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Topic # 120984 20-Jun-2013 12:52
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Traveling to US soon, and researching options for our existing iPhones (4 & 5). Will only be there for a couple of weeks.

Not keen on the ridiculous roaming charges.

So, looks like the top contenders for me (from what I've read so far) are - prices in USD:
(1) Straight Talk - $45
(2) $30 T-Mobile Prepaid

Leaning towards Straight Talk for iPhone 4 (and maybe iPhone 5 as well, although apparently $30 T-Mobile Prepaid works wonderfully on iPhone 5).

Anyone had experience with these plans recently? (especially in Los Angeles, particularly the Santa Monica & Anaheim areas?)

TIA.

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  Reply # 840249 20-Jun-2013 13:03
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This question has been asked a few times on Geekzone but AT&T is the best option from reading those threads

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  Reply # 840256 20-Jun-2013 13:15
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I'm not familiar with these exact plans but I got caught with an AT&T prepaid data plan for my iPad in California last year.

They were good to deal with in-store but I explained I wanted only one month, prepaid. I ended up with an ongoing prepaid plan and at the end of the first month, my credit card got debited again and it would have kept going each month.

I had extreme trouble trying to contact them by phone from here (they show no numbers on their website for people wanting to call them from outside the US) and had to give up trying. I spoke to my bank who were helpful but couldn't actually do anything about getting my second-month payment back - which I suppose was fair enough. The only way I could end the thing was by cancelling my credit card and getting a new card number. So I ended up paying for two months but only used one.

I think at the end of the day it was my fault - probably should have been more careful reading what I was getting into. I don't think AT&T misled or tricked me - just a trap for noobs.



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  Reply # 840281 20-Jun-2013 14:07
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eracode: I'm not familiar with these exact plans but I got caught with an AT&T prepaid data plan for my iPad in California last year.

They were good to deal with in-store but I explained I wanted only one month, prepaid. I ended up with an ongoing prepaid plan and at the end of the first month, my credit card got debited again and it would have kept going each month.

I had extreme trouble trying to contact them by phone from here (they show no numbers on their website for people wanting to call them from outside the US) and had to give up trying. I spoke to my bank who were helpful but couldn't actually do anything about getting my second-month payment back - which I suppose was fair enough. The only way I could end the thing was by cancelling my credit card and getting a new card number. So I ended up paying for two months but only used one.

I think at the end of the day it was my fault - probably should have been more careful reading what I was getting into. I don't think AT&T misled or tricked me - just a trap for noobs.


Ouch.

Yeah, that's what I'd like to avoid if possible.

Cheers.

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  Reply # 840356 20-Jun-2013 15:29
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Yeah I am doing the same thing. I'm thinking of trying to find a T-Mobile store or a Best Buy. I just need data and a way to txt a friend I'm meeting if it goes peer-shaped. All in all if it gets too hard I wont bother!

Will watch this thread to see if anyone with recent experience has anything to add.

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  Reply # 840396 20-Jun-2013 16:14
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T-mobile uses 1700 and 2100 MHz which is likely different to your iPhone if you bought it in NZ. I suggest AT&T or a mobile virtual network operator on the AT&T network.

I was in the US in April/May and purchased an AT&T prepaid Go-Phone SIM for USD 25. This gave me 250 minutes per month. I paid an extra USD 5 for an additional 250 minutes to international numbers, including NZ. The store rep claimed I wouldn't be able to get pre-paid data, but it was a simple matter of registering at AT&T online and purchasing data for USD 15. After calling customer service when I couldn't get the data set up, I was told that I wasn't supposed to be able to purchase data, but as I had been inconvenienced, I could have unlimited data for a month at no extra cost. Gotta love AT&T. No problems with recurring charges beyond the first month.

David.





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  Reply # 840402 20-Jun-2013 16:18
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DrCheese: T-mobile uses 700 and 2100 MHz which is likely different to your iPhone if you bought it in NZ. I suggest AT&T or a mobile virtual network operator on the AT&T network.

I was in the US in April/May and purchased an AT&T prepaid Go-Phone SIM for USD 25. This gave me 250 minutes per month. I paid an extra USD 5 for an additional 250 minutes to international numbers, including NZ. The store rep claimed I wouldn't be able to get pre-paid data, but it was a simple matter of registering at AT&T online and purchasing data for USD 15. After calling customer service when I couldn't get the data set up, I was told that I wasn't supposed to be able to purchase data, but as I had been inconvenienced, I could have unlimited data for a month at no extra cost. Gotta love AT&T. No problems with recurring charges beyond the first month.

David.


Oh thanks, great advice. Can you still get prepaid data then? Their go plans all seem to mention it?

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  Reply # 840406 20-Jun-2013 16:23
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I think you can just do what I did and register online. If you can get it set up correctly, all is good. I think my problem was that I didn't wait long enough for the data purchase to register on my phone so I probably didn't need to call customer service. Let me know how it works out for you.

Beware, though, AT&T won't pass on SMS messages from 2degrees. Not sure about Vodafone or Telecom. Despite what others have stated on this forum, if SMS messages are not passed on from one operator to another, BOTH need to sit down at the table and work it out. It's not a simple matter of pointing a finger at one operator or the other.

David.







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  Reply # 840528 20-Jun-2013 19:26
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DrCheese: T-mobile uses 1700 and 2100 MHz which is likely different to your iPhone if you bought it in NZ. I suggest AT&T or a mobile virtual network operator on the AT&T network.

I was in the US in April/May and purchased an AT&T prepaid Go-Phone SIM for USD 25. This gave me 250 minutes per month. I paid an extra USD 5 for an additional 250 minutes to international numbers, including NZ. The store rep claimed I wouldn't be able to get pre-paid data, but it was a simple matter of registering at AT&T online and purchasing data for USD 15. After calling customer service when I couldn't get the data set up, I was told that I wasn't supposed to be able to purchase data, but as I had been inconvenienced, I could have unlimited data for a month at no extra cost. Gotta love AT&T. No problems with recurring charges beyond the first month.

David.


Interesting.

I understand Straight Talk are an MVNO on both the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Read (a rumor) somewhere that Straight Talk may be ditching the AT&T network, but doesn't look like happening anytime soon.
I'm primarily interested in data, at reasonable speeds.

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  Reply # 840535 20-Jun-2013 19:31
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Interesting.

I understand Straight Talk are an MVNO on both the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Read (a rumor) somewhere that Straight Talk may be ditching the AT&T network, but doesn't look like happening anytime soon.
I'm primarily interested in data, at reasonable speeds.


AT&T offer 4G on prepay.

David.





mjb

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  Reply # 840561 20-Jun-2013 19:54
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net10, with an AT&T compatible sim.

http://www.net10wireless.com/

edit: sim packs available very cheaply on amazon




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  Reply # 840599 20-Jun-2013 20:27
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mjb: net10, with an AT&T compatible sim.

http://www.net10wireless.com/

edit: sim packs available very cheaply on amazon


Will investigate further.

Cheers.



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  Reply # 840609 20-Jun-2013 20:41
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DrCheese:

Interesting.

I understand Straight Talk are an MVNO on both the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. Read (a rumor) somewhere that Straight Talk may be ditching the AT&T network, but doesn't look like happening anytime soon.
I'm primarily interested in data, at reasonable speeds.


AT&T offer 4G on prepay.

David.


The thing that steered me away from AT&T was their data pricing.

However, at the end of the day, I'm only paying for a month's usage, and I just want something that works and is relatively straight forward to setup. The pricing difference between prepaid packages isn't really worth bothering about considering the overall cost of visiting North America.

How did you pay for the Go-Phone SIM?
Were you in LA at all?

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  Reply # 840626 20-Jun-2013 21:20
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zaptor:

The thing that steered me away from AT&T was their data pricing.

However, at the end of the day, I'm only paying for a month's usage, and I just want something that works and is relatively straight forward to setup. The pricing difference between prepaid packages isn't really worth bothering about considering the overall cost of visiting North America.

How did you pay for the Go-Phone SIM?
Were you in LA at all?


I was just north of LA, in San Luis Obispo. I paid using a credit card at the AT&T store, then bought some data online using the same credit card.

Sounds like you are more interested in data bandwidth than saving a few dollars. Ditto for me.

David.





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  Reply # 840715 21-Jun-2013 07:38
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AT&T buy sim card then recharge card, $50 will get you 250 min talk, unlimited text to 100 countries and 1GB data.

Pay cash for both and you're away.

DO NOT tell them it is for an Iphone or Ipad if you can help it.

I went on T-Mobile for my Ipad4 for $35 for 3.5GB on "4G" which is actually our 3G speed.

The coverage was good most places, with the exception of a small patch on the coast from LA to San Fran.

In Anaheim there is a block of shops with a T-Mobile and AT&T store across the road from each other, when AT&T told me they wouldn't connect my Ipad I walked across the road and T-Mobile were more than happy, in fact they broke down a mobile Wi-Fi to take the sim card out as they had no other ones in store.

Definitely however pay cash in both instances and have your NZ ID there as well.



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  Reply # 840829 21-Jun-2013 10:06
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DrCheese:
zaptor:

The thing that steered me away from AT&T was their data pricing.

However, at the end of the day, I'm only paying for a month's usage, and I just want something that works and is relatively straight forward to setup. The pricing difference between prepaid packages isn't really worth bothering about considering the overall cost of visiting North America.

How did you pay for the Go-Phone SIM?
Were you in LA at all?


I was just north of LA, in San Luis Obispo. I paid using a credit card at the AT&T store, then bought some data online using the same credit card.

Sounds like you are more interested in data bandwidth than saving a few dollars. Ditto for me.

David.


Thanks.

Did you use an NZ credit card or something else?

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