TECHNOLOGY | January 22, 2009

Quick Guide for Canadians Traveling with an iPhone to the USA

As we arrived in Los Angeles, my husband and I turned down the data roaming on your iPhone since the fees add up pretty quickly.

Then, the iPhone becomes a simple cell phone with a contact book. Nothing smart about it. I felt naked. It is easy to forget the technological advancement as we get used to technology. The first thing we did when we arrived at the hotel was to open our computer to get Rogers phone number. We called to inquiry if there was a plan we could subscribe to reduce our costs. They now do!

Instead of paying $6 CAD per meg, you pay a monthly fee of $10 + $1 per meg. I used about 14 meg on my trip. I save $60 (=$84-$24). Since my husband also have an iPhone, our savings pay off the Custo Barcelona dress I got on sale.

Important Steps to Take to Reduce your Costs

  1. Turn off the data roaming as you board your departure flight even if you subscribed to a US data rooming  plan.
  2. Close off the Fetch New Data – this means that you control when you are downloading new data.
  3. Reset the usage statistics (Settings -> General -> Usage). The idea is that you can track your usage and adapt your behavior.
  4. Once you landed you can put back on the data roaming.
  5. Try to limit browsing the Web, reading your RSS feeds (especially if you read a lot of graphic blog) and even checking your email too often. These actions raise your bill.
  6. Uploading pictures on Twitter do not consume too much; after all they are part of the fun of Twitter. I sent a little bit more than 1 meg for uploads versus receiving 13 meg.
  7. If you do not plan to go to the United States the next month, cancel the US data roaming plan at Rogers to save the $10 monthly fee

As soon as we landed in Montreal, I return to reading my RSS feeds while I was waiting to pass the customs. It felt great to use the full capability of my iPhone whenever I want.

Little note: My husband Jerome Paradis, the other half of the we in this post, wrote a post on the same topic. We did not consult before. If you are curious you can check his version of the story.

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One Response to “Quick Guide for Canadians Traveling with an iPhone to the USA”

  1. Thanks for your post Kim (and Jérôme !).

    This proves my point : telecomm is still way too complicated for consumers. I just called Fido to try to understand the fees that I would incurr for my 10-day trip to the the US these coming days. It is ridiculously complicated and intertwined with exception clauses and Ifs and Buts that honestly make the offer, well, certainly not appealing at all. It will end up costing me less to but a cheap phone in a US store with a prepaid card (unless I go the unlocking/jailbeaking way with my iPhone which I don’t necessarily want to do…).

    Quick ! Open the airwaves to US competition in Canada. Enough with this consumer gauging! Hear my cry, folks. This is nuts, don’t you think ?