During my stay two weeks ago in the great United States of America I have discovered a small push back in service for tourists.
I’m traveling across Europe or India and got my mobile phone always very close to me. Sure, I want to stay connected to the internet to check my emails, post photos, communicate with my customers and so on.
So what I’m doing every time I arrive in a new country is the most important thing for me: Get a local prepaid mobile sim card with the chance to connect to the internet. This works amazingly well I haven’t discovered any problems so far. Sure, India supports only EDGE if you are in luck and you have to pay a daily rate for a specific amount of data but at the end, it works!
Now keep in mind that I’m using an iPhone with microsim which seems to make this a bit complicate in the US.
As soon as I have arrived in LA I headed over to the closest AT&T store to buy a prepaid card for my iPhone with internet access. Guess what, I wasn’t welcome over there with my request. I have tried the same at a Sprint and T-Mobile store but here the same story.
No support for the iPhone 4 with a prepaid sim card in combination with internet access. WOW!
I didn’t knew that this won’t be possible. I thought I’m not the only one looking for a solution. What about other tourists or business travelers? How do they handle that? Using roaming via 3G is a very expensive solution which I have used just a couple of times.
I currently don’t understand the situation about such a missing offer to customers but I really hope some mobile providers will rethink their strategy. Get your product developers back on track and find a solution for tourists and business travelers.
In India, it’s very easy, just go to the next elephant shop and pick up your mobile sim card. The sim card will automatically expire with the end of your visa! Now that is interesting!
I understand that this could be a difficult task to solve in the states as you won’t need a visa as a regular tourist. But here is the simple idea: Let those special prepaid cards expire after 30 days. Easy.
It was really frustrating to look up for the next free WiFi spot to get connected to the internet. So many missed check-ins via foursquare, unanswered mails, missed Skype calls, etc etc. I can’t imagine that there isn’t any solution for, I need to say it again, iPhone 4 users.
I wouldn’t care about cutting a regular sim card to the size of a microsim just to get it working but this isn’t an ideal solution.
Please, dear mobile providers of the US, rethink your product range and drive more customers to your business.
Social Media? Forget about it as tourist if you don’t want to end up with a huge bill from your mobile provider.
There is one thing I have to say “Thank you AT&T”. At some very touristic spots AT&T is offering free WiFi access, now that’s something I’m missing in Germany.
Let’s see what happens in the future and if any mobile provider will get down to the customer who is begging for a prepaid microsim card with internet access. Hope you can see me 😉
Did you had any problems in the US as tourist or business traveler? What is your solution? Please let me know.