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Tag: call forwarding

How to avoid expensive roaming charges while traveling abroad

by Captain G on Nov.09, 2012, under Business Tools, Business Travel, Vacation

Are you are a global traveler from the US who wants to be reached via your US mobile number while you are in a foreign country and do not want to pay roaming charges of US$2.50 per minute? Here are three simple steps to avoid paying excessive roaming fees to the likes of AT&T, Verizon and Sprint:

1. Sign up to a call forwarding service provider like: One Suite for a monthly fee ($2.95). The call forwarding service provider (One Suite) will assign you a US number that can be routed to any number in the world for a very low fee (i.e., no more than US$0.05 per minute).

2. Forward your US mobile number to the routing service provider.

There are two types of call forwarding services in the US:  unconditional (*72) and conditional (*68 or *28). Unconditional call forwarding means all calls will go to the forwarded number and may carry extra charges by your mobile carrier (I know Sprint charges $0.20 per minute). I recommend conditioning call forwarding (when there’s no answer or a busy signal) which is free and works just as well to avoid extra charges.

To forward your call using conditional forwarding, enter *68[415-867-5309] where 415-867-5309 is the number you received from your call forwarding service provider. This will tell your current mobile carrier to forward all your calls to 415-867-5309 when there’s a busy signal or no answer. Your phone will be considered “off” by your mobile carrier which means all your calls will be forwarded to the call forwarding number. If you are on the Sprint or Nextel network, you will need to use:  *28 instead of 68. If you’re on Verizon, you may have to use *71.

Click on this link for more information on call forwarding codes.

NOTE:   Execute this step before you leave the US so you are not incurring voice roaming charges while abroad.

3. When you’re abroad, purchase a pre-paid SIM card from a local carrier. Login to your call forwarding service provider’s website and forward the assigned number [415-867-5309] to the pre-paid SIM card [+52-55-9876-5432] you have just purchased.

Below is a diagram to illustrate the three simple steps.

This process may seem a bit complicated compared to a service like Skype. However it is reliable and you don’t need to give out another US number to your current contacts. The rates are also very affordable and it’s the easiest way to keep your US number while you’re traveling abroad.

When you’ve returned from your trip, simply go on your phone and hit *81 or *38 (for Sprint) to deactivate unconditional forwarding mode.

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How to Deal with AT&T’s Poor Service

by statusmonger on Sep.05, 2009, under Business Tools, Business Travel

Recently, the New York Times had an article describing iPhone users’ frustrations with AT&T: dropped calls, missed calls, late voicemails, etc.  If you have a Google Voice number (or even a home landline with an answering machine would suffice), there are small ways in which you can alleviate some of this awful AT&T service. (The tips below should work with any cell phone on the ridiculous AT&T network and not just iPhones.)

For one, if you have ever been frustrated with calls that you never ever received because of AT&T’s poor service, you can have AT&T forward calls to your Google Voice number when you are not reachable on AT&T’s network (which unfortunately happens way too much).  On your cell phone, simply dial *62* plus your 10-digit number Google Voice number to which your calls should be forwarded and then #.  This will forward all your calls to your Google Voice number when you are not reachable on your cell phone.  Google Voice keeps track of all missed and received calls.  Or even a home landline with caller ID in place of Google Voice works well too.

Secondly, if you’ve ever received voicemails several hours or even days after the fact (which annoyingly has happened to me a lot with important voicemails), you can setup to have all your calls forwarded to your Google Voice number or a home answering machine if you do not answer your cell phone.  On your cell phone, simply dial *61* plus the 10-digit number to which your calls should be forwarded and #.  This will enable the caller to reach your Google Voice voicemail or your home answering machine, bypassing AT&T voicemail altogether.  Visual voicemail is overrated anyhow.

Lastly, if you’ve just been sick and tired of AT&T’s poor service to the point that you don’t care to answer any calls on your iPhone altogether, you can have all your calls immediately be forwarded to a different number: simply dial *21* plus the 10-digit number to which your calls should be forwarded and #.

AT&T… More bars in more places?  Are they drunk (pun intended)?

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