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Old 03-06-2009, 07:51 PM   #241
4_canucks
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Update: Have unlocked GSM phones, but cutting close to departure

Again we are 4 canucks flying down from the Great White North to see Mickey this coming wednesday. Will be using Magical Express , not renting a vehicle. Two people want to be able to call each other while in the parks . Calling back to Canada wasn't a priority.

We have two unlocked GSM phones but we need SIM cards.

After countless hours of research and debating options and finally realizing there's no time left, we are doing the following:

1. bought two AT&T SIM cards from eBay, requested priority shipping to our disney hotel. Transaction = $15.75US.
Lesson learned: buy the ones that come with $10 bonus airtime when you activate and fill up with a $25 airtime card. I needed a seller who'd ship today via priority , so this wasn't a choice :-(

2. Will bid on eBay for 2 $25 AT&T prepaid airtime cards. Shipping is not an issue here because the seller will actually email us the PIN so we do not need the physical cards.

3. our plan will be the Pay-as-you-go unlimited talk where for $1/day mobile-to-mobile between two AT&T plans are free. To other numbers it's 10 cents a minute (for me to call Disney dining to change reservations ha ha). The $25 minutes also expire in 90 days, perfect for us to use them again when we next visit the US in June.

whatever you choose to do..good luck and try not to wait till the last minute (like what happened to us :-)

Last edited by 4_canucks; 03-06-2009 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 03-07-2009, 02:01 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by redrosesix View Post
Welcome to Dis -- the place that will save you lots of money

The phones from Virgin US aren't really disposable, they just de-activate if you don't top them up. If you're going to Walmart anyway, you can plan to buy a phone there, but I liked having them waiting at the resort when I arrived. We each had a phone, so it was great to keep in touch with each other in the parks.

And yes, you can also call home to Canada - their l.d. rates are way better than ours.
That's what we did back in Feb, we went to Walmart and bought 3 virgin phones so DW and I could keep in touch with each other and our son. Would have liked to have been able have got the virgin $10 airtime free phone deal but it stopped the week before. Virgin online will take Paypal so you can order from Canada and ship to your hotel. Virgin Us wont let you top up with a Canadian credit card, so to top up you need to buy a card from a store. The Walmart I went to only had the $19.99 phones which came with $10 air time.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:36 PM   #243
Jennifer16
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This may be a silly question but I have been on the websites for Virgin Mobline and Tracphone ... where are you able to see how much airtime come with the phone? Also if you purchase from a store like Target in the States, do they print the amount of included airtime on the packaging. I don't think we will use a phone that much ... perhaps just to arrange meeting times when we split up at a park or to compare wait times. Several people at work have suggested we use "Walky - Talkies" instead ... any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:26 AM   #244
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I just spoke to a friend who just came back from Florida and they purchased a Virgin phone in Bangor and minutes, the phone worked great, they had 200 mins and have tons left, they called home every other day to family.

The reason I need the phone is because we have elderly parents (both sides) and if something were to happen and they could not get in touch with us would be devasting. Plus they will need us to give a quick call every other day to say we are having fun and all is good.
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Old 03-09-2009, 03:29 PM   #245
flyguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer16 View Post
This may be a silly question but I have been on the websites for Virgin Mobline and Tracphone ... where are you able to see how much airtime come with the phone? Also if you purchase from a store like Target in the States, do they print the amount of included airtime on the packaging. I don't think we will use a phone that much ... perhaps just to arrange meeting times when we split up at a park or to compare wait times. Several people at work have suggested we use "Walky - Talkies" instead ... any input would be greatly appreciated.
The Virgin web site shows the airtime that comes with the phone, last time I was there it marked in red under the phones. When I bought mine at Walmart I asked the electronics guy how much airtime was included. It is said that at times Walmart sell phones for $9.99, that include $9.99 in airtime and free activation(thus a free phone). This is the same deal that was available on the website up until the Feb 09, but is now gone.The best at the Walmart I visited was 19.99 phone with $10 airtime at activation.
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Old 03-16-2009, 12:53 PM   #246
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AWesome!!

I wish I would have learned about this last time we went. This time my parents are coming along.
This is great!!!
So, just to be sure I have it down, if I were to get the cheapest phn
http://www.virginmobileusa.com/phone...7#BVQAWidgetID
Buy that, doesnt appear to come with minutes. Now, how do I go about getting minutes? Whats the cheapest way? Can you just get $10 in mins? Are txt msgs included?
My mom will be thrilled over this idea!!!
Thanks everyone, this is just awesome! I was looking into walkie talkies, but was afraid of the static and channel issue.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:54 AM   #247
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Need help

We are debating the Tracfone as it is 19.99 for the phone and what appears to be 140 minutes on it. My inlaws are currently in florida till the end of the month and I can have it shipped to them. They will bring it back here intime for our trip and we will take them back down to Orlando with us and then acitvate them. We will not have a laptop with us, can we activate via land line?

Also we had considered the virgin phones and having them shipped directly to the CBR but they don't have air time on them, would we have to then designate time to go out and buy an air time card? Will a Canadian airtime card work on the US phone. Which is the better deal???

Anyone ? this is our frist trip of me, my hubby, my 2 kids and my parents. My parents are intending to be with us for a good part of the day and then leave and do their own thing. So we will need to meet/co-ordinate with them where and when and we feel the 40.00 would be well worth it.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:12 PM   #248
Mybails
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We are in manitoba and have unlimited texting and a family call plan from Telus. Last summer in WDW we used texting and we didn't have any roaming charges. The only time we had roaming was when we received or made calls to home. The rules were don't call each other unless it was an emergency. And folks from home were told to call and we would call back from a landline with a prepaid ld card that we activated at home. (the card thinks you're calling locally)
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:35 PM   #249
Salinger
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On the Virgin Mobile USA site they have several phones now with free airtime.

One, for example, has the phone for $9.99 and you get $9.99 of free airtime, essentially making the phone free.

My question is, how much airtime would that be? Their chart only mentions a minimum of $20 airtime card for 200 minutes.

Does anyone know? Our time's getting short and I'm still trying to figure out what's best for us!! Thanks in advance for any advice.

P.S. we're flying, so not able to pick a phone up in the U.S.

ETA: Contacted Virgin & got the answer.

Last edited by Salinger; 04-09-2009 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:25 AM   #250
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Charger/Activation

Hi everybody!

I was wondering what type of charger usually comes with these prepaid phones. Is it usually an AC charger to plug in at home? Or is it a car charger that I can use on the road?

Also, do you know if these phones can be activated in Canada (with a FL zip code) before we leave? We're driving, and I'd like it to be ready to go when we cross the US border.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:12 PM   #251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wazzo View Post
Hi everybody!

I was wondering what type of charger usually comes with these prepaid phones. Is it usually an AC charger to plug in at home? Or is it a car charger that I can use on the road?

Also, do you know if these phones can be activated in Canada (with a FL zip code) before we leave? We're driving, and I'd like it to be ready to go when we cross the US border.

Thanks!!
The Tracfones I bought came with AC chargers but it was the $9.99 phone at Walmart so maybe more expensive ones come with car chargers too.

I activated both of our Tracfones at home using Tracfones website and following the instructions. I can actually use my Tracfones here at home too so I don't know if that made a difference or not.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:34 PM   #252
Wazzo
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Originally Posted by SaskDisNut View Post
The Tracfones I bought came with AC chargers but it was the $9.99 phone at Walmart so maybe more expensive ones come with car chargers too.

I activated both of our Tracfones at home using Tracfones website and following the instructions. I can actually use my Tracfones here at home too so I don't know if that made a difference or not.
Thank you for this information!
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:22 PM   #253
Salinger
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I would highly doubt they'd come with car chargers unless you're getting some sort of special package deal. Car chargers are generally an after-purchase accessory so unlikely for it to be included.

I know a lot of people have used and like Tracfone, but we ended up going with Virgin. We found Tracfone's customer service to be absolutely abysmal, and this was before we even became customers. I hate to think how we'd have been treated once we'd already signed up.

They authorized my US friend's credit card 4 times for the one purchase, all the while the website was telling us the transaction wasn't being approved. After the fourth time, my friend's bank fraud department called her to see if she had indeed made 4 transactions with Tracfone within 11 minutes.

Trying to get someone at Tracfone to straighten it out for us was a nightmare. We finally called their head office in Miami and "think" we are now in the clear. Anyway, it was enough to frighten us off and we're sticking with Virgin mobile. The transaction (just one!) went through without a hitch and their customer service was extremely friendly and helpful.

Having said all that, we've not yet activated the phones. I'm hoping if we run into any problems, Virgin will be as helpful as they have shown already.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:26 PM   #254
Wazzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salinger View Post
I would highly doubt they'd come with car chargers unless you're getting some sort of special package deal. Car chargers are generally an after-purchase accessory so unlikely for it to be included.

I'm hoping if we run into any problems, Virgin will be as helpful as they have shown already.
Thanks! I have emailed Virgin, and they do seemed super helpful. I just wish they'd ship their phones to Canada. I may have to make a quick trip to a border town so that I can get this sorted out before we leave!
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:05 AM   #255
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How does re-activation work with Tracfone and others? We'll only need the phones one or twice a year. I don't want to be paying for the phone for the entire year. Do I get to keep the same phone number of do I get a new one each time?
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