I was saddened when Google dropped the FREE 411 service in November but just found out that BING works in the US.
Just dial 1-800-Call-411 or 1-800-225-5411. Not sure why BING stopped the Canadian version but add this to your address book and use if you live in the US or are traveling to the US.
It may be too late for the Vancouver woman who racked up a $37,000 data bill on Telus while vacationing in Egypt with her new iPhone.
But using your cell phone for chatting, surfing, tweeting and sending emails while you travel doesn't have to set back you the price of a fully loaded SUV.
Fortunately for Alanna Fero, Telus says it is willing to forgo much of the bill, even though when its security system noticed the huge spike early on and cut off the data service to prevent a further spiral, Telus says the customer asked that it be turned back on. Read on.
This story seems to be more Apple related but really we need to be careful on any wireless device we use when traveling outside our home area!
If you have a phone that has WiFi you should definitely take advantage of this great cost savings feature! Almost every cafe, restaurant or hotel has Wi-Fi. Most are free and some are paid services. So go grab a coffee and a muffin and happily work away for free using someone else's network. How cool is that? Now Wifi generally will only allow you to use your data portion: email, bbm, pin, browse, etc... Not Voice. Though that isn't totally true as some devices have the right chipset to be able to use VOIP but that is another article.
Skype and Phone Cards
Skype is a great and free if the other person has it (Skype to Skype).
For a quick call when not online, it’s usually far cheaper to use a calling card and a payphone, especially in Latin America.
i.e. Mexican payphone costs about 50 cents a minute to the US and using your cell phone without an add-on plan will cost at least 3 x as much.
Using your calling card generally cost much less per minute but hotels usually charge $1 to $2 dollars per call on top of the per minute fee, so find out if that equates to savings in your case!
SIM Card Swaps
If you are a talker and need to make alot of calls purchase a SIM card when you arrive at a new destination. (Usually they even have them at the airport). Just swap your SIM card
(that is the white small card in your phone) and pay their local rates. Once your minutes are expired you can reload them almost anywhere.
Phone and Blackberry Rentals
Did you know you can rent a phone? One place is Travelcell (www.travelcell.com). You pay only for the minutes you use and sometimes incoming calls are free. Usually outgoing calls are the same or lower than what your own carrier charges.
CALL YOUR CARRIER
I cannot stress this enough. Before you go on any trip. Please, Please, Please, call your carrier. Ask about their add on plans. Even if you are going to the states. Generally I use WiFi where ever I go but the last 3 day trip to the USA I thought I would pretend to be a normal user, I know...very hard. ha ha and used my phone, browsed the internet, used the mapping feature and my phone bill was $130 more that normal. Imagine if I was there a week or if I was in Europe? Yikes. I have personally had clients come back after a trip with $400, $2500 and $17000 dollar bills! There are ways to mitigate these costs.
Want to know more?
We offer a private webinar just for you to go over the information above and many more tips on travel. Click here to register.
What are the true costs?
March 11, 2011 Just FYI....This is how an addon plan with BELL would work if you were going to Mexico
WITHOUT A MEXICO ADD ON PLAN WITH BELL MOBILITY:
VOICE: gasp $2.99 a minute
TEXT: 75 Cents to send and 15Cents to recieve
DATA: Bigger GASP!!!! $52.10 per MB for browsing, email, BBM, etc...
1 MB is approximately 100 BBM messages
Can you see how this would add up to a HUGE bill?
WITH AN ADD ON PLAN WITH BELL MOBILITY:DATA:
$10 lowers your DATA to $15 MB
$50 includes 10 MB and after is $5 MB
$10 Outgoing 25 cents - incoming unlimited.
$25 - 15 minutes anywhere to USA/Canada/Mexico after that it is $1.67 a minute.
$70- 50 minutes USA/Canada/Mexico after that it is $1.40.
ROGERS WITH AN ADD ON PLAN FOR MEXICO:
$50 includes 10 MB and after is $5 MB
$12.50 for 25 outgoing (50 cents a text)
$20 - 15 minutes anywhere to USA/Canada/Mexico after that it is $1.33 a minute.
$50- 40 minutes USA/Canada/Mexico after that it is $1.25.
You may encounter phones described as quad- or tri-band, dual-band, or multi-network. Those terms describe the ways a phone can connect to one or more wireless networks, which affects the coverage your phone provides. Here are the specifics:
Tri-band, quad-band, or "world phones" operate on Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) networks in the U.S. and abroad. Tri-band phones with 850/1800/1900 MHz capability can operate on two bands domestically and one internationally. Tri-band phones with 900/1800/1900 MHz capability operate on one band in the U.S. (1900 MHz) and two bands internationally. Quad-band phones can operate on all four bands for maximum potential coverage.
Dual-band phones can connect to a digital network in two different frequency bands. For example, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) dual-band phones will work in the 800/850 MHz band and the 1900 MHz band in the U.S., and usually won¿t work abroad. GSM providers often use the term 850/1900 MHz bands only for the U.S. and 900/1800 MHz only for abroad. A 900/1900 MHz phone will work on one network in the U.S. and one abroad.
Multi-network phones are compatible with more than one digital network, often in two frequency bands. They are best for people who travel frequently overseas and who are customers of Sprint Nextel or Verizon. Those two carriers offer multi-network phones that operate on GSM networks internationally, and domestically on their CDMA networks (for the Sprint Nextel and Verizon phones) or iDEN (integrated digital enhanced network) networks for the Nextel phones that have walkie-talkie capability.
An article in Woman's world magazine said the a recent survey ( I couldn't find the survey) found that 75% of 12-17 yr olds own a mobile. To cut down on cost sign them up with a prepaid plan. Only 18% are on one yet research has found those who are tend to give more oversight to their usage, keeping their bills in check. Can't hurt!
Changing one crackberry addict at a time. lol. I have trained thousands of people and get the same consistent complaint about etiquette. So thought I would do up some Do's and Don'ts and please feel free to comment on your own!
Turn off your BlackBerry when requested (Hospitals, Airplanes, Labs, Dr. Offices, etc)
Keep the ringer on silent or vibrate at least when you are in meetings. We all use a great application that silences sounds when your calendar shows busy! I know, how great is that? Here is the link if you are interested and currently they are 50% off. Fixmo Tools.
Pull off the road when you absolutely must answer a message or phone call
Handsfree is the only way to do this legally in most states and provinces, we have some information about some cool apps HERE
Keep phone conversations as short as possible, you’ll save money in the long run
Find out cost savings measures through our training or call your Carrier.
If you text but aren't on a plan, maybe you should be
If you are Canadian and answer calls when you travel in Canada, you shouldn't be. There is a free way to do this.
Does Unlimited data mean free around the world? Unlikely. Find out what your plan really covers and understand it.
Answer messages / phone during meetings, interviews, public performances, etc.
Answer messages / phone at museums or churches
Answer messages / phone while driving unless you are handsfree. Did you know Oprah has a huge movement going called "No Phone Zone" Find out more HERE
Walk and Type (you’ll walk into somebody or something and there are even reported deaths)
Leave the ringer on loud in a restaurant
Talk too loudly – Respect the people around you wherever you are, on a bus, in a restaurant, coffee shop, etc
Put your BlackBerry on the table at restaurants / bars / lounges (it’s disrespectful to the people you are with, and you might forget it when you leave)
Answer unimportant calls / messages at the Gym
Things to remember:
When in doubt turn the ringer off or use Fixmo and don’t answer messages
Every time you answer work messages during non-work hours you’re effectively working for free! How much are you really working for every hour if you add up after hours?
Try to imagine how the person across the table feels when you are answering your BlackBerry… would you want somebody to do that to you? It is disrespectful and downright rude. The only time I think it is ok is if you are expecting an extremely urgent call and you forewarn the person that you might have to get an urgent call.
Stats say that the average American pays $325 more than they need too. I know Canadians do too. We saved many of our clients $100 or more a month, from reviewing private bills and up to 42% on a organizations bills. Now that seems crazy!
1. System access fee (Canada) or Universal Connectivity Charge (USA)
In Canada, I believe most have dropped the charges, so check with your carrier or move to one that doesn't charge
In the US - You can negotiate them, call customer services and ask if any fees can be reduced or removed
2. Are you really using all those voice minutes you buy?
Studies show that only 12% actually use all their minutes, so are you paying too much? Examine your monthly usage and find a plan that works for you.
3. New or unadvertised rate plans
There are always new plans out there from the time you got yours. CALL THE CARRIER, see if there is a more appropriate plan for you and if there are better rates out there now.
4. Do you have more than a few Cells in your family or friends?
Family plans ( which don't necessarily have to be your 'true' family) can really help with the bills. Call your Carrier and find out if one would suit you!
If we can help you with your Organizations bills, please check out more information here. (Sorry only can offer this to Canadians, at the moment)