Using a US cell phone in Paris

Dec 4th, 2018, 08:09 AM
  #1  
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Using a US cell phone in Paris

ATT assures me I can use my cell phone in Paris for $10 per day. Is there anything special I need to do to use the phone? Do I need to add a country code? All Paris phone numbers seem to start with an "01"-do I dial that always? Thanks...
youngtom2910 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 08:26 AM
  #2  
 
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$10 per DAY? Plus calls and data use, of course. At roaming rates. Get set for a huge bill.

Get a local SIM and save a bunch. If your phone is locked to ATT, get a cheap used unlocked phone from eBay or Amazon or for a little extra when you buy your French SIM card. The phone store will explain the way to dial French and foreign numbers. Or even get a calling program that works on wifi and save even more.
AJPeabody is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 08:36 AM
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Same here : just buy a phone with a SIM card or just the SIM card.

When I travel abroad and my calls are expensive I use WhatsApp once I have free wifi.

As for phone numbers, I enter all my contacts with 'international' ('+') then country code (33 for France) then the phone number without the zero (I think the only country where the '0' stays is Italy).

+ 33 1 12 23 34 45 could be a valid phone number.
thibaut is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 08:42 AM
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No, it's not going to be $10 a day - that's just what AT&T will take so you can keep your own phone. There will be significant other charges.

Get a French SIM card. If your phone is unlocked, just switch out the SIM cards. If it's not, you'll have to pay to get it unlocked (or you can search online for an unlocking code) or buy a cheap used unlocked phone.

The 01 area code is for Paris landlines. Cellphone numbers will normally begin with 06 (sometimes 07). Once in France with a French SIM card, you dial the full 10-digit number. If calling from abroad, you omit the zero and add the country code (or +)
StCirq is online now  
Dec 4th, 2018, 10:06 AM
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I have to disagree somewhat with StCirq and AJPeabody. We use AT&T for our carrier in the US. We just spent 10 days in Norway and Sweden and elected to pay the $10/day for my phone and also for my wife's phone. You can read more about the program at https://www.att.com/offers/international.html. The basics of the plan is it lets you use your current plan in covered parts of Europe (covers most places) for $10 a day. If your plan is unlimited data then that's what you get, if you don't have unlimited data then your bound the same data restrictions you have at home. You have unlimited texts to 120 countries as well. The one thing I'm not clear on is calls, I believe there are charges for calls. But I had no plans to make calls so I didn't research that aspect.

My plan has unlimited data, calls and texts. I'm looking at my bill from before the trip and my bill from during the trip. I used the plan for 10 days and paid an extra $130. The extra $30 was for additional taxes and fees that were applied. There were no additional data fees or roaming.

There is nothing you need to do other than have the international plan added to your plan. You only get charged if you use the phone. If you truly turn everything off (data, roaming, etc) for an entire day...or simply turn your phone off, you don't get charged for that day. You only get charged the $10 if you use any aspect of your phone during a 24 hour period.

We were very pleased with the plan and the costs ended up being close to what I was expecting. Just thought you'd like to hear my recent hands-on experience.

Last edited by Wekiva; Dec 4th, 2018 at 10:10 AM.
Wekiva is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 10:08 AM
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$10 per day is nothing short of astronomical. I pay 20€ per month for unlimited: data, MMS, SMS, and calls throughout the EU as well as to North America. The US telephone companies are nothing other than thieves.

At a minimum, you can get one of the prepaid Orange plans at the airport and save a bundle.
Sarastro is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 10:11 AM
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For US customers it is simpler and cheaper to get a month-by-month plan with T-Mobile. Mine covers 140 countries.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 10:13 AM
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I don't deny that $10 a day seems higher than it should be over/above your current cell bill. I was just saying that the $10 fee wasn't far off from what I experienced recently.

My phone is locked so I'd have to get another phone with a different number for my trips. Since I only travel every 3 or 4 years I can handle $100 to not have to deal with the hassle.
Wekiva is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 10:21 AM
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In anycase for French numbers you just dial the number. Your phone knows it is in France.
If you would rather use the international code then use +33 and drop the first zero in the number.
hetismij2 is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 11:03 AM
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With Verizon's $10 a day plan, you have unlimited calls to the US and the country you're in. If ATT is the same, it's not a bad way to go for a short trip. Compare $10 per day vs. the cost of a French SIM card... I'm willing to pay a bit more for convenience. For a long trip, obviously the French SIM is a better deal.
travelhorizons is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 11:57 AM
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If your AT&T phone is paid for it's not a problem to unlock it.

https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/#/

https://www.wirefly.com/guides/how-u...att-cell-phone
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 11:58 AM
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>>> Is there anything special I need to do to use the phone?
Yes. Read the FAQ. https://www.att.com/offers/internati.../day-pass.html
Must be provisioned on a per-device basis before use.
greg is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 12:36 PM
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There are plenty of inexpensive non-contractual SIM cards for tourists available in France and throughout Europe now, starting as low as 3,99 euros and rechargeable online and at any supermarket. Orange, SFR, Free, and other providers offer them. And there are no longer any roaming charges in Europe.
StCirq is online now  
Dec 4th, 2018, 12:38 PM
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We're ATT customers and just returned from nearly 3 months in France and Spain. Before leaving the US, we purchased the ATT International Plan for $60 per month per apparatus. You get 1GB total (all apparatus) of data per month for that price. If you exceed 1GB (we did once), it's an extra $50 per GB. We had two iPhones and an iPad on the Plan. Absent this Plan, each day we used one of the apparatus, ATT would charge us $10. If we used all 3 apparatus on any given day, ATT would charge us $30. Thus, the $10 a day plan can get very expensive for long stays. Twice, at the beginning of two monthly periods, ATT charged us both $10 a day and the $60 per apparatus, resulting in more than $500 of overcharges. I didn't catch this problem until well into the monthly periods. After I complained, ATT agreed and deleted all the $10 a day charges it had assessed. The lesson there is to check more frequently your usage.

When I used my iPhone while in Europe to call a number in France or Spain, I had to dial 011 (to get into the international system), the country code (33 or 34) and then the local number without the first 0. To call a number in the US, I just dialed as if in the US.

While in Europe over the last few years, we have learned to put our iPhones and iPad on "Airplane Mode," even while connected to WiFi, to hold down data usage. We turn Airport Mode off when we need to use data, use the data, then turn it back on. Of course, we could avoid all this by switching to T-Mobile, which we are considering. We have also begun using VPN to enhance transmission security, especially when using a WiFi network not requiring a password, and to get TV via internet using a country appropriate IP address.
billandcindy is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 02:10 PM
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What VPN service do you use? Cost?
AJPeabody is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 03:29 PM
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"No, it's not going to be $10 a day - that's just what AT&T will take so you can keep your own phone. There will be significant other charges.”

With AT&T, the $10/day IS all you pay, and, again you only pay for the days you decide to access the phone towers. Wifi, of course, is always usable for free. My son did it this summer. And, the phone calls within Europe and back to the US are free. You simply bring whatever plan you have with you (his is unlimited data and texting). Many users today are paying for the phones as part of the monthly fee and trade them in every year, so a lot of us don’t ever own them. SIM cards don’t make sense for us.

Since we were away 40 days this fall, we opted for the 30/day @$60 AT&T Passport plan. Our daughter was with us the first 10 days, and she had T-Mobile, which, as someone said, is much better when you travel in Europe. The last 30 days, we used the Passport plan, which included the 1GB of data, unlimited texting and 35 cents per minute calling in Europe and back to the US. Because there is so much wifi everywhere, we hardly nicked our 1GB of data. We also used google offline maps to make sure we wouldn’t impact it as well. For us, the monthly plan worked out better than $10/day.
whitehall is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 04:46 PM
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We use the ATT $10/day plan too. And yes, it's just $10/day, no additional charges. Just go online or call ATT before you go to set it up. And they only charge you for the days you use it.

Having a local sim instead can be cheaper, of course, but depending on your situation, having your regular number may be worth paying more.
november_moon is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 10:34 PM
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The main downside of having a local SIM is that your US number no longer works so your contacts cannot reach you unless you send them the new number, which would be an international call for them. If that is not a concern, go for it.
I am a former AT&T customer who used the various international roaming package options they offered over the years as they were easier than a local SIM for short trips. Now that I am with T-Mobile (and love it) European roaming is a freebie.
Seamus is online now  
Dec 5th, 2018, 01:46 AM
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
The main downside of having a local SIM is that your US number no longer works so your contacts cannot reach you unless you send them the new number, which would be an international call for them. If that is not a concern, go for it.
I am a former AT&T customer who used the various international roaming package options they offered over the years as they were easier than a local SIM for short trips. Now that I am with T-Mobile (and love it) European roaming is a freebie.
I'm a T-Mobile customer, but last I heard, I have to pay 20 cents per minute for phone calls in Europe (although Canada and Mexico are free). I do have free data and text messages, though. Do you have free calling in Europe as well?
WillTravel is offline  
Dec 5th, 2018, 04:13 AM
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Will, my husband and I are on T-mobile. Our plan lets us make free calls in France from our US number to a US number over wifi, but all three conditions must be met for it to be free (or better to say, prepaid). Calls from our US phones to a French number aren't free, so my husband bought a SIM at Leclerc for in-France calls. He found a SIM that lets him prepay in cash, rather than have our CC billed monthly. We just top it up as needed when we're near a Leclerc.
Coquelicot is online now  

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