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342 posts

Ultimate Geek

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# 251236 14-Jun-2019 14:36
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Hi all, wasn't sure whether to post this in the travel forum or here, but here goes.

 

Next week, I will be travelling to the USA on holiday for around 4 weeks. In the past (last trip was 4 years ago), I have got a local SIM card while I've been over there. The state of roaming appears to have improved greatly since my last travels, so I'm thinking of using Spark's $20 roaming packs for this trip. I am a prepaid customer on the $19 rollover pack.

 

I wanted to find out if folks here have had any experience with this pack, and perhaps more importantly, if there are any gotchas I need to be aware of.

 

It looks like from the T&C's, I should disable my voicemail before I leave, to avoid getting charged per-minute rates if anybody decides to call and leave me a message. Anything else I need to be aware of?

 

Yes, I know the roaming will be a bit more expensive, but by the time one has found a store, purchased an AT&T or T-Mobile sim card and plan, paid currency conversion fees etc, I doubt the roaming pack will be all that much more expensive, and I don't mind paying a bit to avoid dealing with US mobile carriers...

 

Thanks,

 

Sherman


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2169 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2258245 14-Jun-2019 15:12
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I’ve used Spark roaming to USA, Canada, China, Italy, France and Spain and it’s been great.

Set up ‘Auto Buy Roaming’ so that it activates the second you turn your phone on at your destination, that way you don’t have to buy a pack beforehand, it automatically purchases and activates your chosen pack as soon as it connects to the foreign network.




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Master Geek


  # 2258252 14-Jun-2019 15:22
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Hi I just return from USA too.

pricing and package offer from spark is good. They use Spark use AT&T as their roaming partners.

USA tend to have a lot of blind spot on data connection so there maybe times you can't access the data on some area. My wife try to use video chat, will get disconnect

She end up using my Vodafone roaming. Data connections more consistent even I am log in under AT&T network


 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek

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  # 2258259 14-Jun-2019 15:32
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One question on Spark roaming.  Their web site says  $20 / 7 days is 200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound  so I assume that's 400 minutes total   not 200 minutes combination in and out??





Regards,

Old3eyes


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Uber Geek

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  # 2258266 14-Jun-2019 15:41
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old3eyes:

 

One question on Spark roaming.  Their web site says  $20 / 7 days is 200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound  so I assume that's 400 minutes total   not 200 minutes combination in and out??

 

 

@old3eyes It is as advised and it can't really be much clearer

 

200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound


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Uber Geek

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  # 2258312 14-Jun-2019 16:15
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Linux:

 

old3eyes:

 

One question on Spark roaming.  Their web site says  $20 / 7 days is 200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound  so I assume that's 400 minutes total   not 200 minutes combination in and out??

 

 

@old3eyes It is as advised and it can't really be much clearer

 

200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound

 

 

Well Skinny also says $20 for 200 but on asking it is a combination  of both hence the reason I asked and not trying to be a smart arse





Regards,

Old3eyes


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Uber Geek

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  # 2258318 14-Jun-2019 16:20
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old3eyes:

 

Linux:

 

old3eyes:

 

One question on Spark roaming.  Their web site says  $20 / 7 days is 200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound  so I assume that's 400 minutes total   not 200 minutes combination in and out??

 

 

@old3eyes It is as advised and it can't really be much clearer

 

200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound

 

 

Well Skinny also says $20 for 200 but on asking it is a combination  of both hence the reason I asked and not trying to be a smart arse

 

 

Take the information as Spark has written it




342 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 2258329 14-Jun-2019 16:36
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Thanks for the replies.

 

I've been to the states multiple times, so I'm well aware of how spotty coverage can be sometimes. Will just have to live with it.

 

Glad to hear that it works well.

 

I see that auto-buy is not available for prepaid users like myself, so I will pre-purchase at least one pack before I leave.


 
 
 
 


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Master Geek


  # 2258338 14-Jun-2019 16:58
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have to say it is cheaper than the $5 going to be $7 by vodafone


447 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2271947 8-Jul-2019 17:11
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Linux:

 

old3eyes:

 

Linux:

 

old3eyes:

 

One question on Spark roaming.  Their web site says  $20 / 7 days is 200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound  so I assume that's 400 minutes total   not 200 minutes combination in and out??

 

 

@old3eyes It is as advised and it can't really be much clearer

 

200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound

 

 

Well Skinny also says $20 for 200 but on asking it is a combination  of both hence the reason I asked and not trying to be a smart arse

 

 

Take the information as Spark has written it

 

 

 

 

 

Does that only include calls from/to NZ when overseas - I'm tryiing to figure out if it includes local country calls too e.g. if I'm in China does it include a call to a Chinese numbers .

 

I must admit I've never roamed - but the prices are better than they used to be - and I think by roaming my NZ sim I'll avoid the Chinese great firewall which is nice. 





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Uber Geek

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  # 2271949 8-Jul-2019 17:15
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It includes calls anywhere. So yes if you’re in China and call a local number then that counts as outgoing. Or if you’re in China and call someone in Singapore that’s also included in the outgoing minutes.




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Uber Geek

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  # 2272044 8-Jul-2019 19:51
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old3eyes:

Linux:


old3eyes:


One question on Spark roaming.  Their web site says  $20 / 7 days is 200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound  so I assume that's 400 minutes total   not 200 minutes combination in and out??



@old3eyes It is as advised and it can't really be much clearer


200 Minutes inbound and 200 minutes outbound



Well Skinny also says $20 for 200 but on asking it is a combination  of both hence the reason I asked and not trying to be a smart arse


Your question was reasonable. Not the first time, I have seen similar sarcasm.

202 posts

Master Geek


  # 2272107 8-Jul-2019 23:30
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jackyleunght2002:

 

have to say it is cheaper than the $5 going to be $7 by vodafone

 

 

 

 

just received my latest bill... 

 

So let say, you take Air NZ 2 and fly direct to LA and return on take Air NZ 5 to return back to Auckland, for a 8 days and 7 nights trip, cost me $40 roaming charges...... so in the future, when $7 come onboard, it will be more expensive....

 

 


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Uber Geek


  # 2272109 8-Jul-2019 23:55
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Personally I found the roaming packs to be extremely expensive given that they only last for 7 days, I have always bought local to the country I am visiting and found 9/10 times to be much cheaper.




342 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 2272118 9-Jul-2019 03:32
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lNomNoml:

 

Personally I found the roaming packs to be extremely expensive given that they only last for 7 days, I have always bought local to the country I am visiting and found 9/10 times to be much cheaper.

 

 

In the US, the spark plans aren't that much more expensive then you might think.

 

For example, T-Mobile are offering a $40/month + tax Inc local calls and text and 10 gig data. International calls not included.

 

AT&T will give 16 gig for $50, but again, the only international calling is Canada and Mexico.

 

Then you have the hassle of getting to a store and paying for a Sim card (and signing your life away while you're at it).

 

For 80nzd, I've got effectively 800 + 800 truly international minutes and texts, 4 gigs of data, and the choice of two networks to roam on, so I'm rarely out of coverage. Plus the convenience of having service from the moment my plane landed in the US. I have not found the 4 gigs of data limited at all, since I use Wifi in most places. Data is just used for Google maps and uploading the occasional photo.


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Uber Geek

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  # 2272120 9-Jul-2019 06:29
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I wish people would stop comparing buying a local SIM to roaming costs!

Roaming is a value added service so you can use your home number while abroad or private APN

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