Woke up way to early this am 20 min before my alarm was supposed to go off. I am getting ready to take the 7:00 am Tropic Air flight to Municipal and heading to see Dr. Marcelo Coyi at Belize Medical Associates for a check up and some tests. My appointment was for 9:00am but the Dr called me yesterday and said he was not going to be there then and he could see me at 2:00pm same day. When he found out why I was coming to see him, his recommendation was to come in for 9:00am still to get my blood work done [because of the fasting part] that way I would not be starving at 2:00pm. I will give details on medical costs later this week.
Now onto the real topic of this post.
In various Belize forums I have read many posts on people asking about using their cell phones while on vacation and what the charges are. Every phone service provider is different so charges will vary. More often that not everything works out and people do not run into trouble using their cell phones on their Belize vacation. However there are some cases where people have gotten dinged with huge phone bills. I asked Dianne from quicksilver messenger / Go phone to share a few of those cell phone bill horror stories with you and why renting a Go phone is an easy cost effective option.
Below are three stories from Dianne that illustrate this; they’re a bit extreme and not the norm, yet all of them are true.
1) I remember a lady who called us the day after arriving in San Pedro. She wanted to rent two Go Phones for her pre-teen grandkids. They had been texting on her phone from the US and found out her plan didn’t cover international texts. Each one was costing her $12US. The kids had the phone for a day and half and they planned to be here a week. Yikes! We got them all set up so Grandma and the kids were both happy. On our Go Phones, a text to the US costs $0.31Bz ($0.16 US) and now the SMART phone company has bundle purchases for international texts; they’re even cheaper (50 int’l texts for $10Bz = $0.20 each)
2) I have another story for you. In the middle of a phone rental, doing the paperwork etc., the son and daughter of the family got their hands on the Go Phone package, opened it up and remarked with disdain, “This phone is antique!” Well, that’s an exaggeration of course but for the techy generation it seemed true. Our phones are rubberized for durability as they have to pass through many hands and need to hold up to potential abuse. The family rented the phone; got extra minutes wirelessly from us often and at the end of the rental period were returning it. I watched while the son tossed the phone to his sister for one last phone call… and she missed it. The phone bounced! A sleeker model would have shattered and the parents would have lost the damage deposit; the rubberized “antique” saved the day. The family has been repeat customers for their last two vacations.
3) The best cost-saving story I have for you is an example of a self-employed businessman who planned to do a bit of fishing and diving while on Ambergris Caye for a long weekend yet needed to be in touch with his office back home. He checked with his US phone service provider prior to coming and YES, his phone would work here. According to him, he kept his phone on airplane mode for the two hour trip from Houston to Belize, and the next hour or two to get to Ambergris Caye. During transit the businessman’s office called him, voice mailed, texted and… sent a data dump to him. His phone bill was at $4000US in the short four hours from Houston! The resort he was staying with recommended us. He and his office set up a phone schedule and the businessman enjoyed his diving and fishing. He also found it far cheaper to call his office from a Go Phone here instead of the office calling him. US/Canadian phone companies have the ability to work with your mobility needs, but it can be expensive. It is usually more cost effective to consider a renting a Go Phone while in San Pedro rather than using your foreign phone here.
As we grow, we try to provide more service options. This year at Go Phones we have three new service provisions. First, we have expanded beyond email reservations to provide our clients with online booking through our website including a credit card authorization form to confirm a deposit or to pay for the rental before arrival. The only thing left for the tab is the amount of phone minutes (dollars); we provide $10Bz free talk time with every rental of three days or more.
Secondly, we have added the option of getting a phone number prior to arrival. We’ve had the request several times and this year we have been able to make it happen. People want to stay in touch with friends, family, business associates, the babysitter, the house-sitter and even the dog-sitter. We do have a small fee for this service as we need to pull a phone package out of circulation and ensure we our clients get their Go Phone number 5-7 days prior to their arrival on island.
Last but not least, the third addition to our service package is the inclusion of Ms. Sue Vasquez to Quicksilver. Ms. Sue has become a mobile Go Phone agent. She continues the tradition of meeting our clients at the airstrip for both rentals and returns. Ms. Sue also takes care of providing phone minutes (talk time) via wireless service to our clients before 7pm daily. Furthermore, Ms. Sue acts as a liaison with our other agents; Monkey Business at Banana Beach, Asian Garden Day Spa, Exotic Caye Beach Resort & Fido’s Gift Shop.
So, that’s about it on the “What’s new and wazzup”. We hope you check out our Quicksilver Messenger and Go phones website. Better yet, visit one of our island agents or reserve your Go Phone online when planning your trip . Stay in touch folks!