Can you help Flex make phone calls? < >

1. Aug 12, 2011

FlexGunship

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. Aug 12, 2011 Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus 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! I didn't think they used those cheesy German PLCs in Canada but life is full of surprises. 3. Aug 12, 2011 FlexGunship 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. 4. Aug 12, 2011 turbo 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. 5. Aug 12, 2011 FlexGunship 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. 6. Aug 12, 2011 FlexGunship 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 7. Aug 12, 2011 jtbell Staff: Mentor Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent> When were you last in Canada? 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). 8. Aug 12, 2011 Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent> It's still just a cheesy German PLC. When you're finally ready for AB, let me know. 9. Aug 12, 2011 Pythagorean Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent> Skype on smartphone? 10. Aug 12, 2011 ArcanaNoir 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. 11. Aug 12, 2011 Pythagorean Read his post again :p 12. Aug 12, 2011 FlexGunship 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 13. Aug 12, 2011 Astronuc Staff Emeritus 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. 14. Aug 12, 2011 FlexGunship 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. 15. Aug 12, 2011 Evo 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? 16. Aug 12, 2011 rhody 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 17. Aug 12, 2011 turbo 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.

18. Aug 12, 2011

Moonbear

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

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 21. Aug 12, 2011 FlexGunship Re: Can you help Flex make phone calls?! <urgent> (Source: http://b2b.vzw.com/productsservices/businesscallingplans/nationwidecanada.html) Notice there is no "unlimited" option. Remember, this is for a week. And the cost is actually prorated by fraction of minutes used, not the time the plan is active. Furthermore (see fine print... somewhere) there is a maximum allocation of peak minutes per day which is equal to the total minutes in the plan divided by thirty-one (regardless of the month). By purchasing the 6000 minute plan (as mentioned previously) I get over 3 hours of talk time per day. At the prorated cost it will only cost me$50 for the week. Then I added texting for $20. My girlfriend is having a difficult time with her health and she uses texts to get my attention when I'm at work, or to wake me up in the middle of the night and let's me call her. It's her preference. I just need to make sure I'm able to support her while I'm so far from her; this was my best option. I guess, if necessary, I would've just eaten the$0.69/min.

22. Aug 12, 2011

QuarkCharmer

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

I don't know about the company in the link I am posting specifically:
(I just googled "rent cell phone canada" to find that link, so I am NOT saying that is a good/trustworthy company)

But 2 years ago when I went to Spain my employer rented cellular phones for the duration of our stay. The bill did come through me (but I forget the company now), and I just forwarded it to them. But I am positive it was cheaper than the plans being mentioned here.

23. Aug 12, 2011

FlexGunship

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

I'm quite sure I got the absolute best deal possible. This was not a casual conversation, and I'm not a casual customer... of anyone's.

When I got my first phone with Verizon there was a service contract discount for buying a Droid on a 2 year contract directly from a Verizon Wireless retailer. However, Best Buy was pushing the same phone, minus the service contract discount, at a lower price.

Rest assured, I got both discounts.

EDIT: I find that the key phrase is, "What would you do if you were in my situation?" And just wait. The first answer is ALWAYS "I don't know, that's up to you" or "I would probably take this deal." Then just wait a little while longer.

24. Aug 12, 2011

Staff: Mentor

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

Yeah, the reps get commissions based on if you "buy" the phone from them, and they'll always match it or even give it to you free, even if they have to commit fraud, and a lot of them do because their job depends on how many they sell per month. At one of my office locations, the consumer cell phone department was downstairs and I'd hear all about what they went through. And a lot got fired for fraud, it was crazy.

25. Aug 13, 2011

FlexGunship

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

I'm hijacking my own thread. I'm in the illustrious O'Hare airport on my way deep into enemey (Canadian) territory. I'm on my phone, I really wanted to upload some photos of the maelstrom we landed in.

Anyway, I'm at the world's best bar. That is to say, I'm at the bar closest to me (which, in my book, makes it the current world's greatest). My travel companion (Carl Sagan's Demon-Haunted World) is in my bag. It was popular prior to my obsession with the man, so I never got around to reading it.

Oh well, just sharing my thoughts as increase my distance from home with sudden spurts of high-speed travel in some sort of airborne hallway. Whenever I'm in a plane accelerating down a runway, all I can think is "this'll never work." Sometimes accompanied by the notion of what fools we all are for banding together in defiance of the laws of nature. Humans can't fly, seats can't fly, metal can't fly... and yet... mix them together in precisely the right amounts, add a splash of highly combustable liquid, and a miracle seems to occur.

Meanwhile, the underage bimbo cheerleader one seat up continues to complain about the inadequacies of airborne restrooms.