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Thread: Beat huge wireless roaming charges when abroad

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    LB
    Peace Love n Pretty Tings LB is offline
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    Beat huge wireless roaming charges when abroad



    The so-called cost saving measures are still expensive but a few of them would have saved me from a $1,100 cell bill last summer...
    Now I just buy a cell phone in whatever country I am in and added minutes or data as I go.

    ==================================================

    Frequent business traveler Chris Ritterhern remembers racking up a $1,700 bill while using his iPhone and BlackBerry during three weeks in Spain, France and England a couple of years ago.


    Ritterhern, an executive management consultant in Laguna Hills, Calif., says wireless carriers' roaming charges abroad for voice calls, text messaging and data streaming are "brutal and excessive."
    The European Union has imposed limits on roaming charges the past two years. However, charges still exist there and in other places around the globe. And, like Ritterhern, many travelers return from foreign countries to be startled by their wireless bills. With a bit of planning, though, there are many ways travelers can avoid exorbitant roaming charges abroad.
    "They are a license to steal," says Long Island-based frequent traveler Alan Intrator, the president of a company that provides credit card processing referrals.
    "Someone sent me a photo when I was in South Africa last November and, $55 later, (it) was downloaded into my BlackBerry. I saw Sprint laughing all the way to the bank."
    International plans
    Wireless carriers say customers can cut costs by subscribing to their international plans, which offer reduced rates for voice calls, text messaging and data streaming.
    AT&T, for example, charges a "standard international roaming rate" of $1.39 a minute for wireless phone calls made or received in France. Subscribers to AT&T's World Traveler program — who pay $5.99 a month for reduced rates in more than 150 countries — pay 99 cents a minute in France.
    AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel says customers should always call AT&T before traveling to discuss where they're going and their expected phone use. He says the company "almost always" recommends an international plan that can save hundreds of dollars.
    But Mark Spoonauer, editor in chief of Laptop magazine, LAPTOP Magazine - Product reviews, tech news, buying guides, and more warns travelers against jumping at wireless carriers' international plans.
    "Even if you sign up for your service provider's international calling plan, you can still wind up paying through the nose," he says.
    Per-minute rates in international plans vary by country and are often expensive, he says. Subscribers also are saddled with a monthly fee.
    AT&T's Siegel says consumers have plenty of choices. But, he says, "If they want to be assured of dependable worldwide coverage, we offer a great alternative."
    Wireless carriers' international plans for text messages also are no bargain, Spoonauer says.
    AT&T's international plan charges $10 a month for 100 text messages. Non-subscribers pay 25 cents to send a text message and 20 cents to receive one.
    Managing roaming charges
    Spoonauer suggests these strategies to keep roaming charges abroad low:
    •Consider using Truphone, XCom Global or Tep Wireless.
    Truphone's Tru SIM international cards let you place a roaming SIM (subscriber identity module) card inside your GSM (global system for mobile communications) phone, a wireless technology standard used by AT&T and T-Mobile. With a basic Tru Essential plan, which costs $30 a month, you get 100 minutes to use in the USA, Britain, the Netherlands and Australia. Each additional minute costs 10 cents to 20 cents. Data costs are as low as 10 cents a megabyte, depending on the plan.
    To keep Internet access charges low, XCom Global offers unlimited data for $17.95 a day ($14.95 a day for members), Spoonauer says.
    The company offers a mobile hot spot device that can connect a smartphone, a laptop and up to three other devices to the Internet in 67 countries. With some smartphones, the hot-spot device and a Skype mobile app, cheap international calls can be made.
    Another choice, he says, is Tep Wireless, which rents both a pocket Wi-Fi hot spot and local smartphones.
    The cost of a Wi-Fi hot spot varies depending on the country and length of the rental. For Britain, a five-day rental is $6.75 a day, a 10-day rental is $4.73 a day. Both rates include 150 megabytes of data daily. Spoonauer recommends spending an extra $3.50 a day for unlimited data.
    Tep Wireless charges $6.50 a day for five-day use of a smartphone in Britain. Unlimited data and 100 local texts are included. You can pay extra for voice calls — $12.50 for 250 minutes of international calls and 20 minutes of local calls. But, Spoonauer says, you're better off using Skype.
    •Some apps for saving on calls and text include Line2, which offers international calling for as low as 2 cents a minute and texting for 10 cents each.
    Pinger's Textfree with Voice makes it possible to send texts to more than 25 countries but doesn't include international calling. It is free to download and use.
    •If you're willing to hunt for hot spot access, Spoonauer says, consider signing up for the Boingo wireless app. It costs $9.95 a month and provides unlimited Wi-Fi access for mobile devices and laptops at more than 30,000 free and paid hot spots in North and South America.
    For $34.95 a month, Boingo offers unlimited Wi-Fi access at more than 200,000 hot spots in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
    •A more complicated option is to get rid of your phone's SIM card and get a local one for a foreign country. This can be done for $5 to $20 in the country or online from National Geographic's CellularAbroad.com or Telestial.com.
    Most phones provided by U.S. mobile carriers must first be "unlocked" to use another SIM card. Various companies on the Internet offer to unlock a phone for a small fee.
    •Communicate computer-to-computer for free by using Skype. You can also subscribe to the Skype Unlimited World Plan for $13.99 a month and make calls via Wi-Fi or 3G mobile phones to landlines in North America and 40 other countries.
    'Breaking point'

    Ritterhern, the frequent traveler, believes he'll never again have to stare at a $1,700 bill.
    "The best strategy is to get a prepaid SIM card for the country you're traveling to," says Ritterhern, who unlocks his phone before he lands in another country and then changes SIM cards on arrival.
    Another frequent business traveler, Kathryn Alice, says she reached her "breaking point" a few years ago after receiving a $1,000 bill, including $300 for a single phone call, for roaming charges for her BlackBerry in Thailand.
    Alice, a vice president in the publishing industry, recommends getting a phone with two slots for SIM cards — one for U.S. calls and one for calls abroad.
    "Almost always, calls to the USA are cheaper from a local SIM than accruing roaming charges," she says. "And, because the majority of phone calls are to local people in that country, the local SIMs are cost-effective."
    Many business travelers say they turn off the roaming function of their mobile devices when they are abroad.

    Pauline Weaver, a lawyer in Fremont, Calif., calls roaming charges abroad "highway robbery." She uses a more drastic strategy to ensure she doesn't incur them on her cellphones.
    "I shut them off completely when traveling out of the country to prevent incoming calls as well," she says. "I'd rather rely on e-mail."

    Beat huge wireless roaming charges when abroad - USATODAY.com
    ~ If you make the mountain any bigger you wont be able to move it later

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    Registered User BacchanalDiva's Avatar BacchanalDiva is offline
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    Good stuff. Last time I was in Trinidad I had only had my iphone a few months and didn't know better. Used my bmobile phone for calls but between the FB msgs, texts etc, I came back to almost 2K in data charges. In future phone staying on airplane mode when its out of the country!
    "Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses." -Plato

    "god is the deification of a culture."
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    Registered User iPicong's Avatar iPicong is offline
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    dat person just start travelling.....dais (un)common sense
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    Notchilous ladyrastafari's Avatar ladyrastafari is offline
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    when i go away, i forward my calls to Google voice, so that no calls ever ring on my number... people can leave messages etc.. they're transcribed.. when i get to where i'm going.. I use skype and call them back.. cost? FREE

    I also subscribe to my provider's intl data plan.. for my bbm etc to work... when i'm outside i use the existing network - orange, bmobile, whatever.. and when i'm where there is wireless, i switch to wifi and use that... as soon as i reach back, I turn off the Intl plan and make sure that it's prorated for ONLY the time that i was abroad.. and pay whatever little they charge..

    i not playing with those phone charges..

    two things i always do before travelling is add on the intl data plan and call my bank to inform them i'll be overseas..
    Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.

    Velvet Glove. Iron Fist

    mi style still sharp .....u a A-Minor and dem a B-Flat

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    LB
    Peace Love n Pretty Tings LB is offline
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    Canada doesnt have google voice so u all have access to plans we dont.

    Plus even up here the international plans are mad expensive. I have int'l text and calls and its still crazy to get a bill. what did me in was accidently turning on my data while abroad. I thought it was off. One 4 minute transaction was $300 alone....

    I normally just use an overseas phone but last summer I was dumb and trusted my phone company and their plans.....I have about 4 different int'l phones now : but it makes life easier.

    for data I will use Biongo or whatever it is called.
    ~ If you make the mountain any bigger you wont be able to move it later

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    Registered User BacchanalDiva's Avatar BacchanalDiva is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyrastafari View Post
    when i go away, i forward my calls to Google voice, so that no calls ever ring on my number... people can leave messages etc.. they're transcribed.. when i get to where i'm going.. I use skype and call them back.. cost? FREE

    I also subscribe to my provider's intl data plan.. for my bbm etc to work... when i'm outside i use the existing network - orange, bmobile, whatever.. and when i'm where there is wireless, i switch to wifi and use that... as soon as i reach back, I turn off the Intl plan and make sure that it's prorated for ONLY the time that i was abroad.. and pay whatever little they charge..

    i not playing with those phone charges..

    two things i always do before travelling is add on the intl data plan and call my bank to inform them i'll be overseas..
    I always forget to do that even after losing access to my account several times. Funny enough, they never flag my credit cards, its always when I use my debit card.
    "Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses." -Plato

    "god is the deification of a culture."
    -Dr Yosef ben-Jochannan

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    Players Play I Coach Swollen's Avatar Swollen is offline
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    Majik Jack you can carry it anywey...

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    LB
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    Quote Originally Posted by BacchanalDiva View Post
    I always forget to do that even after losing access to my account several times. Funny enough, they never flag my credit cards, its always when I use my debit card.
    even when I alert them they still freeze me at some point

    and then I am losing my ever freakin mind on the phone to get them to restore access. One of the few times I lose my cool!
    ~ If you make the mountain any bigger you wont be able to move it later

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    Insurgent Alpha Unit's Avatar Alpha Unit is offline
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    what about this is new?
    Space available for RENT

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    LB
    Peace Love n Pretty Tings LB is offline
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    why does it have to be new? Maybe there are a couple of options in there that someone hasnt thought about.

    Canada and the US have very different regulations so ur options arent always our options across the border.
    ~ If you make the mountain any bigger you wont be able to move it later

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    Players Play I Coach Swollen's Avatar Swollen is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bo$$ View Post
    what about this is new?

    hey international forum terrioist stay away from her and stick to expensive Sugarr...

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    LB
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swollen View Post
    hey international forum terrioist stay away from her and stick to expensive Sugarr...
    hola!
    ~ If you make the mountain any bigger you wont be able to move it later

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    Notchilous ladyrastafari's Avatar ladyrastafari is offline
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    i doh play with them things....
    Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.

    Velvet Glove. Iron Fist

    mi style still sharp .....u a A-Minor and dem a B-Flat

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    Registered User theunknownone's Avatar theunknownone is offline
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    That happen to me once good thing my job paid the bill. Went Grenada to do a training used my personal phone to make calls to them and check email from my bb boy was that bill crazy but I have 2 chips since that one for bmobil chib and my digicell chip for greenz
    Greenz till I die ( Pantonic panorama 2011 for me )

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    Mr. BALTIMORE Redlocks's Avatar Redlocks is offline
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    Verizon Wireless will unlock one phone per year +/- if your account is
    in good standing and you have a history with them. Upon arrival in the Eastern Caribbean I look at the specials offered by Lime and Digicel and
    get a SIM card from one of them. In Grenada I paid $12.50 EC per week
    for a data plan and in SVG $12/week. Voice calls to the US ranged from
    .20 EC to $1.00 EC per minute depending upon the time of day. I forward
    my home cell # to google voice so I can get back to clients as needed.
    Think For Yourself

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