|Subject: Cell phones for travel|
Someone recently had provided us Ziners some most useful websites about where to buy cell phones for travel use. One was telestial.com. This latter site was the most detailed and useful. The bottom line is that I bought a new quad band phone from them, the Motorola V600 for $375, and used it successfully on a recent trip to India. I had wanted a quad band because I wanted the phone to function everywhere in the world. I bought a new one because I was somewhat leery of buying a used phone and then finding it nonfunctional oversees when I needed it. When we initially had a problem dialing out when in India, we contacted telestial.com via email and got an immediate and satisfactory solution to our problem.
I had explored the options of buying the same phone for no cost or reduced cost (compared to Telestial) on a variety of websites including Amazon.com, but I would have been required to have a service contract with some provider. This made no practical sense. What did, however, was to be in a pre-paid situation and use the phone only when needed on a trip. Why pay a monthly fee and other costs when the phone is idle in a drawer between trips?
Telestial also sells SIM cards for just about everywhere. The one they sold for India cost $59 and included something like $25 paid minutes plus some other amenities. This SIM card was actually included in the price of the phone. I mentioned earlier that we had a problem that Telestial resolved via email. For our trouble, they credited our credit card the equivalent of the cost of the SIM. So our phone from them ended up costing $316. We did not require an additional SIM card since we ran out of prepaid time the last day of the trip and figured our US cell would be available soon. Calls cost .11 per minute to receive (from US) and .37 per minute to call the US.
I'd like to stress that there's always the problem that if you buy a cheap phone or used phone or even a new phone from an online outfit, you may get little or no help from them if something goes wrong. At least from my experience I can say that Telestial did stand behind their product. Apparently the owner of the company, like many of us, got sick and tired of not being able to be in touch conveniently by phone when overseas, and this prompted him to start the company.
Interestingly, we had to fill out some paperwork and register our phone with the Indian government. I'm wondering if this is also the case for those of you who buy your SIM cards when in the visited country?
Joan Peterson, Madison WI http://www.ginkgopress.com