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Has anyone rented a "free" cell phone with their car rental?

Has anyone rented a "free" cell phone with their car rental?

Mar 18th, 2007, 12:13 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647


Some interesting but not scientifically valid info on cell phones in Europe:

A co-worker of mine just returned from eight days in Amsterdam, Brussels, Antwerp and Bruge. Cingular was SUPPOSED to email her 'unlock' code, but as of today, it has still not arrived. I had offered her the use of my old unlocked phone, but she didn't want to be 'responsible' for someone else's property (though I assured her I didn't mind), so she bought a locked phone, on arrival in Amsterdam at a Vodaphone Shop in city center, for 29 Euro 99. Phone came with a Sim, 5 euro of call credit (doubled, if registered online) and a wall charger. She described the location(near the Train Station) as "pretty much a tourist area".

All the instructions WERE in Dutch, but it wasn't THAT complicated a phone. I had her bring her phone into work today, and put my IRISH Vodaphone SIM in. The phone didn't recognize my SIM.

I tried this, as my coworker is planning a trip to Spain in August, and since Vodaphone is pretty much all over Europe, I was curious if the phone was LOCKED to ANY Vodaphone SIM, or if it was country specific. Apparrently, IT DOES MATTER WHICH SIM, even if they ARE also Vodaphone (although a sampling of ONE is HARDLY conclusive.

I'm sure almost any city in Europe probably has a bunch of places where you could get it unlocked for 10 Euro or so.
Still and all, 29 Euro 95 (including VAT and 10 Euro worth of call credit ) seems incredibly reasonable, even as a one-use item.
Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 12:27 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
>country specific.
Yes, phones can either be locked on a certain SIM, a range of SIMs or a certain network in a country. Vodafone prepaid phones are usually locked to a range of prepaid SIMs on their Network in that country. The network ID consists of the country id 262 and the network 02 for Vodafone Germany. For Vodafone UK, the country would be 234 and the network 15. SIM cards are ALWAYS country specific, only the name Vodafone stays the same.
logos999 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 11:22 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 159
I am curious, could one of the experts on this forum advise if I am reading the verizon webpage correctly? It looks to me like they do have several phones that utilize GSM service. I keep reading that Verizon phones don't offer this capability. Here is the link to the webpage.

http://aboutus.vzw.com/international...one/index.html

Momof3sons is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 01:37 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647
Short answer:

Verizon doesn't USE GSm, but they DO sell phones (called WorldPhones, or Multi-Mode) that do....

Prices for roaming a a BIT steep, but not totally out of line with other's roaming fees.

Just remember that when ROAMING, that ALL calls are charged at the per minute rate -- both Incoming AND outgoing.

I DOUBT if they are equipt to take a SIM, but I dunno for sure.

Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Apr 4th, 2007, 07:02 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 355

Update on what happened with cingular and our demand with unlocking the phone free of charge...
3/11 I called and went through a bunch of questions with a rude person on the phone and was told it would be emailed to DH's email.

3/20 DH called Cingular with a "where is my code" and was told most likely in a few days.

3/25 DH calls Cingular again and calles me at work happy he rec'd the PUK and defalt pin code from the nice girl when he asked for the unlock code to replace a sim chip.

4/2 I took it back over as I had been researching it all and DH just didn't know and nice girl at Cingular was either giving him the run around or was clueless herself.

I called Cingular and got someone who knew what I wanted (the IMEI # AND the Subsidy Unlock code) and I was told that the reason I had not received the info. yet is that I had to add the Int'l calling to my plan. (free of charge- just a high per minute rate).

4/4
DH was emailed the codes we needed along with step by step instructions. We turned off the phone, took out his Cingular Sim followed the instructions and the phone told us it was successfully unlocked. NO CABLE NEEDED!

I inserted a Mobal Sim chip (from our 2005 trip, ordered when I thought I had quad band and did not...so glad I file everything away) and the phone turned on and was good to go.

All is well and it seems as if we should be able to buy a SIM chip when we get to Shannon!

YEAH! It worked! Thanks I.C.!!!

Dawn
12perfectdays is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 11:29 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 135
I'm still really confused about the phones. We're traveling with another couple in France for three weeks and we won't always be together. I don't need to call or get calls from the U.S. I just need to make local calls in France. I've been told by Cingular that my cheap cell phone won't work in Europe. The car rental agency offers a free cell phone for 7 days and $2.00 per day thereafter. I must pay $40 in shipping charges and handling plus air rates (not stated). Is this a good deal or should I try to buy a phone?
JeannetteC is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 12:47 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 49
The only thing we need a phone for is to call ahead to the B&B's and let them know our ETA as they requested. We plan to check our email everyday as our means of communicating with home. We have heard that internet cafes are easily found. Guess we'll just buy a phone card and call from pay phones when required.
bluesmusic is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 02:29 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 159
JeannetteC said "Is this a good deal or should I try to buy a phone?"

It all depends on your comfort level for dealing with the details while on vacation. It also depends on whether you have plans to return to Europe again any time soon.

If you plan on more than a few visits over the next few years, it would certainly be cheaper to buy your own phone and purchase SIM cards when you reach your destination.

These folks sell phones and SIM cards to travelers. They explain things fairly well on what's involved - it can get pretty confusing. However, they are a tad on the pricey side. That being said, some folks are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of being ready before their trip.
http://www.telestial.com/view_produc...T_ID=LSIM-FR01
http://www.telestial.com/sim_tutorial.php

I'm taking an unlocked phone to Ireland with me this year, and the "starter" sim package with Vodaphone includes the SIM card, and E5 call credit for E9.99. Adding minutes is easy, too, using top-up cards. (Just be sure not to top up too much, as some services might expire minutes after a time).

I think it's just easier to pick up a phone while in Europe and only use it while there. They are certainly cheap enough these days, and it avoids having to spend a bundle on getting a phone that works here and there. (Not to mention having to switch providers if you already don't use a GSM service.)
jefe is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 03:06 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 222
bluesmusic, I'd say just get a phone either when you get there or get on on ebay. These things are very cheap nowadays. I am pretty sure there is a charge for making and receiving calls on the car rental company phone. And, it's usually very high.
mrcamp is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 05:00 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,647
YOU CAN GET A CHEAP VODAPHONE PHONE AND SIM WITH CALL CREDIT FOR UNDER $50 AT ALMOST ANY PHONE SHOP IN IRELAND. IT WILL BE GOOD IN THE UK AND IRELAND ONLY, BUT...

CALLS OUT? ABOUT 50-60 EURO CENTS PER MINUTE.
CALLS IN? FREE.

TOP UP AT ANY NEWS SHOP, GAS STATION (IF NEEDED). ACCOUNT WILL REMAIN ACTIVE FOR ONE (1) YEAR FROM DATE OF LAST 'TOP UP'. VODAPHONE CAN BE TOPPED UP ON-LINE AND AT ANY VODAPHONE SHOP ANYWHERE IN EUROPE.

BOB
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Feb 1st, 2010, 03:25 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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