Cost of checking email?
I am so excited to hear about the Triple Minutes for Life, and this seems like a nice phone. I have been hoping for a phone with real email access. I am so glad that this is now available in a Tracfone! My only concern is the amount of airtime that will be used to check my mail.
Does Tracfone deduct for each email that is downloaded (and if so, how much?), or does it actually depend on the time it takes to download? Is there a way to set up how many times per day it downloads mail, or are the emails downloaded automatically as they are sent? Also, if I send an email on my phone, how much airtime is deducted? Just want to determine if this would be a cost-effective option for me, or if I should forget about trying to read/respond to email on my phone.
Thank you so much for your website and all of your help!!!
Thanks for your kind words. Yes, it does cost you airtime to check email on the EX124G. Once you've set up your email account, then when you click on Email in the Message menu, you are asked if you want to "Download?" If you say "Yes" it starts to retrieve your email. If you say "No" then it put you into the Email menu where you can still choose to "Send/Receive" email. Thus you manually perform rather than schedule the downloads.
You're not charged a set amount per email but rather for the time it takes (or data it uses) to download it.
If you have a lot of messages in your inbox, it will take a while to download them. You can set a retrieval limit (the default is 100) for the number of emails you want to download. In my testing it seemed to download the older ones in my account (from 2007) first, and I shut it down. However, when I just now tested it on a Yahoo account accessed via the IMAP4 protocol, it seems to be downloading the most recent messages, which is great.
Luckily No Spam
One thing I was glad about was that for Yahoo at least, I only got email from my Inbox and nothing from the Spam folder. I went back and checked my email from my computer to confirm that there were indeed about 75 emails in my spam folder, but none on them were downloaded to the EX124G.
Calculating the Cost of Retrieving Email
I downloaded sixty-one emails from my Yahoo account and it cost me five minutes of airtime which works out to about 0.08 minutes of airtime per email. Note that I was in an area with good signal strenth (all four bars). The cost would vary depending on what airtime card you bought.
As a sample calculation. Let's say you bought the 400 minute one-year card for 4100. The triple minutes feature on this phone would give you 1200 minutes, and you could get another 200 minutes with a promo code. So $100 for 1400 minutes works out to about 7 cents per minute. Multiply that by 0.08 give you a cost of about half a cent per email.
So you could retrieve about 200 emails for a dollar of airtime based on the one-year card. That's actually a bit more reasonable than I expected.
Sending a single email costs half a minute of airtime. That works out to be a little more expensive at 3.5 cents each. It's also more expensive than sending a text which costs a third of a minute of airtime. I don't know if it's possible to group emails for sending out all at once.
Thanks again for your question, and I hope this helps. (I'll try to add some screenshots later.)