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eieio (Offline)
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Default Canada: US person to Canada for a Plan (Monthly vs Pre paid) Fido?or others? Costly! - 19-08-2007, 18:47

Gentlemen/Ladies:

i'm a US person going to Canada for 12 days soon, in about 9 days. i will carry my tmobile blackberry pearl 8100 and use it ONLY for emailing (will do a "all call forwarding" so my phone won't ring and incur any international roaming charges); and bring a 2nd phone, an HTC quad band for voice.

i'll need to purchase a SIM in canada and get a plan: either a pre paid or a monthly. the monthly plans should be ok because the Fido cancellation policy is 15 days and i'll be there for 12 days, so i can in theory get a Fido monthly and use it and cancel in time. BIG PROBLEM: they are now telling me that i must have CANADIAN ID cards and social insurance cards and what not in order to sign up for a monthly plan! mind you, there's nothing devious here: i'll be spending roughly $110 for a monthly plus the sim card with Fido, IF they allow me to sign up. for 12 days, that's quite a lot of money to fork over to Fido. their pre paid is VERY costly so it's only good as a back up plan if the monthly really doesn't work.

any ideas on whether they really are that strict?

FYI: most of my calls will be from Canada back to the US using Onesuite.com, either with their "local access number" where they have them (i.e. Vancouver and Calgary), but in certain places that are a bit more remote, like Jasper, i'll have to use their "866" number). So i'll need a LOT of local minutes.

for international long distance calling from Canada to the US, i'm fine: ok, i'm very fine with Onesuite.com now. i've tried it at "home" (usa) on both my land and cell and it works like a charm - probably the best discounted international long distance "calling card" i've ever used. high tech and easy to use once you set it up.

BIG PROBLEM: i've looked at Fido to get a Canadian SIM and a plan (there are 2 options: Pre paid and Monthly). the pre paid is VERY expensive on a per min basis so that's not good. the monthly is better, BUT THEY TOLD ME ON THE PHONE THAT THEY REQUIRE PROOF OF CANADIAN RESIDENCY and various other types of Canadian ID cards that i obviously don't have. please note that there is NOTHING at all devious going on here!! i'm a traveler going with my family from the USA to Canada to see the great outdoors and the mountains and water!

i can't get an international student card because i'm not a student.

i CAN opt for the online billing but it only is an option AFTER you get your monthly account.

ugh. how do i get a monthly plan then? btw, since i'll only be in Canada for 12 days, the cancellation period is 15 days so i can cancel before i leave.

any advice would be most appreciated!

thank you in advance.

PS: thx "Mike" aka Snidely for the advice on Onesuite.com. it is good. that solves the international long distance part of the equation but now, i have to have a SIM card and a plan!! i'll bring my own 2 phones: tmobile blackberry pearl 8100, and an unlocked quad band HTC phone. i'll only use the blackberry for the emails. the HTC quad band phone will be for voice.
   
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 19-08-2007, 21:47

Fido prepaid lets you have unlimited incoming calls for $1 a day, and unlimited evenings and weekends for $1 a day. If you can get people to call you (you could forward a US VoIP number like GrandCentral if they have to pay heavy rates to Canadian numbers), that might work out really well for you and you might not even need the unlimited evenings and weekends.

I don't think it's very ethical to sign up for postpaid service for 12 days when you have no intention of maintaining it. I also don't think that it's likely that you'll get service unless you have a Canadian mailing address and a Canadian credit history.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

Hardware: Too much but notably iPhone 5, iPad Mini Retina LTE, Moto G LTE (N.A. version), iPhone 4. All unlocked.
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default ebay - 20-08-2007, 00:48

There are some FIDO or Rogers prepaid cards on eBay. I see no restriction on activation by non-Canadians. You could email the sellers.

Agree it would be dishonest to sign up for monthly plan.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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eieio (Offline)
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Default 20-08-2007, 04:34

just went on ebay to look. thx gentlemen/ladies for your pointers.

btw, i am not sure how "dishonest" it would be to sign up for a monthly plan on Fido/Rogers.

i'd be spending around $120 for 12 days or so, maybe 13 days. that's a lot more than the average subscriber.

i break no rules, promised nothing out of the ordinary, and is trying to find the best option for us when we tour Canada to enjoy the glorious view/fresh air!

it's not like i told them that i'd sign up for 2 years and then go away. there are no requirements that i tell them up front, as long as it's within the first 14 days or so.

the ebay ones are hard to read...one can never or rarely tell if they are for real or opportunists, right? i'd like to believe in the best of human nature - that they are honest business people.
   
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eieio (Offline)
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Default 20-08-2007, 04:47

i'll be making mostly outgoing calls back to the US with my calling card using either their local access number or their 866 number.

thx to Mr. or Ms. Snidely for recommending that!

my thinking is that since i'd be spending roughly $120 for 12 days, i'm by far a better revenue generator than their typical client!! there's nothing "devious" or "dishonest" about this. i never promised that i'd be a customer for 2 years, and i adhere to their rule of 15 days for cancellations very carefully.

it's sort of a "win win" situation, in that they make a very healthy margin on me with greater than $120 for my 12 days in canada, and i get to use their monthly plan and get to cancel prior to the 15-day cancellation period.

any further thoughts/advice would be most appreciated.
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default prepaid - 20-08-2007, 14:21

http://cgi.ebay.com/Fido-Prepaid-Num...QQcmdZViewItem

The seller has 98% satisfaction rate on over 9000 transactions & ships worldwide. It's a PREPAID card that you can probably pick up for $20 with shipping included (price is 64 cents now) and closes in 12 hours. If I wanted the card, I would not hesitate to bid on that one. If you pay by credit card, you can always use that a leverage.

I am sure there are other offers out there.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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GadgetKen (Offline)
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Default 20-08-2007, 22:06

As a US citizen with a Fido card, I agree that ebay for a prepaid sim is probably the way to go. A few thoughts:
1. On the T-Mobile call forward for your BlackBerry, you may want to exchange an email with T-Mo just to confirm in writing you won't get charged for call forwarding to Canada while the phone is switched on.
2. If you go the Fido sim card route, remember you may need to change your WAP/GPRS/MMS settings temporarily on your HTC if you want to use this as a data backup for your Blackberry (see the faq section of Fido on http://www.howardforums.com for details on this). Fido prepaid has roaming in the US as of a week ago (data rate same as Canada, but voice a pricey C$2.50/min so wouldn't recommend using voice other than maybe a one minute test call-out or call-in) so you can test your phone in the US. You can also setup your voicemail box from the US by calling a Fido VM access number for the area your sim chip is set up for.
3. Have you considered an iDen Blackberry for Canadian data? You would need a cheap used Nextel blackberry handset off ebay. Roaming is possible on a Boost/Nextel prepaid sim chip on the Canadian Telus network (mostly CDMA but some iDen Mike coverage). Cost is only 35 cents a day for unlimited web service. PTT service also available but incoming/outgoing calls not allowed in Canada, so you would still need the HTC on a Fido chip for voice.
4. Free or fee wifi available in many major cities in Canada. Bring a subnotebook or wifi device if your Blackberry or HTC doesn't have wifi capabilities? Wifi is generally cheaper for data and sometimes faster than GPRS.
5. If going Fido prepaid, this can be refilled by voucher from your handset or by calling a 1-800 number (both free calls in the US and Canada). You can't use credit card refill unless you have a credit card drawn on a Canadian bank (unless buying indirectly from a Fido reseller).


Phones/Wireless Devices: Blackview BV8000 Pro, Isatphone Pro, Amazon Kindle 3G, SkyRoam MiFi device, Karma MiFi device, AT&T Liberate MiFi device
Sim Cards: AT&T (AT&T, H2O and Kindle), Koko
Satphone: InMarSat
Broadband US Wireless Data: AT&T, Sprint (AT&T postpaid or Karma Mobility prepaid)
Broadband International Data: SkyRoam
VOIP: Skype
   
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eieio (Offline)
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Default 20-08-2007, 22:56

Ken: this is GREAT info, very helpful sir!

following up: i plan to do mostly calls back to the USA as i do not know many people in canada. i was told about Onesuite.com and have tried it here in the US both using a landline as well as my cell, works well.

i'll be calling either a "local access number" only available for Vancouver, or, in the case of the Calgary/Banff/Jasper/Lake Louise area, their Canadian 866 number. i was informed that calling the 866 number means that i'll be charged a typical "local call rate", and calling the Vancouver local access number means that it's just a local call. that makes it sound like i need a LOT of local minutes as well as unlimited nights/weekends to "help out" my pre paid plan since it's so expensive.

additionally, i was warned by a Fido dealer that if i were to get a Vancouver area code, every call i make when i'm in the Calgary/banff/lake louise/Jasper area would incur a HEFTY canadian long distance charge!! YIKES.

this seems awfully complicated. is that dealer correct?

i'm now thoroughly confused.

help? ladies and gentlemen?

btw, i'd be more than happy to email / call you kind folks directly to clear this up. i only have a few days to set this up properly.

thanks so much!





Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetKen View Post
As a US citizen with a Fido card, I agree that ebay for a prepaid sim is probably the way to go. A few thoughts:
1. On the T-Mobile call forward for your BlackBerry, you may want to exchange an email with T-Mo just to confirm in writing you won't get charged for call forwarding to Canada while the phone is switched on.
2. If you go the Fido sim card route, remember you may need to change your WAP/GPRS/MMS settings temporarily on your HTC if you want to use this as a data backup for your Blackberry (see the faq section of Fido on http://www.howardforums.com for details on this). Fido prepaid has roaming in the US as of a week ago (data rate same as Canada, but voice a pricey C$2.50/min so wouldn't recommend using voice other than maybe a one minute test call-out or call-in) so you can test your phone in the US. You can also setup your voicemail box from the US by calling a Fido VM access number for the area your sim chip is set up for.
3. Have you considered an iDen Blackberry for Canadian data? You would need a cheap used Nextel blackberry handset off ebay. Roaming is possible on a Boost/Nextel prepaid sim chip on the Canadian Telus network (mostly CDMA but some iDen Mike coverage). Cost is only 35 cents a day for unlimited web service. PTT service also available but incoming/outgoing calls not allowed in Canada, so you would still need the HTC on a Fido chip for voice.
4. Free or fee wifi available in many major cities in Canada. Bring a subnotebook or wifi device if your Blackberry or HTC doesn't have wifi capabilities? Wifi is generally cheaper for data and sometimes faster than GPRS.
5. If going Fido prepaid, this can be refilled by voucher from your handset or by calling a 1-800 number (both free calls in the US and Canada). You can't use credit card refill unless you have a credit card drawn on a Canadian bank (unless buying indirectly from a Fido reseller).
   
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 20-08-2007, 23:00

Canadian cellular service doesn't include free long distance, unfortunately (with a handful of exceptions). You will pay toll if you receive a call outside the local calling area of your phone number.

I suspect this will gradually change, but not in time for your arrival.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

Hardware: Too much but notably iPhone 5, iPad Mini Retina LTE, Moto G LTE (N.A. version), iPhone 4. All unlocked.
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GadgetKen (Offline)
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Default 20-08-2007, 23:30

The Fido prepaid long distance charge within Canada or to the US is C$.30/minute. Best to use a calling card or callback service to get around this if you intend to make many calls.

See the prepaid part of the Fido website at http://www.fido.ca/portal/en/packages/prepaid.shtml for lots of information on their service.


Phones/Wireless Devices: Blackview BV8000 Pro, Isatphone Pro, Amazon Kindle 3G, SkyRoam MiFi device, Karma MiFi device, AT&T Liberate MiFi device
Sim Cards: AT&T (AT&T, H2O and Kindle), Koko
Satphone: InMarSat
Broadband US Wireless Data: AT&T, Sprint (AT&T postpaid or Karma Mobility prepaid)
Broadband International Data: SkyRoam
VOIP: Skype
   
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