oh man, some things just never change… case in point, the cell phone plan. I had to chuckle at Roland’s recent rant about mobile roaming rates and how he was quoted $6K per GB for mobile data roaming using his iphone! Yep, that’s right… $6,000 spendolies! You might think, well, who’s gonna use a GB of data. Well, if you’re travelling and uploading photos, video, tweeting, using google maps, checking email etc… you can easily rack up a GB of data throughput very easily so you iPhone users please be careful when you leave the country!
Now Roalnd is in Canada dealing with Rogers Wireless (oh man I could go on about them…) but mobile users every where need to be careful with their plans and ideally should take some time, maybe call their carrier, and find out what they are responsible for and what they are paying for. A similar rip-off here in the US that I experienced recently was the automatic contract extension that one is slammed with when they change their plan preferences (T-Mobile in my case). An example.. a few months back I had a need for more air time so I bumped up my plan to 1,000 minutes – essentially asking my carrier if I could spend more with them every month. They obliged, however, what I wasn’t aware of was that by changing my plan I was agreeing to extend the contract of ALL the lines on my plan by a full year! this is just one example of something else you need to be aware of. Oh, here’s another good one… I frequently add/remove my data plan, removing it when I have no travel plans and adding it back on when I have a need for lots of data usage… there is no contract extension involved in doing this but something of interest, if you’ve had a data plan with t-mobile for a couple of years, like me, the cost now is only $20 per month, whereas it was $30 per month a year ago.. chances are that you may still be paying the old fee.. if you want the new, lower price you need to call and ask for it… they will not automatically adjust your plan!
Let the buyer beware and most of all, if you travel abroad with your mobile be careful and know what you are being charged for! Some more travel tips:
– if you use GSM then purchase a prepaid SIM card in Europe with all you can eat data.. very affordable, then use web apps while you are there – DON’T use voice apps unless you use Skype or other weobile web-based message/comm apps
– even if you pre-pay for some travel air-time you will still get stroked by the Euro carrier when you are roaming… be careful
– text messaging – extra roaming charges apply to text messages, don’t be fooled!
– when all else fails, use free WiFi when you are traveling, you can communicate via email, twitter and other means until you return.
– try getting a spinvox account (think voice to text) with a EURO number, you can microblog voice clips for cheap… see more
– make sure you check you mobile app settings so that you aren’t automatically hitting your carrier and roaming on data without knowing it!