While in Greece we want our hotels and credit card companies to have a cell phone number to contact us if there is a problem. We want to give them the number before we leave. Does any one know of a reliable online company that sells and ships prepaid phones for use in Greece (europe) using local networks and charging local roaming rates etc.?
If you don't find what you're looking for you can buy an inexpensive Unlocked Quadband GSM World Phone from Amazon.com or eBay and when you get to Greece buy a SIM card for it for about €5 plus the charge for the minutes, and you can inquire about a travel plan with extra functions. Once you're set up you can give the number to your hotels and send your CC company an email to give them the number or send an email to someone you trust back home so they can give it to the CC company. Cosmote and Vodafone are the two mobile services companies in Greece with the best coverage. You can go into a "Germanos Store" to buy Cosmote products. There's one at the Athens Airport and near Syntagma Square in Central Athens. If you happen to be going to Santorini there's a Germanos Store in Fira on the downhill side street next to the main square where the outdoor cafes are located. They will activate the SIM for you.
Agree with Lee. Two years ago we bought a used unlocked quad phone for a minimal amount on Amazon and have used it in Turkey, Portugal, and Greece so far. Just buy a SIM card at the airport, if time and availability of stores permits, or at the first town. When the phone arrived we bought a US SIM card from TMobile for $10 and used the phone here just to be sure that the phone was in working order before we left home.
Linda, As Lee suggested, buying an inexpensive unlocked quad-band GSM phone from E-Bay or other sites is probably the easiest solution (I've always had good luck with the Motorola V-551). Using a SIM purchased in Greece will be the easiest method for hotels there to contact you, as they would be dialing an "in country" number. However, your credit card companies will be dialing an international long distance call if they want to reach you, which they may not like? Another solution would be to buy the same phone and use with a SIM from one of the "travel phone" firms such as Roam Simple, Cellular Abroad, Call In Europe, Telestial, Mobal, EuroBuzz, Max Roam or One Sim. The phone numbers with those will likely be based in the U.K., so both parties would have to dial long distance (but Greeks are likely used to calling the U.K.). The travel SIM's often used post-paid billing (calls charged to a credit card), so there's no worries about having to top-up when your bucket of minutes is depleted. The rates are quite reasonable if voice calls are kept to a minimum and text messaging is used. I checked the rates with one of the above firms and this is what they list for Greece: > Incoming calls - 39¢ / minute > Outgoing calls - 69¢ / minute > Sent texts - 69¢ each > Received text - FREE You'll have to check the websites for the others to compare rates. Good luck with your decision!
We have not decided what to do about the phones yet but.... I went to Verizon the last time we went to Europe and they told me they would mail us a phone to use in Europe while there. Also we have Vonage as our land line and we have been calling Greece for free. You will save lots of money if you call the small hotels direct to make reservations. The most we paid in Greece was 35 euros on our last trip. Most were beach front and shoulder season.
Linda, we might be in Cave Creek next year in Oct. Still working on it.! Mary Joe