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Expats keeping a phone number in their citizenship country (aka MagicJack not working).


JimmyJ

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I just checked with Ting which I'd never heard of before this thread, and my spare phone is compatible, and my phone number also is so I could port that over.

 

So it's seeming like Ting ($6 min./month)  or Ultramobile PayGo ($3 min./month) will - I hope - work for me. 

 

I think Ting's website is excellent for getting an interested customer up to speed.

 

I basically feel like most of my accounts are locked down at the minute, which makes me very uncomfortable.

Madjack's app is down for the 3rd day, and many if not most of my banks and cc's want to send me that phone call/text with the verification code before I can get in. So not a good situation until I get this resolved.

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I keep my UK number going in Thailand and My Thai number going when out of Thailand. So which number is used for verification sms both are available. 

Skype is working best, and have for the quality a very good value concerning the price. It´s also possible to buy a USA number with Caller ID ans both way SMS enabled.

Prepaid T-Mobile account in the USA. $3 a month. Works great in Thailand for USA banking and others. It roams on AIS. No problems. I have one cheap smart phone with that T-Mobile SIM card in my s

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20 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

For new users, T-Mobile now only sells the starter kit for $10 - the SIM and I don't know what else, probably nothing but instructions.

The rep told me that they're told not to give any info about the Ultra PayGo $3 plan but refer everyone to Ultra.

 

Indeed, when I look at the TM public website today for their Prepaid plans, the only two cheap ones (the former $3 plan and the separate tourist plan for U.S. arrivals) now point to UltraMobile.  The only remaining TM prepaid plans seem to be in the $40 to $50 a month variety.

 

https://prepaid.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans

 

But when I log into my existing TM account, it still shows the $3 a month plan as an available prepaid option along with all the others.

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21 hours ago, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

Two things about that.... 

 

1. I've definitely been told directly by Ting that at some point before the end of 2020, their current Ting GSM customers are going to have to be issued and receive a new SIM that will work on their Verizon-based network (and presumably support Verizon based international roaming).

 

2. What's kind of interesting about that, though, is that while Verizon is traditionally a CDMA carrier, when you're traveling abroad and roaming internationally with a Verizon phone and SIM even today, you're not connecting to Verizon's CDMA network, you're connecting and using their international roaming partners which here in TH would be GSM...

 

So, for someone who's staying in Thailand and doesn't plan to travel back to or use the future Verizon-Ting SIM in the U.S., it might well be a situation where they'd never actually have to or need to activate the service or use the SIM on any CDMA network. Just on the GSM/LTE ones here in TH.

 

Parallel example - I've had and occasionally used my Ting SIM now for some months. But when I first got it and used it on my phone, it was here on TH on Ting/TM's international roaming partners.

 

And thus far, I've never yet actually connected with Ting/TM's home network in the U.S.  And yet, I was able to start and continue using the service just fine.

 

So as long as someone is staying here in TH, the CDMA compatibility issue with Ting-Verizon in the future MIGHT be an entirely non-issue.  Unless the Verizon network somehow requires folks to activate, initially use their service on their home U.S. network first. And I don't know the answer to that one.

 

 

I originally got Tings starter kit($6/pm) and bought a cheap GSM flip$30.

I went on another forum and was told after a week into my new membership with Ting that they were going with Verizon(CDMA) and ditching Tmobile)GSM). I called Ting CS they verified it. I began to inquire about service in the future specifically with my phone and the GSM sim. He said since Verizon is a CDMA the phone and sim can't be used with Ting anymore when the merger takes place. Furthermore I called that same day, spoke to another CS to confirm and she suggested that it might be rumors (conflicting advice) lol 

 

The initial CS recommended that I buy a LTE capable phone and a CDMA sim. I asked for the Sim only I told the CS if Verizon/Ting has a decent merger  that I would buy a LTE phone here in Thailand. I  asked . will Ting be able activate my service even if I'm out of the country,he said yes. 

So for me its a wait and see ,in the mean time I'm using Mintmobile(GSM) to receive  txt codes.

 

 

Edited by riclag
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9 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

"Not for extended international use; you must reside in the U.S. and primary usage must occur on our network. Device must register on our network before international use."

What your saying is the TMobile $3 plan won't work on a extended basis,Right? If this is correct than I was given the correct advice in July when I first inquired. 

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10 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

I just checked with Ting which I'd never heard of before this thread, and my spare phone is compatible, and my phone number also is so I could port that over.

 

So it's seeming like Ting ($6 min./month)  or Ultramobile PayGo ($3 min./month) will - I hope - work for me. 

 

I think Ting's website is excellent for getting an interested customer up to speed.

 

I basically feel like most of my accounts are locked down at the minute, which makes me very uncomfortable.

Madjack's app is down for the 3rd day, and many if not most of my banks and cc's want to send me that phone call/text with the verification code before I can get in. So not a good situation until I get this resolved.

Jimmy before all this <deleted> with Bkk bank NY changing their transfer policies.I was using domestic ACH Bank of America transfers to / Bkk NY to Bkk Thailand.I started testing Etrade($25 transfer fee) when the Bkk Bk news came out,initially I had to verify myself by uploading my passport using their secure messaging.After that it was cut and dry(download a swift transfer form fill it out upload it,together with my passport) and wait 24- 48 hrs.for it to get to Bkk BK Thailand.

 

On a recent trip to the states, I signed up for a Charles Sshwab checking and brokerage account(free atm) and a Capital One checking account(other bank fee only) all of this on the advice of forum members,here.

Schwab gives you a security token,totally awesome in the respect that you don't need to go through a 2 step verification process.No phone calls or txt codes!

 

Cap One is another good bank in that you don't have to give a travel notice and every time I log in I only have to use my Username and password. I linked up all my financial accounts through online banking!I can use Etrade  for larger transfers.  

Are you currently in the states?    

Edited by riclag
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A side thought, I hope it is OK.

I've been playing the fake U.S. identity game for over a decade. Address, phone number, U.S. I.P. logins, everything.

It seems like a constant game of catch up.

The firms keep making it harder. 

It's exhausting. People get older and to do this they need to be ahead of the financial firms technically. 

Going forward, will this game even be viable any longer?

What will be the next roadblocks for expats playing this game?

I'm starting to feel expats that are more or less committed to being an expat for life should go full on and stop faking it.

There is SDFCU, interactive brokers, and perhaps others that will support this. But then there is the issue of keeping U.S. based credit cards. 

 

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40 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

A side thought, I hope it is OK.

I've been playing the fake U.S. identity game for over a decade. Address, phone number, U.S. I.P. logins, everything.

It seems like a constant game of catch up.

The firms keep making it harder. 

It's exhausting. People get older and to do this they need to be ahead of the financial firms technically. 

Going forward, will this game even be viable any longer?

What will be the next roadblocks for expats playing this game?

I'm starting to feel expats that are more or less committed to being an expat for life should go full on and stop faking it.

There is SDFCU, interactive brokers, and perhaps others that will support this. But then there is the issue of keeping U.S. based credit cards. 

 

So true, in many ways!

"I'm starting to feel expats that are more or less committed to being an expat for life should go full on and stop faking it".

 

Speaking for myself, I  haven't reached that point yet but I can't tell you how much it lives in my head(access to money),it seems that there isn't a day that goes by that I think about it, what feels like scheming !

Edited by riclag
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6 hours ago, riclag said:

What your saying is the TMobile $3 plan won't work on a extended basis,Right? If this is correct than I was given the correct advice in July when I first inquired. 

No, I was referring to T-Mobile's $20 Unlimited Talk Text plan.

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6 hours ago, riclag said:

Jimmy before all this <deleted> with Bkk bank NY changing their transfer policies.I was using domestic ACH Bank of America transfers to / Bkk NY to Bkk Thailand.I started testing Etrade($25 transfer fee) when the Bkk Bk news came out,initially I had to verify myself by uploading my passport using their secure messaging.After that it was cut and dry(download a swift transfer form fill it out upload it,together with my passport) and wait 24- 48 hrs.for it to get to Bkk BK Thailand.

 

On a recent trip to the states, I signed up for a Charles Sshwab checking and brokerage account(free atm) and a Capital One checking account(other bank fee only) all of this on the advice of forum members,here.

Schwab gives you a security token,totally awesome in the respect that you don't need to go through a 2 step verification process.No phone calls or txt codes!

 

Cap One is another good bank in that you don't have to give a travel notice and every time I log in I only have to use my Username and password. I linked up all my financial accounts through online banking!I can use Etrade  for larger transfers.  

Are you currently in the states?    

I've got Schwab but will have to look into the security token.

Are you referring to using Authy or Google Authenticator to get the token?

 

I just checked - Schwab gives me the choice of Phone call/text/email.

As long as a bank still offers email for their 2FA I'm ok with it.

 

I've also got Capital One but for me using my computer they not only have me verify every time but they are one of the banks that removed the email verification and I have to get a phone call or text.

 

Do you use their phone app? I haven't tried that. I don't use any financial institutions' phone apps.

Edited by JimmyJ
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8 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

I've got Schwab but will have to look into the security token.

Are you referring to using Authy or Google Authenticator to get the token?

 

I've also got Capital One but for me using my computer they not only have me verify every time but they are one of the banks that removed the email verification and I have to get a phone call or text.

 

Do you use their phone app? I haven't tried tthat.

Call up CS  customer service and request a security token,its free!

I use the Cap one phone app,no problems

image.jpeg.3b579b1ab34d99e03da9a0c97a86ec99.jpeg

Edited by riclag
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11 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

No, I was referring to T-Mobile's $20 Unlimited Talk Text plan.

So what about the Tmobile $3 plan are they still offering that?

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7 hours ago, riclag said:

So for me its a wait and see ,in the mean time I'm using Mintmobile(GSM) to receive  txt codes.

 

 

Which Mint plan do you use?

I've read up on Ting and Ultramobile PayGo so far.

 

Will read up on Mint now.

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8 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

How do you receive the Schwab code?

Did they give you a physical device to receive it?

Just press the small button on the device  and add it to the password when you log in 

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9 minutes ago, JimmyJ said:

Which Mint plan do you use?

I've read up on Ting and Ultramobile PayGo so far.

 

Will read up on Mint now.

It was a $15 dollar p/m plan! (don't know if they offer that to new customers still).At the end of three months you have to buy a annual plan ,which is 15 x 12 plus tax( about $200). You also have to purchase international roaming .I bought $5 worth . I will never use it and it will carry over. If need be I'll use skype to call the states.

Edited by riclag
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I would of preferred Ting $6 plan but I didn't know if their merger with Verizon was going to screw things up especially with the mix suggestion I got from CS ,back in July  

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6 minutes ago, riclag said:

I would of preferred Ting $6 plan but I didn't know if their merger with Verizon was going to screw things up especially with the mix suggestion I got from CS ,back in July  

My US phones have a choice for LTE/CDMA and GSM/UMTS. So I assume I will be ok whatever happens if I choose to use Ting.

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1 minute ago, JimmyJ said:

My US phones have a choice for LTE/CDMA and GSM/UMTS. So I assume I will be ok whatever happens if I choose to use Ting.

Yes,except for the price going up possibly, once verizon sinks their teeth into Ting

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Just now, riclag said:

Yes,except for the price going up possibly, once verizon sinks their teeth into Ting

Call Ting and make sure your IME is capable . Don't just go with the website random check of your IME and device 

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Ultramobile PayGo (formerly T-Mobile $3 plan):

 

Called their CS #, told him my phone's Model Number, he checked and told me it is 60% compatible. Doesn't sound great although he brushed it off.

He did not check the MEID # - I'll call back and see if someone can do that.

Hopefully calls will go thru ok. I guess I can switch to Ting if I find that the connection is bad.

 

$3/month for a combination of 30 minutes or 30 texts or both combined up to a total of 30 (e.g., 15 minutes and 15 texts).

Then (I'm pretty sure) it's 10 cents/min. for additional minutes/texts.

Since I'll be using it mainly to receive bank texted codes, should be fine.

If they call me when I'm abroad and the call is made from the USA (which they are when the bank calls) the minutes will be taken out of the $3/30 minutes and/or 10 cents/min. once the 30 minutes are used up.

 

If I call using the PayGo phone # from Thailand to the US, it will be charged at 25 cents/min.

 

Ultramobile does not have dedicated stores, but is sold thru some independent phone stores.

After I got done with the phone cs rep who had a heavy accent (and had to check on one question I asked him so I wasn't sure how well versed he is), I called a local phone store that sells Ultramobile services.

 

That person confirmed what he had told me.

Bank/cc company calling/texting from the US to my US PayGo # when I am in Thailand will be taken out of the 30 minutes.

Me calling the US from Thailand on the PayGo # is 25 cents/minute.

So a long phone call on hold to resolve a banking issue could be costly, but shouldn't happen too often.

 

I did like that the Ultra phone service connected me with a rep almost immediately.

If there is a tech issue, I don't know how long that could take to get someone though, or if the initial rep just writes it up and passes it to the tech dept.

 

I haven't checked into Ting yet which is $6/month (for what I don't know yet) and 30 cents/min. roaming.

But they claim it is possible to make free wireless calling internationally with some phones using Ting -

 

"Ting international roaming: avoid charges with Wi-Fi calling"

https://ting.com/blog/ting-international-roaming-wi-fi/

 

Edited by JimmyJ
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I just spoke to Ting - The way the phone cs described it, the costs are:

 

$6/month just for the subscription

 

1-100 texts during the month (incoming texts may not be counted, only outgoing, but not sure) = $3/month

 

1-100 phone call minutes/month = $3/month

 

So $12/month minimum if making 1 phonecall/month and sending out 1 text/month.

 

ALSO - In the case of Ting, they charge roaming in addition if one is out of the country for phone minutes at 30 cents/minute, whether the call is Thai to US or US to Thai.

 

Texts incoming not charged. Texts outgoing 12 cents/message.

 

So Ultra PayGo much cheaper, if the PayGo reps were correct that int'l. roaming is only charged from Thailand to US but not charged for US to Thailand.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, JimmyJ said:

If you are using Ting and/or T-Mobile's $3/month plan / Ultramobile PayGo $3/month plan, would appreciate feedback - Any issues? Happy with service?

Problems?

I have T-Mobile 3 dollar plan now for about 5 months. Works good for text messages from US. Every text rec'd is 0.10 cents. I do no calling in or out. Works good as text arrives within seconds. 

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I find that, even though the MagicJack phone app is still down for the 4th day for receiving calls and texts, I can make outgoing calls and probably can make outgoing texts.

 

So that may take care of free non-bank calls to the US if I can get a decent connection.

Most of the time when I used it in SEA to call the US it dropped in and out either for me or the called party and was essentially useless.

I asked someone who lives in Thailand and he said he doesn't have that problem with it.

Edited by JimmyJ
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On 9/5/2019 at 8:49 PM, TallGuyJohninBKK said:

However, for potential new Ting subscribers, one problem I encountered is their system wasn't willing to accept and send a new SIM to either of the mail forwarding addresses I use. So I ended up having to use a family member's residential address, and then have them forward the SIM to me.

 

That's disturbing, as if other companies do that it will be a problem if it becomes necessary to switch companies someday.

 

They recognized that the addresses were mail forwarding?

Or perhaps just that they are business addresses and not residential addresses?

 

At any rate, I just decided to buy a Ting SIM while still in the US and keep it just in case.

Edited by JimmyJ
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On 9/6/2019 at 10:35 AM, britishjohn said:

Buying a dual sim phone was the best thing I did.

I'm not sure about the US but I have been using a SIM only contract on a UK network. However I just realized I'm throwing money down the toilet and plan to switch over to pay as you go, which I'm told will cost me almost nothing. I just need to top up with £5 and send a txt once every 6 months to keep it alive. That's the theory anyway...

That's what I do. Look at GiffGaff, which has worked perfectly for me on the pay as you go basis for years. And I'll get a dual SIM phone next time.

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