Monday, June 20, 2011

The Incredible Awesomeness of Romanian Phone Plans

Whenever I tell people in America what I pay for my monthly phone bill and what I get for it, they think I'm joking. It's "too good to be true." But indeed, it's true.

For the longest time I paid 4 euros a month and with that got 400 minutes, 400 texts, and 40 'national' minutes. Here the normal minutes are to those using the same service provider. The two main providers are Orange and Vodafone. You can even tell which provider people use by the first 3 digits of their phone number. SO EFFICIENT. I use Orange because most everyone I know uses Orange, and minutes to other Orange users are way cheaper than to Vodafone or other users. So, in essence I got 400 Orange minutes, 400 Orange texts, and then 40 minutes to landlines, other networks, and even (some) international phones. Yes, I can call the U.S. with those minutes. It's amazing. As with many plans here, it is month to month, so you can start and stop it as you wish and not get locked into a 2 year contract (though they do have those, too). What's more- you only use minutes for outgoing calls. If someone calls you, you don't use your own minutes.

This. is. amazing.

So I thought I had the best deal ever, and I've had that literally since I got here in January of 2009. All kinds of other offers have come along, but they either were more expensive or had no texts or had no national minutes. I had the greatest combination for my needs. FOR FOUR EURO A MONTH.

But then.

Orange recently started an offer for 1000 Orange minutes, 1000 Orange texts, 70 national minutes, and 70 national texts a month. For 5 euro. In this case I was the one who thought my friend was joking when she told me. I thought there must be some catch. Oh but no. It's true. Oh so very wonderfully true. And no catch.
So you bet your bottom dollar I signed up for the offer! I mean COME ON!

The thing is- my one issue with my 400 plan was that I often would run out of text messages before the end of the month. People text way more than call here, so I have shifted my habits in that direction, which often meant that I would have loads of extra minutes but need to spend an extra euro to buy 100 extra text messages. Which is fine. But just to say that I would actually end up spending 5 euro per month anyhow. But now with this new plan I can spend that and have more minutes and texts than I could possibly use (or could I? mwahaha).

I really love the phone plans here. Did I mention that I can go most anywhere in Europe and use my phone (it costs more, but hey)? Also, I can't recall the last time I had a dropped call. The coverage is just excellent. Thus, I'm a little less than excited to go back to the U.S. cell phone plans with absurdly high costs and where you pay for incoming and outgoing calls. And calls drop often. But alas, there are worse things in life, and this too shall pass. But I will appreciatively remember the incredible awesomeness of Romanian phone plans with fondness.

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