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  #1  
Old Tuesday, August 24th, 2010, 01:14 AM
clarabell clarabell is offline
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Default arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

We are bringing a GSM Triband phone for our impending trip. On our last visit in 2003, we found www.arubafastphones.com with Charles to be good and checked out their rates for a SIMS card. Here is what was posted on the site:
Cell Phone Rental in Aruba since 2001

Best Cellular Phone Rental Rates in Aruba!

CELLPHONES
  • One week: $50.00 includes 84 minutes
  • After seventh day: $3.00 per day
  • Less than seven days: $8.00 per day (does not include air time)
SIM CARDS
  • $10 each including 24 minutes of calls to the USA
  • Extra airtime: 24 cents per minute
Aruba FastPhone is located at the airport, just outside the Arrivals Hall

I sent in a reservation for the $10 sim card. Iris answered that they no longer had a kiosk at the airport (but would bring the card to our hotel) and that the cost was $35 for 84 minutes. I responded that I wanted the $10 card advertised on their site. Again, she reiterated that they only had $35 cards and that she hasn't had time to update her site. Oh, and by the way, it is cash only when she arrives.

From searches on this site and others, I have found out that the kiosk at the airport has been closed since Feb. That is 7 months to change a website! And now arubafastphones.com won't honor their advertised price either. Frankly I feel this a highly deceptive business practice and that I am being baited and switched.

We have enjoyed Aruba several times partially because we have never felt we were getting ripped off like in Mexico or Europe. Has the Island changed that much? This is leaving a very bad taste in my mouth.

Where else can I buy a preliminary (not refill) Sim card? I appreciate in advance any direction on procuring the card and any comments about how to avoid getting ripped off on the island.
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Old Wednesday, August 25th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Clarabell,
I read your post and several things call for me to respond. Please be patient with me.
SIM CARD DENOMINATION:
SiM cards are not a service but instead an item that we sell. Renting a phone falls directly on us as far as the absolute control on all facets of the service of renting. A SIM card is delivered to us by a phone carrier company (in this case DIGICEL) and we depend on them. In 95% of the cases, DIGICEL is able to supply us with the SIM cards we request. This works out perfectly. there were some weeks when they did not have a full assortment and we had to take what was available. The only responsible thing to do is to inform the client base.
KIOSK AT AIRPORT:
We have been out of that kiosk for some time now due to varied issues between our company and DIGICEL (nothing bad). As a result, we now do deliveries and quite honestly, it has improved business.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY A PRELIMINARY SIM CARD?:
There are two carriers on Aruba that sell SIM cards. One of them is SETAR and the other is DIGICEL. SETAR is at the airport and we deliver. By the way, it is "PRE-PAID" and not "PRELIMINARY". Many folks make the mistake.
BAIT AND SWITCH AND THE REPUTATION OF ARUBA:
I am afraid that both of these topics are sensitive to me and I shall only say that NO it is not that kind of tactic and ABSOLUTELY NO the island is is not degenerating into a state of con artists and sham specialists. Do we have problems? Sure. So does Mexico and New York and France as well as Japan. the nice thing about this small piece of stone in the ocean is that we are so good at trying 10000% percent to serve you - the traveler to our shores.
BAD TASTE IN YOUR MOUTH:
Can't help you there.

By the way, FASTPHONES doesn't belong to me anymore and I will take the time to send this off to IRIS. I am responding because several close US friends of mine brought it to my attention.

Be well
Charles
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Old Wednesday, August 25th, 2010, 05:16 PM
clarabell clarabell is offline
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Charles,

Thank you for responding and clarifying some of the issues regarding the current arubafastphones issue. We were very satified with your service on our last visit in 2003 when you owned the business.

But the core of the issue that I focused on the "bait and switch" is the escalated price change from the advertised cost for the sims card. The current website when I made my reservation offered a sims card for $10 with 24 minutes to US. Then I was informed it was $35 for 84 minutes to US. When I requested fastphones to honor the advertised offer, I was twice told it was unavailable and the representative was too busy to take it down off the website.

If one advertises one price and then upsells customers into a less advantageous package-- with no valid attempt to change the published offer, this scenario is a bona fide bait and switch. The location of the kiosk is ancillary.

Your conscientous defense of your former business, coupled with polite restraint, is admirable. But I think you missed the point. Glad to learn that lack of professional ethics is not SOP on the island.

Best regards, Clarabell

BTW, my third email to arubafastphones.com on this situation has gone unanswered. I will take this as mere unprofessionalism by the current management. With that said, I have no further interest in wasting more time over $25. Bon Bini
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Charles, thank you also for replying. In November I got a sim card at the airport, paid $20 for 54 minutes. Had absolutely no problems.

During my visit I reloaded minutes at the Digicel office. Will I have to get a new preliminary card this year or can I just add to last years?

Linda
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 10:51 AM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Clarabell,
I looked at your file and it was self explanatory.
I agree, no sense in beating this SIM card into a dead horse.

On a separate note; I went to a (will not mention name) restaurant two weeks ago and asked for the lobster bisque. Hope I spelled that right. They were out of lobster but offered me Grouper. Now "Grouper" is a good fish and a great alternative. Besides that, I feel that that fish died in a noble manner and deserved to be eaten by me. Anyway, I couldn't finish it all so shared it with my son, who is my shadow.

Moral of the story: Not sure.

Be well

Charles



Quote:
Originally Posted by clarabell View Post
Charles,

Thank you for responding and clarifying some of the issues regarding the current arubafastphones issue. We were very satified with your service on our last visit in 2003 when you owned the business.

But the core of the issue that I focused on the "bait and switch" is the escalated price change from the advertised cost for the sims card. The current website when I made my reservation offered a sims card for $10 with 24 minutes to US. Then I was informed it was $35 for 84 minutes to US. When I requested fastphones to honor the advertised offer, I was twice told it was unavailable and the representative was too busy to take it down off the website.

If one advertises one price and then upsells customers into a less advantageous package-- with no valid attempt to change the published offer, this scenario is a bona fide bait and switch. The location of the kiosk is ancillary.

Your conscientous defense of your former business, coupled with polite restraint, is admirable. But I think you missed the point. Glad to learn that lack of professional ethics is not SOP on the island.

Best regards, Clarabell

BTW, my third email to arubafastphones.com on this situation has gone unanswered. I will take this as mere unprofessionalism by the current management. With that said, I have no further interest in wasting more time over $25. Bon Bini
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Hey there Linda. I would do the following - based on the following:

So often people back home will jot down your number and keep that as "SPOOKIES" Aruba number. 80% that if you go to the DIGICEL store or to the sundry at your hotel-motel-timeshare-condo or beach hut and get some extra minutes,, that it will reactivate the old number. In the event it does re-activate, any unused time is counted back in. Neat huh?
You know what they say, "Us old SIM cards can be stuffed away but we seldom die".

Give that a shot and if it doesn't work, give Iris or a person of your choosing, a call.

be well
charles




Quote:
Originally Posted by lindaspooky View Post
Charles, thank you also for replying. In November I got a sim card at the airport, paid $20 for 54 minutes. Had absolutely no problems.

During my visit I reloaded minutes at the Digicel office. Will I have to get a new preliminary card this year or can I just add to last years?

Linda
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Thanks Charles, I'll do that!
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 11:44 AM
clarabell clarabell is offline
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Charles,

With all due respect, your analogy is not on case. It is totally understandable for a restaurant to substitute grouper for lobster because it is a perishable commodity. I highly doubt that a Sim card is in short supply. Universal advertising standards dictate that any offer should be readily available at the stated price. If the offer is limited in supply, that should be duly noted such as limited time, only 5 available etc.


If arubafastphones.com is truly concerned about customer service, a more appropriate solution would be to admit their omission in not changing their website, apologize to the customer and make a concession for the inconvenience. Of course, the website offer should immediately changed. None of this happened in my case. Wondering why I wasn't offered Linda’s $20 with 54 minute deal?

In any case, this incident is a small wrinkle in what I hope is a wonderful vacation. I do appreciate your attention to the matter and suggest you recommend to the new owners to change their website to reflect their current offers.

Best regards,

Clarabell
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Clarabell.

When I went on the website they did not show a $20 card. I only knew about it from these boards. I had emailed and asked about it and Iris said she would reserve one for me. The amount of time you get on a card will vary based on the time you place your calls. I think the rates range from .38 to .43 a minute, not sure of the text rate. I believe they actually told me I would get about 48 minutes for the $20 card. Also, with digicel I don't think they round up to full minutes. So if your call is 30 seconds that's all you pay for.

I just checked my cell from last year. I put in $40, total minutes used was 134. Now I don't know if the call timers include me calling to checking my balances or not. But I do know I used got more than 48 minutes on each card.

Linda
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 01:20 PM
clarabell clarabell is offline
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Linda,

Well, there is a practical solution! I have been waiting for a response from fastphones for 3-4 days now. Maybe they will send me that offer now that Charles has been kind enough to intervene as he stated earlier today. At this point, I don't think it is incumbent upon me to contact them with this offer.

Thanks for taking you time to dig out your old invoices!

Clarabell
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

I just like fish.

I cannot imagine why you feel there is a parallel between there not being sufficient product in the freezer and why there isn't a promised SIM allotment from the source to us.

HMMMM somethings fishy here.

Let me ask you something. Would a refund make all this go away or are you driven on the principal of the thing. And if the money isn't the issue (as you earlier stated, then how can we fix this issue so that we are faultless in these deliveries to us by a third party.
I am interested in your response.

The following is a REAL STORY : NOT EXAMPLE:
My son loves Ben Ten toys. We were in Atlanta on Vacation and I saw an add at TOYS R US that they had the "New Ben Ten VIDEO GAME I went there with him (he is eight) and took him to the Ben Ten section. - there actually is one. Anyway, you guessed it. None in stock because headquarters placed the corporate ad in a week early and they did not have any. I explained this to Junior and he decided that we would get one next year on our next vacation. Luckily, I was able to find one on the way back in Miami.

I should also ad that my "devil may care attitude" is not really so. I care a great deal, however something magical happened when I became 65. I decided that with the little time I have left, that my dedication will be to priorities and to trying to understand others a bit better. So actually, what I am doing is just trying to figure out what will make you happy.

be well
charles


Quote:
Originally Posted by clarabell View Post
Charles,

With all due respect, your analogy is not on case. It is totally understandable for a restaurant to substitute grouper for lobster because it is a perishable commodity. I highly doubt that a Sim card is in short supply. Universal advertising standards dictate that any offer should be readily available at the stated price. If the offer is limited in supply, that should be duly noted such as limited time, only 5 available etc.


If arubafastphones.com is truly concerned about customer service, a more appropriate solution would be to admit their omission in not changing their website, apologize to the customer and make a concession for the inconvenience. Of course, the website offer should immediately changed. None of this happened in my case. Wondering why I wasn't offered Linda’s $20 with 54 minute deal?

In any case, this incident is a small wrinkle in what I hope is a wonderful vacation. I do appreciate your attention to the matter and suggest you recommend to the new owners to change their website to reflect their current offers.

Best regards,

Clarabell
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

WOW - Thanks Spooky.
be well
charles



Quote:
Originally Posted by lindaspooky View Post
Clarabell.

When I went on the website they did not show a $20 card. I only knew about it from these boards. I had emailed and asked about it and Iris said she would reserve one for me. The amount of time you get on a card will vary based on the time you place your calls. I think the rates range from .38 to .43 a minute, not sure of the text rate. I believe they actually told me I would get about 48 minutes for the $20 card. Also, with digicel I don't think they round up to full minutes. So if your call is 30 seconds that's all you pay for.

I just checked my cell from last year. I put in $40, total minutes used was 134. Now I don't know if the call timers include me calling to checking my balances or not. But I do know I used got more than 48 minutes on each card.

Linda
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 02:28 PM
clarabell clarabell is offline
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Charles,

Nothing fishy here. I am just a consumer wanting to buy a sim card in Aruba.

Would you please clarify if the $10/24 minute is not available any more or not available during my stay? As of 1 minute ago, the original offer is posted on arubafastphones.com.

Let me clarify that I did not say that the money didn't mean anything. I did say the drama of the situation was not worth $25. In part this is principal and another part is financial.

No need for a refund. I never gave cc information. I appreciate the offer to try to make me happy. I merely ask as a consumer to be treated in good faith. If you can't live up to your ad, I only expect a reasonable explanation and a substitution which is not a 350% increase.

May I cordially suggest that if the new owners would like my business, please send me a pm. Again, I thank you for your intervention and guidance.

Clarabell
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 02:42 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

clarabell, i can tell you similar stories from many things. less than three weeks ago when i arrived in aruba for 2 weeks i wanted to get a setar card from the gift shop at costa linda. they were out of every one but the 20 afl card. i bought two although i had really been wanting a different denomination. i then went to the front desk and tried to buy 3 one week wifi cards for the 3 computers that would be in our timeshare that week. i knew that the next week we would need two one week cards. they only had one month cards. ironically, we were able to use them for two weeks. so in a 10 minute span of time two requests from two different sources were not possible.

it is a small island. things change by the minute. resources dry up and resources open up. if any of these people changed their websites to accommodate the changes they would have to hire an extra person to program. the fact that the price hasn't changed, it is still the same cost per minute as the original card and the same price per minute as 2003, shows there is no bait and switch intended. i am assuming it is the principle and not the cost. understand that island time is happening for both the website and the initial distributor of the card.

some things aren't worth the time or energy. next week, those cards may be available again. remember, it is a small island. setar is in control. what they offer is what they feel like and arubafastphones is as susceptible to the frustrations as the tourists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clarabell View Post
Linda,

Well, there is a practical solution! I have been waiting for a response from fastphones for 3-4 days now. Maybe they will send me that offer now that Charles has been kind enough to intervene as he stated earlier today. At this point, I don't think it is incumbent upon me to contact them with this offer.

Thanks for taking you time to dig out your old invoices!

Clarabell
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 03:16 PM
clarabell clarabell is offline
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Sherry--

Thank you for your explanation. It would have been nice if I have received this kind of reasonable response during any of my 4 emails to the vendor. In fact, the one I sent three or four days ago has still not been answered by them.

I do have one question for you. Charles mentioned that he investigated my reservation requests with arubafastphones.com. I appreciate his doing this for me, but I wonder how he got my contact information since I use a pseudonym here. Does this board share personal contact information with other board members?

Thanks, Clarabell
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

the answer is easy... no we do not do any sharing of information. we never have and never will. however, how charles would get any info is easy though. if he is in contact with afp, which he says he is, then he knows exactly who has sent them 4 emails and asked the questions you have. once he has that information (email or name), he can easily check back to his files as the previous owner.


Quote:
Originally Posted by clarabell View Post
Sherry--

Thank you for your explanation. It would have been nice if I have received this kind of reasonable response during any of my 4 emails to the vendor. In fact, the one I sent three or four days ago has still not been answered by them.

I do have one question for you. Charles mentioned that he investigated my reservation requests with arubafastphones.com. I appreciate his doing this for me, but I wonder how he got my contact information since I use a pseudonym here. Does this board share personal contact information with other board members?

Thanks, Clarabell
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Sherry--

Please check the thread. Charles wrote that he investigated my claim before I said I had contacted arubafastphones.com 4 times. Additionally, it would be impossible for him to figure out who I was with his old records. All my contact info has changed.

I am more than a little uncomfortable that this company chooses to share my information with their former owner without my permission. They have access to about my identity and my travel plans. Charles seemed like a nice guy when I met him. But it more than creeps me out that they willy nilly share my personal information without my permission. But I do appreciate your effort in trying to explain the situation.

Clarabell
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

ok, clarabell,

i have to say this. this man owned the business and is involved with the business as a previous owner. they ask his advice as the people who bought our business 6 years ago did with us. it is how business works.

now understand and read your first post. you had given me enough info in your first post for me to know you contacted iris, asked her questions that few would ask, and had almost had an altercation with her. i could have called this iris person (i have never met or conversed with her in any way) and said, one of our members said and did what you described in your first post and she would have been able to say to me, oh yes, a woman did contact me 4 times with questions and i told her yada yada. charles is involved with the business. he and iris will share info when she or he have a mutual concern. that is business.

clarabell, i don't mean to be rude but you are beating a dead horse. the horse has been beaten to the point that it is now soft and mushy along with being dead. you wrote to these people, they answered you, you had to have given a name. it is a matter of record with their company. it is easy to check on. it is easy to search you out as the owner of a business that does keep records. the gentleman has answered you. we have answered you. you come up with more questions. there was no bait and switch, there was no giving info to afp by us or anyone else, and there were no illegal practices.

please give it a rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clarabell View Post
Sherry--

Please check the thread. Charles wrote that he investigated my claim before I said I had contacted arubafastphones.com 4 times. Additionally, it would be impossible for him to figure out who I was with his old records. All my contact info has changed.

I am more than a little uncomfortable that this company chooses to share my information with their former owner without my permission. They have access to about my identity and my travel plans. Charles seemed like a nice guy when I met him. But it more than creeps me out that they willy nilly share my personal information without my permission. But I do appreciate your effort in trying to explain the situation.

Clarabell
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 07:20 PM
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Smile Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

We know we are probably in the minority on the phone issue but we feel sorry for the folks that HAVE to have a phone handy on Aruba.

My phones ring constantly all day long at my office. My cel rings at lunch or in the car. When we go to Aruba, we dont take a phone, we dont rent a phone and we dont buy a Setar card. We never want to hear a phone ring on vacation. I have a competent person in charge of my office when I am gone and dont need to check up on them. We do use the phone booth behind the Alhambra casino a few times to see if the family(really checking to make sure the cats are being taken good care of) is doing OK. 25 cents a minute. Cant beat it. Open from 3 to 11.

The kids have the phone number to the condo/hotel so if there is an emergency, they can let us know.
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 08:32 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

I find having a cell convenient... I use it to call my Aruban friends; they call me, and I use it for reservations. As for calling back to the states, I use Skype which I love. It's cheap, and I don't have to get dressed to go make a call. I can use Skype or my cell any time I feel the urge, day or night.

Having bought my cell from Setar years ago, it's paid for itself many times over. I leave it with a friend who lives on the island, and when I get there it's charged, and loaded with minutes..

Different strokes, I guess.
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Same here...we bought our phone years ago too. We find it convenient if we have to make calls to the storage people, or the incident last year when Hans came to pick up the car and Ray left the laptop in the backseat..it was lucky that I had the cell with me...called Hans before he was able to leave the airport. Ray uses it now just for calls to his brother once in awhile and we call the kids to tell them we arrived.

But the main reason we bought it all those years ago was because my mother was still alive and had lots of health issues. She was in a nursing home and it was good that they were able to get ahold of me anytime they needed to. And believe me...I spent alot of time on the phone with them a couple years.
Reservations are also easier....we just like having it around.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Elaine S View Post
I find having a cell convenient... I use it to call my Aruban friends; they call me, and I use it for reservations. As for calling back to the states, I use Skype which I love. It's cheap, and I don't have to get dressed to go make a call. I can use Skype or my cell any time I feel the urge, day or night.

Having bought my cell from Setar years ago, it's paid for itself many times over. I leave it with a friend who lives on the island, and when I get there it's charged, and loaded with minutes..

Different strokes, I guess.
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Old Thursday, August 26th, 2010, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

totally agree elaine. i use skype for international if there is any reason to call back to the states. my setar phone is specifically for contacting my aruban friends to make fun plans or to set up reservations.

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Originally Posted by Elaine S View Post
I find having a cell convenient... I use it to call my Aruban friends; they call me, and I use it for reservations. As for calling back to the states, I use Skype which I love. It's cheap, and I don't have to get dressed to go make a call. I can use Skype or my cell any time I feel the urge, day or night.

Having bought my cell from Setar years ago, it's paid for itself many times over. I leave it with a friend who lives on the island, and when I get there it's charged, and loaded with minutes..

Different strokes, I guess.
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Old Friday, August 27th, 2010, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Clarabell,
The following is my e-mail personal address
croesconsult@gmail.com
Keep it a secret.
Please send me all of your pertinent arrival information and dates as well as where you will be staying and I will do what I have to do to get you a SIM card that has $10 worth of airtime on it. FREE - NO CHARGE - TIPS NOT ACCEPTED AND NON-TAXABLE.
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Old Friday, August 27th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

clarabell,
Please go to the Charles' Stories section and read into me.

be well
charles

Last edited by dwippies; Friday, August 27th, 2010 at 02:43 PM.
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Old Friday, August 27th, 2010, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

holy cow, this thread sure got a lot of mileage. didn't know whether to laugh or cry. but when Charles said "keep it a secret", I roared with laughter. thanks, I needed that.
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Old Friday, August 27th, 2010, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

When in doubt... you picked a good choice!!

Charles, Charles, Charles!! lol
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Old Friday, August 27th, 2010, 07:35 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Charles-you have such a way with words.
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Old Monday, August 30th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Thanks LynnS:
Try to keep that between just you and me.
be well
charles


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Charles-you have such a way with words.
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Old Monday, August 30th, 2010, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

By the way,
check out the new website. We still have minor changes to make before releasing it. One of them (of course is the SIM thing)

fastphonearuba.com



Let me know what your thoughts are.

be well
charles
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Old Monday, August 30th, 2010, 05:18 PM
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I Love Aruba Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

I'm checking out your hat, but I won't tell!
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Old Monday, August 30th, 2010, 09:24 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arubabob View Post
We know we are probably in the minority on the phone issue but we feel sorry for the folks that HAVE to have a phone handy on Aruba.

My phones ring constantly all day long at my office. My cel rings at lunch or in the car. When we go to Aruba, we dont take a phone, we dont rent a phone and we dont buy a Setar card. We never want to hear a phone ring on vacation. I have a competent person in charge of my office when I am gone and dont need to check up on them. We do use the phone booth behind the Alhambra casino a few times to see if the family(really checking to make sure the cats are being taken good care of) is doing OK. 25 cents a minute. Cant beat it. Open from 3 to 11.

The kids have the phone number to the condo/hotel so if there is an emergency, they can let us know.
I plan on renting a phone in Aruba (contacted arubadiscountcell on the advice of friends) as I have a daughter that will be only 13 months old during our vacation. I plan on using a babysitter and need to be able to check in with her and also have her be able to contact me. My sisters are also joining us on the trip and so it's nice to be able to all do our own thing at times but be in touch and coordinate our plans.
I had recently read about arubafastphones and am not sure if there's a difference between the two companies except that arubadiscountcell seems cheaper. Is arubafastphones the only one which will provide a phone number in advance? I assume they are both using Setar network? Is there any difference except price? Thanks.
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Old Monday, August 30th, 2010, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlescroes View Post
Clarabell,
The following is my e-mail personal address
croesconsult@gmail.com
Keep it a secret.
Please send me all of your pertinent arrival information and dates as well as where you will be staying and I will do what I have to do to get you a SIM card that has $10 worth of airtime on it. FREE - NO CHARGE - TIPS NOT ACCEPTED AND NON-TAXABLE.
By the way, I tried to read and follow this whole thread but got lost somewhere along the way. It's almost as though I am missing some posts? I am thinking there were private emails or messages sent but then the topic kept returning to the board and wouldn't stay private? I'm not sure but it confused me and so I am sorry if in the thread there was answers to my questions about the benefits of arubafastphones and I just missed it.
Basically I just wanted to know if there were any "real" issues with the cell company besides the lack of $10 cell cards and if the rates and service are comparable to arubadiscountcells.
Also, as for the company not updating it's website in 7 months, that seems to be the way Aruba "rolls" so to speak. I have tried contacting various people and places in Aruba via email and phone for the last 3 months to facilitate our plans for our trip and have rarely heard back, and if I have gotten any answers, they have been weeks later.
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Old Tuesday, August 31st, 2010, 10:14 AM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

AMARG,
You have several good points and concerns. I will do my utmost to answer these for you.
The current thread is confusing to say the least and well on its to no longer being a thread but going into the ROPE division. A serious topic took a "right- turn" instead of a left and this has become more of an attempt at "Comedy Central" and not the original issue at all. That happens sometimes.

We, along with about 4 other companies were the first ones to go into the cell rental business. I got into it because I was on the original consulting team for "New Millennium" - which is the telephony company that eventually was bought out by DIGICEL. For this reason, I have the unique phone number I do have. 730-0001. My wife at the time, has 730-0002.

Yes we still are in the rental business but we are no longer located at the airport but instead now deliver to the customers at their hotel.

SIM cards are not something we personally load ourselves. They come in denominations and are subject to availability from the suppliers. SIM cards (if I am not mistaken) are not even made on the island. This has caused us some issues since our add offers them in the denomination of $10. A point of interest, which I really haven't mentioned much is that almost all our $10 customers call back and ask on how to get more time. This, by the way can be easily done.

You are right about Islanders having a "take-your-time" attitude, however I have tried to be more timely than 7 months. Renting a cell phone is normally one of the last things on the list before getting down here- so it is normally the one that requires the hastiest response and action.

You have our web site. Just move forwards and make your reservation.

LAST NOTE:
We are redoing our entire sight and it now reflects more of modern feel with a different set of informational services. The text is not 100% yet, however it gives you the general idea. the signing in is slightly different.

Cell Phone Rental Aruba - fastphonearuba.com

I would be very interested in your comments on the site (up to date) considering it is still a bit off from being finished.

I hope to have answered your questions.

be well
charles



Quote:
Originally Posted by amarg View Post
By the way, I tried to read and follow this whole thread but got lost somewhere along the way. It's almost as though I am missing some posts? I am thinking there were private emails or messages sent but then the topic kept returning to the board and wouldn't stay private? I'm not sure but it confused me and so I am sorry if in the thread there was answers to my questions about the benefits of arubafastphones and I just missed it.
Basically I just wanted to know if there were any "real" issues with the cell company besides the lack of $10 cell cards and if the rates and service are comparable to arubadiscountcells.
Also, as for the company not updating it's website in 7 months, that seems to be the way Aruba "rolls" so to speak. I have tried contacting various people and places in Aruba via email and phone for the last 3 months to facilitate our plans for our trip and have rarely heard back, and if I have gotten any answers, they have been weeks later.
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Old Tuesday, August 31st, 2010, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Charles, I think your revamped site is very good! I love the Aruba info links you have for additional info to help visitors.

However, I am still confused about whether the $10 SIM is available to reserve. Is that part of the site that isn't yet upgraded? I am looking to get one for our upcoming Aruba trip (Oct. 1). After 2 previous experiences with the $10 SIM I know that is more than enough airtime for my needs.

Thanks for any info & also for all the helpful posts I see from you on the forums!

Jan
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Old Wednesday, September 1st, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

jpie,
I passed all of this over to Iris for her to handle. she should be on it and get things straightened out.

No, the web-site is not totally done. will be soon but not yet.
be well
charles
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Old Wednesday, September 1st, 2010, 10:40 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Hi Charles, thanks for your response to my post. I went on the link and checked out your new website. I have a couple of things I can give feedback on and hope you don't mind the criticism. However, you asked for it...

While I think it's great that you have links and info to other Aruba informations such as nightlife, restaurants, hotels, car rentals, etc., it is a little repetitive and similar to the aruba.com, visitaruba, arubabound and other sites. I actually thought that I was on the wrong site as it doesn't seem like a phone rental site at first, there's just so much going on on the home page. That being said, I think it will be ok once the site is finished and the phone rental information more complete. I do like being able to get other information and it is advertising space for you as well. It's just a little busy and overwhelms your business, Fast Fones. Fast Fones needs to be the main focus I thought.

The phone rental info only lists one option for reservations at $50. Is this the only option? With arubadiscountcells there are a few options, including Blackberries for rent. They have a deal which I have decided to go with (unless you have something comparable) where you get a Blackberry with unlimited data, internet, and 57 airtime minutes as well.

Does Fast Fones have any other packages or services? Data?

Also, the line: "our services include cellular phone service and much much more..." What does that mean exactly? What is the much much more? It's very open ended. If under Reservations you had other services or plans listed, maybe. Or, can I suggest listing what other services you provide in the About Us section? There isn't a hint of anything more than one cell phone rental plan or $10 sim card sales and then that line appears. It's out of place IMO.

That being said, I know you have said it's incomplete and I hope I have not offended you in any way.

Thank you for your sense of humor to by the way. It's greatly needed on these forums. Unfortunately, there is no character key for intonation and sometimes I find that people bicker, take things the wrong way or get offended and then in turn become offensive on these forums for no reason at all. I am sometimes scared to post anything in case someone misreads it and attacks me again. I don't think anyone intentionally means to hurt or misguide anyone on these forums but depending on a person's frame of mind, things can taken completely out of context when dealing with purely internet communication. It drives me nuts!

Thanks again!
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Old Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

I too use a cell phone in Aruba for contacting and checking on everyone back in California. And we are there for at least two weeks, so we need to have some sort of communication with the parents, our children etc. I purchased a phone from Setar a couple of years ago and glad I did.

Clarabell,
If you don't like the prices, use another vendor. And this is beating a dead horse. You can't get it for $10 and now it's $35.00, this isn't a business in the good ole USA. So you can't sue afp. You will run into this problem in many business' in Aruba. I know I have. I have the same problem here in the US..I live less than 2 miles from the Mexican border. It is common place in Mexico to state one price and be charged another. I feel your pain, but don't let this ruin your vacation.
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Old Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

this isn't a bait and switch. this is still the same price per minute. as charles explained, they are not able at the moment to get hold of the $10 card but the price per minute is the same on the $35 card. i don't usually defend businesses in aruba but this one i have to because i know they are trying to answer (and they do not pay for advertising with us). the problem is with the sim card supplier. if another company has some at $10 it is because they had a bunch and have some left. no business wants to piss off its customers by not having what they want or have ordered before. so yes, it is beating a dead horse but not because it's a scam. happens all the time in the states. some times we can't get what we purchased in the past because it is no longer available. it's that simple. i can give you a list of at least 20 items that i can no longer get the size, shape, or whatever of that i could as little as 2-5 years ago.


Quote:
Originally Posted by captmorgnsgrl View Post
I too use a cell phone in Aruba for contacting and checking on everyone back in California. And we are there for at least two weeks, so we need to have some sort of communication with the parents, our children etc. I purchased a phone from Setar a couple of years ago and glad I did.

Clarabell,
If you don't like the prices, use another vendor. And this is beating a dead horse. You can't get it for $10 and now it's $35.00, this isn't a business in the good ole USA. So you can't sue afp. You will run into this problem in many business' in Aruba. I know I have. I have the same problem here in the US..I live less than 2 miles from the Mexican border. It is common place in Mexico to state one price and be charged another. I feel your pain, but don't let this ruin your vacation.
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Old Thursday, September 2nd, 2010, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sherry View Post
this isn't a bait and switch. this is still the same price per minute. as charles explained, they are not able at the moment to get hold of the $10 card but the price per minute is the same on the $35 card. i don't usually defend businesses in aruba but this one i have to because i know they are trying to answer (and they do not pay for advertising with us). the problem is with the sim card supplier. if another company has some at $10 it is because they had a bunch and have some left. no business wants to piss off its customers by not having what they want or have ordered before. so yes, it is beating a dead horse but not because it's a scam. happens all the time in the states. some times we can't get what we purchased in the past because it is no longer available. it's that simple. i can give you a list of at least 20 items that i can no longer get the size, shape, or whatever of that i could as little as 2-5 years ago.
Thanks Sherry
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Old Friday, September 3rd, 2010, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

AMARG,
Thank you so much for the comments. Our web master has a copy and I asked him to make good note.
Best of luck with the rental BB. If we do siilar, I will advertise same. We are planning on some other rental items but need to confirme them. Will be needed and interesting.

be well
charles
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Old Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Last year, we brought an unlocked cell to Aruba and had reserved a $20.00 SIM card from arubafastphones. Went to the kiosk and Iris loaded the phone. This year, we reserved a $20.00 card and Iris brought it to us and loaded the phone. Good service and everything worked.
I learned from Charles and by observing, that a language barrier seems to slow down email discourse. Not a problem as the job gets done.
If one company is out of the card you require, use the competition.
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Old Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

I really hate to ask but.... What exactly are you referring to when you say "sim card?" Do you attach/insert/download to your own domestic cell phone. For instance, I have a Verizon Cell that has service in Aruba for BIG $$$. Like $2.00/min. What would the sim card do for me? Thanks - Bill
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Old Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

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Originally Posted by LearJet9 View Post
I really hate to ask but.... What exactly are you referring to when you say "sim card?" Do you attach/insert/download to your own domestic cell phone. For instance, I have a Verizon Cell that has service in Aruba for BIG $$$. Like $2.00/min. What would the sim card do for me? Thanks - Bill
If your cell phone is "unlocked" from the network, you can remove the SIM card and replace it with one for Aruba. The SIM is beneath the battery. I bought a cheap, unlocked, quadband and just use it on Aruba.
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Old Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 01:30 PM
LearJet9 LearJet9 is offline
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Thanks dogwriter - I guess it might be easier to rent a phone from Aruba Fast Phones. I did check their website and it still says they are at the airport. I am curious as to what kind of operation this is if they still advertise being at the airport when they have not been there for more than 7 months. Doesn't take 7 months to update a website. With the title of this thread I'm a bit leery of this company!! I know they were reputable when Charles was involved but I'm just not sure now???
Bill
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Old Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

The sim card is the little square chip that is inserted into your cell phone by your carrier. A SIM card or Subscriber Identity Module is a portable memory chip used in some models of cellular telephones. The SIM card makes it easy to switch to a new phone by simply sliding the SIM out of the old phone and into the new one. The SIM holds personal identity information, cell phone number, phone book, text messages and other data. It can be thought of as a mini hard disk that automatically activates the phone into which it is inserted.
The SIM card can also be loaded with prepaid minutes like with Pay As You Go phones in Canada and US. These minutes can be topped up when running out by using a pin number. That's basically what's happening in Aruba with these cell phone rentals. There's no plan so there pay as you go. The whole discussion is actually a little misleading and confusing as you don't really need to buy a new SIM each time you need to buy minutes. The SIM activates your phone with a chosen carrier, such as Setar or Digicel and provides a phone number and disk capabilities as I said. You are given a certain number of minutes when you purchase the SIM card which is "topped up" with varying denominations of time and in this case, they are worked out to cheaper by minute rates than what our North American companies charge.
So to answer your question, if you have an unlocked phone or world phone that allows you to insert a SIM card from a different carrier (you can get your phone unlocked easily by taking it into a cell store), then yes, buying a SIM from Aruba will help save you lots of money. You have to pay for the card itself for purposes of activation etc., as it is a mini hard disk and then you will be provided minutes. After that, you can keep topping up these minutes as they run out.
It seems some visitors keep the same cell phone with SIM card year after year and just activate it and top it up on each visit. Others seem to rent new phones or buy new SIM cards each time. I don't understand why buying a new SIM is necessary. Maybe Charles can answer this - shouldn't it only be necessary to reactivate the phone and buy minutes? That's what we do here? A SIM card never expires, prepaid minutes do.
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Old Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

wonderful explanation amarg! loved it.

as to why a new sim is needed-if they haven't been activated by adding minutes or phone usage for more than x months (don't remember if it is 3 or 6 months) setar deactivates it and often gives out your old phone number to the next customer buying a new phone/sim. so if you don't have a friend living on aruba, you will be buying a new sim unless you visit that often. i had it happen in 2009. my office forgot to keep the phone active. fortunately it was a good setar day since the line moved rapidly and i was able to keep my old number. either way, old or new sim, it is much cheaper if you go at least once a year, to purchase your own cheap phone and use it only for aruba as dogwriter does. the sim is cheap and the cost per minute is cheap too in comparison to the cost of unlocking your american phone and using it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarg View Post
The sim card is the little square chip that is inserted into your cell phone by your carrier. A SIM card or Subscriber Identity Module is a portable memory chip used in some models of cellular telephones. The SIM card makes it easy to switch to a new phone by simply sliding the SIM out of the old phone and into the new one. The SIM holds personal identity information, cell phone number, phone book, text messages and other data. It can be thought of as a mini hard disk that automatically activates the phone into which it is inserted.
The SIM card can also be loaded with prepaid minutes like with Pay As You Go phones in Canada and US. These minutes can be topped up when running out by using a pin number. That's basically what's happening in Aruba with these cell phone rentals. There's no plan so there pay as you go. The whole discussion is actually a little misleading and confusing as you don't really need to buy a new SIM each time you need to buy minutes. The SIM activates your phone with a chosen carrier, such as Setar or Digicel and provides a phone number and disk capabilities as I said. You are given a certain number of minutes when you purchase the SIM card which is "topped up" with varying denominations of time and in this case, they are worked out to cheaper by minute rates than what our North American companies charge.
So to answer your question, if you have an unlocked phone or world phone that allows you to insert a SIM card from a different carrier (you can get your phone unlocked easily by taking it into a cell store), then yes, buying a SIM from Aruba will help save you lots of money. You have to pay for the card itself for purposes of activation etc., as it is a mini hard disk and then you will be provided minutes. After that, you can keep topping up these minutes as they run out.
It seems some visitors keep the same cell phone with SIM card year after year and just activate it and top it up on each visit. Others seem to rent new phones or buy new SIM cards each time. I don't understand why buying a new SIM is necessary. Maybe Charles can answer this - shouldn't it only be necessary to reactivate the phone and buy minutes? That's what we do here? A SIM card never expires, prepaid minutes do.
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Old Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

Sherry is correct. Most SIM cards come with an expiration date that has to be reactivated on time. That's why we get a new one each year. There are anecdotals about cards being used each year, but I don't want to get to Aruba and "top-off" someone else's phone number! $20.00 a year gets us a number that lasts at least for our two weeks.
Arubafastphones no longer has a kiosk in the airport so rental would have to be arranged through the website.
My AT&T store didn't know how or didn't want to to unlock my phone, so it isn't always easy to get it done. At&T will send you unlock codes if you request them, but don't mess up. I just bought a phone off the internet for less than $50.00 and use it for Aruba.
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Old Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

I bought a phone from ebay for $10. got the sim card and it worked fine.
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Old Sunday, September 5th, 2010, 12:14 PM
amarg amarg is offline
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Default Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

I can understand not wanting to top off someone elses phone number but I don't understand why that would be the case. Sherry has explained that phone numbers of rental phones or a number not used for a period of months is reissued to another customer. Ok I get that. However, the SIM card itself is simply a tiny disk and although minutes expire and it can be deactivated, that SAME sim card should be able to be used for reactivation, a new phone number assigned and airtime and data purchased. I worked as a district manager for Rogers Wireless until I had my baby last year so I'm not trying to be ignorant or argumentative. When I worked in the stores we had customers come in all the time with their own phones and sim cards wanting to signup with a plan or pay as you go. We used those sane old sims (better to recycle) to setup a new number and activate the phone. I myself have used a sim card I already had and called in over the phone to do the same thing. Also, when I had to change my cell number, I simply phoned customer service and they changed it right then, no new sim needed. Therefore, I understand needing to reactivate a phone, getting a new phone number and having to pay activation fees and airtime/data fees. The only thing I don't get is if sim cards are in such high demand, shipped in, run out and hard to get at times as Charles said, why are they not reused as much as possible?
As for unlocking, now that it's legal, most cell vendors sell unlocked phones, even Apple and there's lots of websites and businesses that do it. In the mall down the street there's 2 kiosks that do it. However, through online or your cell provider it's usually cheap or free. I do think if one can get a cheap unlocked phone just for travel, that's a good idea. Less worry about your maincell phone being lost, stolen or damaged.
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Old Sunday, September 5th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Elaine S Elaine S is offline
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I Love Aruba Re: arubafastphones.com bait and switch?

I have, what may be a silly question. I have old Verizon cells since every two years I upgrade. My old ones are newer, and much easier to navigate then my Aruban cell which is about 7 or 8 years old. My question is... if I no longer have Verizon service activated on an old cell, will the sim card from my Aruban cell make it "work" if I take it to Verizon and have it unlocked?

And, if it works, because of the sim card will I still have my same Aruban cell number???
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