BREAKING NEWS: Kids Want Phones
My kids are pretty typical. They all want their own phone…yesterday. If you have kids, you know this because you hear it every day. As the mother of tweens, I recently purchased two phones and activated service through Twigby wireless. I thought it might be helpful to hear about my experience getting cell phone service for my kids.
I have a ten-year-old and a thirteen-year-old and I am very concerned about staying within a budget. It is also very important to me that they learn responsibility, as their freedom increases. Twigby gives me lots of ways to meet my main concerns.
Getting Started: Selecting a Phone
My first step was to purchase phones. I was specifically looking for starter phones; devices that are not hugely expensive or packed with features. For my ten-year-old, I went super simple, the LG Rumor 2. My logic is simple…I wanted her to be able to text her friends without being tempted by lots of data-rich apps. My thirteen-year-old son got the HTC Desire 510. He is a bit savvier and has shown an understanding of how data is consumed, so I wanted to give him a longer leash. I got both phones for under $60.
Once the phones arrived, I went to the Twigby website to activate service. Beginning at the Get Started tab, I was able to easily choose which kinds of plans would be best for each child. Neither of my kids talk on the phone often, so I knew that the base level plan of unlimited text and 300 minutes of talk was the right choice for both.
Choosing Your Data Plan
After picking your base plan, Twigby gives you a choice about how much data you want access to over the course of the month of service. You can also choose to block any overages. During this part of the process, I actually had my kids beside me, explaining to them how quickly data can add up and what kinds of activities are data-heavy. For example, sending 1,000 standard emails takes about 1GB, downloading a photo around 5MB, online gaming for an hour takes 43MB, downloading a SD movie uses 2GB (a HD movie bumps it up to 4GB), streaming Netflix for one hour takes about 1GB, and watching an online video is around 500MB per hour.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine don’t typically pay attention to the cost of their online activity. However, teaching them responsibility is part of why I agreed to get them their own device and service plan. They helped choose which data plan they felt they could both live with and afford. I blocked overages, and we talked about what would happen when they (inevitably) hit their limit. For my daughter, we went with a 500MB plan. My son went to the top of the scale, choosing a 2GB limit.
This puts my (non-taxed) total each month at $51 for both kids. Now, one of the reasons I chose Twigby over other low-cost carriers is because of the flexibility. There is no contract. And if after this first month, we take a look at the data use and there needs to be a change to increase or decrease data, that change can be made at any time with no penalty. This is my favorite part. Their data usage can be directly linked to the choices they make each month. Mean to your sister? Less data for you next month. Don’t clean your room? Say goodbye to YouTube on your phone.
Once we received the phones two days later, it was time to activate. After registering each account on the Twigby website, I started by clicking on the Get Started button. One of the first things you need to do is be on Wi-Fi when going through this process. When I activated my daughter’s phone, my home Wi-Fi wasn’t providing a steady signal, so I initiated a chat to see what my options were. The customer service was quick and helpful and I was able to start her service in under 15 minutes. My son’s activation took even less time, as I was able to do it without the help of chat. It is a simple and straight-forward process.
All in all, my experience getting phones and cell phone service for my children was hassle-free and extremely affordable. In addition to ease and cost, it has been helpful to educate the kids about how data consumption works and to give them some ownership of how they use their phones. I also really appreciate the flexibility to adjust their plans as needs (or behavior) change.
Want to Know More?
Twigby wireless makes it easy to purchase affordable cell phones and to initiate service. If you have additional questions, find lots of answers here.