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cell phone charge warning
August 22, 2017
8:20 am
semi-retired
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My wife was in Prescott,Ont recently.Right on the St.Lawrence river.She heard her cell phone ping but thought nothing of it.She is on a Rogers plan.Yesterday she received her Rogers bill.8.00$ charge for a daily roaming fee for the USA.She called customer service,Rogers could tell that she hadn't been in the States,but that her roaming app had picked up a cell tower across in NY.They cancelled the charge & told her to turn off the roaming app on her phone when she is near the border.Wonder how many people actually get caught with this charge,don't notice it & just pay their bill.

August 22, 2017
8:35 am
Top It Up
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YEAH, cellular data roaming should always be OFF . it's NOT needed within your providers network and can really munch your lunch when outside of your home network.

August 22, 2017
10:08 am
Bill
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I know nothing about this but I've always wondered how this works for people who live in towns on the border, i.e. don't their phones regularly connect with cell towers in USA thereby incurring extra charges?

August 22, 2017
10:17 am
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Bill said
I know nothing about this but I've always wondered how this works for people who live in towns on the border, i.e. don't their phones regularly connect with cell towers in USA thereby incurring extra charges?  

I know less than nothing when it comes to cell phones.I don't & never have owned one ever.

August 22, 2017
10:18 am
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Here's a short article on Rogers customers in Windsor - just sounds like nothing more than better technology

http://windsorstar.com/news/ro.....aming-perk

The real key is TOGGLING OFF cellular date roaming.

August 22, 2017
10:28 am
Jon
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Alternatively, people can use plan that include US roaming. Such as those offer by WIND/freedom mobile.

August 22, 2017
11:17 am
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Isn't the roaming feature an Add-On feature for extra dollars?

I'll stick with Telus and use THEIR towers across the country rather than wind/freedom's sketchy service across the country using "partner" towers.

August 22, 2017
11:55 am
Jon
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Top It Up said
Isn't the roaming feature an Add-On feature for extra dollars?

I'll stick with Telus and use THEIR towers across the country rather than wind/freedom's sketchy service across the country using "partner" towers.  

High end plan include US and Canada wide roaming on Rogers I recall.

August 22, 2017
5:20 pm
malquin
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Hi.

Two possible useful pieces of information:

1. Cell phone companies introduced "Extended coverage" in 2015 to "offer seamless roaming, also called soft handoff, between carrier partners in areas with poor or absent service." To use this feature (which is a good feature), you need to enable the roaming on your phone. Then, networks from other companies will show up as your cell provider's name with the extention EXT.

2. With roaming enable, nothing prevents your phone to hook up to what it considers the best cellular signal which might be across a border. Case in point, was camping last year on the Quebec side of the Outaouais river and the best antenna was on the Ontario side. All the calls I made during that week were considered as long distance calls and billed as such. Had to call them to reverse the charges.

If you don't mind a dropped call once in a while, the best option is probably to disable roaming and enable it only when you need it.

August 22, 2017
6:31 pm
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malquin said

... the best option is probably to disable roaming and enable it only when you need it.  

I have an unlimited everything plan, except data, with my cell phone provider - long-distance throughout Canada and to the US, unlimited local and international texting, and 15GB of data per month, and on occasion my billing used to get tripped up with an additional charge or 2, or 3 with having data roaming toggled on - so I just eliminated the hassle and toggled the "feature" off.

August 24, 2018
10:16 am
Bill
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I have a landline. I also have an ancient (15 or more years-old?) Rogers Nokia cell phone that I use for very infrequent texting only, no plan. It doesn't get good reception, at the cottage I get no bars (yay!!) while my wife's phone has no problem getting a signal.

About 2 to 4 times a year I go to USA for camping, hiking trips. I've been convinced by concerned relatives that as apparently I'm getting older I should take a phone, if just for emergencies, and I admit it might be useful because it's getting harder and harder to find a pay phone when I need to call ahead (using a prepaid calling card) to make a motel or campground reservation for the night (I have guides and books with me listing pretty much every campground and motel in the USA, that's how I get the numbers).

As I'm too lazy to research on the net any suggestions on how to do this would help. I'm not concerned with being in touch with home, just with use within USA. As I'm on this forum it goes without saying I want to pay next to nothing for this or I'm not doing it.

August 24, 2018
10:37 am
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Bill said

As I'm on this forum it goes without saying I want to pay next to nothing for this or I'm not doing it.  

GOOD LUCK, Bill!

I don't travel to the US anymore but others I know buy cheap "burner" phones THERE and purchase some kinda plan that goes along with it - I'm sure someone will chime in.

Personally I'd avoid the advice of having some kind of portable VoIP that you can use over WiFi - I travel pretty extensively and while free WiFi is seemingly offered "everywhere" it's never where you need it or when you need it.

Just go with the advice that allows the everywhere mobility provided by a cellular provider, if that's possible in the US. In Europe, I use cheap in-country SIM cards sold by national providers and they work great.

Here's what Rogers (and other CDN providers) offer and it assumes you already have a plan with them that allows this tack-on

U.S.

What you get:

The ability to call and message within the U.S. and to Canadian numbers just as you would at home on your monthly plan. All other calls and texts will be charged as if you’re making them from Canada. (Long distance rates will apply.)

Full use of the data included in your monthly plan.

Access to all the extras in your plan like worry-free data management with your MyRogers app.

See included destinations

What you pay:

$7 /DAY

You’re charged for a max of 15 days per monthly bill and only for the days when you actually use your phone in any eligible destination on your trip.

August 24, 2018
10:58 am
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WAY, WAY, WAY off the topic but I provide it just to show the difference between NA and Europe offerings

Too bad you don't go to Italy cause this is the kind of great stuff you get in Europe

TIM international - for foreigners only

TIM international is a series of plans only given out to everyone born outside Italy. You will be asked for proof that you were not born in Italy. Any official document that shows your place of birth will suffice. A foreign passport or ID card is generally accepted.

TIM International Senza Limite: 9.99 € for unlimited domestic mins and up to 300 mins to certain countries and 10 GB data (30GB the first three months) with unlimited chat (for messengers see list above) in Italy (capped at 4 GB in the EU) per month, no further activation fees when activated on new SIM cards

TIM International 30GB: 11 € for 30 GB (EU roaming cap: 4 GB) per month. All consumption through Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, iMessage, Imo, Telegram, Viber, Snapchat, WeChat is free (in Italy only, not in EU roaming). Activation charge: 5 € (online for free).

August 24, 2018
1:07 pm
Bill
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Thanks, Top It Up, yes, I've enquired with Rogers and if you don't have a plan they've got nothing, at least per the guy I talked to. And, yes, I don't want to used a WiFi system thingy.

I've heard about those burner phones, usually in those true-crime shows where one spouse buys a burner to arrange with their lover the murder of their spouse, but I'm not quite at that point yet.

I've thought about the buying a SIM card in USA option but don't really know where to get them or what then - ?

Just thought of something: What would happen if I called the 1-800 number on my PC prepaid long distance calling card on my cell and used that? If I did that in Canada I think I'd just be charged 40 cents a minute on my prepaid cell but in USA?

August 24, 2018
1:27 pm
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Hey Bill, let Walmart be your friend!

https://www.walmart.com/ip/TracFone-19-99-Basic-Phone-60-Minutes-Plan-Email-Delivery/45111498

this is showing online BUT they are available in-store, as well.

August 24, 2018
6:49 pm
Bill
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Thanks, Top It Up, this might work. Looks like I could buy a prepaid phone at a USA Walmart for between $8 - 30 and then activate one of these cards and I'd be set. Presumably I could keep the phone and buy a new prepaid card whenever I return.

August 24, 2018
7:30 pm
LazyWays
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TextNow offers no-contract unlimited talk and text to US and Canada at USD9.99 per month.
Coverage map
Features include free voicemail.
SIM card with 2-day shipping is free.
Catching up with current-not-latest technologies using a refurbished 1-year warranty Moto E4 with free 2-day shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and free return costs USD45.99

August 25, 2018
6:12 am
Bill
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Thank you, LazyWays, I'll look into this too.

August 25, 2018
8:13 pm
Save2Retire@55
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LazyWays said
TextNow offers no-contract unlimited talk and text to US and Canada at USD9.99 per month.
Coverage map
Features include free voicemail.
SIM card with 2-day shipping is free.
Catching up with current-not-latest technologies using a refurbished 1-year warranty Moto E4 with free 2-day shipping, 30-day money back guarantee and free return costs USD45.99  

Did you know that TextNow is a Canadian company which isn't authorized to operate in Canada as a paid company? You can still get a free local number and call / text for free using WiFi or Data plan but I wish they could sell sim cards with Data only in Canada.

August 27, 2018
5:52 pm
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Bill said
I have a landline.

....

As I'm on this forum it goes without saying I want to pay next to nothing for this or I'm not doing it.  

Then you better get VOIP. It will cost you $5/month with a plenty of features land line does not offer (or offer for arm-and-leg).

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