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MNJames

Phone calls to the US

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 What do you folks use to keep in touch with friends and family in the US?

Internet-based systems like Skype, FaceTime etc. or does anyone use a cell phone with international  capabilities, and if so are the expenses exorbitant? 

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One of the wonderful things about Mexican phone service is that it includes unlimited calls to Mexico, the US, and Canada. Telcel for cellphones and Telmex for landlines. Other options available, but we like these services.

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For years folks used Internet phones like Vonage to have a lifeline back 'home'. These still exist in many homes but as mentioned Telmex, the Mexican landline company, and Telcel one of the cellphone companies all make calls out to the US and Canada part of their basic offering. Cheap!

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33 minutes ago, oregontochapala said:

One of the wonderful things about Mexican phone service is that it includes unlimited calls to Mexico, the US, and Canada. Telcel for cellphones and Telmex for landlines. Other options available, but we like these services.

What are the monthly fees for such a service?

How long does a person wait to get a land line installed, or a new cell?

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You can use an unlocked cell phone from the U.S. and just get a new chip installed in five minutes here. I pay 299 pesos per month to Telcel for unlimited calling to the U.S., Canada and anywhere in Mexico and 2 GB of internet data.

The landline with Telmex is usually already in the house (at least I hope so because you can wait a loooooong time to get a landline from Telmex). I pay 599 pesos a month for unlimited internet and unlimited calls to Canada, the U.S. and anywhere in Mexico. I live in Riberas and my internet speed is 20 mbps down and 5 mbps up. That's very good so be careful where you rent because some other areas are AWFUL. A company called iLox which has higher speeds is in the process of being rolled out and I am waiting patiently BUT I will not give up my Telmex line. I like options.

These are screaming bargains compared to what my family in Canada pay. I get e-mail notification of the bills, print them off and can pay at the OXXO (convenience store) or Walmart or ??? If you don't pay, they just cut your service. Very simple.

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1 hour ago, MNJames said:

 What do you folks use to keep in touch with friends and family in the US?

Internet-based systems like Skype, FaceTime etc. or does anyone use a cell phone with international  capabilities, and if so are the expenses exorbitant? 

I have Vonage (VOIP), and like it. Although you can make calls to the U.S. using Mexican telephone services, I like the convenience of having a U.S. number so that my bank, credit card companies, etc., can call me. Some financial institutions will not call you on an out of the country telephone number.

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That is absolutely true FlyFree and I had vonage for 15 years and chose a Toronto number and the kids could call me for nothing because it was "local". However, it's another monthly charge (although not that much). It doesn't work if the electricity is out and, in the end, CFE fried my modem and it died.

Same as iLox will not work when the electricity is out and "electric" phones won't work... but plug an old fashioned phone directly into the wall outlet and Telmex DOES work. Those kinds of phones are available at Walmart for about 150 pesos each.

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We pay Telcel $150 every 28 days per cell and I never run out of data.

We pay Telmex $389/month for our landline and internet service. Since we use Wifi for TV service, this is imo a bargain. Our service is decent here, but every area is vastly different.

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21 minutes ago, FlyFree said:

I have Vonage (VOIP), and like it. Although you can make calls to the U.S. using Mexican telephone services, I like the convenience of having a U.S. number so that my bank, credit card companies, etc., can call me. Some financial institutions will not call you on an out of the country telephone number.

I got Vonage 3 years before we moved here and still have that same Canadian number for people to call us conveniently. It's around $30/ month Canadian  and I can also call 60 other countries. I have relatives in Europe and the UK. In addition Mexican landline and cell. I'm not going to worry about nickles and dimes when a lot of things are so cheap around here. the Vonage is terrific and so is their tech support. So big deal if it goes out for a bit with a brown out,your computer does too. I have had my V router replace 3 times. So what.

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LOL. Everybody's needs and wants are different. If anyone in Canada wants to talk to me, they ring my Telmex landline twice and hang up or text me ... and I call them back. All financial stuff is done on the computer and, if they require a signature on something, I print it off, sign it and scan it back to them. Works for me.

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I have a phone here to use Telcel and buy minutes when I need them but I also bring down my T-Mobile phone and use it as if I was NOB.

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1 hour ago, oregontochapala said:

We pay Telcel $150 every 28 days per cell and I never run out of data.

We pay Telmex $389/month for our landline and internet service. Since we use Wifi for TV service, this is imo a bargain. Our service is decent here, but every area is vastly different.

I assume that is pesos not dollars

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I have a Telcel package "Paquete 150" which costs $150 pesos (@ $7.90 USD) per month with unlimited calls to landlines and cellphones for all of Mexico, USA and Canada. You have to go into the Telcell store (I used the one at Laguna Centro on the  Libramiento) to set it up but then you can pay every month at an Oxxo or 7-11 (make sure you point out that it is "Paquete 150" which is one of the selections on their screens) and you are good for another month. I do not use data on my cell, but I think it comes with data, too.

I also use Vonage with a Texas area code.. so there is no charge for people who call me from the USA. I also use Skype for its ease of texting and for calling countries other than Mexico, USA and Canada

 

 

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Following up on a phone call with one my stepsons in Toronto, I discovered that Whatsapp is not only for texting but can also be used for long distance calls to anywhere for free. He was using Whatsapp to call my granddaughter in Thailand from Ontario with no problems. I tried it but it didn't work so well for me. Anyone else using it for calls?

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eazy smizy, I have AT&T simply dial 001- and works perfect. Also when I am in the U. S. I just dial the local number.  

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7 minutes ago, Ferret said:

Following up on a phone call with one my stepsons in Toronto, I discovered that Whatsapp is not only for texting but can also be used for long distance calls to anywhere for free. He was using Whatsapp to call my granddaughter in Thailand from Ontario with no problems. I tried it but it didn't work so well for me. Anyone else using it for calls?

Yes. Both the caller and the one receiving call need to have WhatsApp.

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Thanks Lily. Do you mind telling me what cell carrier you're using and generally where you are located, where you are calling to and the quality of the call? It would help me and others.

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I am personally keeping my Verizon cell phone with unlimited plan. That covers all free calls and texts in the US, Canada and Mexico.

When I travel, I use WhatsApp to call or text with people anywhere. 

Call quality is like I'm talking to someone next to me. 

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Magic jack is a good choice and cheaper than Vonage.  Also you have a U.S. # so any business NOB can call not international.

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1 hour ago, sm1mex said:

Magic jack is a good choice and cheaper than Vonage.  Also you have a U.S. # so any business NOB can call not international.

Agree...  We have MJ with a number in our Canadian hometown.  Family and friends can call us by dialling a local number and we can call them using either MagicJack or our Mexican phones.

We can also call Shaw Direct, banks, or anywhere else, without the recipient knowing we are in Mexico.

The only drawback is having a decent internet speed. 

All that for $50 (plus taxes) USD. a year.

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9 hours ago, Aquaponicsman said:

I have a Telcel package "Paquete 150" which costs $150 pesos (@ $7.90 USD) per month with unlimited calls to landlines and cellphones for all of Mexico, USA and Canada. You have to go into the Telcell store (I used the one at Laguna Centro on the  Libramiento) to set it up but then you can pay every month at an Oxxo or 7-11 (make sure you point out that it is "Paquete 150" which is one of the selections on their screens) and you are good for another month. I do not use data on my cell, but I think it comes with data, too.

I also use Vonage with a Texas area code.. so there is no charge for people who call me from the USA. I also use Skype for its ease of texting and for calling countries other than Mexico, USA and Canada

 

 

You don't have to go to a Telcel store to "set up" the Sin Limites package (not sure how that varies from the Paquete 150 you are talking about). All you have to do is go to an OXO, give them your number, tell them what amount you want and pay. At this point, $100 pesos gives you 17 days unlimited calling and texting for Mexico/US/Canada, $150 gives you 28 days, $200 30 days. The higher ones give you more data per period, if you need that. 

 

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I was just relating how I did it.... and thought it needed to be done.

One month I paid $150 pesos, as usual, but forgot to tell them Paquete 150 and they applied it as just a regular recharge and I ran out of time in 2 days calling the US.

 

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