Cellphones or payphones??

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Sep 8th, 2009, 09:31 PM
  #1
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Cellphones or payphones??

Hey guys, for those who made calls from Paris to US what do u guys use? and for locals calls, is payphones a convenient one? I believe the apt we will be staying doesn't have landline so no idea if we are to book for restaurant reservation. Please help.
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Sep 9th, 2009, 02:53 AM
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There are a fair amount of payphones in Paris - BUT they don't take coins! it's crazy, I know! So if you don't bring along your cell phone, the best thing to do might be to pick up a pre-paid phone card (to use at payphones). they are sold in 'Tabacs' (tobacconists- look for the red and white signs) and probably at the airport and other tourist sites.
If you know of a restaurant you definitely want to reserve at, you may want to try before leaving.
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Sep 9th, 2009, 03:38 AM
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thanks Lily il take note of that
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Sep 9th, 2009, 03:41 AM
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Pay phones are fine and it is not difficult to use a card you buy at a Tabac.
But. The problem with calling someone in the US is the time difference. You might find yourself at a pay phone at 1:00 in the morning if you are trying to call someone in the US who works until 6:00pm and whom you cannot reach at work before then.
This is one nice reason to have a cell phone which you can use from your apartment.
But pre-paid cards are perfectly fine and work well at a reasonable cost.
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Sep 9th, 2009, 03:43 AM
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Sher, if we are to bring our quad band cellphone is there a prepaid card we can use for the cellphones?
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Sep 9th, 2009, 04:43 AM
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if we are to bring our quad band cellphone is there a prepaid card we can use for the cellphones?

If you have an unlocked, GSM tri or quad band phone, purchase a Breizh SIM from PhoneHouse. Cost is 6.90€. Minutes are sold prepaid in increments of 5€. 52 minutes for 10€ or .19€/min whether made to other mobile phones or fixed phone lines. Inbound minutes are always free.

www.phonehouse.fr
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Sep 9th, 2009, 05:15 AM
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When I used my phone in France, I purchased a SIM from Call In Europe, which was the least expensive place at the time.
The cost to call the US was fairly high at about or almost .50 per minute. This is where I made most of my phone calls. And I think this is what Sarastro is talking about when it says 52 minutes for E10 which would be about $15 for 52 minutes. So this price seems less expensive.
You should check it out.
This year in Portugal I used Skype. But you have to have an apartment with WiFI or find a WiFi hotspot which is not that difficult in Europe. And you have to drag a computer around. You can use the service from a internet cafe, I think, if it has a computer with a microphone. I have one of those mini-notebooks.
It is my understanding that with a phone card, you would still use minutes but someone else would have to advise you about this.
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Sep 9th, 2009, 05:37 AM
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The rate for a call to the US using a phonecard is 0.01€ per minute (+ a connection fee of about 0.30€). Anybody can pay more if they want to.
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Sep 9th, 2009, 06:16 AM
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The last time I was in Paris and landed at CDG, I went to the Relais store there (there are several, newspaper and varia store) and purchased a phone card. They asked if it was for international or local. In my case it was for local. These cards are sold in a lot of places. You slide it into payphone like a credit card and it debits the amount of the call.

Alternate is to bring an unlocked quad band GSM phone and simply buy a prepaid SIM.

As for restaurants, I've never booked. Mind you, I've never gone to Micheling starred places, but I've never missed a meal becuase I could not get into a good restaurant. So unless you are planning on going to a popular place, I'm not sure reservations are required. I show up at 7:30-8, to get in when place opens. On one occasion I was passing by the place I wanted to go while exploring, and walked in to book for that evening.

I know other people here do book, so it may be a personal preference. One of the reasons I tend to not book is to give me the flexibility of changing my mind. If I'm in the Marais one day and I spend more time there than I planned, I don't need to worry about rushing to get back to restaurant, I'll just go to La Guirlande de Julie. When I travel to Paris, I have a list of the restaurants I might want to try, laid out by arrondissements with addresses. So no matter where I am on a certain day, I know I have a few choices to eat that night.
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Sep 9th, 2009, 10:48 AM
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Kerouac "you can pay more of you want to" not a polite or informative comment
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Sep 9th, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Yes, but it is appropriate for this board where people often spend far more than is necessary and are happy to do so, just like the people who "tip 15% anyway, just like at home."
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