With the Jitterbug, there is always help available if you need it. For instance, when you retrieve your first voice mail, a comforting voice will walk you through retrieving your mail and setting up your mailbox.
Many of the Jitterbug features are priced separately, allowing the user to subscribe to only the feature that they want. Unfortunately, voicemail on the Jitterbug is one of those features. It costs an extra USD 3 a month. We feel that this is a feature that almost everyone needs, and that it should be included in the price of the service.
The Jitterbug operators will do just about everything for you. They will answer questions, program numbers into your phone, place calls for you, and turn services on and off. This 24-hour customer service is available 365 days a year. You will be charged for calls to the Jitterbug operator. These calls automatically use 5 minutes of airtime per connection, in addition to the actual number of minutes used while speaking to the operator during the call. Yet, for some. this will be an invaluable service.
We tested the operator service by making several calls. There was virtually no wait time. The operators were helpful and courteous. They were able to make changes to our service and to our address book. Although they said the changes could take up to several hours, all were completed in less than an hour.
With the Jitterbug J, Jitterbug has added some services that were not available with their first Jitterbug version. Several of these are free with all Jitterbug rate plans. These include the new Jitterbug calendar that will give you reminders of your appointments, and the phonebook that lets you organize phone numbers. Call-waiting, like Voice dialing, is free, but you must call to have it turned on.
You also get your own online area called “MyJitterbug,” which is shown in Figure 10. This is where you can check usage, set up your calendar, and customize services. If you are purchasing the Jitterbug for an older person, you can log onto their MyJitterbug account and more or less manage everything for them.
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Figure 10: MyJitterbug
Jitterbug also has premium services. Most of these cost USD 4 a month or are free with the higher priced plans. These include:
- LiveNurse, which gives you 24-hour access to registered nurses who will answer questions and provide health care advice
- Daily Health Tips, which are text messages to more or less get you thinking about watching your health
- Wellness Call, which is a personalized 5-minute call each week with health information and motivation
- MyWorld, which includes:
- MyWeather – Current weather information and a 4-day forecast for 2 cities of your choic
- MySports – Scores and schedules for up to 6 of your favorite teams
- MyStocks – Track up to 6 stock market ticker symbols
- MyTrivia – Daily trivia, Today in history, and Quote of the day
- MyHoroscope – Daily horoscopes for all 12 symbols
- MyLottery – Winning numbers for up to 6 different lottery games throughout the country
We found the MyWorld quite useful and of course, depending on your situation, the LiveNurse could be very valuable. The health tips and wellness call were mainly motivational in nature. While the LiveNurse is certainly worth an additional monthly fee, with so many phones having free apps, it seemed to us that MyWorld should be free for all plans.
The Jitterbug J gives you a choice of 7 ring tones and 5 background colors. There is also a 50-name address book. You can add numbers to the address book on your PC at your MyJitterbug site or you can have the operator add them for you. We would have like to see an easy way to add a number that you just called or someone who called you, but we didn’t find that.
If you want to use your Jitterbug full-time, you can port your land-line or a cell phone number to the Jitterbug.