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Jitterbug Prepaid Cell Phone Service
OverviewGreatCall, formerly known as Jitterbug, is a cellular service provider focusing on simple handsets with simple rate plans. Their primary handset, the Jitterbug Plus, has come to be known as a great entry cell phone for less technically adept folks.
Pros: The service features a simple phone design and a number of service tiers.
Cons: They offer very few features beyond basic talk. Text messaging costs extra, and add-on minutes can be expensive.
Detailed Provider Information
Plans: Jitterbug offers six different levels of service, all of which come with carryover service that makes unused minutes available the following month. The Basic 14 plan offers 50 minutes for $14.99 per month; the Basic 19 offers 200 minutes for $19.99 per month; the Premium 29 plan offers 700 minutes for $29.99 per month; the Premium 39 plan offers 1,500 minutes for $39.99 per month; the Premium 59 plan offers 2,500 minutes for $59.99 per month; and the Simply Unlimited plan offers unlimited minutes for $79.99 per month. A la carte add-on minutes cost 35 cents each, but customers can buy packages: 100 minutes for $16.99, 250 minutes for $34.99, 500 minutes for $59.99, or 1,000 minutes for $99.99. Customers can also add lines to share for $14.99 per month, compatible with the Premium plans. The unlimited plan can be shared for $69.99 per month for additional lines.
Customer Service: Customer service can be reached via a toll-free number, email, or snail mail.
Credit Check: None
Payment Options: Jitterbug phones and minutes can be purchased online or at retail outlets.
Text and Picture Messaging: Text messages are available in four monthly packages: 300 texts for 3 dollars, 700 texts for 6 dollars, 1,250 texts for 10 dollars, and 2,500 texts for 15 dollars. Overages are billed at 10 cents each. Photo messaging is available for 25 cents per message, capped at 10 dollars per month.
Data Plans: No data plans are available at this time.
Downloadables: Jitterbug offers no downloadables.
International Calling: International calling is available as an add-on service.
Roaming Charges: Jitterbug phones will not work while roaming.
Calling Features: Voicemail is available for 3 dollars per month. It is free on yearly plans and with the 800 minute plan.
Activation Fee: 35 dollars.
Nationwide Long Distance: Jitterbug includes long distance at no extra charge.
411 Calls: Operator-assisted calls cost 5 minutes. It is free with the 800-minute plan.
Earliest Minute Expiration: Monthly and Simply Share plan minutes expire at the end of the month. Add-on minutes expire one year from the date of purchase.
911 Calls: Yes.
Phones: GreatCall offers only two handset models. One is a basic candybar phone from Samsung that offers affordability along with simplicity. The other is the signature Jitterbug phone, the Jitterbug Plus, which costs 99 dollars and come in red and silver.
Some Available Cell Models:
The Jitterbug Plus (shown)
Coverage Map: View the Jitterbug coverage map
Average rating based on Jitterbug Reviews by users:31
I had planned on buying 2 JB. But now, after reading these reviews. I have decided not too. How said. It sounded great.
love my Jitterbug phone. I don't have to learn any complicated procedures for it. It's so easy to operate. I think that this particular review site must have been rigged by SVC!
Don't Buy!!! My father-in-law is 96. Last year he decided he didn't want the phone. We called Jitterbug to donate it, but they said hold on to it we could reactivate it later. Well yesterday, 1 year later, was the later and we were told - that even though they still have many customers with the same phone they would not reactivate dad's - that he would have to spend $99 for a new phone plus the shipping and activation fee. They lied and refused to activate this phone for there own profit! A prepaid phone will be cheaper. Guess dad's $30/month service plan wasn't enough money for them!
I've tried multiple, less expensive options for a cell phone for my mom. Even though these phones claim to have features for seniors, they do not. You can see that Jitterbug is better just by looking at the phone. Plenty of stores have Jitterbug so do a comparison on the phone, not the price. You get what you pay for and Jitterbug takes care of my mom-can't put a $ on that.
The customer service was terrible, worst investment I made in my life. My parents think the phone is ugly and they never use it. Total waste of money.
I am SO thankful I read these reviews before buying a Jbug due to the ads. I am definitely NOT buying one and will find something else. I don't need the hassle!
I called the Great Call company twice to make sure this Jitterbug would work in my area. They said "yes" However, when I went to activate the phone, I was told it would not work in my area. Now I have to drive over an hour to return the phone. Very disappointed. I actually give them no stars.
Please be VERY careful before getting involved with Jitterbug. The phones are simple, yes, but that is about the only positive I can come up with for this plan. First, they try to give you a service with a doctor and nurse who call you and use up your minutes. DON'T TAKE IT! Jitterbug/GreatCall's customer service is the absolute worst I've ever experienced with any company. They do not listen to you and are apparently unable to follow instructions. They gave us numbers in the state where we had had our previous cell phones, even though I told them we had moved and wanted the area code for the new state. Then I canceled my service and told them to bill my husband separately because he wanted to keep his Jitterbug even though I was returning mine. Like Jerry (above), they tried to tell me I had scratched my phone so they could get out of refunding me for it, but since I barely used it I told them that was unacceptable; the phone was in perfect shape. Eventually it was refunded over a month later. Now my husband is also fed up and wants to quit GreatCall, but he's stuck with his phone. Last time he tried calling their customer service to straighten out their billing, they transferred him to a phone sex line. Beware!
I was set on getting my mother a jitterbug phone but after reading these reviews I will try the SVC TracFone. Thanks for the reviews!
I would give no stars it that were an option. My parents (seniors) ordered a phone from jitterbug then realized they could add a phone to their current plan. They called Jitterbug right away and explained to them that they do not need the phone afterall. Jitterbug informed my parents they need to wait 21 days for a $150 refund. They refused the UPS package (the phone) and never touched it. My Dad explained that to the lady and still they would not refund their money, it has been over 21 days now and no refund has been made. They sure are quick to take your money but not return it to a SENIOR CITIZEN! POOR customer service!!
The Jitterphone was a heavent-sent for my elderly mother. The customer service reps were patient and clearly well-versed in dealing with the eldery. The rate plans were reasonlable and the phone was awesome quality. it has lasted her for years, and we've never once had a billing issue. This is a great company and a great product
My mother bought this phone and spent over $300 just to get started. She wanted it for use while driving for emergencies. The CS sales reps flat out lie and tell senior citizens anything they want to hear just to get a sale. My mother couldn't even use the phone in her rural area because Jitterbug had no service there! Yet they took her money every month. She tried several times to cancel but they prey on these senior citizens. My mother lives alone and is several hours away from family. She has no PC knowledge. None of us knew any of this was going on. She now has a no contract Trac phone.
I gave my grandparents this phone for christmas and it was such a hassle. Customer service treated us really bad. We switched to the SVC senior value cellphone from Tracfone. Great service and cheaper than Jitterbug!!
I don't understand how Jitterbug phones, which are more basic than your average landline, can cost so much more than tracfones handset. Sure, you might say; but you get personalized customer service, and the option of adding a live nurse app (at an additional $4 a month), but still, how does that service justify the handsets to be eight times the price?!
At least it's being recognized that there is a need for this type of phone. Although the Jitterbug is a good product, it isn't exactly price friendly. Even one of the cons is that the per minute cost is expensive and there is an activation fee. With those on a limited budget such as seniors, this can make things difficult. Another other option we've considered and one of the current posters mentions is the "senior value cellphone". They address some of the extra expenses such as no activation fee, low costs for talking and text messaging, and will roam to find service at local rates.
This was the first cell phone I purchased for my grandparents two years ago and it was not a happy experience. First of all, the phones themselves were entirely overpriced and then coupled with an activation fee, put me way over what I thought they would want me to spend. They hardly used the phones and had several issues with the phone and customer service was no help. Ultimately, I had except it was a bust and then I just went with a prepaid company (Tracfone's SVC line) since it was MUCH cheaper and with better coverage. Its a misconception that Jitterbug is the only senior cell phone out there...
When it comes to affordability, I would recommend the Just5 Easyphone. My husband discovered this for her mom and I can say that it’s really great. With this phone, mom can keep in touch with us while at the same time secures her safety. What is even more beautiful about this phone is that it comes with a very attractive price. The offered rates of this provider are very competitive, too! My husband only pays $.10 for each minute. And because the minutes expire in 90 days, he only spends $3.33 a month for the cheapest minute plan. Its PERS features come free of charge! Obviously, this option is great for those who are on budget.
My grandparent hated this phone. Sorry but for them was way too expensive, I mean they are seniors and take good care of their budget. They had it for a few month and were about to give up on having a cellphone for emergencies, but then i got them a Tracfone senior value and now they only pay $7 month to have a line that's available for them when they are out of the house.
This jitterbug this is such a bad choice if you need a cellphone for a senior. Really expensive and not at all reliable, my granda hated it. We recently got her a SVC with Tracfone and she is a lot happier now and her bill starts at only $7 a month!
My boyfriend has a Jitterbug. It was originally his grandmother's but she let him use it. He sent a few texts and received a few. However, it suddenly sent the same text from the same person over and over and over again. It's racking up his bill yet isn't really using the text messaging.So in turn, he's paying for something he isn't doing. We've emailed customer service and no answer.
Yeah, I sent Jitterbug a letter 2 cancel my service in Nov 2010. Never heard from them. In my Dec bill nothing was said about the service being canceled. I am writing them another letter. I hope it works.
This would have negative stars if I could.
I thought I cancelled my mothers Jitterbug 5 months agoI had sent an e-mail to their customer service asking how I can cancel the account and did not receive any reply) and they never sent a final bill (since I paid ahead, and had a credit balance, I never thought anything about it). Now I get a call on my phone saying I need to call them since some mail was returned. Turns out they were sending mail to the wrong address (magically I got mail from them before I tried to cancel the account).
They let the account go for 5 months, presumably sending them to the wrong address. Who does this? Any other company would have cut it off by the second billing cycle that was missed. When I returned the call they tell me that you can't cancel by e-mail and must call customer service to cancel. I asked why their customer service did not reply to my e-mail explaining this I was told that they don't reply to customers who do not have an e-mail address on file. Something that is not disclosed on the site.
I asked why they did not call me before 5 months and he said they tried to call the Jitterbug phone 3 months after I sent the first e-mail. Since that phone was sitting in a drawer not being used, because I thought it had been cancelled, that was a pretty futile thing to do.
I set this up for my 70 year old mother, I paid all the bills, and I was the contact on every other occasion. Yet they called my mother 3 months in and did not bother to call me till they finally cancelled the bill at 5 months past due at which point they somehow remember that I pay the bills and call me for payment.
When I called customer Service the first customer service rep was AWFUL. The First time I asked for his supervisor, instead of giving me to the supervisor, he replied why should he do that since he was answering all my questions (though not to my satisfaction).
When I finally got the supervisor, after explaining everything and being told about the customer service I told him how dissappointed I was at not having at least cut the bill in half (even though I think they should dismiss it all) he said he would not do that because he considered it all legitimate even though there was no usage on the phone, because a lot of people use the phone for emergencies only and have zero usage and I could understand that if I had the minimum coverage, but at one point there was large usage ($250 in the first month and we upped it to more minutes) how is that for emergencies only in this case?
If you are going to use it only for the pre pay it might be good but if you think you may need customer service at any time do not use them.
If you plan on skipping on the bill then use them as they won't cancel you for 5 months.
I have had nothing but excellent service from jitterbug. Their phone is easy to use and the network has proved equivalent to my wife's AT&T cell phone, and in some cases is superior. They're rates while not the best are competitive. It is true there phone is a little expensive, but it seems to me to be a very easy to use and durable simple cell phone. Just what I was looking for.
If you want great customer service from people who are based in this country and who speak English well and have a helpful attitude, if you want a cell phone that is easy to use and does a good job with a network that seems to me to be superior, then don't hesitate to sign up with jitterbug.
do not assume that this phone will have any ANY feature other than listed on the box. It is terrible for vision impaired vision, numbers dialed are big, but all the prompts are very small and not very easy to read even for someone with perfect vision. No one touch dialing from phone book!!!!. I remeber that my 1st cell phone at 1994 did not had that feature either. They expect my grandma to memorize all the phone numbers? I do not mind the price of the phone or the price of the plan, but there is no functionality that I believe it intended to be for.
I do not think that loud speakerphone and bluetooth will appeal to elder / vision impaired users.
I HATE THE JITTER BUG BECAUSE IT IS UGLY BUT I LIKE IT BECAUSE IT IS A FLIP
My Mom Loves her Jitterbug! I went into the store to get the cell phone at a retailer at Christmas(She wanted to see what it looked like). I was surprised it looked just like the advertisement. The retailer I found was grossly uniformed and sold us a two year agreement, on the Verizon Knack(Senior Phone) they offered free phone with two year agreement, me and my mom signed a two year contract after much thought. She tried to use it but with Macular she broke down, so I took the phone to find out that we had to do all the programming, so I called the Jitterbug Hotline and the lady explained that if you purchase the Jitterbug($147) over the phone they are able to store number and program before it arrives. It was so simple. I had no choice but to return the phone and let them through the Jitterbug Hotline on the AARP Ad and program it. There was an issue with charging that was quickly resolved my mom is also using this in place of her life line since it works everywhere, its very easy to hear and has really big nice buttons to see if you have questions I actually recommend calling vs the store because the agents are very helpful and they simplify the process where as the store agents will send you on your way confused and wanting more. Jitterbug has been a god send for my me because I dont have to worry anymore that if mom cant hear the phone so now if she does not answer I know that something is terribly wrong and that peice of mind Sincerly *Happy Jitterbug Customer*
Jerry- I would like to work with you to resolve any issues you have concerning the return of your Jitterbug phones. Please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
been with them for a year now great company customer service is very eager to help with any problems and are based in USA and all speak English coverage is best Ive found better than at@t sprint Verizon or alltel Ive had all of them and since i drive a truck for a living across all 48 states i can tell you they have coverage in at least 95 percent of the us and they don't have to have a contract to keep customers there excellent service is what keeps there customer base a great deal for simple phone service with out a lot of junk you don't need i just wish they would offer an air card for my laptop so i could leave Verizon all together
I bought both my mom and dad a Jitterbug. At age 83 and 89 respectively I was concerned that they would be stranded on the side of road and no way to communicate with anyone. (Yes they both still drive and are very independent) However, because I live in a different area the phones had my area code. After taking the phones to Best Buy for an upgrade that did not work, Jitterbug sent my folks new phones and car chargers at no cost to me. They also sent a prepaid package for my folks to send the old phones back. The new phones work great and are clear as a bell. And yes Jerry I had to spend some time with customer service to get all this done. They were kind and respectful the whole time. But I gave them respect and calm account of the problem. Now we are all happy as clams. It's all in the delivery.
Bought the Jitterbug J for my folks that wanted an easy to read phone for when one of them were out. They told me they would share it. Phone arrived and I showed them how to use it. They loved it! It was easy for them. They called family in other states with ease and very clear sound. Now they no longer want to share and want to add another one to their plan. We are only in the first month of their service but as far as ease of use and understanding..my 83 yoa father and 76 yoa mother would give it 5 stars. I will update later as they continue to use the phones. Off to add another phone to their plan.
Bought 2 Jitterbugs and had them port my existing numbers. One phone worked and the other phone did not. Jitterbug's customer service could not fix my phone and suggested that it must have been something that I did.
Other than buying 2 very overpriced phones, unpacking them, charging them and trying to make a call I did nothing to the phones. After speaking with 4 different CS reps and a "supervisor" I canceled my service and will send the J-phones back for a "partial" refund.
Jitterbug will not refund the $35 activation fee (even though the one phone was never activated) and the cost of shipping. My transaction with Jitterbug was the worst example of customer service that I have ever experienced!!!
Buyers (especially senior citizens) should take a very hard and long look before dealing with these folks.
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