Hi. Long story short, I will be interning in the U.S. for a year. I have an iPhone and an iPhone $60 Plan from 2008. At this moment, my contract is up in 6 months. What are my options since I won't be using the Fido service while I'm away for a year?
If it were me, I would keep the plan, if that is your intention and pick up a Tmobile sim card for a prepaid or month to month and then let people know what your US phone # is by leaving it on your Fido voice mail. You can then still have your plan, maybe let someone use it while you are away, and be on month to month when you get back. That is only if you want to keep your current situation with Fido. I have had a US sim for the last 8 years and it works well for being away longer than a week. Just a suggestion.
Buy out your contract and get a U.S. pay as you go plan/sim card when you get there. At 6 months till your plan is over, it should not be higher than paying your monthly plan while you do not use it. Canada has some of highest cell phone costs in the world so it will be cheaper when you get to the U.S. You will have to get your phone unlocked but you can do that for $20 online rather than the $50 fido charges. It is easy. They send you a code, you put in your new sim card and type in the code when it asks. Just search Canada cell unlock.
My suggestion is to not, under any circumstances, plan on paying US roaming rates for a year, even if you can talk your boss into paying for it. If they are will to pay for that, have them instead pay for something useful, like a BMW while you are down there. About the same level of necessity. It would be akin to you paying for some Canadian firm to deliver gas to you while you are in the US instead of buying it domestically.
What you should do will depend on what you actually want. If you have no intention of using your Fido line at all for the year you are away, but would like to maintain your customer history for them (for things like retentions plans) and so you can keep your phone number upon your return, then you can call them and ask for the cancellations dept. Explain your needs. They will likely suggest their $10/month retentions plan, which is really just a plan meant to keep accounts active yet dormant. It has no included minutes or other features and simply keeps your account active so it is available to you when you return.
If you want to keep the line open and active so that people can continue to reach you on that number, you can ask them to put together a plan with some US LD minutes, call forwarding and basic airtime. you can get 35 US long distance minutes as an add on for $5 or 100 US LD minutes for $10. Combine this with call forwarding and a basic $15 or $17.50 and you can forward calls to your Canadian number to your US number. Not exactly a cheap option, but it lets people reach you on your US phone by calling your Canadian number and is much better than paying $1.45 roaming fees to Fido. If you buy a monthly roaming pack from Fido it will cost you, at best, $35 for 50 roaming minutes plus the cost of your monthly plan. You will incur roaming for every single minute of usage in the US, whether speaking to someone in the US or Canada.
Actually, what I would recommend, if the OP plans to want to keep his phone active, is to add call-forwarding with an unlimited North America Long-Distance and leave his Fido phone in Canada. He'd then forward the calls to a US cell phone. Not the cheapest option for him, but it could be good depending on his needs. The only problem is that if people try to text him on his Fido line, then he won't receive his messages. The advantage of the though would be a fixed fee with no worrying about using too much long-distance or roaming charges. I'll add a little foot-note though: Unlimited incoming on your Fido line would be useless because all the calls would be routed through your phone, therefore, when your Fido phone receives a call, the call forwarding acts as if it would be calling your new phone in the US.
Maybe not the greatest solution, but it might do the thing.
So you'd add 33$ to your current plan (or even 8$ if you don't receive that many calls, since you could always add the 5$ North American Long Distance preferred rate, so that it would only be 10¢/min per call)
@WicktLeBlond if you are thinking of the $50 retentions plan with unlimited US calling and texting, then with call forwarding and ExtremeTextMessaging, he could forward/copy all texts to his US number as well as all of his calls.
@10yearfido: I'm not even talking about a retention plan. I'm speaking of normal plans, although I hadn't thought of the Extreme Text Messaging Feature. That would solve that little SMS hick.
Ok, I see, you meant the $30 US/Can long distance add on and the $3 call forwarding option. For the extreme text messaging option to work (for copying/forwarding texts to his US number) he would also need a plan with US texting or add one of the international texting add-ons, or pay per text. I think the cheapest international text add-on is $4/month for 25 texts. So, he'd be looking at his base plan (let's say $17.50) + $30 LD + $3 CCF + $4 25 US texts = $54.50 minimum, plus any overage charges if he goes over his minutes or texts.
Might be cheaper to call retentions and just get the $50 unlimited plan. It includes unlimited Canadian and US calling and texting, so with the $3/month call forwarding, he would be all set at $53. By no means is this a cheap option, but better than paying roaming and using his Canadian number as his daily phone while in the US.
That is all dependent on needing to keep and use his Canadian number. My choice, if I was away for a full year, might be to put my account onto the cheapest retentions plan available ($10) so it would only cost me $120 for the year and I would come back to my same number.
member Dinosky has not really laid out what kind of usage he/she has or will want to have while he's down in the U.S. so we can speculate all year long about what might be best.
I think it is clear that just roaming is going to be a very expensive option.
Despite that, GSM was designed with roaming in mind and the cleanest technical solution is to do just that....go wherever you are going and let the technology sort out through its location registers how to route calls to you and bill you for usage. There are not really any substantial cost increases in providing service to someone who is roaming - call originates, does hlr lookup, determines location and switching centre, routes call. Part of the call is handled by the US carrier, so the revenue needs to be shared, but other than the extra trunking cost of the US-Canada trunks (3cents per minute) and a little bit of admin in routing the call records back to the Canadian carrier, the cost is not more than about 20% higher than a normal call.
It is truly unfortunate that the Canadian service providers treat roaming as a blank cheque, happily provided to them from their customers with memo line reading "Fleece Me at Will, I'm in DisneyLand"
yes, a.k.a. highway robbery, milking, fleecing, profiteering, gouging, hoarding, scalping.....
cost of flights to Disney, ..........$799
cost of daily pass......................$82
cost of keeping in touch with Canada.....Priceless
....no, really its priceless....could cost as much as your week long vacation if you talked 30 minutes a day
What do people do with their Car, Morguage, and misc bill payments when they leave the country for an extended period of time? they face the same challenges too.
cars, homes are goods that people purchase and have full rights to use as they wish.
electricity, newspaper, gas....those are services that people can put on hold when they go away for a while.
Fido is some sort of special entity where you pay lots of money yet have no rights, not to the phone you purchased even after its paid for, nor to change the service unless of course you want to pay for more service
People with services, like newspaper delivery, internet, etc, which are more similar to a cell service, can usually call and have the service paused while they are away.
Suggesting roaming for a year, would be similar to suggesting that a person going away for a year have someone pick up their daily Canadian newspaper and courier it to them in the states. Makes no sense.
You should consider a US Roaming package add-on. See if you can negociate your employer or whomever is asking you to go to the USA to compensate you for this as part of your employment contract. If not, see if your Employer has any chance to compensate you for memberships/contracts such as Jim, Cellphone, Auto insurance, if they say your on your own, drop your plan down to the minimum possible.