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  Old "Off-contract" Phones Still Useful...Don't Throw Away 
 Date Written 
john albrich Jan 19, 2010, 01:02pm EST Report Abuse

I think we've talked about this before on HWA, but didn't see it in this specific category.

Use the old phone as an emergency backup phone. In the US (and perhaps in Europe), old phones...even those that are currently NOT covered by any service contract...MUST be provided access to 911 in the US*. (Don't know if this is true in Europe for 999 emergency services).

Thus, there may not be a need to throw your old phone in the landfill (or even put in recycle bin).

So even if you can't use it for anything else (e.g. regular phone calls, an mp3 player, etc) you can stuff an old phone and charger in your car(s) glove box as an emergency backup. If you forget your regular phone or it's not working for some reason, you still can use the old phone to call emergency services.

I've had several pay-as-you-talk and subscription-based phones and when I'm done with them I just give them to friends and family as an "emergency backup" phone.

It's also an easy way to provide emergency contact capability to your kids without giving them carte-blanc ability to abuse the phone.

Churches and charities could do this too. Collect old phones from people and re-distribute them to parishioners, etc....providing emergency 911 access to people that don't/can't subscribe to a regular phone service. (of course, wipe the memory and SIM card of any personal info before doing so)

I don't know if On-Star still provides emergency contact if you quit your contract with them. There is no direct-dial keypad with On-Star of which I'm aware. And of course the On-Star system could be damaged in a crash...So, keeping a backup phone even in an On-Star equipped vehicle still makes sense.

*This applies only if the local cell-tower still supports the protocol used by the old phone (e.g. CDMA/TDMA, etc) If the protocol is no longer supported, the requirement to provide 911 connectivity is eliminated.

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~Vel Jan 19, 2010, 01:12pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Old "Off-contract" Phones Still Useful...Don't Throw Away
I usually keep my previous phone as a back-up to my current phone even (assuming I've kept the same provider). My reason being is that if my current phone gets busted for whatever reason, I don't have to pay a non discounted price on getting a new phone.

TamTheBam Jan 19, 2010, 02:29pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Old "Off-contract" Phones Still Useful...Don't Throw Away

Yea the emergency services are active on all mobiles. Even when the contract's dead.
It's a handy thing!!

....I'm back, but only as a part-timer... :)



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