Pay As You Go

Old Jan 16th 2009, 6:09 am
  #1  
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Default Pay As You Go

I am doing a camper van holiday in October with my hubby and Brother and sister in law.
We will be having 2 campers and will be touring the Rockies.
Is it possible to just buy sim cards for our UK mobiles ? or just to buy cheap Pay As You Go phones.
As we are going to be in 2 campers and splitting up at times, we need to keep in touch. Is this the best and cheapest way to do it.
Thanks for any advice.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 6:12 am
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

If you have an unlocked phone then you can buy pay and talk cards here - bloody expensive though as you have to pay to make and recieve calls and send and recieve txt messages

But the answer to your question is yes you can !
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 9:27 am
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Thank you for replying... We dont have unlocked phones, and to be honest dont know how to go about having it done. So is there a cheap basic PAYG phone that we could use to just keep in touch..Any ideas of prices etc.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 9:55 am
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

I bought a Telus phone in NS recently. Quite a nice samsung flip phone for $50 + tax with $50 credit on it. I am sure that there area similar deals throughout Canada.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Also to keep in mind that mobile coverage is not as good in BC as the UK, i visit BC area a lot and get no phone coverage in some areas.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 11:14 am
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

We will be flying to Calgary, and then to Banff area then all the tourist stuff Head Smashed In etc, and heading up to Edmonton , we will be mainly Alberta side, unles there is a good place to visit Suggestions welcome .

Last time we did this in 2001, we headed from Calgary to Lethbridge, then Waterston, then toward Crows Nest, Canmore , Banff, Lake Louise. We had to slow down on the miles after that as we had restricted milage. This time we will have unlimited and book the campers when we arrive in Calgary.
We will spend the 1st and last night at the Travelodge in Calgary. Maby a few night in Calgery to catch a Flamers game
Any good suggestions on where to visit.
Also does anyone know if the diner in Banff is still open..I cant remember the name of it but it was red and crome, and did fab meatloaf.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Last time I checked the only canadian PAYG option using sim card technology is Rogers, who have a trully horrible reputation for customer service.

I left rogers and got a virgin PAYG phone. Its basic, but cheap($50, including some call time), reliable and the customer service is much better.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Originally Posted by redlobster View Post
As we are going to be in 2 campers and splitting up at times, we need to keep in touch. Is this the best and cheapest way to do it.
Thanks for any advice.
If you are only going to be talking to one another, you could go to the "Source" (formerly Radio Shack) and get a couple of two way radios.....they work for about 5 km separation distance.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

I bought a really cheap and basic Nokia phone with Virgin when I came over for a recce and house-hunting trip. It was about $50-$60 I think.

It's still going strong - I'd love to upgrade to something pretty and fancy - but for all the use it gets, it's not worth it. I've had excellent coverage so far, wherever I have been - in fact the only place it didn't work was at the Sunshine Village Ski resort! Not a problem in October I throw $25 PAYG vouchers at it every now and again and it does the job.

Just be aware that the PAYG top ups have limited time frames on them - not a problem for a two week holiday - but the different value vouchers have different expiry dates, ie, 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, etc. A $100 top up will not expire for 365 days.

And as others have said, if your phone is unlocked you can buys a Rogers sim card - hubby uses this - and again, no issues, and good coverage.

If you are flying in to Calgary, there are obviously literally hundreds of places to find and buy phones - but as a newcomer who does not know their way around, I'll probably head to one of the big malls (Market Mall, Chinook Mall or one of the bigger shopping areas marked up on maps). And for info I've never seen a Virgin "store" here - they have those little kiosks in the middle of the aisles in the malls to buy a phone. (But you can buy top-ups almost anywhere).

HTH
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Originally Posted by ann m View Post
I bought a really cheap and basic Nokia phone with Virgin when I came over for a recce and house-hunting trip. It was about $50-$60 I think.

It's still going strong - I'd love to upgrade to something pretty and fancy - but for all the use it gets, it's not worth it.
I loved my basic Nokia, the battery lasted forever, the alarm function worked when the phone was off....Just dont have it fall from your pocket and then run it over as you reverse out of the parking lot....my faithful Nokia was doing just fine until the day before yesterday

The phone still works, but the display is kaput. So Im stuck with my wifes unloved and abandoned LG150 with its ten minute (or so it seems) battery life and buttons designed for skinny fingered teens now. Still, transfering my number and credit over was a breeze... I suspect I would still be on the line with Rogers trying to do that.

Around here zellers, walmart, future shop etc also all sell virgin PAYG phones.

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Old Jan 16th 2009, 3:02 pm
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Oooh destinationNS, where did you get that deal, I need a mobile !!!!

Thanks!!!
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 3:07 pm
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Originally Posted by pip_is_fab View Post
Also to keep in mind that mobile coverage is not as good in BC as the UK, i visit BC area a lot and get no phone coverage in some areas.
True, outside of the lower mainland it's hit and miss. I gave up owning a cell phone after 2 months here, no coverage where I live and work, so not worth the expense.
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Originally Posted by rach_woz99 View Post
Oooh destinationNS, where did you get that deal, I need a mobile !!!!

Thanks!!!
In the Telus shop at the Halifax Shopping Centre
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Originally Posted by redlobster View Post
Also does anyone know if the diner in Banff is still open..I cant remember the name of it but it was red and crome, and did fab meatloaf.
That would have been the fabulous 'Joe BFSTPLX' diner or something very similar. We had may happy breakfasts there before skiing. We were devastated last time we visited (2003-4) to find it has closed.

One note on buying cheap pay-and-go phones that surprised me when I nearly bought one in the BC interior: the number is a local one and that means if you use it outside of that area eg reccies in different provinces you pay higher rates, as you do to call outside of you area. The 'deal ' wasn't as cheap as the ones above so I made do with lots of internet (only stayed in hotels with free access) and my english phone.

I like the sound of your deal though destinationnovascotia, you did well there !
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Old Jan 16th 2009, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: Pay As You Go

Just a quick note I recently arrived in Vancouver and dropped into Future shop and spoke to those guys about PAYG vs Contract they sat me down for about 40 minutes going through all my option from buying a PAYG phone outright from them to buying a SIM from Rogers and finally contract. Now what I found as the best deal was Kodoo mobile. They offer you a month to month contract with a phone (which they place on a tab for $75) I get 60 min free calls each month and 50 internation texts for $17 a month and you can cancel the contract after the first month paying only the price of the phone $75 check them out www.kodoomobile.com. Also a big bonus of this is you can go online and change your local phone number for free meaning you won't end up paying roming charges as you drive around.

Tom

Last edited by snowboardboy; Jan 16th 2009 at 4:39 pm.
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