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  1. #1
    heymikey
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    Hi all,

    I'm a new forum member. I'm planning a trip to Turkey and the Netherlands in the near future. In 2008 and 2011, I dealt with a company called "Call in Europe" and wanted to do so again, as I found them a low-hassle way to purchase very basic phones and SIM cards for occasional European trips. I haven't found a Call in Europe thread in this forum. So I have a few questions:

    (1) They seem to be out of business -- going to callineurope.com now connects to a French-language site in France. I can read French decently well; it looks like that site is not oriented at all to existing or potential US customers. Can anyone fill in some info on what happened there? Is there some way to contact them again?

    (2) In 2008 I purchased a Motorola C123 and a soon-expired SIM card. In 2011 I bought a new SIM card for that phone, and a second phone and card for my wife, a Samsung GT-E-1080i. Both new cards are now expired. They had French numbers, I think for the SFR network. I'd like to use the phones again with new inexpensive SIM cards -- are those Call in Europe phones unlocked?

    (3) If they're locked, is there some way to unlock them here in the US?

    Thanks for any help you can provide on any of these questions!

    Best,
    Mike


    See More: Call in Europe -- what's the story there?




  2. #2
    tavenger5
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    Re: Call in Europe -- what's the story there?

    I've actually been to both places recently. I didn't use a phone in Amsterdam, but I did in Turkey. I ended up using a Droid Razr with a Verizon international plan. It worked pretty well, but probably too expensive.

    If you bought the phones in Europe and you've already had two different sims in them then they are probably unlocked. If you want to check you can bring them to a store that sells prepaid plans locally and ask to insert an expired card. As long as you're not prompted for a code then they'll be fine.

    Your best bet is to just pick up new sims when you get to your destinations. They're sold in most airports and shops.

    btw, where are you going in Turkey? Some remote parts may not have much service, although I had no problems.
    John

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  3. #3
    tavenger5
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    Re: Call in Europe -- what's the story there?

    Also, some info on call in Europe:

    "Call in Europe" cellphone service is changing on May 1 | Europe Forum | Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

    Call in Europe became irrelevant some time ago. Their pricing scheme has been dramatically undercut by competitors such as Lebara, Ortel, Lycamobile, NRJ and others.
    John

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  4. #4
    heymikey
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    Re: Call in Europe -- what's the story there?

    Quote Originally Posted by tavenger5 View Post
    I've actually been to both places recently. I didn't use a phone in Amsterdam, but I did in Turkey. I ended up using a Droid Razr with a Verizon international plan. It worked pretty well, but probably too expensive.
    My wife and I have ordinary Verizon LG Cosmos phones for everyday use. (Too cheap to pay for data plans, but we like the sliding keyboards for texting.) I just discovered that Verizon will lend you a world phone free for a short trip. Their per-minute charges are sky-high, nearly $3.00/minute for Turkey and over $1.00/minute for the Netherlands.

    We'll be staying in hotels with wi-fi, so just for staying in touch with family in US, we could rely on e-mail and not really need phones. For emergency backup, that Verizon deal might be sufficient. And since their loaner is free with no fees, I'm risking nothing and just paying for minutes if I need to.

    If you bought the phones in Europe and you've already had two different sims in them then they are probably unlocked. If you want to check you can bring them to a store that sells prepaid plans locally and ask to insert an expired card. As long as you're not prompted for a code then they'll be fine.
    Well, I bought the phones from CIE before leaving Portland. And all the SIM cards were from CIE as well. I'll try your approach next week to see if these phones are unlocked.

    Your best bet is to just pick up new sims when you get to your destinations. They're sold in most airports and shops.
    That will work if the phones are unlocked.

    btw, where are you going in Turkey? Some remote parts may not have much service, although I had no problems.
    Ten days in Istanbul, then three days on island of Rhodes (which is in Greek hands these days, actually), then a week in Amsterdam and Leiden. So no place exotic, phone service should be no problem.

    Thanks for the advice! I'll get back to this group after I get the CIE phones checked out.

    Mike



  5. #5
    tavenger5
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    Re: Call in Europe -- what's the story there?

    Yeah, the rates for international roaming on Verizon are a bit expensive, especially for Turkey! This was my experience

    I did 5 days in Istanbul - it's a pretty incredible city and unlike any city I've ever been to. If you get a chance book a food tour with Istanbul Eats - one of the best things we did. We also did a two day trip to the Cappadocia region, which is also amazing. I would definitely get a guide if you decide to do something like that. FYI, Turks and Greeks don't like each other at all.

    But yes, if you're ever away from your travel partner(s) a phone is a great thing to have. Even sending a simple text message can be very handy. It's also great if you get lost like I did and get off at the wrong train stop in the middle of France and can't read French
    John

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