Cell phone & SIM card package

Jun 12th, 2011, 04:39 AM
  #1  
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Cell phone & SIM card package

Does anyone know anything about this provider: Call In Europe? Here's a link to their page with a package deal of a Samsung phone + SIM card for the country for your choosing for $58US.

http://www.callineurope.com/cgi-bin/...election.shtml

Thanks for any feedback.
frankgold is offline  
Jun 12th, 2011, 09:41 AM
  #2  
 
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The phone costs 15€ on ebay. A local SIM may cost you another € or two.
logos999 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2011, 03:34 PM
  #3  
 
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CallinEurope was once an excellent option except all calls were charged to your credit card (with no limit).

Consider Lebara; SIMs cost 10 euros which includes 7.50 talk time. Time is charged at 15 centimes to French land lines, 9 centimes to other Lebara portable phones. Calls to the USA are 9 centimes per minute with a 9 centime connect charge. These rates are a fraction of what others such as Call in Europe charge.


Lebara sells phones with SIM for under 30 euros.


www.lebara.fr
Sarastro is offline  
Jun 12th, 2011, 04:38 PM
  #4  
 
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Thanks for the link Sarastro Lebara looks like a good option.

Can we purchase it in France and then also use it in Italy or would it be better to get another Italian sim card for use whilst in Italy?
aussie_10 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2011, 03:50 AM
  #5  
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I appreciate the link. However, it appears one cannot order the phones online, and there's no retail outlet in the US. I would like to buy a phone before I leave for France, so I'd have the number to leave with my contacts here. Does anyone have any other suggestions for a source for a phone + SIM card?
There's the National Geographic phone package, but it seems very expensive: http://www.cellularabroad.com/packages-france.html
frankgold is offline  
Jun 13th, 2011, 05:28 AM
  #6  
 
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I've used CallinEurope on 2 trips to France and one to Greece and it has worked flawlessly. Yes, it bills to my credit card but I like that as I can't run out of minutes. If theft concerned me I wouldn't buy anything or travel anywhere! ;^)

A couple of years ago CiE's rates were pretty competitive at 39 cents a minute in Europe and back to N America. But with carriers such as Lebara at 9 euro cents a minute these days they've lost any advantage there. But the convenience of the phone and having both it and a number in hand before you leave is hard to beat.

The phone from them IS unlocked so you can always switch to another SIM if you like.

The CiE SIM numbers do expire if you don't use a certain number of minutes every 3 months. I think I'll likely pick up a Lebara SIM for the phone our next trip. But if you want something convenient that will work and instructions in English there's nothing wrong with CiE. Other options can be cheaper, yes, but as you go through life do you always go for the cheapest of everything? Few of us do! ;^)
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jun 13th, 2011, 06:09 PM
  #7  
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Thanks, ParisAmsterdam -- very helpful input. I don't really have the time to do a lot of comparison shopping, so this package seems pretty reasonable to me, especially if I can pick up a Lebara SIM once in France, if needed.
frankgold is offline  
Jul 6th, 2011, 04:56 PM
  #8  
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Anyone have any experience with Telestial? It has a promotion for a phone for $19 that includes $5 worth of call time, but I believe the phone has US and UK numbers and thus might be a problem for use in France. Here's the link: http://www.telestial.com/promo/packlite.php. Any feedback would be appreciated.
frankgold is offline  
Jul 6th, 2011, 05:47 PM
  #9  
Doh
 
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I used telestial when I wanted the SIM card's number before I left. It is a little more expensive that way, but I had no problems with the transaction (FWIW I stuck to buying a card for the country I was going to, rather than one of their "global" phones). I think you can buy just the SIM card from them, so you could compare whether it's possible to save $ buying the phone elsewhere.
Doh is offline  
Jul 6th, 2011, 05:51 PM
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It's a lot more expensive.....
xyz123 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2011, 11:30 PM
  #11  
 
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I use www.callineurope.com regularly and like it. I like that my credit card is charged and I never have to worry about running out of minutes in the middle of a conversation. Plus, they send an itemized statement of calls. I also like receiving a telephone number before I leave home. That way the parents, 90-plus and 80-plus, can have it before I leave home. And I can give it out to siblings and friends in case of an emergency.


As for Call In Europe, they have been very efficient and I've had no problems with them. I have my own unlocked tri-band phone, so all I have to do is insert the SIM card and charge the phone and I'm good to go and that's one less thing that I have to do. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Jul 7th, 2011, 05:35 AM
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I really see little to no advantage to having a number in advance of one's being able to actually use it. Lebara will send a SIM to the USA if that is really what someone needs. However one text message from France with your new number costs only a few pennies and anyone who wants to call you will have your number before they wake up.

Additionally, it's easy to set up an account on line in English with Lebara so you can easily recharge your minutes, see all of your calls, and they had a recent offer of getting a second SIM for absolutely free. Great for families wanting to keep in touch on vacation. Lebara mobile to Lebara mobile minutes are only 9 centimes and inbound calls are always free:

www.lebara.fr
Sarastro is offline  
Jul 7th, 2011, 06:17 AM
  #13  
 
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In 2008 when I got my CiE phone and SIM one of the features that attracted me was that for 10 cents a day they also gave me a local Canadian number that would forward to Europe. I found this useful for my 90 something parents as they didn't need to worry about punching in strange numbers and symbols to make a call. Also, at that time the SIM was good for a year between uses... now it's down to only 3 months.

At the time, 39 cents a minute for calls in Europe and to N America was decent too. But rates have dropped dramatically among European providers, especially Lebara.

Lebara had a promotion on in Europe last month... 2 free SIMS for the asking. I just received my 2 free SIMS for France in the mail yesterday.

And once I activate online I'll know the phone numbers so can preprogram my parents phone if need be.

According to the paperwork with the SIMs when you activate or recharge by calling them, Lebara have English speaking operators. Important for those who may not speak French.

I admit, I did have to be creative when filling in my mailing address on their site as they are supposed to be mailed only to a French address... but it worked and they arrived in Canada as soon as the postal strike ended. ;^)

So my CiE phone, since it's unlocked, will get one Lebara SIM and my unlocked $25 Chinese iphone clone will get the other. Now I just need some airline tickets to France....
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Jul 7th, 2011, 08:46 AM
  #14  
twk
 
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We used Telestial on our recent trip precisely because we wanted the numbers in advance (arriving at CDG from different cities). It worked fine for us, and the rates were a lot lower than CIE, although I suppose we overpaid for the phone and initial time. Certainly, if you want to cut the best deal, waiting until arrival to buy a cheap, unlocked phone with a pre-paid SIM is the most economical. But, if you really want or need the number before you leave, the Telestial deal worked fine for us.
twk is offline  
Jul 7th, 2011, 10:20 AM
  #15  
 
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Lebara has English available as an option for all of your recharge, voicemail, or service needs. Simply dial 2323 then prompts 2 then 3 and everything is in English.

Or you can setup an account on line to ask questions, check on minutes used, or recharge your phone, all in English.

www.Lebara.fr
Sarastro is offline  
Jul 7th, 2011, 11:46 AM
  #16  
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All this is very helpful. For those recommending Lebara, do you know how widely available in France their stores or kiosks are? I don't really mind waiting to purchase the phone and SIM card once I'm in Europe. I'm taking a train to Provence the same day that I land at CDG, so it would be awfully nice if one could buy a phone and card at the airport without paying some absurd surcharge for the fact that the store is in the airport. I've read the Lebara site (in both French and English, just to see if there was any difference), and I'm a bit hesitant to ask them to mail me anything in the US, given that the site admonishes that one must have a French postal address (though I'm impressed that ParisAmsterdam managed to have SIM cards mailed to Canada!).
Merci à tous.
frankgold is offline  
Jul 7th, 2011, 11:59 AM
  #17  
 
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Lebara sent a SIM to me in the USA. It took about 2 weeks.

I purchased an additional SIM at a metro stop in Paris. Lebara SIMs are not available at Terminal 1 at CDG but I have heard they are sold in Terminal 2. Look for the blue Lebara signs and ask. You will want a "carte avec pouse" or SIM, not just recharge minutes which are now sold in most all magazine stores and tabacs.

I have recently seen Lebara widely sold in both Nimes and Montpellier, cannot say about Provence but I see no reason why Avignon, Arles, or Aix-en-Provence would not have these.
Sarastro is offline  
Jul 7th, 2011, 02:19 PM
  #18  
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Thanks, Sarastro. I'll keep a lookout for the Lebara signs both at CDG and the train station (or environs) at Avignon, from which we'll go by car to our small-town destination. I used to live in Montpellier, so maybe I'll check there if all else fails! I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with that part of France.
I'll need the phone as well as the SIM, but presumably I can find a relatively cheap one once I'm there, perhaps in the same Lebara shop.
frankgold is offline  
Jul 7th, 2011, 04:48 PM
  #19  
Doh
 
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You might want to consider buying a triband/quadband phone before you leave because you have the entire internet to shop from, instead of whatever brick and mortar store you stop in at.
Doh is offline  
Jul 7th, 2011, 06:58 PM
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Paris Amsterdam: That's good that you can program your parents' phone. In my situation, one parent lives here and the other lives over 3 hours away by plane. I just write the number very large for the 90-year old and I'm usually getting a ring as soon as I get to Paris. Then I call him back. Smiles. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
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