Jitterbug

Anyone looking for an easy to use cell phone or even cell phones for seniors may want to consider Jitterbug cell phone plans. The draw with Jitterbug is both their simple cell phones and simple cell phone plans.



Although they don’t necessarily offer the cheapest plans for seniors, they do offer a viable option, and they have extras available like the LiveNurse program, which offers 24-hour access to registered nurses. This can be pretty handy for seniors or other people with health concerns.

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Jitterbug Cell Phone Plans

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The Basics

Jitterbug offers four no contract cell phone plans through GreatCall, with an option of shared plans. All of these plans, with the exception of the Unlimited Plan, have an additional charge for text messages, an additional charge for voicemail ($3 per month), a 35 cents per minute charge for minutes over the monthly allowance and they allow unused minutes to carry over for 60 days:

  • Basic 14 – The Basic 14 plan offers 50 anytime minutes for $14.99.
  • Basic 19 – The Basic 19 plan offers 100 anytime minutes for $19.99.
  • Premium – The Premium plan offers 400 anytime minutes and unlimited night and weekend minutes (calls between 7pm and 6am and weekends) for $39.99 per month.
  • Simply Unlimited – The Simply Unlimited plan offers unlimited calls and texts for $79.99 per month.

Texting Options
Text messages are 10 cents per text. For more texts at a better rate you can add Premium Text Messaging, which costs $5 for 300 texts. Unlimited texting is only available on their Simply Unlimited plan.

Share Plans
If you want to turn this into a cell phone family plan you can take advantage of their Share Plans. This option is only available on their Premium and Unlimited plans. Each line added to the Premium plan is $14.99 per month, and each line added to the Simply Unlimited plan is $69.99 per month. Calls to other members in the Simply Share plan are free, like most contract cell phone family plans. There is no additional set up fee for these added lines.


Basic Plan Details

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Here are some of the plan details for Jitterbug cell phone plans:

  • No credit checks
  • No contracts
  • No roaming charges
  • $35 activation fee
  • Minutes carry over for 60 days
  • No data plans available
  • Add on minutes available
  • Additional services available for an extra monthly fee, including LiveNurse, 5Star Urgent Response and mobile phone insurance
  • Jitterbug phones and minutes can be bought online or at retail outlets including Best Buy and Sears

Cell Phone Selection

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The reason most people choose Jitterbug cell phone plans is because of the specific type of cell phone they offer. Jitterbug cell phones were originally marketed as cell phones for seniors, but their latest model, the Jitterbug J, is marketed for anyone who wants a cell phone that is easy to use.

Jitterbug cell phones feature large buttons with a backlit keypad making the keypad easy to use and easy to see. They keypad is simple with Yes and No buttons for navigation; the menu is very simple too. They also have easy to read screens with large, clear text.

The headset has a foam lining that makes the phone more comfortable to use and it helps decrease outside noise. The phone has a loud, clear sound and the option of speakerphone. It is also hearing aid compatible and Bluetooth compatible.

This flip phone has a display screen on the outside so the user can see the time and caller id when the phone is closed. The volume controls are also found here, which makes them a little odd to adjust during a phone call.

Overall this is a good cell phone for people who want something simple. Like the Just5 cell phone for seniors, this cell phone is a little on the pricey side at $99. By comparison Consumer Cellular senior cell phones are only $25.


Customer Service

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Like most cell phone plans they have mixed reviews for customer service. Some people have had a good experience with the customer service finding the reps friendly and helpful, while others have had issues. The customer service is U.S. based.


Fees

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Jitterbug is a prepaid cell phone plan so there is no cancellation fee, but they do charge a $35 activation fee. They also charge $3 per month for voicemail, unless you choose their unlimited plan.


Pros And Cons

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Pros

  • Easy to use cell phones
  • Add on services available (ex: LiveNurse or Urgent Response)

Cons

  • Calling plans aren’t that cheap
  • Voicemail not included in most plans
  • No data options

Summary

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Jitterbug offers easy to use, senior friendly cell phones that can help make using a cell phone more comfortable for seniors who previously didn’t feel so comfortable with this technology. This isn’t one of the cheapest prepaid cell phone plans or cell phones, but if it is something you or your parents are more comfortable using it may be worth it.

Jitterbug cell phone plans come with a good coverage area. They also have options for nice added features like LiveNurse and 5Star Urgent Response; of course these added services come with an additional cost.

It’s nice how their Shared Plans work more like regular cell phone family plans, but they are only available on the top two plans and those plans seem a little pricey for what you get compared to contract family plans.

It’s always important to compare prepaid plans. If you are comparing cheap cell phone plans for budget conscious family members or for yourself, this may not be the best option. There are other options that offer cheaper monthly rates and cheaper per minute rates. But if you just want a simple cell phone with a minimal no contract voice plan at a reasonable cost this may be worth considering.

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