heads up for Cingular/AT&T customers
Roaming charges...I've read about them on this board and now they've shown up on my bill. My last statement had quite a few roaming charges from the British Virgin Islands at a whopping $1.99/min. I haven't been to the BVI's in months. Calls made from, and received on, the north coast of St Thomas sometimes get picked up by the BVI towers resulting in an unpleasant surprise when the cell phone bill comes. AT&T will credit the charges but it's unclear whether it's a one-time courtesy.
They have always credited mine.
They'll credit them back a few times but after about the 4th month of calling to get a credit they will inform you that it's your responsibility to make 100% sure that you are not roaming. I was told that if I see the "348 644" code on my phone instead of the normal "AT&T" that I should not place or receive any calls unless I want to pay the roaming.
If you are on the North shore of St. John you are almost always on the BVI tower so I had to stop using my phone when I'm out there.
1.99/min is pretty good. My roaming is usually 2.99/min.
This policy seems to be unchanged from Cingular to AT&T.
When I got my Cingular phone, I was told by the sales rep at Crown Bay that if I make a call anywhere from the east end of St Thomas or from St John, always always always, look at the display first and make sure the cingular symbol is there or it will roam. She told me if anything other than the Cingular symbol is there, turn it off and back on and it should be ok.......So far that has worked for me.
Props to Virgin Mobile, the only cell phone company I've ever truly loved. Never any roaming charges, even in the BVIs, great reception on all the islands, and no contract.
Sigh... I'm going to go cuddle with my free phone now.
Virgin Mobile? I've never heard of it although it probably wouldn't do me any good since I still have a contract with Cingular. Any info on Virgin Mobile?
You can get the phones at radioshack, although I recommend ordering one online because it ends up being free (including fedex shipping). I got the oyster, which is $20, but they give you a $20 credit toward your account. (As a side note, after 8 months of use the screen crapped out and VM sent me a manufacturer's replacement within days). You can pay by the minute or you can buy a plan, like I do, but there's no contract. You can have a plan this month but not next month, etc. The one that I get is 300 weekday minutes and 1000 anytime minutes (anytime starts at 7pm, which is pretty sweet). That is $35, and they don't have taxes and surcharges, it's actually $35. Texts are 5 cents each, or you can buy a text package, which I don't. You can use in the BVIs, and all over the country, I believe they source the network from Sprint. Oh, and I pay with paypal. I like that.
p.s. they give you $20 in credit if you refer a friend and they activate their phone online.
The irony is that earlier this year I was over at Cane Garden Bay and overly ecstatic that I got Cingular reception from St. John.
Thanks for the info, Letahl. I'll check when my contract is up & look into it.
Does it work in the states? Is there roaming when in the states?
I have never yet paid roaming charges. I used it from Hawaii to the BVI and did not pay anything extra. Great service and yes it uses the sprint network.
Oh yeah, it works. I've used it from Florida to Alaska.
Since Virgin Mobile uses the Sprint network, does that mean their service is as bad as Sprint's? I asked the VM rep if it would be the same service, and all she would say was they had good coverage on St. Croix.
I checked into Centennial. I have been told by several people that they have the best service on St. Croix. They have a great plan where you get unlimited 24 hours a day in VI, PR and US, but after researching their website, it appears there is .90 per minute roaming (if you take your phone to the US and call back home to VI), plus the long distance charge. I have tried to call all the kiosk numbers listed on their website, and they are all out of service. Does anyone know any more about Centennial? I tend to not always trust what cell phone reps tell me!
Anyway, I ordered a VM phone. Like lethal said, it's only 20.00 bucks, which I get back in time, or if I decide to go with someone else within 30 days, I can send it back. I am always very interested in threads about cell phones because we have had such back luck with Sprint service.