I have read through the carriers serving Georgia and have come to these conclusions:
- Assurance Wireless
- Is Assurance offering plans under SafeLink?
- ReachOut Wireless
This carrier may use Verizon.
"Additional ReachOut Wireless cell phone minutes never expire. Never! These Refill Minutes, as ReachOut calls them, simply roll over to the next month. So you can rest assured that every minute you buy for your phone will be valid until you use it. No matter how long it takes." - from page
- Safelink Wireless
- Life Wireless
- You can use your GSM phone if you have one. If you have an old, nicer phone this is a great option. AT&T, T-Mobile, etc
Your local wireless provider should have a program under one of these umbrella providers. My advice is, go to the local office and ask about the Free Cellphone Program. You may have to ask for a manager, etc, to find the person, but if they are local to you, you may avoid some of the problems dealing with the big companies. Ask them about the Lifeline Program and mention the free cellphone. There is usually one person who knows about this and a lot of workers who don't. But read up first! Then you will be better able to tell them about it so they can tell others.
Telephone and Wireless companies don't usually have anything on the LifeLine program on their website. If it is, it takes some digging to find it.
Keep in mind, companies are having hard times too, as they don't fill vacant positions to cut expenses. All companies seem to suffer from reduced customer service, outsourcing to India or other countries, poor English, reading from a computer, etc.
That person on the line is struggling to understand your problem, and if you get rude, they may hang up. This is why you have to take the reviews with a grain of salt. The person holding the receiver and the person who tried to help them are real people with the stress of the economy, some of us more than others.
Don't blame the person in India, it's not his or her personal fault. Try to be patient.
If you have to call customer service, try to call from a landline [a phone connected to a wall socket even if the handset is wireless]. You will be less stressed because you are not using up minutes, worried that the phone will run out of juice after you've been on hold a while, etc.
Take a deep breath. You are stressed because you depend on that phone and you don't want to be without service. Remember that you willl talk to a person who also might have financial problems and probably has been yelled at all day.
Don't give up. Ask for a supervisor. Keep calling. A different person might speak better English. Expect to be on hold for a while. Bring a small craft, light reading, or other slight distraction to the phone. Plan for an interruptible entertainment while on hold!
Your specific area may limit you to one of the umbrella providers and or one phone company.