SPRINT does not use SIM cards! PFINGO is free.

So my cheapest attempt at cell phone plans here has left me dry at 3 weeks. I got my phone on the 24th and have a total of $35 of credits. Today is the 15th. It is barely 3 weeks and I am sucked dry by the $1-per-day fee. See, this prepaid option is like this: as long as you use the phone for any one call or any one sms, you get charged $1. So sometimes I get like just ONE sms a day, from others, and I get charged for $1, on top of the 5 cents sms charge. I thought, damn, this is so NOT value for money. Cos you can actually COUNT how long your money will last at the maximum. Like if you have $7 left, you know you’re not gonna last more than 5 or 6 days (at the rate I’m using).

So, there, my total $$ of $35 officially lasted only 3 WEEKS! Heck, im changing to a prepaid plan. Pay as you go unlimited was what I had ; I’m changing it to Pick your plan 29.99. For 200 anytime minutes a month. Even without the $1-per-day charge, the rate per minute is cheaper. The downside is I won’t get free mobile-to-mobile minutes with AT&T people, and I pay an additional 5 cents more per minute exceeded.

If you need an area code, its 14261, for North Campus.

Here, I checked out all the plans online, like AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and the lowest you can go is 29.90 which converts to about 50 SGD. Man, but you get so much lesser here. SG plans are a luxury compared to what you get here.

Sprint has a good plan though. Its 29.99 USD, 200minutes anytime and free calls after 9pm. UNFORTUNATELY, I don’t have a SSN (social security number) and I want to use my beautiful Nokia E65. Their phone customer service sucks big time. I got transferred 3x finally reaching an old lady giving advice so slowly on termination of 2-yr contract. See, someone told me I can terminate the contract for good reasons, like moving out of country or expired student visa. But in fact, it is called “suspension” where you hang on to the number while you’re not using it, for free. When you come back to the U.S., you can activate and use it again. If you terminate your contract, there is $200 termination fee. *horrified* I wouldn’t want to risk that.

Ok, after I got that sorted out, I was transferred to the sales line to get an account. The transferred call failed, I called back several numbers on the ‘Contact Me’ page and it was JUST SO DIFFICULT to get a sales rep! There was once I had to wait up to 20minutes for a rep to talk to me! Oh man, issit me or issit just Saturday.

So after I said I don’t have a SSN, they said they had to ask me to put $150 refundable deposit down, which was fine. (They needed SSN to check my credit history–?) Then they said they were going to send me some ugly Sprint phone and that I cannot use my Nokia E65 because Spring uses CDMA (no Sim card), not GSM (yes SIM card). Erm. After all that phone calls, wasted one hour plus quering, I give up already, I’m just going to stick with my AT&T, which uses SIM card. I felt a little sorry for the sales rep cos she had to run to the manager 2x to check so many demands of mine.

They also kept referring me to prepaid, but I really wasn’t interested.

You HAVE to hear this! I just called Mummy using pfingo for an hour and a half without any charge! Hahaha… although this might not be anything new to some of you IT-savvy people, but well, I just had not the time to actually worked out the connection and find some wireless access point and yeah, actually made a call. Yippee! I’m so happy! I called mummy at 730 a.m. in the morning SG time, im glad she picked up!

I had this pfingo account for a very long time ago already, since a few months long long before I came to the U.S.. Because I thought it will be pretty complex to actually use it (whoever heard of making calls on the cellphone with the internet) and plus using the internet on the cellphone is still pretty new to me (ok i’m a tech-laggard) and sometimes pretty troublesome (like you have to know where got Wi-Fi signal), so I keep putting this off. OH MAN. Now that I managed to make a call, I think I can just keep calling until my battery goes flat, which was what happened with Mummy’s 1.5hr call just now. I LOVE my E65 cos of the Wi-Fi!

Well… what can I say… The business of businesses is so competitive that it has finally come down to FREE for consumers.

You know what I REALLY want? I want a SG number that I can use in the U.S. so my friends, or anybody in SG can call me like they’re calling me locally. Well the thing is I actually heard of such service in SG but not here. That means you can actually buy a U.S. number and call me locally or even a Taiwanese number or Germany number. This service is pretty good for business people too.

There are several ways to buy a local number for now:

1) Skype: Get a local Skype-In number

But this is not as simple as it seems. To have a Skype-In number, you actually need to be a subscriber of SkypePro. And plus the local numbers you can have are limited to Australia, Ireland, Brazil, Japan, Chile, Mexico, Denmark, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, Poland, Estonia, Romania, Finland, Sweden, France, Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom, Hong Kong S.A.R., China, United States only. Well they have added 3-4 new countries since last month, I hope they add SG soon, cos I wouldn’t mind paying for it. πŸ™‚

2) It was a bus ad I caught sight of on my way home from Bugis. At first I thought it was another one of those LOWER rates international calls gimmick. I mean, honestly, how low can you get with all the competitive rates going around. The most is just a few cents difference. But this service was honestly different and one I’ve never heard off–buy a local number of your country choice by VOC@L, Pacific Internet. (Hmmm I’m beginning to lean favorably towards Pacific Internet cos they give out free Skype credits too.) See that yellow box at bottom right? That’s the one. I suspect it was already a norm in business and they have just opened it up to the public, which was great for me, except I can’t get all my loved ones in SG to buy a local number just to call me. πŸ˜› Would you, sweetheart?

3) pfingo

This one allow Singaporeans to buy only US, UK or Australia numbers. SG pay local rates while the one in US only pays 0.03 cents per minute.

Can only call Singapore for free. (for me)

4) Truphone
Calls worldwide for free until the end of this year!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by mediaring on September 23, 2009 at 12:48 am

    UNABLE TO TERMINATE pfingo account.
    Regret: Free pfingo account – Bad experience!



    The above pfingo account proved it will not bear to cancel any account. pfingo wants to keep this account active and accepts full liabilities from the account even though it was informed that this account will disregard all pfingo’s rules, regulations, terms and conditions.

    Do not register your personal/private mobile number or you may regret.
    You may pay S$8 for a S$10 Singtel prepaid card to register for your pfingo account. Thus, the privacy of your personal/private mobile number is protected from pfingo.

    Feel free to break pfingo terms and conditions as they will rather have a growing membership than to terminate any account.

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