It was hot and humid. The dew point was 73, and the temperature was 93F, 34C. It felt as if it was much higher due to the thick and stifling air. Knowing I still had to do the walking, I struggled to follow my usual routine throughout the day. I set the alarm on my phone to remind me to walk every 15 minutes.
On less hot days, I set the alarm for every 20 minutes. Cook, walk, do post, walk, do laundry, walk, feed animals, walk. But yesterday was different. I spent the entire day on the phone, on hold cumulatively for hours, trying to figure out a solution for our cellphone situation. When they put me on hold, I’d walk, stopping when they came back online.
It was hopeless with Google Fi. They are suspending our service due to overuse of roaming data and phone, on or about March 12, which is 30 days from their original notification letter. We leave here on or about March 24. Most likely, today we’ll book our flight and rental car.
From March 12th until we enter the US, we will be without phone service, when Google Fi service may or may not be restored automatically. If it is, it’s not a solution for us. Once we leave the country on April 8 to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the UK, the service may be suspended once again.
Our only option is to sign up for a service such as T-Mobile with their senior international plan, which requires we call them once a month to “reactivate our service.” The cost for such a plan will be a little more than we’re paying now, but their international data is unlimited, which would enable us to make calls on Whatsapp, Skype, or other such online calling services.
When I spent an hour on the phone with T-Mobile yesterday, I concluded this would be our best option. I set a notice on my calendar to call them once a month on, let’s say, the first of each month to ensure our international service continues seamlessly. This calling requirement is weird, but it will provide service worldwide.
In the interim, next time we go to Komatipoort for groceries, we’ll purchase SIM cards for our phones and will be able to talk and text. However, all our accounts are set up to send us texts at our current phone number. We may or may not lose our phone numbers.
If the service is restored once on US soil, we can quickly get to a T-Mobile store to get their SIM cards installed (our phones can’t sign up remotely to T-Mobile’s network), and we will be able to keep our current phone numbers. If the service is not restored with Google Fi, we will lose our phone numbers and reset our new numbers into each online app that texts us to verify transactions.
During the gap from March 12th on, we will have to make sure we request verification through email, if possible, or enter the SIM card phone number into each account. This could take quite some time to complete and then would have to be redone once we are in the US, one way or another, whether we can use our old numbers or have new phone numbers. It’s all a lot of extra work.
A thoughtful reader and world traveler wrote to us last night explaining she is using T-Mobile’s international plan and is working for them with a few adjustments here and there. Thanks for writing, Lisa. We appreciate your input. We always value our readers sharing solutions for similar situations we encounter and sharing our solutions in our posts.
I made it through the day, managing to get all the information we needed and get in all but 500 steps of my usual routine. Today, I will make up for it. On Sunday, the day of my birthday, I doubt I will be able to get in all the steps. Louise and Danie have a surprise for us for my birthday and are picking us up at 9:15 am. We don’t have a clue what it will be. Whatever it is, I’m sure we will like it. They know me very well.
I hope you have a fantastic day and evening!
Photo from one year ago today, February 17, 2021: