taking my Eris to EuropeGeneral


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  1. nolalou

    nolalou Member This Topic's Starter

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    Back in April I asked options on rather or not to take my Eris when I go on vacation to Europe for 2 weeks.

    Thanks to advice from thenestor and others, I contacted Verizon and they are sending me a 'loaner' phone that works in Europe with my current phone number. It's $1.29 per min, 50 cents for texts, but good to have for short calls (to confirm hotel reservations, arrange transportation, etc), or emergencies so family members back home can contact me. The only cost of the phone is the shipping charge (under $10 , or $14 for overnight).

    While I hate to cart 2 phones around, I'll probably still bring my Eris for the MP3 player, and WiFi access to the internet. (the loaner phone is a Blackberry that has internet access but they charge for it based on usage, and I'm not sure if it has Wifi). I also downloaded some travel guides from Lonley Planet in PDF format to my phone, so I wouldn't have to print out dozens of pages.

    Louis
     

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  2. WineJones

    WineJones Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info! Please, please write back after you return and let us know how it worked for you! I'm considering taking an old ATT phone and just buying a local SIM card - I think it might be cheaper.
    If you DO take the Eris, I'll be interested to hear whether/how available wifi hotspots were. Was it worth it to pack along the second phone just for data purposes? Hope you have a great time, let us know how it went!
     
  3. LexusBrian400

    LexusBrian400 Well-Known Member

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    I had no idea they did that. Good info, thank you
     
  4. hallstevenson

    hallstevenson Well-Known Member

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    For GSM phones, that's a very common thing to do. I know many people coming from Europe to the states do just that.
     
  5. WineJones

    WineJones Well-Known Member

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    oooh - it just occurred to me. If wifi is available, then an Eris user could use Skype to "phone home" as well. Although it might not be available enough if one needed to be contacted in an emergency.

    Just a thought.
     
  6. hallstevenson

    hallstevenson Well-Known Member

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    Skype uses VZW's network to make calls, as I recall. They clearly say that you use minutes when using Skype. Kinda defeats the purpose of Skype...
     
  7. WineJones

    WineJones Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reminder. Obviously no gain there!
     
  8. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

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    My extended family went to Europe a couple of years ago; most of them for two weeks, though I was there with my wife and kids for a full month. Most of us were Verizon Wireless customers. What I found out was that the loaner phone was only a decent deal for a trip of up to two weeks. What I did instead was buy an unlocked GSM phone and then purchased individual SIMs in each country to make local calls, and to send and receive texts from friends. I had my MacBook to do Skype calls back home, if I wanted to. It worked great for us.

    It's possible that Verizon Wireless has changed the loaner program, so it might be worth a check.

    I'd think that you could use Fring to make Skype calls over WiFi on the Eris, though I've never tried it myself, to see what the voice quality is like.
     
  9. AirPirate

    AirPirate Active Member

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    Anyone try Fring while abroad? Seems like that might be the solution, but thanks for the Verizon loaner tip.
     
  10. nolalou

    nolalou Member This Topic's Starter

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    I was told about using Fring for WiFi access to Skype, so I downloaded both to my phone, but I may not use it since I'll have the loaner phone, and I won't be dependent on finding a WiFi hot spot. I'm not sure how common free WiFi is where I'll be (Germany, Croatia, and Hungary).
     
  11. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

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    What I found in Italy and Scotland was that the more expensive the place that we stayed, the more expensive the WiFi, and the only places with free WiFi were bed and breakfast type places, or inns. The most expensive place had a laptop that we could use that had dialup connectivity.

    One notable place on Loch Ness had no signal in the bedroom but plenty in the bar, so I had to hang out down there to do some stuff. Tough luck for me, eh?
     
  12. nolalou

    nolalou Member This Topic's Starter

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    I just received the loaner phone, a blackberry 8830. (no user manual, but I only want it for phone calls, not internet access, since they charge $$$ for that).

    The paperwork that came with it said it has to be activated by calling a Verizon number, which will 'turn off' my current phone, and turn on the blackberry, but for some reason I have to do that between 8 Am and 7 PM eastern time Monday through Friday! I was hoping to keep using my Eris until a few hours before I leave for the airport. Oh well... I wonder if they start charging per call on the loaner as soon as I activate it, or only once I'm in Europe?

    ....

    Just to follow up, I called Verizon, and I can activate the loaner at any time, he wasn't sure why the paper that came with it said only Monday - Friday. I have to activate before I leave the USA, but if I use it in the US, my normal calling plan applies. I only pay per-min when abroad.
    Oh, one downside, my insurance dosn't cover the loaner phone, if I lose it I'm out $199 !
     
  13. willdogs

    willdogs Well-Known Member

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    Any Update to this? How did it work out for you?

    I am going to ireland in August and will need a loaner phone.


    Thanks!
     
  14. nolalou

    nolalou Member This Topic's Starter

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    I had no problems using my 'loaner' phone from Verizon (A blackberry). I only used it to make occasional short calls, since you are charged by the min. The rate varies depending on what country you're in ,but it can add up. (I think the highest rate was .99 per min)
    Contrast this to buying a phone card and trying to find a pay phone, I think for the convenience it was worth it, but I don't know if it would have been better to just buy a pre-paid phone there. The other advantage is you keep your own phone number.
     
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  15. willdogs

    willdogs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the Reply!!

    This really helped alot. Thanks!

    One more question, Do they provide you with a return box to send the phone back? Do you just call them once you are back in the US and switch phones? How exactly is it done?

    Or maybe do you log on to your account and switch there?

    Thanks
     

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