Archived Q&A and Reviews
Pagers for TeensI'm thinking about buying pagers for my teens, so I can reach them after school when I'm at work and they are ??? If you've bought a pager for your teen, could you reply to the newsletter and let me know how it worked out? Did they use it? Did it get lost? Where's a good place to buy pagers? What's the usual cost? Any special features that worked especially well? -- Thanks
I got my 9th grader a pager when she started at BHS and it's been worth it! I'd already been using PAGEUSA for my own pager. They have a family plan (which I imagine all companies do) which provides for additional pagers for family members at $5 a month. She wears it at all times except in dance and keeps it on vibrate - has never left it on beeper. She's never lost it. I've used it often (although rarely during the school day). Some examples - if she's late coming home I page her to make sure she's ok (she also has a cell phone, which I thought I'd never do - also on a family plan from GTE for $10 a month). If I'm picking her up and running late, I page her and put in the time I'll be there. Today I used it because she and her friend needed to know if I was picking them up or they were going to Telegraph Avenue so we agreed on a code and I let her know that way. She's going to a concert in SF on Friday with friends. If somehow the pickup with the designated father misses, she can phone another mother who will be in the city - or the father can page her and let the girls know exactly where he is. I work in both San Jose and Hayward and I'm far more comfortable knowing I can get in touch with her when I need to - and she with me.
Last year, when my son was 12, he wanted a pager, as a gift, more than anything else. I think it was a fashion thing. Anyway I resisted, as I didn't see a need for it. But after much begging, we gave in a bought him one. As it turns out I am very happy we made that purchase, and make sure he has it each morning when he leaves the house. Especially now that he is older, and more independent it is important for our peace of mind. We use it to keep track of him, and it is well worth the money. I think we have Airtouch service, and pay about $10 per month for unlimited use.
My two daughters wanted pagers and I funded them. It turned out to be a real worry-saving device, and otherwise great for keeping in touch in our busy and mobile world. I could page them no matter where they were (as long as it was within pager range) and normally would get a call back within an hour. Obviously it doesn't work if your teen is mad at you, unless they are able to remain sympathetic to your anxiety about their safety in spite of their anger. It costs about $75 per year (we have had several accounts at Wave Wireless on San Pablo, and are very happy with their service and the people) and if you compare that to the grey hairs you will get otherwise, a very worthwhile investment. We have lost or had stolen three pagers between the two children in the last 4 years. One became nonfunctional and was replaced free of charge. I, for one, was really glad to be a parent in the nineties in this case!
Regarding pagers: The Ed code states the following: E.C. 48901.5 (a) No school shall permit the possession or use of any electronic signaling device that operates through the transmission or receipt of radio waves, including, but not limited to, paging and signaling equipment, by pupils of the school whil the pupils are on campus, while attending school-sponsored activities, or while under the supervision and control of school district employees, without the prior consent of the principal or his or her designee. No pupil shall be prohibited from possessing or using an electronic signaling device that is determined by a licensed physician and surgeon to be essential for the health of a pupil and use of which is limited for purposes related to the health of the pupil.
(b) The governing board of each school district shall take all steps it deems practical within existing resources to discourage pupils from possessing or using electronic signaling devices, except where the use of an electronic signaling device is essential for the health of a pupil.
I got my son a pager about a year ago. Overall, I have found it to be a good thing. The cost is very low - $7.00 a month if you pay a year in advance. We got it at Beeper City off Telegraph, but there are other places. For years we have struggled with him not letting us know where he is, worrying when he's late, etc. It has greatly improved our ability to keep in touch with him. I can't say he always returns our pages in a timely manner, but when he doesn't there's usually a reason - he was in a movie, on BART, etc. Once it was stolen and had to be replaced, in which case you report it stolen and there's a replacement price. I would recommend it. Miriam
Gave up on pagers - never would wear it (not cool)- couldn't hear it in the back back where they kept it. We've gone to cellphones - family net from GTE - $0.10 /min between family phones. More monthly expense, but then they don't have to find a payphone to talk to you. -Much more peace of mind- They can call if they're in trouble or have car trouble.
My husband bought a pager for our teenage son. Yes, we use it to contact him since we don't have his extra-curricular schedule memorized and we'd get worried when he didn't return home 'on time.' And he can call home, tell us to beep him in 5 minutes if we can come to pick him up at XXX location. He knows if we don't beep him, then he'll take another bus, or walk home. He does remember to keep it with him, and he hasn't lost it. I think the cost was reasonable; I don't know the brand. --Bonnie (12/99)
I use Take 2, on University, by Andronico's: - $49/year (everything included, no bogus activation or recrystallizing fees), - free batteries whenever yours run out, - 3 months free for referral, - friendly service (they want business) Note that this was with me bringing in my own pager. Drawback: it took several trips back to the store to actually get the pager working properly, and I think that in the end my wife even got it replaced at no charge. If you want something more reliable, for $60/yr everything included, try Fortune paging on San Pablo in El Cerrito.
Basically, taking 20 mins to look at the Yellow Pages and make phone calls is definitely worth it with these services. Good luck. Eric (2/99)
Pagers for Labot & DeliveryHeleen 11/99
Since I am pregnant and my husband wants to attend a conference in Berkeley during my due date, we would like to rent a pager for 2 months. Where can we rent one in the neighbourhood?
I believe that Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley rents pagers to expectant parents. I don't have the number on hand, but this was a program in the prenatal care department I think.
My husband got a PageNet pager which we had activated for a few months when I was working and travelling a bit. We terminated the service (you keep the beeper) after I quit working, but reactivated it six months later for a month or two before the birth of our second. It worked out really well.