Cell Phones for LaoWai folks


#1

LP Taiwan states that FarEast Tone will set up foreigners with cell phone service. People without ARCs have the option of going with Prepaid service or by using a credit card to have payments deducted.

Does anyone know if this is accurate? Anyone used this company before?


#2

I’ve been using FarEast Tone for about 5 months now. We’re doing the prepaid IF cards, and even though I could get an account, I’d rather stay prepaid - it’s too easy to go overboard if you don’t know how much you’re spending!

I think (though I’m not 100% sure) that FarEast Tone is actaully a subsidiary of AT&T in the US. The English menus sound just like my AT&T did at home too! :slight_smile:


#3

I went with the prepaid FarEastTone card for a couple of months before I got my ARC. I don’t even remember whether or not I had to show my passport to get one. You can buy them at 7Eleven. for registering a new number, they are 1000 NTD including 300 NTD worth of air time. Afterwards, you just buy the airtime. It also seemed I got a free number of SMS with each new purchase of a prepaid card.

I switched to post-paid as soon as I had my company licence. I went to their office on Tunhua, and the girl who took care of me seemed very professional (unlike other businesses like my bank where every time I feel like the very first foreigner to change money in Taiwan because nobody knows how to deal with it). Anyway, she filled out the form for me, asked all the right questions and offered on her own account to copy my phone book from the old SIM card to the new one (I kept my number but got a new SIM card).

They are in fact the local representative of AT&T. I never bothered to compare cell phone contracts of different companies, I preferred to stick with FarEastTone because they seem professional enough and it is very convenient to have English menue. Roaming always worked after I got the post-paid account (but HK was VERY expensive), and I can send SMS to my most important relatives and friends in Germany because they happen to be with the German provider that has a contract with FarEastTone (or possibly AT&T).

But I think a couple of other companies also offer these prepaid cards that you can get at 7Eleven, like Chunghwa etc. So maybe it would make sense to compare prices. Does anybody happen to have done that?

Iris


#4

Thanks a bunch for the replies. The prepay option doesn’t sound bad although from personal experience it seems to be more costly than having an account. At least it’s that way in the States. Is it the same here?

Also, has anyone heard of or opened an account without an ARC? LP mentions one can do so with a credit card. Can anyone validate this?


#5

Prepaid certainly is more costly than post-paid, but at that time, it was the best choice for me. I kept travelling to Taiwan for half a year before moving here, so everybody already knew how to reach me when I was here. And it was very convenient to keep that number after changing to post-paid.

I’m not sure you can get a post-paid account without ARC, but you can always try, I guess.

You could check their website: http://english.fetnet.net/

Iris


#6

About a month ago FET had IF cards on offer. You had to pay I think about 350 NT or 500 NT with 350 NT airtime included, anyway it wasn’t 1000 NT. I know because my brother was visiting and he bought one. I paid for my IF card several years ago 1000 NT.

The only thing you should think about is to call them up (777) within 7 days or your number get blocked until you provide them with your passport number etc… They did that with my number the moment the Taiwan governement passed a law requesting the companies to do so. Enabling them to keep track of the bad guys. As if they wouldn’t use a fake ID card, duh…

I’m also thinking about getting my IF card changed to a post-paid account now that I have my ARC. And… I still have my brother’s IF card that I can use.


#7

I went to 7Eleven in my neighbourhood last week to get an IF card for my dad, and they said it would be 1000 NTD. But maybe their prices weren’t up to date and you could get it cheaper somewhere else.

Those post-paid plans seem like a pretty good offer (you can check the details on their website). Up to now, I never managed to figure out whether or not I had chosen the right one as my monthly bill was always “disfigured” by the time I had spent abroad and I was too lazy to go through all the details.

As I have my ARC now, visa runs are over, luckily! The next bill should look rather normal. I hardly ever use the phone to call anybody, but I send a lot of messages to my brother and boyfriend. I wonder how they appear on the next bill.

Iris


#8

If you send short message to recipients who also use FarEastern, then you only need to pay NT$1 (within one year when you start using the IF card)

For sending short message to recipients who are not FarEastern’s customers, it costs you NT$3/ per message.

Hope this helps:)