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Old 04-02-2014, 08:02 AM   #1
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US cell phones in Canada

I was shocked when I asked Verizon about what my unlimited cell plan would cost when used inside Canada this summer. Does anyone have any good alternate ideas, perhaps a cheap Canadian prepaid plan, or something else I hadn't thought of?
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:07 AM   #2
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While not as useful isa s cell phone, we carry a sat phone when we travel. I can get a signal most any place and there is no extra cost for us in Canada. Also one does not want to use their ipods or other item in Canada as you might be receiving and 'extra' high bill.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:26 AM   #3
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While not as useful isa s cell phone, we carry a sat phone when we travel. I can get a signal most any place and there is no extra cost for us in Canada. Also one does not want to use their ipods or other item in Canada as you might be receiving and 'extra' high bill.
Yes, the Verizon extra data plan prices were insane, so I'll be limited to campground wifi while in Canada. I guess Vonage or some other web based calling plan might be worth checking out, but other than 5 days at Spring Creek RV Park outside of Banff I don't know how likely wifi availability will be.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:40 AM   #4
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An application for apple phones/iPads called MO+ works great on wifi for making calls where one does not have cell coverage. Check it out. I used it this past winter in Florida without problems.
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Old 04-02-2014, 04:42 PM   #5
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I am a Canadian that has a Verizon US phone and use it all the time in Canada.
Ask Verizon for the "Canada/USA package" and that covers the roaming charges on both sides of the border. My package is for 1000 minutes, so I can phone either way for the flat rate.
Under no circumstances use your cellular data on the north side-wifi is okay though.
Happy travels
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Old 04-02-2014, 07:26 PM   #6
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I am a Canadian that has a Verizon US phone and use it all the time in Canada. Ask Verizon for the "Canada/USA package" and that covers the roaming charges on both sides of the border. My package is for 1000 minutes, so I can phone either way for the flat rate. Under no circumstances use your cellular data on the north side-wifi is okay though. Happy travels
Good advice, but for my three week visit I'm not going to change plans. I'm grandfathered into the unlimited data plan, so they keep trying to both entice or trick me into changing plans. I'll just turn off roaming, download MO+, and restrict my voice and data to when I have wifi.

They did tell me my unlimited text messaging still applies. I'm sure it will be good enough with the combination of free text, and wifi based data and voice for the short visit.
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:20 PM   #7
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Hard to understand why text would work without it attracting roaming charges but I don't know. My Canadian plan is for talk and text soooo.
I had a bunch of bad advice from Verizon along the way and once they turned off the plan and I got a $800 bill (which was eliminated after many calls).
Might be better to go in a discuss with a supervisor than to talk to someone on the phone.
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Old 04-03-2014, 04:06 AM   #8
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Hard to understand why text would work without it attracting roaming charges but I don't know. My Canadian plan is for talk and text soooo. I had a bunch of bad advice from Verizon along the way and once they turned off the plan and I got a $800 bill (which was eliminated after many calls). Might be better to go in a discuss with a supervisor than to talk to someone on the phone.
You a certainly right about not trusting the word of phone reps, but even talking to a supervisor live in a Verizon store front doesn't guarantee anything. As for being able to get the details of this policy in writing, I can't imagine I'd be successful in that either, but I will try next time I'm near a Verizon store.
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Old 04-03-2014, 05:20 AM   #9
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It gets worse. If you venture north into the Yukon Territory Verizon doesn't work at all even if you paid extra for the Canadian coverage. Your friendly local US salesman won't tell you this. If you're headed for Alaska, about half of the Alaska Highway is in the Yukon.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:24 PM   #10
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Probably no cell coverage period for that area. Guess I need a sat phone-oh yeah.
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:23 PM   #11
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Very informative info about the Yukon. We aren't planning on going north of Highway 1 this summer, but we had talked about a drive to Alaska in two years. Of course before that adventure I'll be asking all kinds of questions.

Thanks everyone. I think I got the feel for what I'm dealing with.
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Old 04-03-2014, 09:03 PM   #12
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Probably no cell coverage period for that area. Guess I need a sat phone-oh yeah.
Nope, I saw plenty of people using cell phones but Verizon doesn't work there. And, its about 700 miles of the Alaska Highway. Think three days.
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Old 04-04-2014, 07:46 AM   #13
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In Reverse

For years, while travelling in the States on my motorcycle, I've used a Pay as You Go plan with several different providers in the states. It was the most cost effective way to use a phone.....avoiding roaming charges etc.

As wifi hotspots became more common I seem to use the plan less instead opting for a voip app on the iphone (same can be had for Android etc) which is totally free.

This year I'm going a slightly different route as I had my iPhone unlocked and will just use a US phone sim but still on a Pay as You Go plan.

I wanted to try Verizon however their phones are not GSM so I couldn't swap out sim cards.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:56 AM   #14
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I think about the only cost-effective way for most US subscribers to get Canadian coverage is to just get a local Canadian pre-pay phone (or SIM card from a Canadian carrier if you have an unlocked GSM phone) for the period of time you'll be there. That way you will know your coverage for certain and avoid any nasty roaming surprises.
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