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Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done #132502
06/13/2017 07:30 AM
06/13/2017 07:30 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 76
A
autoeng Offline OP
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Hello all,

We will be making our 1st trip to SXM in July (8-18th) and will need some limited cell phone service. I had planned on renting from Sharon and now need to make other plans.

I guess I have 3 choices:

I can get my phone unlocked for international travel and buy some kind of card on the island.

I can buy AT&T's International Day Pass Plan for $10 a day. Seems expensive to me....

I can buy AT&T's Passport Plan for $40 that is good for 30 days but with limited data I don't think it will what I need.

What are my options from you seasoned travelers?

Thanks,

Autoeng

SXM Sponsors
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: autoeng] #132503
06/13/2017 07:38 AM
06/13/2017 07:38 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,519
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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I guess it depends on what you will be using your phone for and whether you have wifi available.

You mention you will need "limited cell phone service" bu then hint you will have a decent data requirement.

We use wifi for all our data absorbing stuff (phone, tablet, laptop) and we can make and receive calls to/from the USA in airplane mode with wifi enabled...no extra charge. We have Verizon but I believe AT & T enabled wifi calling before Verizon

You do need a reasonable recent phone (S6/7/8) or a similarly recent I-phone.

NOT appropriate for calling to a number in SXM...Just your normal USA stuff.

Easiest option...no effort or cost involved. It all depends on whether it fits your needs

Last edited by boucharda; 06/13/2017 07:41 AM.
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: boucharda] #132504
06/13/2017 08:23 AM
06/13/2017 08:23 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 76
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autoeng Offline OP
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Thanks for the advice. After reading more I think that with WiFi we can get by with using Facebook Messenger calling and messaging, maybe Google Voice if someone we need to contact doesn't have FB. And WiFi for the data needs as well.

If I'm mistaken about the FB messenger calling and texting please let me know.


[Linked Image]
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: autoeng] #132505
06/13/2017 09:05 AM
06/13/2017 09:05 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 17,147
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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BillandElaine  Offline
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Posts: 17,147
St Maarten
We use FB messenger all the time with wifi.


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: autoeng] #132506
06/13/2017 09:23 AM
06/13/2017 09:23 AM
Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 861
Cobourg Ontario Canada
J
jeepers Offline
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jeepers  Offline
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Posts: 861
Cobourg Ontario Canada
We also use FB messenger, it works great. We have iphones & we can text home for .75 Canadian per text. Works great as well. No issues.
Have fun on the "Friendly Island"!

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: autoeng] #132507
06/13/2017 09:25 AM
06/13/2017 09:25 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,192
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
Yes, you're correct about that. However, if you're on the road and have an emergency, then your wifi won't help you. That's why we purchased a sim card from Sharon and put it in our phone when we arrive on the island. You can get them now at the UTS store which is in the same shopping area with IZI restaurant. The people there are very helpful (but they're not Sharon <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Sad.gif" alt="" />)

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: GaKaye] #132508
06/13/2017 09:41 AM
06/13/2017 09:41 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 459
Decatur Illinois
astropilot Offline
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Decatur Illinois
have have Verizon service. I just signed up for their international plan -- ALL of the same services as you have at home Voice/Text/and Data - same as at home.

The cost $10.00 per day when you use it. Use it for two days $20.00 use it each day for a week $70.00.

However we only use our phone for emergency situations and use the studio's WIFI for everything else. So if i need to make a call I can, if I don't there will be no charge.

for us, this is ideal. Might or might not be for you...


Dave & Diana
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: GaKaye] #132509
06/13/2017 10:16 AM
06/13/2017 10:16 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 288
Sugar Land, Tx
I
IslandBoi Offline
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Sugar Land, Tx
if all one is concerned with is having phone service in case of emergency, another option without having to buy a local SIM or pay for an international roaming plan, is just using your US phone and paying the full international roaming rate...looks like AT&T is up to $3/min. now for the Caribbean, which admittingly is pretty steep....but personally, since we don't actually PLAN to use our phones for local calls, we choose not to pay for any additional plan or buy a SIM

we use WiFi (calling, texting, email, FB) for all planned communication to the US

Note: for those considering the AT&T Passport plan, remember that in addition to the $40 monthly fee, you will also pay $1/min for calls


[Linked Image]
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: astropilot] #132510
06/13/2017 10:33 AM
06/13/2017 10:33 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,225
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Rather than 70 a week your better off with the $40 Verizon plan for 30 days. Worked slick for the four weeks we were in SXM.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: SXMScubaman] #132511
06/13/2017 10:48 AM
06/13/2017 10:48 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 126
Niles, IL
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spiker Offline
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Niles, IL
I used the AT&T international day plan for $10 per 24 hour period. If you only use it 2 days then its only $20!Unlimited calls, data, & text - no problem except with Chippie. They weren't privy to the plan when I got there back in April. After a few days all went great.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: spiker] #132512
06/13/2017 12:07 PM
06/13/2017 12:07 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,284
Sunny Isles Beach, FL
pasnyder Offline
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Sunny Isles Beach, FL
Many of my friends who travel out of the country use Whatsapp on their cell phones. WhatsApp voice and video calls use your phone's Internet connection, instead of your cell plan's voice minutes. So, if you can get free wifi, it's free to call or text anywhere. https://www.whatsapp.com/

Pauline


We are the People our parents warned us about!
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: pasnyder] #132513
06/13/2017 12:32 PM
06/13/2017 12:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 555
New Jersey
JoeC047 Online content
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JoeC047  Online Content
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New Jersey
Let me shed some light on this topic. For the past 20 years I use a phone purchased in SXM for $50. and a sim card for $11. The average local call is approximately .11 cents per minute and a call to the states around .30 cents per minute. I have had the same SXM phone # for many years. You can extend the expiration date of the sim card on line with Top Up. Any questions?

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: JoeC047] #132514
06/13/2017 12:48 PM
06/13/2017 12:48 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 434
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CaribLee Offline
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CaribLee  Offline
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Bob with packlight provides essentially the same services that Sharon did. Just Google Packlight sxm.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: JoeC047] #132515
06/13/2017 12:50 PM
06/13/2017 12:50 PM
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Posts: 1,400
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Bahston Offline
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Quote
JoeC047 said:
Let me shed some light on this topic. For the past 20 years I use a phone purchased in SXM for $50. and a sim card for $11. The average local call is approximately .11 cents per minute and a call to the states around .30 cents per minute. I have had the same SXM phone # for many years. You can extend the expiration date of the sim card on line with Top Up. Any questions?


I do the same. I've had a French-side mobile phone for years. I use it or do a Top Up every 3 months, and my number stays alive. I've also got a French-side phone card that I use for calls to the US. For data, other than Wi-Fi, I use my ATT-iPad with a Passport plan.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: SXMScubaman] #132516
06/13/2017 01:47 PM
06/13/2017 01:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline
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Massachusetts USA
Quote
SXMScubaman said:
Rather than 70 a week your better off with the $40 Verizon plan for 30 days. Worked slick for the four weeks we were in SXM.


This is what I just did and I agree, it worked fine. I didn't use it much but it was there when I did need it. The only issue I had was trying to send a text to someone specifically (I could send texts to others). As your phone connects to different carriers (I was sailing from island to island) you get a bunch of texts from Verizon telling you (again) about your Intl plan. In these texts are numbers to call for help. I called it and got an extremely helpful woman who helped me figure out that the reason I couldn't text this one person is because he likely didn't have his iPhone set to accept SMS messages if iMessage was unavailable (or something like that). Bottom line, Verizon support was impressively good.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: tmsxmsails] #132517
06/13/2017 02:06 PM
06/13/2017 02:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 3,964
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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kim  Offline
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Newtown, CT
But, how quick can you run through 100mb of data??

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: kim] #132518
06/13/2017 02:17 PM
06/13/2017 02:17 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
tmsxmsails Offline
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Posts: 221
Massachusetts USA
Quote
kim said:
But, how quick can you run through 100mb of data??


Good question/point. I don't know. We really only do this for basic/emergency use. If you want to use large amounts of data you need to find wifi.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: kim] #132519
06/13/2017 02:35 PM
06/13/2017 02:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,225
Auburn, WA
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Auburn, WA
Quote
kim said:
But, how quick can you run through 100mb of data??

We were there a month on this plan and never used up all the data of the program. We would just use the wifi at the resort or wifi at the many places that had free wifi to use.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: SXMScubaman] #132520
06/13/2017 03:04 PM
06/13/2017 03:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 541
Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Leagle49 Offline
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Leagle49  Offline
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Grosse Pointe, Michigan
We've rented a phone from Craig/Bob at Packlite for years. His service is great and it's very reasonable too. Outgoing calls at .35 and incoming free. You don't have to load any preset amount on the phone but only as many dollars as you want. Recommend him highly. Here's the email address. packlightsxm@hotmail.com

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: Leagle49] #132521
06/13/2017 03:34 PM
06/13/2017 03:34 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,225
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Posts: 11,225
Auburn, WA
I was under the impression he got his phones through Sharon.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: SXMScubaman] #132522
06/13/2017 03:41 PM
06/13/2017 03:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,112
CT
pony600 Offline
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pony600  Offline
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CT
We have also rented from Craig at Packlight for years. Great service and he also rents chairs, umbrellas & coolers.


[Linked Image]



If life hands you a lemon, just squeeze it on a lobster!
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: pony600] #132523
06/13/2017 04:00 PM
06/13/2017 04:00 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 11,225
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Online content
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SXMScubaman  Online Content
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Auburn, WA
But does he has his own phones or getting them from Sharon?

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: GaKaye] #132524
06/13/2017 04:24 PM
06/13/2017 04:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,178
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Posts: 2,178
Connecticut
Since Smart phones, we have always rented a SIM from Sharon.
I will probably buy from UTS when we arrive. Do you just call them to top off if you run out of time?
We really don't use the phone much--mostly for reservations and a quick check home.
Or if my credit card company decides to send me an urgent message!!!! I almost forgot--- changing airline reservations <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: The_Lurker] #132525
06/13/2017 04:52 PM
06/13/2017 04:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 3,519
Massachusetts
boucharda Offline
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boucharda  Offline
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Maybe I'm very low maintenance but I have to do nothing to be able to make calls home from my own cell...and receive them (or return the call) when on wifi at SBR. I just inform everyone to use email instead of text and there is no issue.

I would think it overkill to rent a phone or get a sim just for reservations (use Skype) and on road calls....

Just a simple person I guess.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: boucharda] #132526
06/13/2017 05:32 PM
06/13/2017 05:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 555
New Jersey
JoeC047 Online content
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JoeC047  Online Content
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New Jersey
Lurker: Here is the link to top up your SIM card. It will give you an expiration date when you enter your phone #. http://utschippie.com/expirationdate.aspx

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: JoeC047] #132527
06/13/2017 06:52 PM
06/13/2017 06:52 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,885
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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BeachKitten  Offline
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Maryland/DC Metro
Quote
JoeC047 said:
Lurker: Here is the link to top up your SIM card. It will give you an expiration date when you enter your phone #. http://utschippie.com/expirationdate.aspx


Not sure if it's just me, but t that link hasn't worked in ages.

I bought a super cheap dual SIM (unlocked) phone on Amazon, and then a Chippie (UTS) SIM card. I can make local calls and have my very own SXM phone number! Love it!


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: SXMScubaman] #132528
06/13/2017 06:54 PM
06/13/2017 06:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,112
CT
pony600 Offline
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Posts: 1,112
CT
I believe that he has his own phones.


[Linked Image]



If life hands you a lemon, just squeeze it on a lobster!
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: GaKaye] #132529
06/13/2017 08:03 PM
06/13/2017 08:03 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,251
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MotownTim Offline
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The UTS store by IZI was closed the last time I went there. Possibly for good.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: MotownTim] #132530
06/13/2017 08:27 PM
06/13/2017 08:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 2,885
Maryland/DC Metro
BeachKitten Offline
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BeachKitten  Offline
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Maryland/DC Metro
You can buy at Mailbox in Simpson Bay


"It is good to do nothing all day, and then to rest" wink
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: MotownTim] #132531
06/13/2017 08:53 PM
06/13/2017 08:53 PM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 3,964
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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kim  Offline
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Or was it for lunch. I was there in March. Realized they close for 60 or 90 minutes for lunch

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: kim] #132532
06/13/2017 09:24 PM
06/13/2017 09:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,251
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MotownTim Offline
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Don't think it was for lunch. They were moving furniture out. Something about an odor in the place. Maybe they returned. I don't know. This was just a couple weeks ago. I went down to Telcell.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: MotownTim] #132533
06/14/2017 05:29 AM
06/14/2017 05:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 95
Oswego, NY
Mikel Offline
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Mikel  Offline
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Oswego, NY
I have been using Chippie's TopUp service for years and never knew there was a way to confirm the expiration date. Tried it this morning and it worked just fine. Thanks for the info.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: JoeC047] #132534
06/14/2017 07:01 AM
06/14/2017 07:01 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,178
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Connecticut
Joe, Thank-you for the link.
I saved it, since I will be buying the sim on our next trip.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: The_Lurker] #132535
06/14/2017 07:51 AM
06/14/2017 07:51 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,192
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Posts: 12,192
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
Unless something's changed in the past couple of weeks, you can't actually purchase more time for your topup card on the website. You have to go to the UTS store or the Mailbox in SXM to do that. Tim just posted that the UTS store near IZI has closed; does anyone know if there's another one on the island?

What you can do on the website is add time to your phone from your card, which you have to do every 90 days to keep your sim card, and therefore your phone number, active.

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: GaKaye] #132536
06/14/2017 08:16 AM
06/14/2017 08:16 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 17,147
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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BillandElaine  Offline
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St Maarten
Another option is the Top Up Card, which I believe you can only get from Sharon. Allows you to add $ to your phone via a web portal.

There are UTS stores in Philipsburg, Marigot and I believe the one in Cole Bay is still open.


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: autoeng] #132537
06/14/2017 08:42 AM
06/14/2017 08:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 688
Chicago area & St-Martin
ChiTownHarry Offline
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ChiTownHarry  Offline
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Chicago area & St-Martin
Because nobody mentioned it, if you want a French phone number, you can purchase a SIM from Dauphin Telecom in Marigot. Since we spend almost all of our time on the French side, it is easier to make calls with it. And I do not have to add funds to my telephone account when I am not on the island and we're only on the island once a year.


--ChiTownHarry
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: BillandElaine] #132538
06/14/2017 10:53 AM
06/14/2017 10:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 12,192
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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GaKaye  Offline
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Posts: 12,192
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
The Top Up card is what I have, and I do add money to my phone from that. I thought that I could load more money onto that at a UTS store or at the Mailbox. Am I wrong about that, Elaine?

Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: GaKaye] #132539
06/14/2017 11:53 AM
06/14/2017 11:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 21
DanNJessica Offline
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Project FI! https://g.co/fi/r/D5342K
I use it all over the world $10 per GB.


We love St Martin
Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: GaKaye] #132540
06/14/2017 12:13 PM
06/14/2017 12:13 PM
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Posts: 12,876
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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I have done that at the Mailbox several times.I keep my phone active by adding money from my card on the website buychippieonline.com



[Linked Image]


Re: Cell phone options now that Queen of SXM is done [Re: GaKaye] #132541
06/14/2017 12:56 PM
06/14/2017 12:56 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 672
Florida
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wilsonck Offline
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Florida
Quote
GaKaye said:
Unless something's changed in the past couple of weeks, you can't actually purchase more time for your topup card on the website. You have to go to the UTS store or the Mailbox in SXM to do that. Tim just posted that the UTS store near IZI has closed; does anyone know if there's another one on the island?


The UTS store in Philipsburg is open. It is located on Codville Webster Road. The Philipsburg location is open Mon-Fri 8am to 4 pm. There is another UTS store in Marigot at 24 Rue de la République. I believe this store is open till 5:30 pm and does have Saturday hours as well. I'll know more next week when I'm there.

As far as the Cole Bay location, as of May 29th, UTS posted on their facebook page their locations that would be closed due to weather and they listed the Cole Bay location, but it had the same hours as the Philipsburg location only M-F 8am to 4 pm. I'll see next week if it is truly closed.

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