Beware - Go Phone from Radio Shack

I currently own an AT&T cellphone, but I was looking for an inexpensive method of communication for my mother, who is retired and stays home babysitting my daughter during the week. My Mom was going to be working at a temporary job for only two weeks and needed an inexpensive way to be reached. All she really needed was a way to be contacted in case of an emergency with my daughter. Basically, she could use the phone at her temporary job if she needed to, but she wanted a way to be reached on the trip to and from work. I visited a Radio Shack store. Since it was only a temporary situation, I was looking for the most inexpensive solution, which I figured would be a cheap beeper. I told the clerk I was looking to buy a beeper and he looked at me like I was from outer space! Another clerk, who couldn't have been more than 16 years old, snickered and said, "A beeper! I owned one way back when I was in fifth grade!" The clerk informed me that Radio Shack doesn't sell beepers. I guess beepers have become obsolete. I realize that in this age of technology where everyone is into gadgets with gazillions of features and everyone uses their cellphones to take pictures, watch videos, send email, and perhaps even to flush the toilet when they go to the bathroom, it seems that simply asking for an item that performs a single, simple task is too much to ask for. Anyway, the clerk proceeded to show me a Go Phone, which is one of those pay-as-you-go cellphones. He said the benefit of this cellphone is that you don't have to make an annual contract, you just purchase a card to add money to the phone and those are the minutes you can use to talk on the phone. When the funds are used up, you simply add more money to the card as needed. The clerk convinced me that getting the Go Phone was the way to go. The total purchase price was $37, which included the phone and $25 worth of talking time. After I bought the phone, I started reading the fine print on the back of the package. It said that every time you use the phone, you will be charged a $1 access fee for that day. What!? The clerk never told me that. I assumed the entire $25 would be used for minutes spent talking. The fine print also stated that monthly taxes may be deducted in some areas. It also said that service may not be available at all times. After reading all this, I decided to return the phone. Guess what? The phone can be returned, but not the minutes! What are you going to do with minutes but no phone! Beware of this phone!

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