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Cell Phone/SIM Card Paris purchase NOW. Emergency Situation

Cell Phone/SIM Card Paris purchase NOW. Emergency Situation

Old May 16th, 2012, 03:53 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Cell Phone/SIM Card Paris purchase NOW. Emergency Situation

I'm asking this as a favor for a relative who currently has friends in Paris who did not bring or rent a phone ahead of time. This is how the question was sent to me:

"two friends from Philly came over for a week, husband is very sick and in hospital. Wife does not have phone - what is the best thing - cheapest and most practical - to getting a phone for, say, a week to ten days. She needs to make calls in Paris and to the US. And what sort of store does one go to?"

Any Fodorites have some practical suggestions? Thanks in advance!

Also, my relative is also currently in Paris and speaks French, so that could help the situation.
Liz5959 is online now  
Old May 16th, 2012, 04:43 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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There are a number of places that sell phones using a pre paid minutes. The largest independent outlet is Phonehouse with stores all over Paris. You should be able to find a phone, SIM, and some talk time for under 30€.

Some of the mobile phone providers have very competitive rates. Lebara, which sells SIMs (they sell phones as well but on line) has a pre paid minute plan which costs 0.02€ per minute to the USA with a 0.15€ connection fee.

Do not rent a phone. Most of the companies renting phones were unscrupulous and are hopefully out of business. Purchasing a phone outright and using a pre paid minute plan will be much cheaper.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 04:04 AM
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Thanks Sarastro, I've sent your suggestion to Paris. Though it is some sort of holiday there today and they're not sure stores will be open.

Any other suggestions?
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Old May 17th, 2012, 04:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Well, if they can't wait the one day for shops to open they could try airports or bigger railway stations, which often have shops open when the majority are closed. No guarantees but worth a try.

Lavandula
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Old May 17th, 2012, 05:01 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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My husband and I often use Onesuite to make calls when we're in Europe. If the woman has online access, she could sign up at Onesuite.com and buy minutes. (Minimum is $10, I believe.) Then she can find the access number for Paris on their site, and use the minutes from a pay phone the same way she would a calling card.

We just got back from Paris earlier this week, and Onesuite still works well and is cheap. We had no problem finding pay phones, even though I saw posts here saying they have become a scarce commodity in Paris. They had pay phones at our hotel, and one on the street near the hotel. Can't say if this is the case all over Paris.
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