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Old 01-21-2014, 12:59 AM   #1
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Snowbird phone

We are going to Arizona around Feb. 1 and are wondering about cell phone coverage for calls back to Calgary. Don't want to pay for roaming and Bell wants too much. Any advice will be appreciated.
Thanks
Ray
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:21 AM   #2
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How about Skype? When we were in BC, we used that to arrange meeting with our friends and cousins. You can call landlines for a charge but I have never done it.

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Old 01-27-2014, 10:34 PM   #3
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We do use Skype to call back to Ontario and we also use for any calls we make to phone numbers anywhere. We do carry our Canadian cell phones in the USA but only for a quick call when we don't have wi-fi. I have found in our case it is less expensive than getting a US cell phone.
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Old 01-27-2014, 10:38 PM   #4
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We do use Skype to call back to Ontario and we also use for any calls we make to phone numbers anywhere. We do carry our Canadian cell phones in the USA but only for a quick call when we don't have wi-fi. I have found in our case it is less expensive than getting a US cell phone.
What about a "burner" phone?
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:01 PM   #5
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What about a "burner" phone?
I think about that every year when we come down here for the winter but Skype keeps working for us. I keep hoping that one of the Canadian cell phone company's will come up with a good cross border plan.
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Old 01-28-2014, 12:21 AM   #6
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I think about that every year when we come down here for the winter but Skype keeps working for us. I keep hoping that one of the Canadian cell phone company's will come up with a good cross border plan.

Not likely. I've got some cross border options from Rogers as I'm a commuter, but they're all discontinued. Besides, they only allow 40 minutes a month or something like that.

I too use skype when calling the family so I don't burn the minutes on my phone. If you're going to be a while (I.e. Snowbirding) I recommend using their subscription. Unlimited (up to 6.5 hours per day apparently) calls to any US or Canadian number for $25 per year.

What I do is call out on skype, and I anybody calls me I tell them I'll call them back and then dial out on skype.

Some of my co-workers just use two phones. Their normal Canadian one and they pick up a pay as you go US one and swap between them as they travel. The problem with that though is it puts the cost of the long distance on the person calling you. I'd rather have the clients pay long distance to call me than to have my wife pay long distance to call me. Since I can expense the roaming charges for client calls, the "I'll call you back on Skype" when dealing with family is the cheapest option for me (out of our pocket.)
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:41 AM   #7
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We bought a Verizon pay as you go phone and just add minutes when we head south. You can get them at any Walmart south of the border and probably many other places. It cost 20 bux if I remember right. Also if you have CAA it is wise to have an American phone as neither my Bell or DW's Telus phone could call the 1-800 number when were in Indiana a few years back. Thanks god for fellow FR owner MtnGuy for lending me his phone.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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BTW, I was referring to a pay-as-you-go phone when I mentioned a burner phone.

It's just what LEOs/LEAs refer to them as.
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:20 PM   #9
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I use a variation of two. I purchased a pay as you go tracfone from Walmart which I use when no internet is available. I also purchased a Magic Jack when we have internet. I believe the MagicJack is about $50 to purchase and then you pay $30 per year to maintain your number. When I activated it, I got a Ontario phone number from my home town. This allows my family and friends to call us for free because they are just dialing a local number regardless of where we're at in the US. I can also use it to call anywhere I want for free when I'm in the US or Canada.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:27 AM   #10
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seatosea:
I also use Magic Jack for a phone connection. It cost me 99 dollars for a five year plan unlimited calls throughout North America and 10 dollars a year in order to keep the number. I also have a burner phone for on the road or when I have no internet connection.
This seams to be the lest expensive option.
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