Best Buy has started selling the Little Buddy Child Tracker. The device is supposed to help parents track their children, and it's listed as $99. What isn't mentioned however, are the recurring fees for the service.

The Little Buddy Child Tracker uses real GPS technology to help you track your children. It's advertised as being able to alert you if your child isn't in the location he's supposed to be at a specific time. It does so by sending text messages to you.

The light bulb above my head went off when I read that. Obviously, there's some cellular connection involved with the Little Buddy Child Tracker. Also, unless they are as generous as is with their Kindle device, you're not going to get that for free. And since expects you to buy stuff with the Kindle, and that's not the case with this device, you can see they probably aren't going to be that generous.

And they're not. Although Best Buy doesn't mention the recurring fees, Insignia, maker of the Little Buddy Child Tracker, does on their site.

For unlimited service, of the type that would alert you if your child wasn't in school when he should be, the cost for the Little Buddy Child Tracker is $14.99 monthly. For per-use service, it's $0.99 per use. They aren't specific, but this sounds like a service where you could "ping" the device to see where it is.

Clearly, one problem with the whole idea is that the company claims you should slip this into your child's jacket or backpack. Kids lose backpacks and jackets all the time; hence, they are going to lose this rather expensive thing, too. The Little Buddy Child Tracker also comes in ugly blue and green colors, designed to get your child to leave it in his locker.

The problem with more "portable" types of devices than the Little Buddy Child Tracker, such as those that are similar to wristwatches, is range. There are a few like that on, but they are woefully bad in terms of the user reviews. The fact that this one, for example, was over $100 at first and is now in the $20s, along with really bad reviews, shows you why.

To be honest, you get what you pay for. More expensive devices like these work better. They're also pricier, but some of them have no recurring fees yet can be tracked via Google Earth. For me, I'll pass on the Little Buddy Cnild Tracker.


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