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911 Emergency Cell Phones

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      The Jan. 11 issue of the The Frugal Life gave a link to a website that will sell you a reburbished cellphone with 911 capabilities for $55!  Acckkk!! That is not frugal at all!  Any previously used cell phone that is properly charged can dial 911.  So don’t waste your money – ask around to friends etc if they have an old cell phone they are no longer using.  Or perhaps pick one up at a thrift or yardsale for a few bucks.

      My parents (thru their local Senior Citizen center) was giving away used cell phone to anyone who needed one.  The one my parents received was a few years old but had never been used and came with the charger.


        I had heard that you could use any cell phone for emergency calls, but I am wondering about the ability to use a calling card.  It said you could dial out on it using a calling card, would that make it useful?  Maybe it isn’t available everywhere.  I am seriously wondering, just because then you wouldn’t have to worry about using up minutes, or not rolling over, or going over.  Please comment!
        Kris from washington, the state


          There is now a FRUGAL LIFE web site giving info on this.
          We just signed up with TRAC PHONE, which is what is
          recommended by several.

          Now, this phone is what we’ll use for EMERGENCIES only.
          We will NOT call relatives to see how they are doing, etc.
          We will have to buy minutes every 60 days or lose them,
          but this figures out at $9 a month if you buy 30 minutes
          at $17.98 for 2 months. If you can NOT afford $9 a month
          then you do NOT need one of these phones! We bought a
          reconditioned USED phone for $24.95. We paid extra for a
          car charger, in case we forgot to recharge. With tax it
          wound up costing about $42.

          That’s high you say?  :o   What if you, your husband or
          child breaks down out on the road with nobody near?
          What is THEIR life worth to you? My daughter regularly
          travels a long distance to work. She has AAA, but it’s no
          good if she hasn’t a phone! She will keep this phone in her handbag for emergencies.

          Also, in our area, radio stations regularly give away prizes
          if you call in at a certain time. We always miss out because we only listen to our radio in the car. We MIGHT
          win something.


            A brand new Tracfone costs $39.99 at K-Mart or Wal-Mart, comes with the charger, case, etc. and free start-up minutes. It’s not a cute little flip kind but it is small and gets the job done. You can buy the minute cards anywhere cell phone minute cards are sold. It has nearly all of the bells and whistles the more expensive phones do.


              By law, cell phone providers must make 911 services available.

              You can do what you want to do.  Here’s a site that answers your question nicely. You can probably get a friend’s old cell phone for free, get one at a garage cell for very little, or find one at a thrift store for a few dollars at the most. You don’t have to have to buy anything special.



                I also have a TracFone for emergency and it's been working great  for me  :) I love not having to spend a fixed amount a month for usage. In my previous plan, since I'm not a phone person, I ended up with lots of unused minutes…what a waste! My TracFone only costed me $29.99 plus it came with 300 free minutes – plenty for me!!!!!

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