As a born and bred Angelino with lots of family and friends back in the states, visiting home every few years is essential. Not to mention my need for authentic Chinese food, Coffee Bean ice blended drinks, and window-shopping at The Grove.
When I'm planning dinner dates with old friends and catching the most recent Broadway show, I need a reliable cell phone solution that works without wasting my time. On one of my recent trips, I thought to myself, hey, I'm not a tourist. I may as well purchase a prepaid SIM on my own. I went a step further and ordered a free card to be delivered to my US address.
I arrived, exhausted, and wanted to distribute my number to my contacts. I called the customer service line and spent 10 minutes practically losing my mind as I attempted to activate the SIM card. I was passed back and forth through various departments as I tried to speak to a manager who couldn't help, and was eventually hung up on.
Figuring that it wasn't worth dealing with over the phone, I headed over to the local cell phone shop the next morning. Despite my jet lag, I tried to get an early start, but the store didn't open until 11:00! Once I got in, I waited about 15 minutes for my turn, and then the computers broke down, so I was asked to leave, and return in about 30 minutes. I said no way!! The representative said nothing could be done, and informed me that I could purchase a prepaid SIM at the local 7-11.
I finally purchased a SIM, added credit successfully via the phone system, and was fine. Until I ran out of credit 2 days before I had to leave, and had to add at least $10. I was so frustrated and disappointed, because I knew my time had been wasted.
The next time, I knew I had to do better. I ordered a TelAway SIM on the simple online form, and received the card and phone numbers prior to departure. I could use the line as soon as I would land and could distribute my phone numbers before I left home! I didn't have to step foot into a cell phone shop or a convenience store. I knew what was included in the plan, and paid for nothing more. Every time a friend mentions an upcoming trip to the US, my first response is to make sure to take a TelAway SIM card for a hassle free experience.