Roam Mobility comes out with Canada Day promo, offers new customers up to 7 days of free talk, text, and data

Ian Hardy

June 20, 2013 8:19 am

roam
Vancouver-based Roam Mobility offers affordable roaming packages to the United States (basic talk, text and data package is $4/day) and runs off T-Mobile’s network.

The Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) has planned “a massive Canada Day giveaway” for July 1st. Anyone who buys a SIM card (Standard/Micro-SIM, Nano-SIM) for $19.95, or a Breeze QWERTY phone ($49.95), will get “up to seven days of FREE talk, text, and data (up to $27.95 in value). This is only for new Roam Mobility customers and to secure your free service you’ll have to activate the SIM on July 1st, then enter the ‘CANADADAY’ code. Probably the best part is that the “plans can be scheduled to start at any future date,” so this means that the deal can be used for the vacation you’re planning later in the year.

Good strategy to get new customers on board.
Source: Roam

  • sickens

    TMobile’s HSPA coverage is generally pretty solid in urban areas, but once you hit the fringe, their Edge fallback is painful for anything but text messaging.

    This is a great no-hassle promo though. Going to recommend it to some family who are heading south in the coming months.

  • vn33

    This is a great option for travelers who don’t want to pay roaming fees through the nose. Another option is if you can get your hands on a T-Mobile SIM, you can activate a pre-paid plan, and pay $2/day for voice/Text/Edge data, or $3/day for V/T/200Mb 3G+unlimited Edge after.
    I find Edge is good enough for email, and look out for on-line sale of SIM, I got it for $0.99

    • vn33

      You’re absolutely correct, and thanks for pointing that out! For some, this is indispensable and the main selling point. For me, I guess because I travel to the States more than once a year and don’t call back to Canada that much, the T-Mobile “Gold Membership” status appeals to me, which at that point, my balance expiry is extended to 365-day.

    • IJustGotaTan

      You can also setup a free Google Voice number which allows you to use the same phone number no matter what US SIM you use and calls/texts to Canada are free.

  • roman129

    Or you can go to T-Mobile directly.
    $2/day for 2G speeds, $3/for full speed data.
    I don’t know their policy on sim card pricing, but when I loaded up $30 of credit in a Miami T-Mobile store, they gave me the sim for free.

    And you can call home for free through Google Voice.

  • E. R

    So let me get this straight, if I purchase a sim card today for $19.95 and on the day of the 1st of July, I simply activate it with the promo code and I should get the free service for 7 days including data?

    • Sccoaire

      I’d like to get confirmation about this process as well, since it’s not advertised on their website.

  • Andrew Phillips

    We just got back from a 3 week trip to the USA where we used a Walmart $30 (1 month – 100 min/ unlimited/unlimited) ($39 with the your choice of sim) and found that the T-Mobile coverage was terrible unless you were in the larger US cities and quite a few smaller ones had no coverage at all.

  • Anonymous501

    Hmm…. they charge $4/day and 20 dollars for the sim? For about $10 on ebay (or cheaper if you buy one after you cross the border) you can get a T-Mobile Sim with $3 of credit on it. T-Mobile only charges $3/day for what Roammobility is charging $4/day. The only significant difference is that T-Mobile charges to text to CDN #’s.

    Last time I was in the states I didn’t text enough back to Canada to warrant the $13 different in sim card prices, and the $1/day difference in the daily fee?

    EDIT: The one thing I would like to know is how quickly the SIM card expires? My biggest problem with a T-Mobile SIM is they expire after 90 days of payment. Generally my trips are a less frequent? It would be cool to have a SIM card that can be reactivated (instead of having to get a new one, or maybe extra payments to keep it active). That would help defray the $20 sim card fee they are charging…… I’m actually starting to the think the extra $1/day might be worth the ability to call/text canada (if the sim’s don’t expire).

    • Mark_Ont

      I just checked and its $0.49/minute to call Canada on T-Mobile pre-paid and with Roam its free. So the $1 per day extra gives unlimited calling and sms back to Canada, I would call that a killer deal plus the SIM doesn’t expire and you don’t have to have a minimum balance on the account. Its when I do my Costco USA day trips, I just add $3.95 for 1 day of calling and 100 MB and that’s it and put it away until next time.

      I just don’t see why people complain about Roam being a dollar more when the value is so much more than a T-Mobile SIM!

    • Anonymous501

      All good arguments. When I’m on the US I’m generally on some kind of Vacation. Dipped across the border for a concert or a road trip. I don’t tend to call back to Canada unless it’s an emergency.

      I do send a few texts though, so that’s where the advantage comes in (at least for me).

      I really do like that the SIM doesn’t expire (I think you won me over on that argument). The next time my t-mobile sim expires, I might consider switching.

    • Resonance

      Roammobility SIM cards also expire 1 year after last use.

  • mike

    I was so excited about roam mobility before my recent trip to Florida. I unlocked my phone and bought their plan for the drive down 79/77. Most of the way down, and then back up 75 was unusable. Data was non existent or terribly slow. Once in Orlando it was just OK. Not great. Did speed test and my ping was 1725, download was only 17k which is horrible. They said they are working out issues with data. Hope it’s better next year. The phone and text service was not bad except in some locations where coverage was sketchy.

  • Mark_Ont

    So you buy the SIM for $20 and then you get $28 of free service? I know a lot of friends who were planning on signing up will love this.

    The whole process is too easy Roam and I really never think of roaming rip offs fees again once I signed up.

  • koko

    My experience with Roam has been absolutely horrible…

    T-mobile coverage sucks.. I was in DC for a week late May this year. And most of the time I was on edge, it was only in certain places (e.g. downtown) that you would go on HSPA/3G. T-mobile is not too bad, if you only need voice, but if you need good data connectivity stay away.

    But my biggest gripe is with Roam itself; I bought a 7-day package, and on the second day the service stopped. Believe me, it took me 4 calls and 2hrs45minutes in all to get it all sorted out. The wait times to get a CSR is absurd >25mins on average and they tell you everything will work and they’ve fixed some thing on their end and then it wouldn’t.

    To add insult to injury, the CSRs are extremely rude and they don’t even apologize for the inconvenience of no service and wasted time to get it up and running,

    • Mark_Ont

      I’m surprised to hear about the customer service, I thought was their best feature besides pricing.

      I had an issue and got a call from a manager and a full plan refund in 24 hours plus they let me use it for free.

      I’m a big advocate of these guys, I think you should reach out to them or even talk to the care team manager and let them know.

  • Patrick Cuyegkeng

    As others have mentioned, you can always just go straight to T-Mobile and get around Roam entirely. I’ve activated two lines (one for my Dad and one for myself) as we both work in the US quite frequently. For $30, the SIM card was free and $30 was put into my account. At $3/day for unlimited everything, that’s good for 10 days over 30 days. Use Google Voice to call back to Canada if needed (when in Canada, I also use GV to call the US). Expiry isn’t an issue at all for me. If you think you will spend 33 days in the US over the next year, just put $100 in and the expiration gets extended 365 days. For someone in the US moderately frequently, better to go right to the source of the service.

    And yes, T-Mobile coverage has ALWAYS focused on urban areas. I get no data coverage when driving through West Virginia for example, but there is voice/text for emergencies. Based on coverage maps, I knew that would be the case. Both Roam and T-Mo are only worthwhile if they service the area(s) you visit, so check coverage maps before going with either, but that should be logical for ensuring your carrier at home also covers where you are most frequently. Caveat emptor.

  • Bill Pierce

    Canadians who are considering Roam Mobility need to be aware of where they will be travelling in the US. The service partners with T-Mobile’s US network, which has a considerably smaller coverage area than the dominant US GSM carrier, AT&T. While you can count on coverage in many (but not quite all) of the major population centres, the total coverage is less than 50 percent of the US geographic area. This may be more than suitable if you will be staying in one place, but if you are on the move (for example, driving across the US) you may find yourself stuck. The only option then is to reinsert your Canadian SIM and pay the outrageous roaming fees charged by your Canadian carrier, which has a roaming agreement with AT&T that covers 95 percent of the US geographic area. Unfortunately Roam Mobility only works on the much smaller T-Mobile network (and in some cases on a frequency band that isn’t available on many older GSM handsets).

    I found this out the hard way. I paid for a Roam Mobility SIM and service, which I was able to use only about 10 percent of the time on my US trip. To add to the frustration, I had to pay Robbers (er, Rogers) a huge bill that included their exorbitant roaming fees.

    No wonder I hate mobile phones with a passion.

  • TJ

    Roam Mobility’s pricing is attractive, but their customer service is atrocious. I’m currently on a family road trip to Oregon, and I can’t get data to work on either my phone or my wife’s phone. Last night I spent close to 60 minutes on hold waiting to speak with a CSR — when I finally reached one, she was unapologetic, simply saying there was a problem with their service and EVERYBODY calling in was having to deal with the long hold times. This also happened to me on an earlier trip to NYC — waited 30 minutes on hold to talk to tech support, finally gave up. With this current issue, she tried to “manually” restart my data activation plan (apparently it wasn’t properly set up on their end), and then my call to her was dropped. Immediately tried calling back, but received an automated response saying their office was now closed! It’s now the next morning, and at this moment I’ve been on hold with their office for 55 minutes (and counting). It’s obvious that this company continues to operate in a start-up mode mentality, running on a shoe-string budget. Makes one wonder if the owners are hoping to make as much money as possible before word of their poor service leaks out too far and they start losing business. One final note — quality of signal reception is fine in major US metro areas, but very spotty elsewhere due to Roam Mobility using T-Mobile service (T-Mobile’s coverage is very limited compared to AT&T).

  • LBru

    Great idea. Horrible execution.

    Roam piggy backs on to T-Mobile’s network, which is notorious as one of the worst in the US. You can generally expect no service or a weak EDGE signal unless you are in the downtown core of a major city. Even in urban areas, you’ll often be pushed off of 3G and back on to EDGE.

    I purchased a data plan for a month-long trip to the US based on Roam’s coverage map. I realized only afterwards the map doesn’t clarify the strength of data connection, so while the map may indicate coverage in a certain area, in reality you’ll have 1 bar with at EDGE signal at best. This effectively makes Roam’s data plans impossible to use.

    I pointed all of this out to Roam’s customer service. Although they admitted the map is misleading, they said they have no plans to change it.

    The bottom line is: stay away from Roam if you need to use data during your US travels. You’re better off purchasing a pre-paid sim card & data plan from a US carrier directly.