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Trip Report Using UK cell phone in Florida

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by keith, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Just a brief report on my trials with three.co.uk (3) and their feel at home programme

    Somewhat sadly perhaps, I'm a) a complete internet addict b) work is providing internet services, so being online even when away is kinda necessary.

    In the bad old days, I'd turn off roaming and even mess with the passwords so the phone couldnt get online. Then I'd buy some awful pay as you go phone from walmart which did great for calls/texts but was always rubbish for data.

    As things moved on, I cared much less about calls and much more about data for emails, forums, web etc. So I started using a US sim card from red pocket mobile found by our very own Wendy. This was brilliant and provided tons of US data, more US calls/texts than could be used and even some UK calls/texts too. All for between $40-$60. This worked really really well but was of course a different number so I still had to keep my UK number in a phone just in case someone texted an important mesasge.

    A while before we went this time, three announced its feel at home programme. This allows you to use your UK allowance of texts/calls/data in the states and other countries. So, calling someone in the UK from your hotel in the US just comes out of your allowance as usual. No incoming cost for them to call you. Same with texts. Data is the same, switch on data roaming and it'll come out of your UK allowance up to a fair usage policy of 25GB (which is enough for months of holiday).

    I can happily confirm that it worked brilliantly. Soon as we got to the states, DW and my phones both picked up at&t and worked great. Emails downloaded etc all fine. We could even call/text each other just as we would at home with no cost.

    It's really a great option since you don't need to faff about changing phones/sims/numbers, everything just works.

    The only wrinkles you need to be aware of are:-
    1. you have to have had your account for 30 days if it's a contract/sim only. I believe pay as you go will work immediately since you have to top it up there's no credit there.

    2. we found we had to call a few times to make sure they had actually turned on roaming

    3. calling US phone numbers would still be the usual UK->US expensive calls (although they are discounted with the programme)

    Really impressive tbh and I wish all the cell companies would do the same.

    Three used to be the worst company. HUGE old phones, terrible coverage, but now they're up there as good as any of the others in my experience and this feel at home programme really makes a huge difference. I'm on a tariff offering unlimited everything including unlimited data for less than I was paying for a few GB on EE.
    Tony G likes this.
  2. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Addicted to Mickey

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    Hmm, that's really helpful, thanks Keith. We're off in October so may have to set this up :)
  3. Tony G
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    Tony G Serious Forum Regular

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    Awesome post, Keith. It's those details that really can make the difference - especially to a frequent traveller.

    As I said before, I'm switching to Three when the iPhone 6 comes out... Unless O2 wise-up and offer something similar.
  4. Isafari
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    Isafari Wild Animal Expert

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    We are with Three and were wondering how good the service was going to be. Pleased to hear a good report.
  5. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    absolutely fine. Roams on both at&t and tmobile
  6. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    Great report Keith :D thank you.

    I'll probably still stick with Red Pocket, I couldn't be bothered with the faffing around if we had to contact three if there was a problem. Add to the fact that we are with Vodafone and there is a rubbish signal down here for three, I can't see us changing for the time being.

    I also like to keep in touch with people when I'm over there and I know I can use whatsapp, but I still make voice calls as well :)
  7. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    I'm wondering if it worth getting a data package with WDW offering free wifi
  8. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    if you're mainly going to be at WDW then probably not. The wifi in the resorts and the parks is pretty good now
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  9. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Thanks :)
  10. Coolape
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    Coolape Addicted to Mickey

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    Also heard there's wifi in the loews resorts and universal / IoA parks
  11. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    :yes: posted something about that a few days ago. It seems like most places are covered now :)
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  12. Oreo
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    Oreo Addicted to Mickey

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    When I went to the world in 2012 the wifi in the resort was awful.

    I assume it's been updated since then?
  13. Vikki
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    Vikki Serious Forum Regular

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    I found it to be pretty good last summer.
  14. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    That good to know as I would use FaceTime to phone home and my have a chat with my parents etc. I had few problems back in 2012 with FaceTime it was unstable.
  15. Tony G
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    Tony G Serious Forum Regular

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    With Disney and Universal now offering wifi in the parks, a mobile plan is becoming slightly less important for the theme park junkie.

    If you're in the habit of travelling around, however, you'd still want to look at some form of US data plan.
  16. Deafjeff
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    Deafjeff Serious Forum Regular

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    Yeah we stay in the parks and resort mainly
  17. Oreo
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    Oreo Addicted to Mickey

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    I plan to use my ipod touch anyway so I'll just jump on the free wifi :)
  18. Tony G
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    Tony G Serious Forum Regular

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    Hmm... The latest rumours suggest the Apple iPhone 6 event will take place on September 16th, with the phone being released on October 14th.

    If all that is true, that means I would have been with Three for 28 days when I arrive in Orlando... Grrr.

    I wonder if they'd let me turn on the service from abroad?
  19. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    I'm still reckoning it'll be on the shelves last friday of September but mmmmm who knows with Apple
  20. Tony G
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    Tony G Serious Forum Regular

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    The sooner, the better, as far as I'm concerned!

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