Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can you help Flex make phone calls? < >

  1. Aug 12, 2011 #1

    FlexGunship

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Hey all,

    I'm travelling to Canada (suddenly) tomorrow morning! I'll be gone for a week. I'm from the U.S. and my cell phone has no Canadian plan (Verizon has loopholes for changing you $TEXAS for anything and everything). I used to have Sprint, and they could add Canadian coverage for a fee. Verizon says they can't do this.

    Has anyone done this? What's the cheapest way to be able to call home (U.S.) and accept calls from home (U.S. again) while in Canada?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 12, 2011 #2

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Count Flexula, I can't help with your request but thought you might appreciate this. Back when I as traveling a lot, at one point I thought I had local coverage in North Carolina but didn't. Even though my phone showed I was in a local service area, I was racking up roaming charges. I was also on the phone for hours every day. A few weeks later I recieved a $1200 phone bill! Luckily ATT agreed to write it down to $400 by signing me up for a different plan retroactively.

    Have fun in Canada. I'm glad it's you and not me going! :biggrin:

    I didn't think they used those cheesy German PLCs in Canada but life is full of surprises.
     
  4. Aug 12, 2011 #3

    FlexGunship

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Last time I was there the driving was awful. I never got used to driving on the opposite side of the road... you know, what with all the honking and cars coming right at you.
     
  5. Aug 12, 2011 #4

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Check out the cheapest TracFones available in Canada with a minutes card appropriate to your expected usage. They are sold at WalMart stores, among others. It may end up being cheaper than paying Verizon all the extra fees.
     
  6. Aug 12, 2011 #5

    FlexGunship

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    TracFone isn't available in Canada. They can roam on the Rogers network, but I understand they will shut you off as soon as they realize it's happening.
     
  7. Aug 12, 2011 #6

    FlexGunship

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Maybe they don't, but they sure as heck use those svelte German motion control systems.

    [PLAIN]http://support.automation.siemens.com/WW/llisapi.dll/csfetch/50530777/Bild_2_SIMOTION_D_Familie_en.jpg [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  8. Aug 12, 2011 #7

    jtbell

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    When were you last in Canada? :bugeye: According to Wikipedia, most of the country has had right-hand driving since the 1920s, except Newfoundland which switched in 1947 (and wasn't even part of Canada at that time anyway).
     
  9. Aug 12, 2011 #8

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    It's still just a cheesy German PLC. :biggrin:

    When you're finally ready for AB, let me know.
     
  10. Aug 12, 2011 #9

    Pythagorean

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Skype on smartphone?
     
  11. Aug 12, 2011 #10
    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    If it's only for a week, try to get by with internet and buy an international calling card once you get there to make a few calls back to US. Any calls you want to make from Canada TO Canada, borrow someone's phone or use a pay phone. Maybe people over there can make some suggestions about what's available that side. If you'll be close to the border, just drive over to make a call. I wouldn't buy anything in the US (trac phone type or minutes card) in case it won't work over there. Wait till you get there to buy something.
     
  12. Aug 12, 2011 #11

    Pythagorean

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Read his post again :p
     
  13. Aug 12, 2011 #12

    FlexGunship

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    I thought of that. Here's the pricing conundrum:

    Verizon has an absurd pricing plan for Canada networks:
    • $2.05/MB
    • $30 for 75MB
    • $100 for 200MB (yes, really... you get reverse bulk discount)

    I anticipate making a significant number of calls (personal and work related) and I have no idea what the common data throughput for a Skype call is.

    Given that I can get 6000 min/month for $219 (prorated for seven days at $50 and 1350 minutes) the data gamble sounds bad. Furthermore, my girlfriend is going through a medical treatment, and I don't want to risk not being able to get a call or text from her.

    I got Verizon to commit to something (fancy that) because I have a perfect billing history and have the maximum of every service they offer. EDIT: Verbatim: "I can check our preferred customer matrix and see what... oh... oh, yes... I'm sure we can work out something for you, sir. Wow." They confirmed an advanced pro-rate billing scheme:
    • daily allowance of 192 minutes at $7.07 per day for a maximum of seven days,
    • $2.05/MB for data (but I will disable my data roaming service anyway), and
    • 161 text messages at $0.65 per day.

    Unfortunately, because of their god-awful billing scheme, they'll have to change me that "maximum" amount ahead of time, and apply a refund retroactively. The catch is that I have to maintain my existing data plan to keep all of my perks; so for a week I'll be paying for something I can't use. Blech! Anyway, by my calculation, I can look forward to a $300 bill next month and a $160 service credit the following month.

    Sigh... I guess we'll see how it goes!

    EDIT: If you ever call Verizon Wireless customer service, and want to skip all of the robot menus and talk directly to a person do the following: press "0" at the first voice prompt, and wait for: "I can connect you to a person if you'll just answer a few questions..." Then thit the "#" key four times.

    Instant human.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  14. Aug 12, 2011 #13

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Or you buy a phone card and use a normal pay phone, or hotel phone if one stays in a hotel.
     
  15. Aug 12, 2011 #14

    FlexGunship

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Not an option, sadly. I will be in the middle of an industrial facility for hours on end.
     
  16. Aug 12, 2011 #15

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Is the plan you are complaining about"

    http://b2b.vzw.com/international/Roaming/index.html

    Rates

    http://b2b.vzw.com/international/Roaming/North_America/Canada.html

    If you're going to be a heavy data user, they are going to be expensive. Are you self employed?
     
  17. Aug 12, 2011 #16

    rhody

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Flex,

    Are you sure an international phone card isn't available, my family was away in Aruba, and I had two phone cards about 10 bucks each with 29 minutes on each one, .29 cents a minute when the card got low it asked if I wanted to refurbish it at .06 cents a minute for an hour I believe. I googled and got http://www.google.com/#hl=en&cp=24&...c.r_pw.&fp=af5f4f3fbb50940f&biw=1366&bih=585": You should be able to find something to connect with your provider. I just read Evo's post and if you are a data user that is a whole new ball game and can't be of much help there unfortunately. Good luck.

    Rhody...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  18. Aug 12, 2011 #17

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    The Verizon rates that Evo linked to looked pretty rough at $0.69/minute. That's WAY cheaper than the Canada/US rates back when I had a bag-phone in my company vehicle. I was working in Madawaska (top of Maine) for a few days, and used my car phone to check messages, talk to the Tech Manager, Sales Manager, etc back in GA, call home, etc. Next month I found out that all the cell coverage I'd had from Madawaska down to Houlton were from towers on the Canadian side of the St. John Valley. Ouch! Got charged connection fees, out-of-service area rates, etc.
     
  19. Aug 12, 2011 #18

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    I have Verizon service and they have a Nationwide+Canada plan. It's $20 more per month than the regular Nationwide plan, if that's what you already have. It would be considerably cheaper to have them upgrade you to the Nationwide+Canada plan for the month and then switch back to the regular plan next month, than to pay by the day for a week. If you don't have their Nationwide plan, then that might be why you were having difficulty getting the Canadian calls. If you're going to make a lot of calls there, it'd be worth it over paying roaming too. I've done that with them without any trouble before, just upgrade a plan for a month while traveling, and then downgrade to my original contract plan after I return. As long as you're staying a customer with them, you can switch around plans to meet your needs like that.
     
  20. Aug 12, 2011 #19

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>

    Amazing that the Verizon rep didn't offer that to him. You are correct, you can switch between plans without any contract commitment. Contracts are tied to equipment, or to obtain extra discounts and perks.
     
  21. Aug 12, 2011 #20

    FlexGunship

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent>


    I can forego the data, but I need the voice. I guessed about 3 hours of phone time per day between business and personal. At $0.69 that's... well, this is a physics forum, YOU do the math!

    Anyway, when I got the math to work out at $75 for the week, I informed the company (via e-mail) that I would be adding a $75+ line item to the invoice (capped at $150). I ensured it was the cheapest I could get phone service on such short notice. No discussion; they approved it.

    It's complicated. For the purposes of this discussion; yes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Can you help Flex make phone calls? < >
Loading...