FYI, my spouse and I have prepaid plans from Virgin Mobile for $30 a month because we found pretty much any prepaid plan from anybody is cheaper than a contract in most cases where we live. So right now we have no specific provider considerations or contract issues to consider in getting phones for the kids. Without your considering your input yet, I was considering getting my oldest the Kycera version of the blackberry on the Virgin Paylo plan, because while it does have internet and photo capability it seems that it is more trouble than it is worth to use consistently ROFL. So she would likely just be using it to call and text mostly.
TIA for your input!
The features I found most useful with two teens:
The texting is a must. We nearly had a heart attack when we received the first phone bill after adding my now 20yr old daughter onto our plan. Our plan (at the time) should have been roughly $100/mo for the three of us.
DD managed to text/talk her arse off, went over the shared minutes, and the bill ended up being almost $450.
DD(21), DS(18, PDD-NOS)
6 Furkids - 4 dogs, 2 cats
WXH (serial cheater, 12+ OW)
Legally married 18yrs, together 16.5yrs
I edit often for clarity.
I can find any number of no contract plans with unlimited texting, and sometimes even unlimited data too for a low cost but depending on the phone the apps/features can be very limited (like a flip phone). I don't want them to be able to take and receive photos, use the internet, etc unless I can monitor it. But to get a smart(er) phone that can GPS locate, etc the phone will be able to do a lot of things I can't track. Also with the prepaid/no contract plans, you don't always have access to call and text logs.
If I go with a contract that has Family Locator or similar, I am paying a LOT more each month for service and I am tied to the contract. And I have three kids...so a lot more for each phone will eventually add up as time passes.
Thanks again for the ideas. Gives me more to think about...
D-Day, June 10, 2012