dealsfree camera phone, free sim card, free shipping…

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Sooo... I have to sign up for a $40 or $50 plan in order to get this "free" deal?

How long am I committed for? When does the $40/$50 get charged? When can I cancel?

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I am so confused about the data. They say its unlimited on the 40/50 plan but then they say "first 250mb". What the hell does that mean?

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They're a reseller of the T-Mobile network. If you take this deal, I suspect you can put the SIM in a T-Mob compatible phone, just put the Alcatel phone in a drawer. The unlimited part seems to primarily be about voice and text usage -- it looks like while data is unlimited, after you go past 250MB/2GB, you're throttled to EDGE which is about twice as fast as the old dial-up modems.

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@arjunkhosla: You're committed for 30 days. You pay at the beginning of the 30 days. I believe canceling consists of not paying when the 30 days is up.

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I've been using Platinum Telephone for a year. I was attracted by the $20 Palm Pixi and the $10 every 90 days usage charge. I thought $3.33 a month was acceptable for a cell phone (and I really don't need a cell phone). And I was as happy as I could be with ptel.com, but not so much their network (Sprint) which has rather poor coverage.

So in December they announced a 6 month switchover to T-Mobile, another carrier with poor coverage but better options than Sprint. This means all customers must buy a new phone within 6 months to continue.

So I have to decide if I love my Palm Pixi or Platinum Telephone the company more. The Pixi is likely to win. When you pay $3.33 a month the cost of the phone becomes significant. The Pixi is actually a very nice phone. I have no use for unlimited usage.

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@aojle: Don't post speculation. It clearly says that your account must have funds every month - ie: it automatically charges your account every month. This not a pay as you go plan, you have to cancel it or else they continue to charge you.

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I just don't see where the value is here versus Virgin Mobile. 300min / Unlimited Texting / 2.5gb full speed data for $35/month is WAY better than this deal. Even if you do have to buy a <$100 smartphone, you have a smartphone. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

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are there taxes and fees? my wife and i have tmo and have nice smart phones but this 180 bucks a month AFTER her teacher discount is insane!!!

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@cavimike: I have PTel and they do not charge you automatically every month. You have to pay every month if you want to continue service, but they do not automatically charge you.

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@dfwjustin: no fees/ no taxes so far in my experience. I have the $40/month plan for my son and it is $40/month. That's it. You don't get a bill - you go online to pay for your next month.

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@cavimike: You are wrong. I have had PTEL for a while and they do not charge automatically. If you want to keep your service, you have to keep paying. If you stop paying, your service will be cut off. There is a short grace period during which they will let you keep your number and continue your service when you pay up, but I don't know how long for. I would be interested to know if somwone has the exact details.

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I'm not sure how well the service works, but you might want to look elsewhere if you plan to port your number. I have been trying to get a number ported for almost 2 months. Leaving a message at their support phone number does no good. I have never received any response from messages there. I have received responses from their email address, but it can take over a week to get a response.

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@wthomp: ok thats a serious problem.... we have had our numbers for 9 years and family all over the US we HAVE to keep the same number!

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We had no problem porting my wife's phone number. Love PTEL.

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@arjunkhosla: Its for a 30 day plan and it is prepaid so you're not locked into a contract or anything.

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@wthomp: I ported my number from Windstream to Ooma. Ooma contacted me every few days, or I could contact them at will, for the months it took. Sounds like Platinum is no Ooma.

Keep in mind there are two companies involved with porting, either of which can put a stop to it. In my case Windstream requires you to call for a one time porting password that you pass on to your new company, but Windstream doesn't tell you that, and many of their employees don't know. Windstream of course never told Ooma why the port requests were failing.