The Instigator
kenicks
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
Zeldafan69
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

"Regular" Cell Phones > Tracfone

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/27/2008 Category: Technology
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,460 times Debate No: 3826
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (9)

 

kenicks

Pro

December 25th, 2006, 4:10 PM. My family was gathered in the living room, tearing open gift after gift, filled with joy after joy of the satisfaction of receiving what we had asked for that Christmas day. Ah, yes, what a scene it was. Until one precocious present changed it all.

My grandmother opened a gift wrapped in green, plaid paper, to find something she had least expected from her son. "It's a new cell phone!" she cried, as she held up a Samsung SCH-u340, all wrapped up in its plastic protection. Everyone oohed and ahhed over my grandmother's new toy, and she proceeded to open the box, flip it open, and begin transferring her numbers from her old phone to the new one.

I remained dumbstruck on the couch. Me, a boy of 13, sat on this italian leather without a cell phone to my name, yet my grandmother, a crustacean, had moved onto her second. I had just entered adolescence, a time where if you didn't have a cell phone, you didn't have genitalia. I had evaded the peer beratings smoothly for a period of time, but now their taunts began to lag on my back like a sweat-soaked gorilla. If I didn't emerge out of middle school with a cell phone, I might as well have graduated without a diploma.

Ah, but there was hope. With granny's spankin' new phone, what was to become of her old one? A lightbulb clicked in my head, and I sprang on the situation. By 11 o'clock on Christmas night, I was blessed with the bequest of a cell phone of my own, a mobile telephone, a cellie...a Tracfone.

TracFone Wireless provides the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with prepaid mobile phones, or, in layman's terms, "pay-as-you-go". One buys airtime for their phone, and they insert this airtime into their phone via pin code. This airtime lasts the cell phone user until they've used all their airtime, or until 3 months later, when they are obligated to renew it again. This seemed to be a reasonable idea to my overprotective parents, whose original statement was that I wouldn't have a cell phone until I could drive. I bought airtime, entered the pin code, and basked in the light of my first real phone. I held the silverish-green bar phone in my hands, and adolescent power rush through my veins.

That power was drained, however, a week and a half later, when I found myself standing in line at CVS, purchasing more airtime for my phone. In 10 days I had fallen victim to inserting 60 dollars to the overbulging wallet of Amerian Capitalism. I had felt six weeks' allowance slip through my hands in a mere 10 days.

Just how did this happen?

Quite simple, really. Based on the link below, on average, teens send 455 text messages per month, and receive 467. That's roughly 15 sent and 16 received per day.

http://www.cellular-news.com...

Tracfone's messaging rates works as such: 0.3 minutes deducted for each text message received, and 0.3 minutes deducted for each text message sent. 120 minutes of airtime costs $30. Based on the average that teens send 15 text messages, and receive 16 messages per day, an average Tracfone teen user would use 9.3 minutes per day texting.

As I had just been introduced to the wonders of celluar phones, I had been a bit feisty with my text message privledges, and had collaborately sent and received about 40 text messages per day, compared to the average of 31. This rate equaled out to 12 minutes per day used for texting, which I did for 10 days, and, 12 minutes times 10 minutes is-you guessed it!-120 minutes. I had used up all my airtime, which forced me to purchase another airtime card. Whoopee.

I returned home to a beet-red-faced father, lecturing me on how I was abusing my phone, and how it was costing me, and, considering the fact that he and my mother provided me my weekly allowance, him. I tried to reason with the man, blaming the phone itself and its non-user-friendly messaging rates, and how everyone besides me had better phone plans, and they didn't have this problem. His response was, "They don't have better phone plans. You just text too much."

My texting rate only increased, and my allowance tin only shrunk. Sometimes it took less than ten days to empty my airtime, and I eventually resorted to the bitter vigil of holding off on texting for a period of days, even weeks sometimes. Many of my at-school conversations sounded like this:

Schoolgirl: Kenicks, you haven't texted me back. Is your phone broke?
Kenicks: Nah, I just ran out of minutes.
Schoolgirl: Huh?
Kenicks: I have a TracFone.
Schoolgirl: Huh?
Kenicks: It's a prepaid phone.
Schoolgirl: Huh?
Kenicks: I have to keep buying airtime to support my frequent texting habit, which, although exaggerated by my father, is a common hobby of teens in the 21st century.
Schoolgirl: Oh. (Twirls hair) I have unlimited texting.
Kenicks: I know. Shut up and stop rubbing your cellular advantages in my face, you pig-nosed cretin.
(Schoolgirl runs away crying)

...Okay, maybe I exaggerateed the last few lines, but you catch my drift. The vast majority of my texting colleagues did, in fact, have unlimited texting, and were free to message to their heart's content. Of course, their blessing was my curse, for their endowment of unlimited texting forced me to reply unlimited responses, wearing down my minutes even more.How I longed for that right, that privledge, that charm. Of course, I got the same response I always did when I brought up the possibility of getting a better, less expensive phone, which was "You don't need unlimited texting. You just need to cut back."

But I had been cutting back, even if it meant leaving behind trails of messages. I tried to feel lucky to even have a phone, but what good was it if I had the bottom of the pile, the scum of all plans? I may sound like a helpless consumer, wanting only the best, the cream of the crop, the ripest tomato. But, trust me, if you were a teen with a text limit a fraction of the norm's limit, you'd feel the same way.

But then, one day, the sky cleared, and the lord above let there be light on my situation. My father began to pity me, or at least get tired of watching me blow my money on airtime, and investigated adding a line to our family plan, which happened to be AT&T. And, oh, what a deal we found. Here is what my monthly bill adds up to be now, with the benefits:

700 Talking Minutes (shared with my mother and father)=$10
1500 Total Texts Per month, separate from those used to talk (going over the limit=.10 cents per text)=$15
$25

Let's compare those benefits and rates to tracfone, shall we:

120 Total Minutes (texting and talking)=$30
$60 per month

That's a great deal on paper, but behind the scenes, it's an even better one. I would use up 120 minutes on text per week, equaling out to 360 total texts per week. In the sake of trying to be frugal, I went a week without texting, then bought a new card. Two phone cards, 720 texts, equaled $60-four times the price for not even half the amount of texts I got with AT&T.

FOUR TIMES THE PRICE FOR NOT EVEN HALF THE AMOUNT!

As soon as I got this new plan, a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders. My texting anxieties vanquished, and I felt freer with my phone than I ever had before. Clearly, TracFone's texting rates are absolutely inexcusably overpriced.

I await my opponent's first rebuttal.
Zeldafan69

Con

I agree with you heavily, for I am an adolescent myself ^_^ And alas, you are not cool unless you have a cell phone. I have had both a tracphone, and a contract, and I love my Sanyo Katana II very, very much. However, due to the nature of this site, I must come up with an argument. Hmm...well, the term "better" is referring to a certain age group. And you didn't give a certain age group in the title, so I am free to do damage here. Let's take for example, my grandmother. She has a VERY old Tracphone and loves it. I believe it's from the mid 90s to be honest. Anyways, I'd love for you to provide evidence of the elder texting, and talking away on their cell phones for hours on end....unless you count the old woman off the AT&T commercial who's claims "IDK my BFF Jill". Elderly do not need complicated plans with unlimited texting, many middle aged people don't either. Most of them, just keep a few dollars worth of air time on their phones for emergencies. So, it all depends on what you'll use the phone for.

I look forward to your rebuttal ^_^
Debate Round No. 1
kenicks

Pro

Zeldafan69,

You brought up an important point about the age groups that use TracFones to "Regular" Cell Phones. I shall rebutt this point.

I concede to the fact that the vast majority of elderly folk, even if they have cell phones, do not need text messaging plans, much less complicated airtime plans. Considering the elderly typically do not drive or travel places where a cell phone is in need, a TracFone would suit them well. The same goes for middle-aged folk, as, in cell phone terms, they fall into the category of elderly

...However, they are the only ones it really suits.

Let's move our way up the age scale, shall we? Starting with 13-18 year old adolescents, who receive their first cell phones at this age, or, at least, should (is it just me, or does it drive you nuts when you see an 8-year old walking around with a bluetooth?). In my previous argument, I had only spoken for the point of texting, and left out the main purpose cell phones are for; talking. The average teen spends 7.7 hours on the phone per week, according to the MSNBC report in link below.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com...

That's 1.1 hours of phone time per day, which equals out to 66 minutes per day. With the average total texting rate of 31 equaling out to 9.3 minutes per day, the average teen would spend 75.3 minutes per day on their TracFone-62.7% of their airtime a day! If one was to keep up with their airtime minutes, this would lead them to buying a TracFone card every two days, equaling out to a bill of $450 per month. Better hope you're living with the Rockefellers.

According to the link below, 75% of adults own cell phones, 62% take access to the phone's features, such as internet and digital voice connect, and 31% text on a typical day. If all these adults had a special attraction to TracFones, stat wizards can kiss that 62% goodbye; TracFones are, sadly, not equipped with internet access, nor digital voice connect, cameras, or any other fancy features.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com...

The average cell phone-using adult spends, say, about 20 minutes on his cell phone per day. This would lead him to buying airtime every six days, with a monthly bill ringing out to $180. But, let's not forget, 31% of adults use the text messaging feature. Thanks to a new study, some parents have hopped onto the bandwagon that texting "helps improve a teen to parent connection". I would say the teens and parents send a total of 8 messages a day. Plus maybe two total sent and received to a relative or neighbor. That's ten text messages per day, which equals out to another 3 minutes used. Yes, it's only three added minutes, but time is money, with TracFone customers quickly running out of time.

Let's another look at my cell phone plan:

700 Talking Minutes (shared with my mother and father)=$10
1500 Total Texts Per month, separate from those used to talk (going over the limit=.10 cents per text)=$15
Monthly bill=$25

However, this is only a cog in a family of three. So, let's add my parents into the plan. Although they don't text, I'll pretend they do, for the sake of the site:

700 total talking minutes
1500 total texts per month each
Monthly bill=$135

And that's for a family of three. Now, let's look if a family of three each had their own TracFone:

Teen monthly bill=$450 per month
Father monthly bill=$180
Mother monthly bill=$180
Total monthly bill=$810 per month

$810 for less...$135 for more...hmmm...that's a tough one...

While elderly and middle-aged folk use cell phones, they neglect to use them to their full advantages, which teens and adults do. Dictionary.com's definition of "better" is 'of superior quality or excellence'. If an object has a greater capacity of its limits, and can go further boundaries than its adversary, than that object is indeed 'better'. An ironing set that consists of a stable ironing board, a hot, steam-powered iron and a functional cord is no doubt better than a one-legged ironing board with an ice-cold iron and a rat-chewed cord; the first iron can do the job better, and wont have to be replaced as the other iron will be, charging the consumer even more money, and wasting their ample time. Irons are targeted at adults and middle-aged persons, rather than children. Let's say the first iron was targeted at the adults and middle-aged persons, the second targeted at the children. The first iron is of superior quality than the second iron, and is targeted at people who are frequent iron users. The second iron is of considerably less quality, and is targeted at those which do not use irons as frequently, if at all, as the first group. The combination of object #1's capacity of its limits and going further boundaries than its adversary with the targeting of its marketing to more frequent-using customers makes it 'better' than object #2, which is of lesser quality, capacity of its limits, and is targeted to those who would not take advantage of the object itself.

Thus, a "Regular" cell phone is 'better' than a TracFone.

I await your rebuttal.
Zeldafan69

Con

I agree with you on the most part kenicks. However, though the dictionary does contain the word "better", isn't "better" really in the eye of the beholder? For instance, I'm sure a six year old little girl would much rather have a Barbie plastic cell phone, than an iPhone. Though a fancy cell phone does have more features, many do not want extra features. They just want a 'talk' and 'end' button with digits 0-9.

That's all I have for this rebuttal. I look forward to seeing yours.

(P.S., yes it does piss me off when I see an 8 year old with bluetooth)
Debate Round No. 2
kenicks

Pro

kenicks forfeited this round.
Zeldafan69

Con

Zeldafan69 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
kenicks i thoroughly enjoyed your opening argument. something on this site had some actual voice in it. i like it.
Posted by Chuckles 9 years ago
Chuckles
kenicks i thoroughly enjoyed your opening argument. something on this site had some actual voice in it. i like it.
Posted by kenicks 9 years ago
kenicks
Missed the deadline. Wonderful. Well, better late than never...

Sure, "better" may be in the eye of the beholder. However, as I had stated before, the majority of beholders would say that "Regular" cell phones are better than TracFones. If the majority of these people read this debate and side with my argument (if the debates were based on opinionated ways), then theoretically I would be the victor in this debate.

Back to the argument.

I have yet to cover a vital concept of cell phone use; the service range. My service provider, AT&T, takes pride in having "More bars in more places". Here is a link to their coverage view:

http://www.wireless.att.com...

While I must admit it gets spotty in Western areas, more than half the country receives firm coverage without spotty sections.

Verizon wireless offers even more coverage, as you can see in this link:

http://www.verizonwireless.com...

These are the two most popular wireless providers for "Regular" cell phones.

Now for the coverage maps of TracFone, as seen below:

http://www.tracfone.com...

As you can see, while TracFone offers fair coverage on the east coast, it offers little to no coverage in the following states:

Montana
North Dakota
Wyoming
South Dakota
Nebraska
West Virginia
Kansas
Oklahoma
Texas
Nevada
Arizona
New Mexico
Oregon
Maine
Arkansas
Minnesota
Wisconsin
New Hampshire
Hawaii

Don't tell me that people don't use cell phones in these 19 states, because they are.

All in all, the combination of reasonable price, extra features and widespread coverage ousts a ridiculous price, little to no features and unreliable coverage.

Thus, "Regular" Cell Phones are better than TracFones.

I apologize for not posting my argument within the allotted time, and hope you will take my argument into consideration.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by EmyG 8 years ago
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kenicksZeldafan69Tied
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