $15 should be going to necessitites. I might also add that I've been below the poverty line for much of my life, so I do know what it's like...and yet, I never expected anyone (govt. included) to give me anything, let alone a cell phone to just gab away and type "Whatcha doin'?" to everyone on Earth on all day long.

If that makes me a "bad person," so be it. See you all in Hell!

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@spyder69696969: maybe being able to call and chat with family and friends is a necessity? I mean, why are you complaining that they have the option to, with their own money, add on extra minutes or features? Are they supposed to get a different phone for personal use? Yea that makes a lot of sense....

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@spyder69696969 I'm a low income disabled person who deals with a ton of government programs out of necessity. There have been some months when dealing with medicaid alone ate through 600 minutes. So don't be a dick and assume 250 minutes is enough.

I'm glad someone posted this, I already use Virgin Mobile and this can save me $20 a month.

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Yes, the Lifeline service comes from the Universal Service fees and used to be a discount on a home phone service. They changed it to offer one or the other...if someone qualifys I think they can still choose the discount. For an emergency phone I pay $25 every 3 mnths (essentially $8.33/month) for a prepaid phone and at 10 cents/min it's fine for 250 min in a 3 month period. So it's actually less money to run the cell option for the phone companies. In my state you have 3 choices on the Lifeline service: 80 min/mo international, 125 min/mo that roll over unused min, or 250 min/mo that unused min expire every month. I know someone with cancer who pays for her prepaid phone and it's pretty important she has a phone number cuz she can never get the doctors on the phone from a payphone, etc.

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I don't know why this is posted for a $5 charge. If you call or go to safelink.com, the phone is free, no shipping charge.
The plan offers from 125 to 250 mins per month, depending on rollover mins, international calls, etc.
The cellphone is pretty crappy, but you can buy a better phone at walmart or online, and have your account switched over.
This is a program that has been around for decades, it's just that they only had it on your home landline previously. It's purpose is for people to have a way to get help when they need it.
Not everybody can afford a cellphone, but everybody should have one. Ever had your crappy (the only one you can afford) car break down on the side of the freeway and had no way to get help? I have, and I am truly grateful for this service.
Don't judge until you've walked in the shoes...

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You know, a lot of these comments really sicken me. Yes there are people out there who don't NEED the help and go after it because they are lazy or whatever. But there are some out there who DO NEED it. Imagine getting into an accident at age 15, while in foster care, that screwed up your spine so bad you can not even get around much 20 years later. You are on SSDI, you get $600 a MONTH, have to pay rent, electric, buy groceries etc. Now how do you even afford a phone to call even for an emergency, or to make a doctors appointment???? Get a grip folks. If you don't like this idea that is your choice, but to come on here and start acting like complete biggots is a bit much.

If the only people you know on any kind of assitance are drug dealers etc then I highly suggest you find a new group of friends!

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@mollymcfixit: I only listed the $5 option in the title because I was essentially gaming the deals.woot system. You'll see in the details I provide what is free and what is optional for a fee. I did this because deals that are listed as free have a much harder time making it to the popular page and I wanted this particular one to go popular. That's why.

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@spyder69696969 - I know a gal on assistance whose cellphone bills run $150/month, much of which is devoted to "Whatcha doin?" type crap, because I've heard her make calls. Believe it or not, she's just on the wrong plan, even though she's got the right company (VirgineMobileUSA). I'm trying to talk her into switching over to the PayLo deal @30/mo., but she's in a damned rut.
Some people need mandatory financial counseling, in my opinion. They're just in the habit of making poor decisions that significantly affect their financial health.

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@stickywicket: thats funny virgin mobiles highest plane is with the blackberry plan and its only $70 month for unlimited everything.

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THANKS thepenrod!!! @64 living on SS and Calpers~~~it's tough to make it on $1400/mo and it's gong to be that way for just over 3 years until my wife will qualify for SS. Even with everything paid for we don't make it and have to pull out of savings. I don't use a cell phone much but when I do~~~I REALLY do. Funny thing said about texting~~~I have NEVER texted.

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@czupik: Incredibly, she buys those stupid TopUp cards at a newsstand. Endlessly.
The $150 figure comes from her, just yesterday.

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@stickywicket: That's the problem. She sounds like one of those persons that say, "Please, Mr. Government Assistance Guy, I can't afford milk for my baby! Give me money! Give me food stamps! Help me pay rent! Give me everything!" Yet, she can blow $150/month on a "necessary" cell phone. Ridiculous.

These drains upon society should all be shipped off to some 3rd world country and see what real poverty feels like. They're stealing from those that truly need help and that should be a punishable crime.

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interesting that my comments earlier that everyone who has a job and pays for their own phone service is subsidizing these phones for the "poor" was deleted. Nice job on censorship, woot/amazon.

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@kamikazeken: I don't remember for sure, but if your comment was the one that told some people off, that would have been why it was deleted.

Edit: Although looking through, there does seem to be a little bit of over-censoring going on. I think that and I'm the one that posted this deal. Also, I don't think the entirety of it deserved deletion, just one line (if your comment is the one I am thinking of).

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We hooked my Mom in law up with the safelink phone. She's 81 and a cell phone in her pocket makes us worry less about her falling and not being able to get to a phone.

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this sucks its not coved in ohio

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Ok I don't want to be blasted - but seriously - welfare recipients are already living on the hard earned tax payer dollars to help them out. Now we have another free service for welfare recipients that ultimately we all will end up paying for. Make no mistakes the money WILL come from the paying population.

Ok that is all I had to say what I thought of this free service. I pay 80 per month for a cell phone for myself and my daughter. I work so hard to stay afloat.

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@mydanes: Actually, you've already paid for this. As have every other phone user. The money comes from some tax or surcharge that has been charged for a while and has been used for many, many years to help people with land lines. It's not a new tax and you won't be charged more because of this new program.

Think of it this way, you provide mobile service but not land line service. You're paying fees to the government (which you pass on to the consumer) to help people win their land lines (the money is going to another company). So you offer a service such as this to get the money back.

The consumer does indeed get the shaft in all of this, but we were getting the shaft anyway. So don't complain about this particular program, or people who use it for that matter. Feel free to complain about the system or those who setup the system.

Also, if you're struggling to make ends meet, you may qualify.

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@thunderthighs: Can I re-post this since it is now available to 6 or 7 more states than it was 6 months ago? That would make it a new deal for all of those people. :)

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Why isn't anyone talking about the Service? I had Virgin Mobile and it was a NIGHTMARE. It didn't work 50% or more of the time. I know others that told me the same thing. Virgin Mobile even sold themselves on the internet as being a BIG provider in my area in other words you would have hardley any problems.

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How come their is no help for parolees? When I first got out I was offered a free cell phone with 250 mins that would automatically be added to your account each month, but, since I was made to go to a halfway house for three months upon my release by parole I could not accept the phone when they were giving them out because the halfway house did not allow you to have a cell phone during your stay there. Two weeks before I was released from the halfway house I was told they were no longer doing the free phone service for parolees. I think it sucks! It is very hard to start over and do the right thing if there are no resources for convicted felons. We can not get housing, decent jobs, or food stamps if you have just one drug felony. I feel like I am being punished all over again for the mistake I made. It just really pisses me off that I can not seem to get any help to get back up on my feet again and be a productive part of society again.

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I think it is bulls(Profanity) that you have to be on welfare to get any kind of help with housing, utilities, and phone service. Half the people on welfare are perfectly able to work. They are to take some of the taxpayers money and help or offer felons resource help in food, rent, and employment assistance. I was a taxpayer and even worked for the food stamp office for ten years and now that I need some assistance I am turned away and was told I am forever disqualified from getting food stamps cause I do have a drug felony from 7 yrs ago. I was told I could not reapply for my job back either. It is just very discouraging and I think it is very unfair.

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@laurie1068: It may depend on the state, but you can qualify for the free phone regardless of your criminal record. It is based on income so even if you don't utilize those other services (which most of the states use as guidelines for whether or not you qualify), you can still apply using your tax return (or possibly other proof of income).