Telephones in Israel

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Feb 9th, 2006, 09:40 AM
  #1
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Telephones in Israel

Hello, I ran into an unexpected problem.

I was told there are very few public phones in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv so I shouldn't buy a phone card to call home. And to call from the hotel room is very expensive.

I can't use the Internet as my hunsband has a fear of electronic devices seriously he doesn't know how to use computers and wouldn't read e-mails. And we don't have cell phones.

So I have 2 questions:
1. would it be possible to buy a pre-paid phone card somewhere (in Israel, not in US) and to call him from the hotel's lobby

2. how expensive are calls from the hotel room to US? Is it outrageous, as I was told, or a manageable amount?
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Feb 9th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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sandi
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How many calls to you plan to make while in Israel? If only when you arrive, call from the hotel. But do check the price before doing so... you don't want any surprises.

Everyone walks around with cell-phones in Israel. You may want to check into renting a phone when you deplane at TLV. These are ususally very inexpensive and there is no charge for incoming calls.

I never call anyone when away from home and tell anyone who must speak to me, to not to call. We're probably the only people without cellphones.

But, just because your husband has a fear of electronic devices... is it catching, do you have the same disease?
 
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Feb 9th, 2006, 10:46 AM
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LOL, no, just don't need a cell phone as I have a direct line at work, answering machine at home and e-mails. I am covered and don't feel the need to talk to somebody while on a bus or in a restaurant.

I usually call home every day... and plan on making some local calls... hmmm....
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Feb 9th, 2006, 10:48 AM
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How about using an AT&T, MCI or other US calling card and accessing those carriers via their international access number?
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Feb 9th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Thit, calling out of where? hotel room? how much is the connecting charge, this is what I'm trying to find out.

Using the public phones? are they easy to find?
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Feb 9th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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Yes, calling out of the hotel room, but its a local call. You would call a local Israel access number that connects you to AT&T, Sprint, MCI, etc. and use your calling card.
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Feb 9th, 2006, 01:33 PM
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a couple of suggestions, echoing some of what so others have said
1)You could rent a cell phone in Israel-- (there are booths at the airport from a couple of companies, including Cellcom).
The rental fee is pretty minimal (a couple of dollars a day?)
Check with them for rates for calls to the US, they will probably still be cheaper than calling from your hotel room.
You can also rent a cell phone from companies in the US for use in Israel Or if you are renting a car you can probably get one from the car rental company.
Keep in mind that there is no charge for INCOMING calls on Israeli cell phones (unlike in the US) so maybe you could make a quick one minute call home and have your husband call you back, It WILL be slightly more expensive for him to call to a cellphone that to a landline
2) Because EVERYONE has a cell phone, there are definitely fewer pay phones around, but assuming your hotel lobby has one, you can just buy a phone card (in the US or in Israel) just to use at the lobby phone. Again, you could make a quick call to the US and them get a callback.
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Feb 9th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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We always rent a cell phone from a NY company (TravelCell) which arrives couple day before departure.

It cost 39 cents a minute to call the USA. And yes, since incoming calls are free in Israel, it's extremely convenient.
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Feb 10th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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"Incoming calls are free in Israel" - do people pay for incoming calls in US?

Both my sons and numerous friends/coworkers have cell phones, nobody pays for incoming calls! Am I missing something?
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Feb 10th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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In the US, most cellphone plans permit a certain number of free minutes, and both incoming and outgoing calls are charged against that bank of minutes, so its likely that your friends and coworkers DO pay for incoming calls.
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Feb 10th, 2006, 11:03 AM
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how soon will they start charging for e-mails
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Feb 11th, 2006, 02:56 AM
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My son (studying in Jerusalem) has a cell phone plan with cheap rates to our home number, but when he calls his girlfriend in the US he uses the MCI prepaid card from Costco. You can look on their website to find the toll-free number to use from there. If you get a cell phone and your husband calls you from home, then he can use the card as well. (Just write down the pin number AND world service code- you don't need the card itself.) Ironically, don't buy the Intenational MCI card because the rate to call cell phones from here is astoundingly high.
With the tiime change and probably your busy schedule, I don't suspect you'll be making too many phone calls. I emailed my husband twice in the week I was there. "Love you, having a wonderful time, see you next week!" Have a great trip!
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