Samsung Jitterbug SPH-A110 / A120
Phone Scoop Review
Nov 20, 2006 by Eric Lin
Our complete hands-on review of the Jitterbug phones and service for older users. Includes video tour. read review ›
Expensive Handset and Service that Takes Advantage of Naive Seniors
This phone is heavily advertised in magazines targeted at seniors. At first I thought that the price was $49, then I realized that it was three payments of $49 each. Ouch.
The monthly service is extraordinarily expensive compared to other prepaid plans such as T-Mobile To Go and PagePlus, along with very high per minute cost if you go over the monthly limit. From their web site, it appears that you lose your minutes after 90 days, they don't roll over as long as you keep your account active as is the case with every other prepaid provider.
It gets worse. While other prepaid providers include voice mail, Jitterbug charges $3 per month extra for it.
If it's like other Sprint MVNOs, there is no off-Sprint roaming which severely limits coverage, though since the handset is tri-mode presumably you can at least call 911 everywhere.
It's sad to see the people that can least afford to spend money needlessly fall for this sort of service.
Good phone but costly service
The Jitterbug people have their target demographic down cold. This is a simple cell phone that is great for older folks who have never had one before and are easily confused by too many features.
PROs - Great handset, easy to use, great sound, very friendly operators.
CONS - Costs and broken promises...
1. They have yet to deliver the Internet address book maintenance promised in the ads and manual, so you have to pay operator rates to make changes to your address book.
2. They have yet to deliver the Internet calling history promised so you can track your usage.
3. The best plans with pre-paid discounts work out to 15.8 cents a minute. Compare that to your Sprint rate!
4. The top end plan provides only 3,600 minutes a year at the 15.8 rate.
5. Overages are very expensive, 35 cents a minute, and you can't find out if you are over until you get a bill.
6. You can buy "packs" of extra minutes, but they are 25 cents a minute.
Bottom Line -- we'll probably keep the phone we bought for my mother until she has used up her pre-paid minutes, but then we'll go shopping for something more reasonably priced. It's too bad, really, to give up this nice handset. But my mother's usage will cost nearly $4,000 if we keep this up for a whole year. That's right, a 4 with three zeros after it!
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I purchased the Jitterbug phone a few weeks ago at CVS Pharmacy in Carlsbad CA. Upon returning home I called support and the phone was activated. It went well and the contact person was helpful and friendly. That was the good part.
I had signed up for Voice Mail (Dunno why they charge extra for that) and quickly discovered that I could not call into the system to retrieve my VMs. I got the âno signalâÂ error message 90% of the time. What is amazing is that I live about ONE MILE from their support center and office on Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad, CA. ONE MILE! Comon! You would think the damn thing would work in their own neighborhood! Not.
Then I tried to call my own number. Same deal. No coverage. Arggg. Calls I could make where clear for the most part. At least they got something right.
Next, I charged the battery overnight and found that it would not hold a charge for more than a day. Sigh. Oh it gets better. It gives this half second flash message when the battery is low when you boot up. If you can see the âgreen flashâÂ on an ocean sunset you might be able to catch the message. If you miss it your phone will just SHUTDOWN when out of charge. Boom! Out!
I did like the large numbers and comfortable earphone. Hated that you cannot control the volume of the speakerphone. Turn that on and folks three blocks away can âenjoyâÂ your conversation. What were they thinking? Oh and the large buttons are nice but you really have to make a solid, determined PRESS on the button to activate it. Get lazy and numbers will be left out. A nice beep or click-sensation would help a lot. I had to redial
I returned the phone last week and cancelled my account. They kept the activation fee.
I am sure Cooper and company did a lot of focus groups with their demographics to come up with this phone â but they have not got it right. Well, the âbugâÂ in the name is right because it has plenty of those.
jitterbug fits my needs very well!
I have had a cell phone for more than 20 years, yes back before you needed a small boy to carry the darned things around.
In the last year my needs for mega minutes have diminished and the pictures-text-INTERNET phones available very much exceed my needs so I looked at prepaid and no contract services.
I'm not hi-tech phobic in any way and in fact I spend much of my day on the net but the non-tech nature of the Jitterbug phone serves my needs very well.
I purchased the phone for $88.00 on eBay and activated it over the phone with Jitterbug customer service in about ten minutes, NO PROB!
It has a Internet connection to update the phone number list and the Operators are the best I've ever used on any service.
The prices are not the cheapest on a call/min basis but if your needs are not for high useage or for pictures or texting this Jitterbug may be your phone.
I then purchased the $13.00/month plan with a 1000 min block of time ($150 or $0.15/min which are good for the year.
My bills are running about $29 to $34 a month with taxes and fees which is about $30 less than I was paying for Cricket and $20 less than I was paying for Verizon (with a two year contract), ... so Jitterbug fits my needs very well!
Awful policies and systems
I ordered one of these in January 2007 thinking it would be the perfect phone for my mom. Despite many false promises about delivery, it wasn't even delivered until March and then it wasn't working properly until April. On top of that, they couldn't come up with a local number and could not even transfer my Mom's current local number to this phone. I had to settle for an 866 toll-free number that made all her friends think they had a bad number. I have a written log of over 12 calls I made trying to get this sorted out. INCREDIBLY BAD SYSTEMS AND SUPPORT!
Well, guess what. It's now a year later, and I got a letter telling me that the minutes purchased for the year are expired! Never mind that the phone was delivered two months late and has only been operational for 9 months. I'VE BEEN SCREWED!
I'm so ticked off that I'm not going to renew the contract even though that makes the phone a brick. I can't stand companies that take advantage of people like this one has. Stay away from the JITTERBUG! (I have a new name for this company. Think of a name that starts with "SH" and rhymes with JITTERBUG!)
Beware of re-sellers of wireless services.
Jitterbug from Great Call: An interesting though somewhat over-priced phone, reasonable coverage, nice people and totally inadequate support systems. Maybe try this service if you live in large metropolitan area. DO NOT try it if you live in the burbs or the countryside. Jitterbug (Great Call and presumably others that are now selling Jitterbug) buy blocks of cell phone numbers and re-sell them. But they cannot track the location of a number they are giving to a new subscriber, except that it is the same state. Whitepages.com worked for me, but they apparently are not allowed to use it.
In summary: I ordered this phone in mid-February 2007. In mid-March it came with a number that is long distance for people calling me (about three hundred miles away). By the time Jitterbug worked out a truly local number, supplied me with a label for the return of the phone for re-programming, and got it back to me, it was late May. But they could not re-set the start date of my prepaid annual minute contract to the date on which I had a functioning phone, so I was out a little over two months of usage. I decided to give up on them. Again a long wait for a return label, but the phone was sent back to them on June 13 and someone at Jitterbug Returns signed for it on June 18.
It is July 13, 2007 and I am now trying to get the refund processed to my credit card. All I am getting are nice statements by pleasant people who seem totally bound up by systems that are either accidentally or intentionally useless. As further examples, in addition to the phone I was supposed to receive, I got two others that were meant for other people and the phone meant for me was once delayed because it was sent to someone else
Jitterbug gives our family peace of mind
I purchased a Jitterbug for my father (now 73 years old). He absolutely loves the phone. The large back lit buttons, and easy to use yes/no options buttons are fabulous for him. For the first time in the 21st century my father feels that he can "handle" some of this technological mess." The jitterbug has given our family piece of mind. We can get ahold of my father at anytime, as he has the Jitterbug on him at all times. We also feel better knowing that there are 24 hour operators available to help out, should he need them.
Jitterbug is easy to use
I recently purchased a jitterbug for my 62 year old mother. She loves it! When we first used the phone, she and I laughed together as she opened the phone and stated "WOW! there is a dial tone, I don't need to ask you if this thing is on." She absolutely loves the jitterbug. She uses it pretty frequently, calling me, my sisters and checking voicemail, while she is away from her home, and all on her own. She has not even needed to call me to figure out how to check her voicemail. For an easy to use, easy to understand cell phone, I would highly recommend the jitterbug.
Jitterbug makes cell phones simple!
I just bought this phone for my mother who's 60 and she loves it! The price of the plans may differ from other carriers but that's because they provide so much servie. You can call the operator at any time to help with anything from placing a call to looking up a phone number of the local grocery store! I even can manage her phone list online. All you do is enter in your new contacts online and then it updates to your phone. I tried out the phone before giving it to my mom and there are some really great features. The speakerphone could be heard across the room and the padded ear piece blocked out sounds while I was on a call. I'd recommend this to anyone who just wants a simple phone.
Great phone for seniors
I purchased a Jitterbug phone for my father, age 72. My father "hates technology." He will not use the computer, refuses to take the time to understand email and the Internet, so talking him into a cell phone was a quite a task. We looked at quite few different options, but when it came down to the final purchase he chose Jitterbug. He felt the phone catered to him. The large back lit buttons, and the ear cushion won him over.
We received the Jitterbug a little over a month ago. And, to begin with we had some issues. We could not get the phone activated, which was a little aggrevating. However, we called into Jitterbug customer care and were given an explanation and resolution pretty quickly. The representative was very friendly, and explained that there was an issue with the phone number, something with programming would need to be done remotely. They were able to repair the issue within a couple of days, and had the phone up and running as promised, and within the promised time frame. I, and my father, were quite impressed with that.
My father says "this phone is great phone for Seniors." He absolutely loves the Jitterbug, and rants and raves to all of his golfing buddies about it. He feels that the phone was designed with him in mind, and tells everyone he knows that Jitterbug is the way to go, if you must have a cell phone. He is quite cute about it.
Since our first and only call with customer service we have been very satisfied, and would recommend the product to others that would prefer a simple cell phone.