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Cell Phone Rental

Carolinas
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221 posts
5 reviews
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Cell Phone Rental

Unfortunately we've had a situation arise where the family may need to contact us quickly while we're in T&C. What is the easiest way to rent a cell phone with pre-paid minutes that can receive calls from the USA? We have no interest in making calls with the phone, just being able to receive emergency calls. Ideally, the phone would be delivered to Seven Stars where we are staying and collected from there when we depart. We don't care if it cost more to have it done that way and we're not planning on renting a car while there.

Please don't suggest "alternatives" such as email, Skype, viper, taking unlocked phones with us or whatever. We need this to be super simple, always available to receive a call at any time from the USA wherever we are and reliable.

Retrospectively, this is yet another thing which has us wondering if we've made a mistake by not staying at Grace Bay Club again because they provided cell phones for their guests.

Anyway, constructive recommendations will be sincerely appreciated.

Detroit, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
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11,262 posts
1 review
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1. Re: Cell Phone Rental

AHHH, a true phone "person-to-person" person. That's exactly what I am--direct only. When you get to the Seven Stars ask a couple at the desk check=in where they get their phone service? There is the Big store & a 2nd one @ the IGA Plaza on Leeward Hwy. When we live on the Island( coming next week for half a month) we pay $10 for about an hour of "clear" reception service. Very reasonable to us. DR. JIM

Mullica Hill, New...
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for Turks and Caicos
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7,006 posts
19 reviews
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2. Re: Cell Phone Rental

Do you have a cell phone that you use at home? Just take that with you and you can receive calls from the US. If you want it to be less expensive call your carrier and have international roaming enabled while you are on Provo.

That is the easiest thing to do for an emergency call.

Carolinas
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221 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Cell Phone Rental

Admittedly I’m cell phone challenged – only use the most basic type at home, when I have to do so. Frankly, normally I don’t want to be that “connected’. In that respect I use an LG prepaid with Verizon service and my minutes always expire before they get used. Oh well, it keeps my wife happy – she knows she can reach me if necessary when I’m out and about.

As far as using that phone in T&C I didn’t think that was possible without doing some sort of S&M, or SIM or something doohickey change. Also thought there was some sort of complication involving GSM capability.

On lots of other Caribbean islands we’ve visited people make a living supplying visitors with temporary cell phone service – bring it right to your door and collect it when you’re done with it. Isn’t there anything like that on Provo?

Providenciales
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179 posts
14 reviews
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4. Re: Cell Phone Rental

Islandcom (located at the IGA plaza) rents prepaid cell phones for $10 per day. You can add credit as needed. You will have to make a $100 refundable deposit when renting. You will get the deposit back when you return the phone.

Edited: 06 August 2013, 15:46
denver
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68 posts
40 reviews
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5. Re: Cell Phone Rental

We have rented on a daily basis through Grace Bay Car rental. It was very reasonable. You might check with them.

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for Turks and Caicos
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14,544 posts
22 reviews
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6. Re: Cell Phone Rental

Ask Seven Stars, they might be able to get you one. If not, there are places that rent them, such as Grace

bay Car Rentals and others.

Chicago, Illinois
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15,144 posts
117 reviews
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7. Re: Cell Phone Rental

Before you rent a phone, the first thing you should do is go on Verizon's web site or call them and ask if your phone will work. Here's Verizon's web site where, if you want, you can put in your information to see if your phone will work in Turks and Caicos. If it will, and all you want is to be able to receive an emergency call, this is definitely the best option. The types of cell networks are CDMA, what Verizon uses in the US, and GSM, which most of the world uses. But a lot of phones can work on both.

Simplest option #2, and I know you don't want to hear it, if you have a smart phone where you can download apps, is Skype. If you install Skype on your phone, people can call you on your regular number wherever you are at cheap rates. In your hotel, where they probably have wifi, it would be free.

Next option would be renting a phone. That's more complicated because it'll have its own phone number that you'll have to get back to anyone at home that would want to call you. And it's more expensive because you're paying just to have the phone, which you only need for a possible emergency call.

Chicago, Illinois
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15,144 posts
117 reviews
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8. Re: Cell Phone Rental

Sorry, needed to edit the above. Option 2 is simple because you get to keep your phone number. But it's only cheap if you are on wifi when you receive the call. If you make or receive a long call while not on a wifi network, it can be pretty expensive. So only good if you can take a quick emergency call, then go back to your hotel or somewhere there's wifi service if you need to have a more extended call.

Virginia
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601 posts
43 reviews
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9. Re: Cell Phone Rental

Thank you so much for all these helpful answers. It would be pricey for us to use our US cell phone there due to our specific plan, so we will likely rent one-just to have for peace of mind while out exploring the island. Hope to get one through Grace Bay Car rentals, and if not, will check out Island.com. 5 more days!!! Trying to plan a rough itinerary - hope we can fit everything in our week :)

Washington DC...
Destination Expert
for Turks and Caicos
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14,544 posts
22 reviews
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10. Re: Cell Phone Rental

Wes, 90% chance Verizon won't work, even if they tell you it will.