Verizon pre-paid cell phone plan

I basically detest cell phones, but since I’m spending a fair amount of time away from the office, I finally decided to go for one. Because I’m in the process of, as they say, establishing my usage pattern I signed up for a prepaid plan from Verizon. This works like this:
You buy the phone, the activation and get a number. You also buy minutes, in my case I bought two hours worth of minutes for $15.00. Total cost of phone+minutes was $180.00.
Minutes cost 10 cents. However, an initial connection is billed at 25 cents, so the first minute of any call costs you 35 cents, with subsequent minutes billed at the 10 cent rate.
Before a call begins to ring, a voice comes on telling you how many minutes or hours you have for this call. (Of course, this takes at least 15 seconds of your precious time, every time the person is on….and then then the phone rings at the other end.) So even if you don’t get connected, you still pay the air time.)
The plan has U.S. long distance, with no roaming charges. I’ll be testing this on a couple short trips. There are no free minutes, or free weekends. If you are roaming off the Verizon network then the cost is 98 cents per minute, added to the normal charge. (ouch).
I started this in January, and I bought another two hours of minutes on the web. All purchases are charged via a credit card. It is now March, and I still have almost two hours left. So, far, then I’ve paid $210.00 in upfront costs. However, I’m managing about two hours per month of time, which at $10.00 – $15.00 or so is a lot less than even the cheapest prepaid plan.

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