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Q & A

Ladies, for my niece’s birthday last year I bought her a pre-pay cell phone. At first she was really good about using her time well, now she texts me once a week to top her phone up. I warned her that she was getting out of hand, in one week she went through $30.00 just texting! At that rate it will cost me $120.00 a month for her phone, more then my home phone! HELP! I have not topped her phone back up yet, I’m so irritated! What should I do?
P.S. She’s 15, a great kid and great student.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • Sorry my question is so long, I’m just aggravated! ohhhh
      Oh, the deal I got with Verizon gives her free weekends! But of course she sails through her minutes so fast that it invalidates the free weekends because she runs out of time. ARGH!




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Maria Louise Van Deuson wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • Tell her NO texting! We shut off texting capability for all our kids. We also don’t allow downloads. My son’s bill was $500 for one month!!!!!!!!

      Cell phones should be treated as a privilege and not an entitlement. You need to have a talk with her about the expectations.

      If kids know how much this stuff costs, and what the limits are...Also consequences if they go ‘over budget.’

      She can do her texting at home when she’s on-line. Save the cell phone for necessary calls only.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • Show her your regular home phone bill as well as the cell phone bill and let her see the difference, talk to her again about her exsessive usage and explain to her that if she can’t be more responsible you‘re just going to have to let her phone get shut off until she can get a little job to help pay for her texts, and calls.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • Unfortunately, she does not have easy access to a computer, so she can’t use that.
      The other thing that gets me is that I only hear from her when her minutes are just about to run out. My mom topped her phone up on the 28th of December as a stocking stuffer. By Jan. 3rd she was out! I still have not responded to her.
      Thanks ladies, I think a talk is long overdue.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • Thank you Minnow! I just love her, she’s so special to me. So far she has been phone free since Sunday. I mentioned to her when I saw her after Christmas (she lives in Georgia) that she was getting out of hand. But she’s a kid, I should have really put my foot down.
      I don’t want to tell my brother (her dad), I bought the phone and I need to handle this.
      48/Neicy, thank you so much! I may have to do like 48 said and cut her texting off.
      Part of the reason I got her the phone is because she’s so active with school activities (cheerleading/soccer) and I wanted her to be able to stay in touch with her parents in the event of an emergency.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • I was going to do that, but she lives in a small town and Verizon is their predominant carrier. I’m going to call her at home tonight, she needs a good talking to. One thing about her, she will listen. Especially if she thinks her dad may get involved. My brother would really take her to task! estatic




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Ms-kay wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • I too awarded my two kids with phones due to being good students.

      My son is pretty good and knows that he can’t talk as long as he likes and he hardly will use his phone. My daughter used to be a text machine also. Everytime I turned around she needed a top up!  

      The final straw - I let her know that the minutes had to last at least three weeks or she would not get any more minutes for a month. She learned very quickly happy




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Termite wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • That is exactly what I was thinking Teeky.  Alot her a certain amount every month, and when it is out she will just have to wait until the following month. That will also teach her how to budget.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • Yes, Minnow, it’s the daughter of my awesome brother. estatic
      Teeky, that is what I’m “fixin‘” to do! LOL! Great idea!
      You‘re so right, Termite, if she does not learn about budgets now, when will she? It’s never too early or too late to learn. estatic
      Ms. Kay, right on! Funny, we did not have cell phones growing up and yet we managed!




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      3sa wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • I agree with teeky. I added Zahara, that’s my 15 year old daughter, to my phone which has unlimited texting because I text alot also.  I had the same issue with data transfer I had to tell her UH NO to emailing on her phone and anything internet.  Once it cost me 40.00 extra $ just to download FREE ringtones (LOL).  I explained to her how much of a  privilege it is to even have a phone, and that itcan be revoked!  I also had to tell her no texting after 10 PM. I told her that I could check the records to see if she was not following the rules LOL :)

      Good Luck with the talking to...you are a good auntie to do this for!




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • Thank you 3sa! I just talked to her and I set rules. I am only going to top up her phone twice a month, 15.00 each time. Homegirl had better make that work. estatic She apologized and told me she would do better. We shall see.
      Thank you to all my sisters!!! estatic




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • I was just going to suggest the same as Tori did. Set a limit, stick to it and if she needs more money for the phone, let her figure that one out on her own. I’d also put a condition on the whole thing that has to do with her grades. This could be a great learning tool about working within a budget which she will need when she’s grown.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Maria Louise Van Deuson wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • I have a family share plan with 5 phones. My son is very good about not making those long calls until after 9p.m. during the week, and weekends are free.

      We had to remove all features after the $500 charge to his phone for downloads, texting etc.

      Family share is great, because we all can work on staying within our allotted minutes.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Alleyne-Hill wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • We just got our two older kids pre-paid cell phones for christmas...after so much researching we went with virgin mobile...I see that they like the texting more, so I have the top up plan that has unlimited texting..i think it’s like $20




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • Like many others suggested, set limit, if she goes over, confiscate the phone until she pays you back the overage.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenni0811 wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • Doesn’t a prepaid phone go dead if it runs out of $$?? How is she going over?




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jacquie6363 wrote Jan 7, 2009
    • The young and the cellphone drama...Ingrid, you are a great aunt, she loves the cellphone, so hopefully, she will abide by your rules.

      My drama with my son and cellphone, text usage, taught us both a very very very expensive lesson.




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