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-   -   Cell Phone Questions (https://bb.visitaruba.com/showthread.php?t=16057)

valerie72 Monday, January 3rd, 2011 07:31 PM

Cell Phone Questions
 
Hi all I am new to the forum but have been checking them out for a while.
I am heading to Aruba from Philadelphia in a couple weeks and leaving the kids behind. I am going to need to be in contact with them several times during my visit so am trying to figure out the cell phone deals. I spoke with my provider verizon and they have coverage there but it will be $1.99 a minute. I have looked at some of the rental companies and looks too good to be true. Do I really just pay $50 get a rental phone and 84 minutes and not have to pay anything else?
Could someone please let me know what I am missing on these deals.
thanks
valerie

Elaine S Monday, January 3rd, 2011 08:11 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
Hi Valerie, and welcome!

You're not missing anything. Cell phone rental on Aruba is really inexpensive, and the way to go, and if I didn't own an Aruba cell, I'd rent in a second.

I, too, am leaving from Philly in a few weeks!

valerie72 Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 09:00 AM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
thank you Elaine for the info! I will be ordering a phone today!

this is our first trip and I am so excited. Just trying to get the last few thing in order.

Elaine S Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 09:42 AM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
Valerie, you're most welcome... make sure to come back and tell us about your trip. We love hearing from newbies.

You and I don't live too far from eachother!!


Quote:

Originally Posted by valerie72 (Post 104520)
thank you Elaine for the info! I will be ordering a phone today!

this is our first trip and I am so excited. Just trying to get the last few thing in order.


TomFrederick Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 12:22 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
>>> "Could someone please let me know what I am missing on these deals."
---- If someone calls you from the States they would still have to pay per minute what their service charge for that long distance international call.
So I guess you make all the calls would be the way to go.
>>> "my provider verizon"
---- Mine too. I have the free long distance rate for mine(land line) but didn't get the free international rate and don't know what they would charge for a land line call to Aruba.

pgsoder Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 02:53 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
Tom, with Verizon, you can make the call from Aruba but it will still cost $1.99 a minute even if you have the "free" internatioinal calling feature.

TomFrederick Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 04:34 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
I was trying to say that if renting a cell phone in Aruba that price would not cover calls from people in the States calling the cell phone in Aruba. The person in the States would still get charged a long distance charge on their home phone bill.
Those 84 free minutes or whatever any other cell phone people in Aruba give you are not for calls from the States. The people in the States still get charged if they call you in Aruba. So make all calls from Aruba to the States to get the best deal if using an ARUBAN CELL PHONE with free minutes.

JohnJT Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 06:03 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
We don't have to call home on a regular basis.
Casa Del Mar sells a phone card in the cologne shop. I think it was 120 minutes for $10.
You call a local number in Aruba to connect to the USA.
Our resort charges for local calls...like 50 cents every 3 minutes.
Putting the two costs together, it wound up being something like 25 cents a minute.
You might investigate something like this.
(Because of a medical emergency, we did this in September 2009).

Chip Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 08:23 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
I had posted this before, maybe it will help.

Like Izzy said, you'll need portable router for the room connection. I bring a credit card size D-link router and that does the trick.

I'm not sure if this is earth shattering news, but during our last trip we discovered the best and least expensive way to call home. I used to stay in contact with home using Skype connecting through my I-phone to the other party when they connected to Skype (application to application) great connection with no delay. The only drawback was both parties had to be signed into skype so we had to do a call/hang up as a signal. (AT&T charges when you do that, not good).

This year I added $10 to my Skype account so I would be able to connect through the Wifi but instead of connecting through the app I could dial phone numbers directly. Looking at their cost charts I figured it would be around .25/min to call home. So I made my first call directly to my son's cell, it worked perfect, same great connection. We talked for around 10 minutes. I figured that would be around $2.50, I checked my account information after the call and my balance was $9.70, only .30 for 10 minutes(actually .023/min). Then it dawned on me, Skype doesn't know where you're at (ip wise) so it thinks you are calling the US from the US since that is where your home number is. After that we stayed in touch with everyone almost every day and came home with around $6.00 remaining in the account.

PS you can also set up Skype to show your cell# as the caller ID, in your account. That way people won't ignore the CID when it shows 'unknown caller'.

JohnJT Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 09:32 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
Chip,
Very interesting post!
I was not able to connect to Netflix and US TV networks in September.
Got back messages that said things like "we recognize you are outside the US and its territories" and/or "our license does not cover foreign countries".
If I begin to understand, I guess Skype is different.

dwippies Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 09:44 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
exactly, john. skype works both computer to computer and computer to cell or landline in the states. it costs next to nothing. obviously, you aren't taking your computer to the beach so if you need to 'be one with' your cell phone it won't be what you need but if you want to keep in touch with home it is a great way to do it. if you are calling computer to computer it is free. i talk to my daughter in india all the time. with our built in webcams we get to chat and see each other. sunday we spent nearly an hour chatting. no way i could afford that with long distance rates.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnJT (Post 104537)
Chip,
Very interesting post!
I was not able to connect to Netflix and US TV networks in September.
Got back messages that said things like "we recognize you are outside the US and its territories" and/or "our license does not cover foreign countries".
If I begin to understand, I guess Skype is different.


Elaine S Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 10:17 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
I love Skype! My daughter finally downloaded the program last year. To use it just for computer to computer, you don't even have to have any money in your account. She'd call me on my computer, and we'd talk to eachother, and "see" eachother every night! In fact, I was away during the big snow storms in PA last February, and she'd take her laptop outside to show me the walls of snow, and I'd take mine out to my balcony and show her the Caribbean! lol

During the year I use Skype to call my friends in Aruba on their landlines and cells. It's wonderful!

roschone Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 11:05 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
Some day I will get around to Skype - it seems the best way to go. However, to get back to cell phone use in Aruba. Yes, the "deal" is for you calling the states from Aruba. No deal for those calling from states to you. But if my family absolutely had to reach us, they could call our Aruban cell and we would just call them right back. So they would only pay for the initial minute or so. Still a very good deal.

Of course, the ideal situation is no one having to call you on vacation. We really just have one because of elderly parents, etc. and the chance of emergency only! Most times, the only times we use our Aruban cell is to call local friends, and MOST important, to make dinner reservations without having to leave the beach or pool, lol.

LisaK Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 08:39 AM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
Then back to the answer -- a rented cell is fairly cheap.

(But count me in as another devotee to Skype.)

Chip Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 09:48 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sherry (Post 104538)
exactly, john. skype works both computer to computer and computer to cell or landline in the states. it costs next to nothing. obviously, you aren't taking your computer to the beach so if you need to 'be one with' your cell phone it won't be what you need but if you want to keep in touch with home it is a great way to do it. if you are calling computer to computer it is free. i talk to my daughter in india all the time. with our built in webcams we get to chat and see each other. sunday we spent nearly an hour chatting. no way i could afford that with long distance rates.

Looks like I forgot to mention that I couldn't just take my cell to the beach and call hone for $.023/min I had to be in the room and my I-phone had to be connected to the wireless router then sign into Skype through the APP.
I sure hope I didn't make it sound like there was an easier way. If you need to have instant contact with home and for them to call you anytime, then renting the cell phone is the way to go.

dwippies Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 10:13 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
chip, for years i used only skype or emails. i love skype. however, 3 or 4 years ago, visit aruba gave me a phone to use on aruba. i must say it makes life very easy. would i rent a phone if mine broke? maybe i would because it is worth it to me for all of the on island calls i make. for a once a day phone call to the states, i'm all for that card or skype.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chip (Post 104589)
Looks like I forgot to mention that I couldn't just take my cell to the beach and call hone for $.023/min I had to be in the room and my I-phone had to be connected to the wireless router then sign into Skype through the APP.
I sure hope I didn't make it sound like there was an easier way. If you need to have instant contact with home and for them to call you anytime, then renting the cell phone is the way to go.


Elaine S Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 11:43 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
I invested about $90 when I bought a cell at Setar about 8 years ago before I knew anything about Skype. I wanted to be able to call home frequently because of family health issues, and I used it to call friends and restaurants on the island. My phone doesn't owe me a penny, and in fact, a friend (I hope) got me a new one this year that's easier to use since mine's really outdated.

Although I use Skype for anything work related that I may need to do, and video chatting with my daughter computer to computer,after all these years, I'm so used to having a cell that I'd be lost without it.

bhoffdhoff Thursday, January 6th, 2011 12:57 PM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
We also bought a cell phone from Setar some years ago. It has been a great investment.

Bobbie

charlescroes Friday, January 7th, 2011 10:46 AM

Re: Cell Phone Questions
 
We made a presentation on this very topic and I copy this for you to look at.
As stated in the small piece, we would love to have your business, but it is so much more important that you, the visitor, is happy with the choices you make. Hope that this helps. Take note it is copied and pasted so some of the indents are off.



THE CELL PHONE USAGE OPTIONS
GENERAL FACTS
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the main motivator behind renting a cell phone is the management of vacation or travel expenses. However keep the following in mind:
• Cell phone carriers make money when you call and not on the hardware they sell.
• While they pretend to be, carriers are not all that different from each other.
o Where they differ if in the customer service
• Carriers have agreements with other carriers not located in their coverage area or “range”.
o They do this to enable the user to experience uninterrupted service when moving about. This is to offer a service described as “Seamless”
• Cell phone carriers have huge expenses with equally as high returns.
• Cell phone expenses in proportion to other family expenses are out of balance.
o In some cases, the cost for cell phone use is higher than the utilities bills
• While many homes will not have a standard land line, almost all will have cell phones.
o More and more new homes are not having phones installed – ERGO the focus on Cell phones by users and carriers.
• Recent studies are showing that the dependence on cell phones has grown to the point that many users are uncomfortable not having one in their hand during most waking hours and walk with their cell phone at all times.
OPTIONS
Following are the options for cell phone usage while travelling


ROAMING:
Roaming is by far (SATPHONES EXCLUDED) the most expensive way to go. It involves the simultaneous use of multiple carriers and satellites to accomplish a single calling task. Each one of those carriers is paid proportionately for their involvement in the use and for their offered services.
While available with almost all carriers, to date, “Roaming” is not a standard service. Roaming is considered a special service. Like any special service, the carrier takes advantage of the business opportunity by charging extra thus making “Roaming” the most lucrative calling service that carriers offer. Due to this excellent business opportunity, it is not anticipated that Roaming will be done away with soon.
The question of “Why people continue to use Roaming?” is best answered as follows:
• Instant availability of stored information
• Incoming call registration is instantly available
• Familiarity of the personal handset
• Multiple associates know your number.
On the other hand, there are a growing number of travelers that are returning to massive phone bills due to “Roaming”. In some cases, these bills can the rates can be as high as four times the normal calling rate.
Up until recently, I roamed when travelling however; I found that the bills were becoming outlandish. My reason for roaming was the stored information. Now I just write down the most important numbers and keep them on a small sheet in my wallet. It solved my problem big time and also allowed me to focus more on my vacation and not on answering calls I did not initiate to begin with.
Following are two examples of real bills (thank god not mine). One is in the $7,000 range. My personal ROAMING bill was about $450.00 for three days.
The conclusion seems to be that: If you plan on travelling and know that you will be using your phone to make INTERNATIONAL CALLS, consider rentals.


PHYSICAL DAMAGE:

Each geographical location offers different challenges:

SALINITY – Salt is in the Aruba air constantly affecting all aspects of how we handle electronic equipment. An afternoon by the ocean can damage your cell phone. The accidental dip in the water with your phone surely means you will be getting a new cell phone. At FASTPHONE we treat our phones especially to deal with this salinity and air moisture.

CHLORINE – Pool side chlorine vapors can be as hazardous as salinity. Placing a cell phone close to the pool so you can hear the rings is one of the bigger problems. Lastly, jumping out of the pool and answering a call with chlorine wet hands will eventually destroy a phone and certainly start to cause behavior problems.
SAND – Even one grain of sand under the key pad area can have disastrous effects on the cell phone. As you use the cell, that grain under the key pad will grind away at your contact points and the physical damage as well as the salinity released will show its effects when you’re back home.
ZIP-LOCK BAG SOLUTION
In some cases, visitors feel that placing a cell phone in a ZIP-LOCK bag is a solution. While a clever thing to do, it is definitely not a solution. What we have seen is that the ability to hear the caller is poor and taking the cell phone out with wet hands goes back to the water damage issue.
SUN TAN LOTION
This culprit is responsible for more “mid-week” rentals than we can remember. Lying by the pool or in the sand and handling your cell phone with hands that have recently been in contact with Sun Tan Lotion is also a killer. There is no need to discuss what this does to the key pad.
NOTE: After each rental, FAST PHONES pulls apart and sanitizes each cell phone and when we do - very seldom do we not find sand or the start of salinity or chlorine damage.

THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN RENTING
• What is the condition of the cell phones?
• Are they clean?
• Sanitized?
• Is the airtime new airtime or transferred left over minutes from other customers?
• Transferred (left-over) minutes have a shorter life time and can run out on you while you still have what seems like plenty of minutes.
• Choose a company that focuses on cell phone rentals and rents cell phones on purpose and not as a sideline.




WHO TO RENT FROM?
Following is a list of mail addresses we have taken off the internet that may be helpful to you. Obviously we would love to be the one you do business with however you should check all possibilities.
Aruba Car Rental Real Deals
http://www.arubacellular
Aruba Business Services - Chapeau Aruba N.V.
Cell Rentals Aruba | Cell Phone Rentals - Fast Phone Delivery
Cell Phone Rental Aruba - fastphonearuba.com


We purposely do not address the issue of SKYPE or other computer related voice products since these are not comparable (good or bad) with the mobile hand-held unit. They are a different animal all together that serves a similar purpose.


Fast Phone is in hopes that this information has been helpful to you and will assist you in the making of your decision on “IF” you will rent and “HOW” to evaluate your choices.


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