Phoning in Italy

Old Sep 21st, 2007, 04:52 AM
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Phoning in Italy

We are soon to leave on a trip to Tuscany where we'll be doing the driving. Have we overlooked an impt. part of this 'adventure'-- like planning on renting/buying a cell phone for possible car problems- mid vineyard?
What have others done when setting out in a rental car? Any advice would be so appreciated! Thanks! Yimmie
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 04:56 AM
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Hi Y,

If your major concern is emergency calls, I suggest the $49 phone from www.mobal.com

The per minute rates are high, but you will own the phone, your number will never change, and you are billed only for the calls you make/receive.

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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 04:57 AM
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PS,

I definitely recommend that you have a phone.

The emergency number throughout the EU (mostly) is 112.
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 05:21 AM
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Telestial.com is selling a phone and a sim card for $49. The sim card includes $20 of calling time, and you can easily buy more calling time if you need it. The calling costs are $0.99/minute and incoming calls are free in Italy. I think the phone is unlocked, meaning you can put a local Italian sim or an international sim, available at
www.prepaidgsm.net/en/international.html , in the phone after you've used up your calling time. I'd check with Telestial to see if the phone is unlocked. If it is, it's a better deal than Mobal's because of the high Mobal calling costs and because the Mobal phone can only be used in Europe.
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Old Sep 21st, 2007, 05:23 AM
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Assuming you're from the USA and if your cell carrier is T Mobile USA or AT&T and if you have a cell phone with one of the European frequencies, all you need to know is call customer service and activate international roaming. If you're on verizon or sprint, you're out of luck. If you don't have a tri band or quad band phone on TM or ATT, you can hop off to a company store and probably either buy one or upgrade.

Lacking that, upon arrival in Italy at the arrival airport while one of you goes off to deal with the car rental, the other should go into a cell phone shop and buy the cheapest package (and Italian cell phones and cell phone rates are relatively inexpensive) that would include a cheap phone with the European bands (Italian phones tend to be unlocked by the way so you'll be able to use it again in another European country) and some call credit...TIM (one of the Italian providers) have sim card packages that start off at 10 euro withn 5 euro worth of credit.

Piece of cake and something you should most assuredly do...in this day and age you have to be nearly insane to do any sort of driving without a cell (mobile) phone.
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 08:29 AM
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xyz123 or Ira,
I am a verizon user so my options areto get a phone in the Rome airport or Telestial.com. Do you have any idea how much it will be in the airport.
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 09:08 AM
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Hi yea,

Sorry, can't help.
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 09:50 AM
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HEllo yimmie,

I posted a question re cell phones on the Europe site sometime ago .
THis is where I first heard of the Mobal phones .

After much thought, I am at the point where I will be purchasing a Mobal phone.
Here are my reasons:

You have the same no. forever.
No connecting, roaming charges.

You are not billed every nine months to keep it current "so to speak".

You pay a one time charge of 49 dollars plus shipping and tax for the cheaper phone.

You are able to use this phone , where others might not work.

I think that by purchasing a phone overseas and new sim cards each time could run into a lot of hassle plus cost , as in our case we will be in 5 countries. Now I suppose a case could be made ,if one were visiting just one country.

The cost for us to call home to Canada(same for U.S.) is 1.50 per min.from France , HOlland, Germany and Italy .Belgium is more.However , to textmessage and receive is .80.
INcoming calls are 1.25 per minute.Calls are always rounded up to the next minute. You are billed on your Mastercard.We certainly don't plan to chat , so to speak, using this phone
"
As the add says -- "you leave it in your drawer at home , ready to use for the next trip".

Believe me , this is not an add for a Mobal phone! I was going nutty , trying to figure out the best solution for us as we will be taking our 3 granddaughters for the first week before the parents come. It is for comfort of the parents and calling ahead for confirmations etc.as well for car rental .I would not want to get stuck in the hills of Tuscany or Umbria.

I have tried the e-mail thing to connect back home , sometimes the internet cafes are hard to fine and then they are full etc. It is not my idea to waste time like this .

Again, each situation is different , this is I believe, what will work for us.Now , I have no idea at this point what it will cost to ship to Canada. That I will check on .

I stand to be corrected If I am wrong about this phone?
PErhaps , I won't really know until I use this phone.

Maybe someone on this forum has actually used this phone and can give input?

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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 09:57 AM
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No problem Ira,
You have helped us plan most of our trip and I really appreciate it! We are leaving on Saturday!!!

Connie
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 10:48 AM
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I was interested in buying the Telestial phone, but am concerned about the issue of theft. I emailed them, but they didn't answer my question directly. Do they start billing your credit card per minute if the phone is stolen and thief makes calls beyond the $20 worth of airtime? I know Telestial can lock the phone if it is stolen, but it could potentially take a bit of time to reach them.

I have a prepaid cellphone here in the U.S., and it's worthless to a thief once the minutes are gone. I am assuming that's NOT the case with Telestial?
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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Telestial is VERY expensive. If you want convenience, then go with them. However, their prices are 3 -4 times more than you will get it at your destination.

Mobal is not bad for a quick call here and there. But, they are expensive too. There are several international sims that will even give you are US number. Such as YackieMobile, Celtrek, Maxroam.
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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I have a Mobal and it is actually good in several countries, except Mexico, Canada and the US. It is true that it is expensive to use, but Mobal customer service is GREAT. I am impressed by them. If you were to lose the phone you can call, and that would be that.

You could also cancel the credit card that your calls are being charged to.

I actually lost my purse and credit card and forgot call Mobal, and they were terrific. My cc was no good but they quickly help me change it, with a live customer service rep.

We travel more in Italy, and have an Italian cell, too.
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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I have a Telestial phone that I used last September. It worked perfectly. Incoming calls while you are in France are free. You are safe if your phone is stolen because you add only a certain amount of call time. It is easily recharged on line. I did that also. So, if your phone is stolen, you are out only the amount of call time that you prepaid.
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 04:08 PM
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I own a Mobal, but also bought a used Blackberry on ebay for less. Here is the problems with Mobal...

1) The per minute rate is very high, both incoming and outgoing.

2) The charges are linked directly to your credit/debit card. Lose the phone, you can take quite the nasty hit to your account.

With the blackberry, I bought a prepaid SIM card. If I lose the phone, I only lose what I have paid for, nothing more.

The Telestial deal may be even better than the ebay Blackberry with a sim.

dave
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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I also just purchased the Telestial phone for our trip to Italy. I did so for several reasons, most important (I felt) was that I now have my overseas phone number that I can give to my family and all the owners of the apartments that we've rented. Along with the companies that I've booked tours with. The thought of having to contact agencies AFTER I arrived to give them my cell phone number was not something I wanted to do. I felt the Telestial phone had a better deal than the Mobal. I believe that talk time rates were about the same but all incoming calls are free, text message are cheaper (I think .45 cents per text)you get $20.00 US dollars worth of talk time for the $49.00 price and you do not have to give them a credit card. If you use up your mintues, you can call the toll free number or add minutes on-line. I called the company before I made my purchase and was very pleased with the help I received. I now have my phone in hand, I am able to give out my number, charge my phone and figure out how to actually use the thing BEFORE I arrive in Italy! BTW, the phone is quite small. It is not even as big as a deck of cards. The phone will easily fit into a pocket without a problem.
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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yimmie,
I bought a cheap phone at TIM store, 39 euro included a SIM and five euro talk time. It is a prepaid that I can add minutes to at any tabaci. Incoming calls are free and I think that local calls were about .12 euro a minute and calls to US were about .60 euro a minute.

Henry
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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Henry,
Are TIM stores all over Italy?
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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See http://www.privati.tim.it/template/t...,71_2_,00.html for locations of TIM stores.


Henry
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 05:13 PM
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book marking
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Old Feb 25th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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Thanks for all the information!
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