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Traveling to France between now and March 1, 2008? My pre-paid SAGEM cell phone (France Telecom, with an Orange Mobicarte) worked great, and now I do intend to "sell it forward".

Traveling to France between now and March 1, 2008? My pre-paid SAGEM cell phone (France Telecom, with an Orange Mobicarte) worked great, and now I do intend to "sell it forward".

Sep 30th, 2007, 09:36 AM
  #1  
rex
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Traveling to France between now and March 1, 2008? My pre-paid SAGEM cell phone (France Telecom, with an Orange Mobicarte) worked great, and now I do intend to "sell it forward".

If you're interested in my historic review of cell phone options, which I recall using in the past few years, see http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=35069673

...but you don't need to read all that...

Hopefully, otherwise, if you're interested, my whole message is pretty much in the title. On September 20, on our latest trip to France, I bought a SAGEM pre-paid cell phone for 39 euro (that's essentially 9 euro for the phone and 30 euro for the number), and used it for our trip through September 29. The phone comes from France Telecom with only 8 minutes of call time; for all additional calling, an Orange "Mobicarte" (SIM) is purchased for additional time. I bought a 35 euro card, which actually provides 45 euros of time at 0.55 euro per minute (i.e., approximately 80 minutes) for outgoing calls within Europe (incoming calls are free); double that rate for calls to another cell phone (as the recipient of calls pays nothing). The phone currently shows 24.65 euro left of credits from that SIM. The credits and the telephone number will expire March 20, 2008. It includes a AC (Europe 2 pin style) wall adapter/charger). It worked well in rural and urban France as well as in the Torino region of Italy. It is already switched over to English messages, though you could switch it back to any of a half dozen other languages, I think.

In about a week, I intend to list it on eBay, but wanted to give Fodorites the opportunity to contact me if interested in purchasing it. I figure that the "bonus" 10 euros of talk time get transferred to the buyer, since the phone is now used (i.e., I will only be asking 53 euro for the phone + number + the remaining 24-odd euro of talk time it has left on it).

Why buy it from me? To support the concept of being able to buy a phone when traveling in Europe and "sell it forward" to friends here on this forum. Maybe because you (perhaps) feel like you "know" me.

Feel free to ask any other questions about the purchase, use of the phone or any other aspects of having a pre-paid phone in France.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Sep 30th, 2007, 12:20 PM
  #2  
rex
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ttt...
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Sep 30th, 2007, 07:45 PM
  #3  
rex
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once again...
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Sep 30th, 2007, 09:43 PM
  #4  
 
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Topping for you, Rex.

I'm actually a bit surprised that Matron Janis didn't blast you for posting an advertisement.

Good luck with the sale.
Dukey is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 10:55 PM
  #5  
 
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Rex,

You say you are selling it at 53 euro, if so, at the current rate of $1.42 per, are you asking $75? If that is the case, I might be interested.

Email me at tomsneed6025 at yahoo dot com

Tom

PS How was your trip?
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Oct 1st, 2007, 04:38 AM
  #6  
rex
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Your interpretation is correct. I left the price in euros in case there were Canadians or others who would want the price in some other currency than USD.

I will write to you today.

The trip, all in all was good, and I am only now starting to think about how much the trip report will appear in pieces, and how much to separate out the "factual" (hotel reviews, budget, etc) from the "perceptions".
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Oct 1st, 2007, 04:55 AM
  #7  
 
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Just curious - if you visit Europe regularly, as I gather you do, why not just have a phone at home which also works in Europe ? Is it much cheaper this way ? I'd assumed that if I ever wanted to visit the other side of the Atlantic again, I'd just replace my current 2 band phone (cost £30 1.5 years ago) with a 3 band phone.
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Oct 1st, 2007, 02:47 PM
  #8  
rex
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Is your question directed at me, Caroline? I'll refer you to the URL listed in the first posting on this thread. Although I have traveled to Europe 22 times since 1989, it has actually dropped in frequency since 2001 to five times in six years, and my thoughts (not to mention the technology and the pricing) have changed every time.

And, as much as anything, I think that "we Fodorites" can do each other a big favor through this concept of "sell it forward".

I really thought that my iPaq was going to be the preferred technology for this trip (providing WiFi and GPS, and not "just" cell phone service), but I decided that with the cost of a number being 30 euro, it just wasn't worth spending that money for something more specialized (and thus, with less broad appeal to "sell forward" once I got back home).

I think that for an "average" tourist, who likes

a) the ease of being reached by family back home (though no one from the US called me this trip - - so chalk that up to "peace of mind")

b) the ease (though not all that cheap) of contacting my taveling companions when we split apart (since she implemented a calling plan on her phone before leaving the US)

and

c) the ability to make and receive calls easily to hotels, restaurants, etc on the trip (this assumes, at least in part, that language barrier will not foil your attempts in talking on the phone - - I still find automatic voice-activated <<repondeur>> systems quite difficult to follow, and I consider myself reasoonably fluent in French).

If these reasons appeal to you, then I think that buying a phone on arrival, and then bringing it back to "sell forward" to another Fodorite, to be the method of choice, in 2007, for having a cell phone while there.
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Oct 2nd, 2007, 01:47 AM
  #9  
 
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Hi Rex, yes, sorry for being unclear, I was asking you. Still confused, though - don't you use a mobile phone at home ? If so, why not just keep one which works on both continents ?
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Oct 2nd, 2007, 05:51 AM
  #10  
rex
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Caroline: it simply costs a lot more to have GSM capability on any phone that I would use every day in the US (I think).

I suppose that it boils down to this: my purchase decision(s) regarding the phone itself (and as a corollary, the calling plan that goes with it) have occurred at random intervals (typically when the contract is up for renewal, or when I have had problem with a phone getting old, or maybe once, when I/my wife simply wanted something new/different)... and there was no reason to factor in the possibility of having GSM accessability at that time; i.e., no reason to pay more for that.

It seems like just a year or two ago (maybe it really has been longer than that already) that there were many more cell phone companies than there are today (in the US) - - and GSM accessability was almost totally unknown. (I may have my history totally wrong about this, and maybe it was not as recent as I think). It seems like T-mobile was the first company to offer GSM, and it was a tiny blip in the cell phone market.

Perhaps I am not up-to-date in my assessment of who offers what. Our provider is Verizon (we still have a family plan, providing low-cost phones and service for two of our daughters even though they are adults and do not live near us any more) - - and, to the best of my knowledge - - it's the largest, and by some measures the "best" cell phone company in the US. But maybe the other three (Sprint, ATT/Cingular and T-mobile) are closer to coming up to equal than I realize. Since two out of four use (can use?) GSM (do I have that right?) then perhaps it is not such a big deal to buy a phone (and a calling plan contract) that could easily add international calling as an option on an as-you-need-it basis.

I believe that's what my sister-in-law did; she had her same everyday phone, and made some arrangement(s) with her provider to be able to place and receive calls. The price was 0.99 USD per minute, if I recall correctly - - and that seemed awfully high to me, but my savings were perhaps trivial, since the (prepaid) Mobicarte rate was 0.55 euro per minute (about 0.78 USD now that the dollar is so weak!)

Just curious - - how many other Fodorites (in the US) own a GSM-capable phone for their everyday use (how many don't know?), and if so, did you use it when traveling in Europe in the past year or two? Did you get a (new) number while in Europe (that's automatic when buying a SIM for your phone, right?) - - or... if not... were there fees for making your existing number compatible with one or more service while there?
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Oct 4th, 2007, 12:01 PM
  #11  
 
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Enjoyed your report on Provence and your pictures. Did you go to L'atelier for lunch or dinner and what did it cost excluding wine. Thank you.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Sorry, just posted on the wrong report.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 03:40 PM
  #13  
yk
 
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rex-
Are you still selling it? I'm actually leaving for France next week, and was planning to just go without a phone. Sounds like your phone will only work for France, right?
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Oct 4th, 2007, 04:10 PM
  #14  
mms
 
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Rex--We have GSM phones and did just like your SIL did. We used our own phone, but added the international plan for the time that we were in France. Cancelled it when we got home. I liked keeping my own number, and using the phone that I am familiar with. We have AT&T and didn't have any problems.
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Oct 4th, 2007, 05:32 PM
  #15  
rex
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yk - - the above named "tomsneed" has not replied to me, so e-mail me if you wish. My phone worked just fine in Italy (region around Turin); I am not sure exactly how broad is the coverage.
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Oct 7th, 2007, 05:39 PM
  #16  
yk
 
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rex- Sorry, I have been very busy at work. Anyway, spoke with husband and we decided to go without a cell phone. So please go ahead and list it on ebay as you wish.
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Oct 7th, 2007, 05:50 PM
  #17  
 
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Rex,

I like your idea and hope someone takes you up on it - sell it forward.

We are not traveling until June 08 otherwise I would be interested.

good luck
Cindywho is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:04 AM
  #18  
 
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I am traveling to France next week and I do want a phone to call back and forth to/from the US, but I will be in France for a year. Do you have advice about the best/most economical way to do that?
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Oct 8th, 2007, 11:33 AM
  #19  
rex
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I don't think that I know the best answer, but anyone answering will probably want to kow... where will you live? will there be established phone service there? is mobility important to you (seems like that will inevitable cost more per minute than a land line, just as in the US, but maybe only if you would have high usage?) and are you willing to just use a pay phone (especially if you are living somewhere without established phone service?

In general, I think that the answer will be a phone card.
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Oct 8th, 2007, 01:03 PM
  #20  
 
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Thanks for your quick reply, Rex. We will be in Aix-en-Provence, in a temporary arrangement at first, not sure yet where we will settle or if there will be a phone on site, so I think I'm looking for a mobile phone. Probably won't phone very often but need to be accessible to family at home.
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