I have a very limited need of another phone number. I need my 10 year old to have the ability to call me and vice versa as we’ve had two events back to back where I could not locate her and she was calling me from an adult’s phone.
In both cases plans got screwed up (EG: The plan was to pick her up at point A after a school event, the school moved the event and everyone, refused to let anyone leave without an adult, gave adults no contact info or even bothered to put a post it note on the door as to where they had gone,) and she had no way to contact me.
While I’m fine with/pro-device as my kids seem to not be total addicts, I’ve generally been against kids having to have a phone number and carry a device. That was before I had a 10 year old in the public education system and a couple of special events turning into a fiasco the past month.
So I’m looking at getting a phone plan that she can use to call me in a situation like that. The only reason I managed to get her picked up this last event was because the person who she borrowed the phone from stuck around and gave me directions to the new location.
I’ve had a backup SIM from Ting for a while, and briefly considered them for her carrier, but decided to go to a T-Mobile store yesterday and see what they had. TL;DR version is it was going to be $40 a month for the line+data, and really with how we operate she needed very little data as there’s Wi-Fi everywhere. While I am on T-Mobile because I need all that stuff, this didn’t seem like a good option as she theoretically could do without any data plan.
I wouldn’t have gone into the store if the T-Mobile website gave any plan other than their Go5G plan. But that’s what they’re pushing.
While I may need to re-investigate Ting, Ryan Reynolds managed to make me forget my dislike of his other endeavors – Aviation Gin, Green Lantern, and that X-Men movie he was in, and try it out. Also knowing that it’s running on the same towers, priority, and is a company now owned by T-Mobile (or will be soon, not sure where that acquisition is at,) gave me some confidence.
There’s a $15 a month plan, which is still a lot more than I want to pay for a telephone number that will only be used a couple of times a month, but it’s what we’re going to try with my wife’s old Note 9. 5 GB monthly, I’m going to be surprised if she goes more than 1. We’ll see.
Parental controls keep it in DND / not a distraction at school, but allow for calls to us at any time in the event of plan change, or standard school week changes.
Having a tiny human involved in events is complicated. Event organizers, teachers, etc who change plans at the last minute make it harder than it needs to be.