dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
1313
share rss forum feed


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

American prepaid cell plan while travelling in the US?

Heading down to Las Vegas at the end of the month for a trade show and will be down there a week. My SGS3 is unlocked. I obviously don't want to roam with Rogers as bankruptcy is out of the question. Does anyone have any experience getting a prepaid SIM from an American provider and using it while in the US?

I'm looking at T-Mobile and AT&T. T-Mobile seems to make the most sense as it's $3/day for unlimited minutes/texts and 200MB of HSPA data for the day. They now run HSPA on 1900MHz so frequencies aren't an issue.

More curious if anyone has any experiences with this or if they know of anything that has worked well for them.


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
you could always go with a rogers us plan for travelling, groan...................


corster
Premium
join:2002-02-23
Gatineau, QC
reply to Gone
I use the T-Mobile $3/day plan whenever i'm in the US and it's great. Unfortunately, it doesn't include calls or texts to Canada, but you can get around that with Google Voice.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
Exactly. 200MB/day is plenty for VoIP. I only want it for data.

Did you drive over to get the SIM card? They're 99 cents to buy online, but I'm not sure what I'd pay at a store.

The suggestion to get screwed by a travel plan were made in jest, I'm sure.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
said by Gone:

The suggestion to get screwed by a travel plan were made in jest, I'm sure.

it sort of depends on how you are going to use it, and this reminds me of my days at Bell.

if you want to take your number with you down there, you don't have much in the way of an option (meaning, get a US plan from Rogers)...however, if you really just want it for outgoing calls, text and data, you can't get any cheaper than doing what you are proposing.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
I can forward my Canadian number to the US number as we get free NA long distance, so it's not a big deal to "keep" my number while down there. Even if we didn't get US LD, I could forward it to a Dell voice number.

But yeah, I want data more than anything else. I've even pondered the idea of a more expensive US plan and a dual SIM adapter since I'm over in Buffalo often enough to almost make it work.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
Have you tried Rogers One Number yet?


Robert
Premium
join:2002-03-11
St John'S, NL
reply to Gone
Hey, I am going to Vegas a month later, and I was pondering what to do while I am there. Data was the big thing for me too.
--
It's one thing to listen to an idiot talk. As soon as you respond, there are now 2 idiots having a conversation.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to Gone
your plan is key...normally, forwarding your Fort Erie number to a Vegas number would mean that every call on your Rogers phone number would be long distance...since your plan includes US LD, that doesn't look like it will be an issue.

back in my days at Bell, we often had the people come in about "world phones" and often complained that Bell's phones weren't GSM and wouldn't work around the world...while true, the reality is, most people never use their phones "around the world" anyway (i am talking about consumers, not business people), and the ones who did, always complained about how ridiculously expensive it was...even for casual US users, i told them to simply purchase a prepaid phone when they were in the US, the contact (email, text, phone, whatever) the people they wanted to keep in touch with and provide the number to them.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


corster
Premium
join:2002-02-23
Gatineau, QC
reply to Gone
said by Gone:

Exactly. 200MB/day is plenty for VoIP. I only want it for data.

Did you drive over to get the SIM card? They're 99 cents to buy online, but I'm not sure what I'd pay at a store.

I got it two or three years ago at a T-Mobile store in Buffalo. I honestly don't remember if I had to pay for the SIM or not, but if I did it was probably $5 or so.

The only problem with T-Mobile is that they have a smaller coverage area than AT&T - if you're driving through rural areas, you may not have a signal.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
I'll be heading over there in the next few days, I'll drop into a store and ask.

Roam Mobile or whatever that Canadian company is have decent daily rates too, very similar to T-Mobile, the problem is that they want $30 for a SIM card. That's a total no-go in my books.

I've also been told that the T-Mobile daily rate doesn't work with blackberry data. Not a problem for me, but it's going to be a bummer for the person I'm going with.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to Gone
said by Gone:

Did you drive over to get the SIM card? They're 99 cents to buy online, but I'm not sure what I'd pay at a store.

I bought one online fot AT&T for my last trip and had nothing but trouble, Drive over or get one down there and verify it works in the store.


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
reply to Gone
last time I spent time in the states it was just easier to buy a prepaid phone..something like $19 with $30 worth of air time. it was a dumb phone, but did the trick for the week i was there. it was an AT&T phone.

although a SIM card is the cheaper option for you, being that you have an unlocked phone and all.
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to peterboro
said by peterboro:

I bought one online fot AT&T for my last trip and had nothing but trouble, Drive over or get one down there and verify it works in the store.

I don't even think they'd ship one to a Canadian address even if I wanted them to.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
said by Gone:

said by peterboro:

I bought one online fot AT&T for my last trip and had nothing but trouble, Drive over or get one down there and verify it works in the store.

I don't even think they'd ship one to a Canadian address even if I wanted them to.

You can buy them on eBay and then register with AT&T to top it up with your CC. I am too lazy to spend 20 minutes and three calls on the phone with AT&T so I went into an AT&T store at Daytona Beach went I went down to bike week and bought a sim card to pop into an unlocked phone.

MikeTwo

join:2004-03-31
Brossard, QC
reply to Gone
The problem with the $2 a day plan for at&t (Called Go Phone) is the data is 5 cents a KB. They did take care of me very quickly at the at&t store and even gave me a free sim (never go into a reseller store, they charge $$$$ for a sim card), but I didn't have the data which was annoying. However it DID include unlimited Canada texting!

I would suggest you go into a REAL T-mobile store (not a reseller) and get a sim and sign up for the $3 plan since it includes 200 megs of 4g of data (2g after 200 megs). Does NOT include Canada texting however.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
I'm pondering going to Walmart in Hamburg and getting the T-Mobile prepaid unlimited everything plan for $30/month, getting a dual SIM adapter for my S3 and then just keeping it as I travel to the US often enough that it might be worthwhile on an ongoing basis. If it isn't, no harm done it's prepaid and I owe them nothing.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to Gone
Just a quick and amusing update. Called Rogers today to make some other changes to our plan and while doing it talked about travel plans. The woman on the phone outright told me to go to the US, pick up a cheap prepaid phone and use a US provider, because the travel plans are still too expensive. It would cost $65 for 40 minutes, 100 texts and 10MB of data. She then went on to say a prepaid unlimited monthly plan from any provider in the US would be in the order of $30-$45 and didn't hid the fact I could just call forward to the US number while we're away.

She then proceeded to cut our corporate bill by $100 a month, giving us even more than what we have now.

Them's the word, I guess. This is why we're Rogers customers.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
said by Gone:

Just a quick and amusing update. Called Rogers today to make some other changes to our plan and while doing it talked about travel plans. The woman on the phone outright told me to go to the US, pick up a cheap prepaid phone and use a US provider, because the travel plans are still too expensive.

She will now be hunted down and fired. The call center is here in Peterborough and I know some that work there so I'll hear about it.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to Gone
I have found Rogers to be good to deal with. In the few times I have had some issues with my bill, the issues were always resolved with one call, and sure enough, when my bill came in, everything was fixed properly. I'm not saying they are the best thing since sliced bread, just that when something goes wrong, they just seem more interested in actually fixing it, than making excuses, passing the buck or just plain outright lying about it.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia
With these exception of the "free upgrade" that costs $400,everytime I've called billing wrt to a problem, they want to instantly credit the charge in dispute.

I went over by 10m a few months back, even though their app said I had time left, they gave me another 100m/month for free.
--
No, I didn't. Honest... I ran out of gas. I... I had a flat tire. I didn't have enough money for cab fare. My tux didn't come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake.......


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
reply to dirtyjeffer
said by dirtyjeffer:

I have found Rogers to be good to deal with. In the few times I have had some issues with my bill, the issues were always resolved with one call.

Then how come I've had nothing but problems every single time I've changed anything on my cable service?

But since we're talking about phones here, remember this story about a Rogers customer who returned from overseas to find that she had a cellphone bill for $12,237.60? And Rogers refused to do anything about it?
said by »[Serious] Ted Rogers' Cell Phone Cloned by Terrorists :
Ms. Drummond, who had just returned from a month-long trip to Israel, went numb as she looked at the stupefying figure, which was more than 160 times higher than her typical monthly bill of about $75. The Rogers Wireless bill included a five-page list of calls charged to her phone, almost all of them to foreign countries that included Pakistan, Libya, Syria, India and Russia.

Ms. Drummond quickly determined what had happened: Someone had stolen her phone while she was away. She called Rogers Wireless, which told her there was nothing it could do, and she would have to pay the entire amount.

... as the battle between Ms. Drummond and Rogers Wireless mounts, so do the charges. Each month, the company has added late fees to the outstanding balance (according to Ms. Drummond, the interest rate works out to 26 per cent annually). Rogers now wants a total of $14,141.00.

I think we had several threads about that, which ended well for the customer only because Ms. Drummond is a law professor and her partner is a technology journalist, and they knew how escalate and publicize the issue. The organization was relentless in demanding payment, and it was eventually only Ted Rogers' personal intervention that resolved it, and by that time it was in all the papers.

A rare, one-time occurrence, you say? Here's some more light reading, just from some local DSLR anecdotes:

»Rogers Bills beloved customer 2-million dollars
»Rogers Wireless Bullies Elderly Widow
»Rogers Hounds Customer Over Cellphone Bill
--
"The promoters of the global economy see nothing odd or difficult about unlimited economic growth or unlimited consumption in a limited world."
Wendell Berry


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
If you think that those outrageous roaming bills are unique to just Rogers and not shared by both Bell and Telus, you've got another thing coming. The entire idea of roaming in Canada is pathetic. I remember when it used to be 35 cents/minute. It is still 35 cents/minute to roam in Canada with AT&T, TMo and just about everyone else in the US. Mexico is less than a buck. There are countless people here in Fort Erie with American cell phone plans because it is cheaper for them to get a North America-wide plan than it is to get a Canadian plan and then roam in the US. If it were not for the business, I would be in that exact same boat.

Having said all that, a Rogers business representative outright told me that their roaming was too expensive and to take advantage of a US prepaid phone, rather than someone in Bangalore trying to trick me into buying a travel plan or adding it to my account without expressed consent. This is why I am a Rogers customer, not a Bell customer.


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to Wolfie00
said by Wolfie00:
Then how come I've had nothing but problems every single time I've changed anything on my cable service?
because they don't like you.

quote:
But since we're talking about phones here, remember this story about a Rogers customer who returned from overseas to find that she had a cellphone bill for $12,237.60? And Rogers refused to do anything about it?
said by »[Serious] Ted Rogers' Cell Phone Cloned by Terrorists :
Ms. Drummond, who had just returned from a month-long trip to Israel, went numb as she looked at the stupefying figure, which was more than 160 times higher than her typical monthly bill of about $75. The Rogers Wireless bill included a five-page list of calls charged to her phone, almost all of them to foreign countries that included Pakistan, Libya, Syria, India and Russia.

Ms. Drummond quickly determined what had happened: Someone had stolen her phone while she was away. She called Rogers Wireless, which told her there was nothing it could do, and she would have to pay the entire amount.

... as the battle between Ms. Drummond and Rogers Wireless mounts, so do the charges. Each month, the company has added late fees to the outstanding balance (according to Ms. Drummond, the interest rate works out to 26 per cent annually). Rogers now wants a total of $14,141.00.

I think we had several threads about that, which ended well for the customer only because Ms. Drummond is a law professor and her partner is a technology journalist, and they knew how escalate and publicize the issue. The organization was relentless in demanding payment, and it was eventually only Ted Rogers' personal intervention that resolved it, and by that time it was in all the papers.
i do vaguely remember that story, but it happened 15 years ago.

quote:
A rare, one-time occurrence, you say? Here's some more light reading, just from some local DSLR anecdotes:

»Rogers Bills beloved customer 2-million dollars
»Rogers Wireless Bullies Elderly Widow
»Rogers Hounds Customer Over Cellphone Bill

so, you found 3 examples??...yes, that's pretty rare then...as well, the first one isn't really a Rogers issue, the 2nd one is sketchy on details and the last one i didn't read either as it was about 4 years old as well.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
So, your theory is that anything that happened more than a few years ago is irrelevant because Rogers has undergone an amazing transformation in customer service? (BTW, the first story was 7 years ago, not 15, and the others are more recent.)

Wrong. They still suck eggs. Not entirely sure if they're worse than Bell, but that's not saying much. In my experience Bell at least has over a century of experience in managing large bureaucracies to provide mission-critical support. Rogers doesn't have serious experience in much of anything, although their skill in screwing the customer is sometimes pretty impressive!
--
"The promoters of the global economy see nothing odd or difficult about unlimited economic growth or unlimited consumption in a limited world."
Wendell Berry


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
said by Wolfie00:
So, your theory is that anything that happened more than a few years ago is irrelevant because Rogers has undergone an amazing transformation in customer service? (BTW, the first story was 7 years ago, not 15, and the others are more recent.)
no, if you read that article, the story was posted 7 years ago, but the actual incident occurred 15 years ago...this was clearly discussed in the latter parts of that thread...as well, i don't pretend that Rogers is the best thing since sliced bread, my point is, billing issues and CS issues happen with EVERY company...from my personal experience, being with Rogers the past 5+ years, they are MUCH better and either fixing issues and ensuring satisfaction when something happens...that is why i too am a Rogers customer...and remember, i had numerous issues with Bell as well, mostly in the latter years of being there, and even as an employee, it was utterly frustrating getting things resolved there...i actually had a couple of reps at my store who had Rogers for all their services at home because they were outright fed up with dealing with Bell's bullshit...while some other management may have looked down on it, i didn't fault them at all...they spent all day fixing Bell issues/mistakes and dealing them, the last thing they wanted to do was deal with it when they were off the clock...had any of my senior management mentioned anything "bad" about my staff's choice, i would have thrown it right back in their face (and keep in mind, Bell employees got 35% off services).

quote:
Wrong. They still suck eggs. Not entirely sure if they're worse than Bell, but that's not saying much. In my experience Bell at least has over a century of experience in managing large bureaucracies to provide mission-critical support. Rogers doesn't have serious experience in much of anything, although their skill in screwing the customer is sometimes pretty impressive!

when i was at Bell, i rarely had any issues with their services themselves, it was always billing issues or various call center staff misinforming customers (or outright lying to them to get a sale)...and having worked there for 8 years, i can assure you that what you saw was just the tip of the iceberg...Bell's decline in the latter half of the last decade was due to their utter incompetence and inability to provide decent customer service...it was one of the reasons why i got fed up with that place and left...it was a good thing too, since most of the senior staff were all pushed out.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
Frankly we're probably much in agreement, except you seem to be under the illusion that Rogers actually gives a damn about the customer. They don't. Individual CSR's might, or more often not -- there's no consistency because there's no corporate policy, inadequate training, no customer satisfaction goals, etc. Regardless of what might be superficially preached, that's the net effect seen by the customer.

I can say without a doubt that the worst incidents of customer service I have ever experienced in my life have been with Rogers, especially in the early days of cable Internet when things were not reliable. I could have written a book about it. One time when my Internet connection was acting up, a tech came and somehow got it working, and five minutes after he left the thing was down again. I called support and they just refused to do anything more. I escalated to a supervisor and instead of apologizing for the problems I was having he asked me if I knew how much another truck roll would cost Rogers, and that he was damned if he would authorize it -- meanwhile I'm looking at this modem that is totally dead, and I have no Internet.

This sort of thing would go on for months. I just about put my fist through the wall at one point. So when you tell me how terrific Rogers service is, I just think to myself, his day will come. Granted, they may have improved in some areas, but the big thing is that the technology itself is much more reliable, and that's not their doing. The real test is when things go wrong. Especially things that are non-trivial to troubleshoot. Try calling them sometime and complaining that your Internet is too slow and see how that works out for you. They'll blame everything from your computer to the effects of sunspots on the global Internet, and the next day they'll close the ticket and forget about it. Meanwhile it's probably their own mismanaged congested node that is the problem.
--
"The promoters of the global economy see nothing odd or difficult about unlimited economic growth or unlimited consumption in a limited world."
Wendell Berry


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
said by Wolfie00:

Frankly we're probably much in agreement, except you seem to be under the illusion that Rogers actually gives a damn about the customer.

no, i simply stated that from MY experience (and Gone echoes the same statements), Rogers has been better at resolving any issues...i never said they were infallible, or that they were perfect...as well, i know Rogers wasn't very good "back then", as i was with Bell at that time, and was very familiar with how Rogers and Bell was.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8
Hey, I've had one or two good experiences with Rogers, too. That's not the point. That wasn't Rogers, that was a conscientious and/or intelligent CSR or tech acting on his/her own initiative. Unless it's consistent and backed up by corporate policy, Rogers doesn't really deserve credit for it. Those people often seem to be the new and enthusiastic types, before they become jaded by the customer-hating culture. A good example was when I was moving and a helpful CSR was trying to assign me a new phone number as similar as possible to my previous one. It took a long time and she explained how she was fighting with a very stupidly designed system that was never intended to do things like that (i.e.- anything other than spit out a number to give to the customer, whether he liked it or not).
--
"The promoters of the global economy see nothing odd or difficult about unlimited economic growth or unlimited consumption in a limited world."
Wendell Berry


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
Do you have some sort of inside knowledge of the policies that their telephone representatives operate under, or are you just operating on the assumption that a company like Rogers would never do anything to keep one of their customers happy?