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  1. Tyrrell117's Avatar
    Soo I'm planning a trip to Europe. I live in Canada (if you needed to know that?)

    I currently use an 8330, but I am trying to find a cheap Storm, Tour, or Bold off ebay, anyways that's not the point of this thread.

    Are there any carriers in Europe (specifically Denmark, Italy, or any countries in the way) that offer a pay as you go BB plan? Something that's relatively cheap, offers data, and isn't huge on roaming?

    I tried looking at a few places, actually just Vodafone and Orange and I couldn't really find anything.

    If there isn't such a thing, or they are wildly expensive I'll just find some GSM flip phone and get a pay as you go sim card, but I thought it's be nice to have my e-mail and stuff.

    That actually brings me to another question, if I get a Bold or something, take it to Europ and get a pre-paid sim card or something, would I still be able to add my Canadian E-mail address to it?
    07-24-09 09:47 PM
  2. cliftonprince's Avatar
    Don't use Vodafone!

    I'm currently going through the tribulations of trying to set up a North American Bold in Europe. I haven't solved it yet. Though technically the device works properly (you need a tri-band phone, and a Bold is sufficient, because it is "3g" I think), the service is idiotic. They cheat you here.

    I'm a customer of Cingular / AT&T while in the USA. I've learned this much:

    1. You have to "unlock" your phone, and this is rather more difficult to accomplish than you might think. It requires getting an "unlock code" from your provider and then inputting it correctly.
    1.a. First problem. Your provider doesn't want to give you the code. They deliberately make it difficult. They aren't allowed to lock you out of service in Europe, so tell them that you know that they are in breach of international anti-monopoly legislation if they refuse to give the code.
    1.b. Second problem. They won't give you the code by email or snail-mail. They require that you phone them (which, obviously, you don't want to do from Europe because you don't have a cheap European cell service because ... YOU HAVEN'T UNLOCKED THE PHONE YET!!). This is stupid, of course, for a variety of reasons, not the least that it isn't secure, and also, that they have to relate to you a very long sequence of numbers, which is much more difficult to do verbally than in written form.
    1.c. Third problem. Once you get the instructions (rather convoluted menu commands) and the unlock code (a very long number) to unlock the phone, and then enter them all correctly, you will probably also be prompted for another code of some sort. Look in the manual and pay careful attention to the distinctions among "PUK code" and "PIN code" and "unlock code" and all the others. The one that you need might be "0000" or it might be "1234" or it might be the last four digits of your previous phone number, or it might be any of a number of other "built in" codes that you've never heard of. They don't tell you about this when you get the unlock code from them, you're just "supposed to know" that all electronic devices have built-in lockout numbers that you're just "supposed to know" the sequence for. (I think they like the fact that you don't know this. It reduces the total number of successful unlocks.)
    1.d. Fourth problem. Meanwhile, as you try to enter the "supposed to know" number, the phone will flash other messages at you, like, "Do you wish to make an emergency call? Enter 911" intermittently, so you have to evade these flashing interruptions. (By the way, 911 doesn't generally make an emergency call in Europe. Usually 112 does, not 911.) You don't exactly know whether you've successfully evaded the interruptions or not, when entering the "supposed to know" code, so that's a bit nerve-wracking, because it reminds you "Three tries left" before your device goes kaplooey, and you are entering a number you've GUESSED, while not knowing whether you've actually ENTERED IT at all because of the "emergency" blinky thing. Grr.

    2. OK, now you've "unlocked" your Blackberry. Congrats. But what the heck do you do with it? It's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth ready, but has no cellular service, right?

    So, then you go get a chip from a European cell company that you stick into it, right? Well, not so easy. I tried one, and haven't made it work yet.

    Don't use Vodafone!! Below is my Vodafone horror story.

    For €5, I got a pre-paid chip from them to put in the Blackberry. It connects just fine (after the magic "supposed to know" number) so I have no complaints about connecting to the network in downtowns of several major Dutch cities.

    But, the money scheme is preposterous! First, it charges about €2 per minute for use; second, it charges for outgoing AND INCOMING calls; third, a set-up call MUST be made before technically your new chip will receive or send at all, and that set-up call takes about five minutes to complete, and they CHARGE YOU FOR IT.

    So, here's how it works, get it? If you buy a €5 Vodafone chip, you, quite literally, do not have enough money to use it at all, until you give Vodafone another €5 or so. That's how much it would cost you to set it up, and then its balance would be at roughly zero. Get it? €5 for the chip; then, a 5-minute set-up call at €2 per minute; means, you have to use €10 to get set up. So, €5 for the chip, then top up €5 MORE, then set up, and you're at €0!!! Twerps ...

    In other words, DON'T USE VODAFONE.

    This is without ANY data or SMS usage service.

    But wait! There's more! Meanwhile, while you're going through the set-up nightmare (above) and not only NOT getting it done, but trying to LEARN HOW to get it done, Vodafone is ALSO sending you automated SMS-text-messages, one an hour, which prompt you to use your Blackberry to visit their website, and you cannot shut the messages off unless you GO TO THEIR WEBSITE by expending some on your data-plan (which you don't get AT ALL for the initial €5), and for each of these incoming SMS-text-messages they are ALSO CHARGING YOU FOR. So, they're charging you for text, for set-up phones, and for data ... ALL WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT.

    In other words, by giving them €5, they have automatically deducted 100% of your €5 from your total. They send you SMS-text-messages that cost you; they require a set-up call that costs you; and they won't allow you to opt out of either, without actually USING their system (which costs you) to the total depletion of your account.

    Welcome to the land of monopoly merchants who aren't fettered by the free market. I now shall attempt to patronize their competitor but I suspect it won't be any better ...
    Last edited by cliftonprince; 07-26-09 at 03:02 AM.
    07-26-09 02:57 AM