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Euro Buzz for cell phone use

http://www.eurobuzz.com/europe-cell-phone/

Has anyone had experience with this company? After a several day ordeal we have confirmed that our "dumb" phone is unlocked and we were all set to buy a sim card when we get to the airport in Munich at the end of this month. This afternoon I saw another RS post that I'll quote below, and I am now exploring getting a phone through Eurobuzz that was recommended to me this morning as another option. We will be spending most of our time in Germany, but will also be several days in Budapest and Prague. And now it occurs to me to wonder if the German sim card will work in other countries. Thoughts, experiences?

Posted by secure1st 08/09/14 11:48 AM
1 posts

Hi,
Just returned from 3 weeks in Germany and Paris. My wife added a European plan to her phone (AT&T) before we left in early July. I wanted to use my phone also. I looked up a number of companies which provided Sim cards for unlocked phones, but decided that it would be just as easy to get a card at the Frankfurt Airport and they could program phone if needed, etc. There are 3 Fotec stores in the Airport. At each one of them, the cost of the card is 40Euros, or about $55. Wow! not cheap. Better to take care of this in US than over there. As a result, I did not take my phone and left it home.

Posted by
4354 posts

Faith, I read that thread you've reprinted, too :-( Even if you collect $5 SIM cards for each country (not $40), if you go to more than 2 or 3 countries you've already paid more than I did. And most other SIM cards lose their value within 6-12 months if you don't pay money to keep each one topped up. You also lose that (or those) phone number(s).

Thanks to Darcy, Lewiston, Idaho, USA, for the EuroBuzz recommendation years ago!

At the very top of this page is a Search box. Type in 'EuroBuzz', then 'unclick' 7 of the 8 categories checked, leaving only the 'Forums' category checked. Sorry the Search function is such a pain ;-) Hopefully out of the several responses you'll find some more personal experiences.

The website is pretty straightforward. For the most part, all calls/texts are $0.79/minute, and incoming texts are free. This SIM works seamlessly as you travel across borders. You'll get a (free) text every time you cross a border, or enter a different cell service area. This may not be the absolutely cheapest solution, but it's the most simple. $0.79. That's it. And for some countries, it IS the cheapest of those phone companies that I've seen. AND no maintenance once you've returned home, just toss the phone and charger (or SIM only) in a drawer until your next trip. Same phone number, same rates. And if you don't use it even once, there are no new charges.

The audio clarity in our calls to the USA was great, and the phone charges were exactly what we were expecting. It was nice to be able to split up, then reconnect after texting a rendezvous point where we could meet. I can't really say any more than it worked as advertised.

Posted by
4689 posts

"Has anyone had experience with this company? After a several day ordeal we have confirmed that our "dumb" phone is unlocked "

But is it a quad band GSM phone? I know one of my old T-Mobile "dumb" phones (bought in 2009) was not quad band and would not work in Europe, unlocked or not.

Posted by
4689 posts

I did not need to buy a SIM for my (relatively new) Android phone when I was in Germany in April, because T-Mobile has 20 cents a minute calling (and free WiFi calls) on my plan. In the past, I simply bought a cheap SIM in each country I visited, for anywhere from $10 to $15 USD or so (varied by country), and used it in the ancient unlocked quad band GSM phone I had at that time. These cards varied by country but offered very cheap in-country calls (like 10 or 20 euro cents a minute, free incoming). And if I roamed to another country, the cards still worked but ran out quickly due to high roaming costs. Because the European Union has recently capped roaming charges, this may not be a problem anymore.

I used Skype to call home to the US occasionally so didn't look at the per-minute costs on my pre-paid SIM cards.

But personally, I'd probably just buy one card in Germany and another in Hungary etc when I arrived, if need be.

Posted by
186 posts

Yes Andrew, it is a quad phone and you were one of the folks so helpful to getting us squared away in my "dinosaur" thread. I thought the phone was a finished topic, and was off to fret about other things, and then the info on Eurobuzz popped up.

Posted by
674 posts

Andrew is onto something.
In the past the roaming rates were relatively high so once in the second country once the credit ran out. It made sense to get a new Sim. The EU roaming rate is now capped at 25c a min.
There isn't a cap on international rates,so the home country of the Sim should get you a rate of maybe 10c a min to US, but cross a EU border an it might be $2 .Thats the case with mine.

Posted by
4689 posts

"Pay attn to what Andrew said. It cost him anywhere from $10 - $15 for a SIM card in different countries. So you could be paying $45 for 3 different numbers."

But those all came with minutes included. And I didn't always need a new SIM in other countries; sometimes I simply roamed on the old SIM when I went to a new country, until I used all the remaining minutes on the SIM. I know in 2009 I bought a SIM in Italy and used it there and drained my minutes in Slovenia and Croatia for quick calls. So I only needed a single SIM.

We all have different needs when traveling. I wasn't using my European SIM cards to call home - I was using them for making local calls to confirm reservations etc. and to have a phone in my rental car, not to call back to the US. I wouldn't have wanted to pay for a SIM or phone and then have to pay 79 cents/minute to call home on top of that - I was able to use Skype or Google Voice to make free calls home when I had WiFi.

Posted by
4354 posts

Since we're beating this to death ;-)

EuroBuzz is probably best for those making infrequent calls. That's the beauty in their service - buy the SIM once - for all of Europe (and most of the world) - and be done with it. You never have to search for cell phone stores while on vacation, etc. After the initial $9, you don't pay for anything unless you use it. No worrying about needing to top it off while back at home. No disconnected calls. No guessing how much time is left on your SIM. You keep the phone number for as long as you keep the SIM, so no needing to give out your new numbers for every trip, or having to wait until actually IN Europe to find out what your phone number will be. And no guesswork on what your charges will be - typically $0.79/minute.

For most people, $0.79 is OK. (Recently, while my husband's vehicle was out of commission and he was depending on me to drive him to and from work, the average length of our cell phone calls was about 15 secs (!) according to my phone - enough time to tell me he's ready for me to pick him up, for me to ask where he'll be waiting, and to have a quick discussion about dinner.) So whether I spend $0.79, $1.58, or $2.37 for my once-every-2-or-3-year European phone call with my husband or our Paris hotel...or even $7.90 for a 10-minute call to the USA, it's OK. If I have money to travel, I can afford it. The hassle factor is waaaaaay down on the whole procuring-the-SIM exercise. It was one and done years ago.

Now, if you plan on conducting work from Europe, are absolutely addicted to texting (you know who you are!), or anticipate needing to talk with family members, etc., for several minutes and several times while on vacation, you might want to work at keeping your costs down. Or not. But you might then be more inclined to mess with all of the research that changes every few years on the best strategies for saving a few coins.

Most of us don't need to. That's all. To each his own ;-)

Faith, have a fantastic trip!

Posted by
4689 posts

79 cents/minute is OK - but I preferred paying 20 cents/minute with my T-Mobile phone while I was in Germany in April - or $0 cents/minute when I had WiFi. And I didn't have to hunt for a SIM store in Europe or even change my US phone number.

If my T-Mobile phone didn't work in some country, I'd still favor buying a cheap local SIM when I get over there, if I really needed one, for $10 to $15, and get a much lower per minute cost with the minutes that come with the local SIM. If I go to another country I could still use that SIM via roaming and maybe not need to buy another one. 79 cents/minute still seems far too expensive to me.

Posted by
186 posts

You are all wonderful with your suggestions, thank you so much!

Here is the newest twist. Our business answering machine will have a message on it saying we are on vacation until October 23rd. I had hoped to have my sister call it every five days or so simply to delete the junk phone calls. Machine only holds about an hour worth of calls and those darn "Toll Free Calls" come in fast and furious and take a minimum of a minute off of my available machine space even if they just hang up. It seems Sis can't be bothered (too busy being unemployed) and my 80 year old mother has convinced herself that she can't handle "Press 3 to delete message". So now we will need to be calling home three or four times to be sure the machine still has room to accept messages. I guess even at 79 cents a minute, spending $7.90 for the ten minutes it might take to delete the junk calls, is worth it. Worst thing is while I am on vacation I now get to listen to whose drapery cord has broken and how miffed they are that they are exposed to the world while waiting for us to return, or which customer can't possibly wait for me to come back home to sell her new draperies and so she is going elsewhere! Nothing like a "drapery emergency" to put a damper on my vacation!

And here's my next lame question -- how do I dial Los Angeles from Budapest? I think there is a country code that must be dialed first? What is that code?

Posted by
5313 posts

From RS guidebook: to call US use
001 plus US area code plus local number.

But I won't have personal knowledge for a few months.
Hope this works out for you. Could you have someone (hired ??) monitor the business phone and
Email messages / delete hang-ups ? Can you leave an outgoing message that doesn't imply "our house is unoccupied until this date -- feel free to break in"

Posted by
186 posts

Laura -- Thanks for the US code info. We have a cat/house sitter so house is not empty, but English is not her first language so I can't stress her by having her try to decipher junk robo calls from customer calls. And boy am I glad the water heater decided to give up the ghost this Saturday rather than a month from now when we are gone. The only way I was able to write a check for $1850 was because I could transfer my vacation savings into my checking account. So now we have to figure out where our spending money for the trip is coming from. But I'm glad the house sitter didn't have to deal with that -- and the $400 cash I usually leave her for emergencies wouldn't have gone very far. Even though we used our regular plumber and he's been here many times I don't think he'd have been happy to take an IOU!

Posted by
5313 posts

Faith -- my plumbing disasters seem to always hit on 3-day weekends, so you have my sympathy! ! Yes, SO much better than handling an emergency via long-distance.

Posted by
186 posts

Two phones are on the way -- cost me less than the two exofficio undershirts that my husband wanted to try out!