Paris Mobile (Cell) Phone Rental
SIM Chip Rental (without phone)

Want to stay in touch with the folks?  To berate us for the failings of our directions?  To make lunch plans with a fellow traveller?  Or maybe just to irritate the other passengers in the “Quiet Car?”  Why not rent a phone?

Plague or benefit in society generally, mobile phones can be useful when you travel, especially if you are trying to organize lunch with people spread across the landscape like random data points, or to find out whether there is space at the hotel in the next town. 

We rent European standard phones from our Paris office (or on your escorted trip, if you are travelling with us).  We can also pre-program them with the amount of calling credit you tell us, and give you your European phone number in advance.
If you have a standard GSM phone, we can rent the SIM chip only, which you then use in your own phone.
We do not rent smart phones, nor chips for smart phones.

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Prices
- 26€ for the first (indivisible) week (16€ for SIM chip only, without the phone)
- 2€ / day for days 8 through 14 (1€ / day for SIM chip only)
- 1€ / day for days 15 and beyond (0.50 cts. / day for SIM chip only, total cost rounded up to the nearest whole €)

  • For the purposes of pricing, “days” run midnight to midnight.  A phone picked up at 5p on Tuesday, and returned on Wednesday morning, is considered rented for two days.
  • Guests in our Paris apartments qualify for a 50% discount on phone or chip rental.

Additionally, if you reserve your phone or chip in advance, you can have us pre-load calling credit to it (25€ minimum).  You may request any amount in multiples of 5€ (25€, 30€, 35€, etc.).

You may have us load smaller amounts, but a 5€ fee applies (which you can avoid by doing this yourself at a local shop). 
Example:  having us pre-load 10€ would cost 15€.

5€ minimum is required to activate the phone, even if you then make no calls. 

You
can easily recharge the phone if your credit runs low (phone credit is sold in phone stores, but also in newsstands, cafés, etc.), so try not to overload it.  Only a portion of unused credits is refunded (details below)....

Phone credit is not refundable under any circumstance:   if you have any doubts, make sure your phone is unblocked, and that our chip functions with it, before purchasing.



Deposit
A 50€ deposit is required, unless you are a guest on one of our cycle trips, are leaving luggage with us for the period of your phone rental, or are renting one of our Paris apartments.
If deposit is made by credit card, we obtain an authorization to charge your card, but do not actually do so unless you fail to return the phone as promised.


Calling Costs

  • Outgoing calls range from 0.40 to 0.90€ / minute, depending on where you are (the “low end” rate is the one that applies when calling from France), but regardless of where you are calling in “old Europe” or in North America (1.55€ / minute to other countries / continents).  Calls within France are 0.40€ - 0.55€ per minute.  First minute is indivisible (except within France, where per second billing applies), subsequent billing is per second.
  • Outgoing SMS's (text messages) range from 10 to 30 euro cents.
  • Incoming calls are free in France, 0.29€ / minute elsewhere.
  • Incoming SMS's are free everywhere.

These prices are communicated by the phone company for the winter of 2013 / 14.  They are subject to change without notice.


What Happens if You Have Calling Credit Remaining When You Return the Phone?

  • If you have never recharged the phone, we credit the calling power you have left as follows:
    - We credit in full any calling power that we loaded to the phone beyond the amount you requested.
    - We then credit half of any remaining balance.
    The total credit is rounded to the nearest whole euro.

    This calculation reflects the fact that credits expire.  We are trying to discourage you from putting 100€ on the phone and only using 10€.  The remaining 90€ may well expire before the phone goes out again.

    Example:
    • You request that 30€ be loaded to the phone.
    • We give you a phone with 40€ calling power.
    • When you return the phone, you have 20€ of calling power left.
    We credit you with 15€ total:  the extra 10€ that we loaded beyond what you requested, plus half of the remaining 10€.

  • If you have recharged the phone, we credit the calling power you have left as follows:
    - 50% of the calling power on the phone, up to the amount that you requested we load. Plus...
    - 25% of any additional calling power, beyond the amount you had us load.

    Example:
    • You request that 20€ be loaded to the phone. 

    • When you return the phone, it has 32€ of calling power on it. 
    We credit 13€ total:  half of the 20€ you requested (10€), plus a quarter of the remaining 12€ (so, an additional 3€).

    Example 2:
    • Y
    ou request that 20€ be loaded to the phone.
    • When you return the phone, it has 10€ of calling power on it.
    We credit 5€.


Reserving a Phone in Advance
Phones may be reserved in advance in order to guarantee availability. 

If you wish to reserve a phone, please write to our Paris office, paris@bluemarble.org.  Tell us...
• ...the dates on which you intend to pick up and return your phone.
• How much calling power you would like pre-loaded to the phone.

Pay for the phone rental via our secure payment page (pre-payment is required to reserve).
- If you wish to pay by check / cheque, you may do so.  The reservation is effective when you inform us that the check / cheque has been posted, provided that this is at least 7 days in advance of the rental date.

We will promptly acknowledge the reservation in writing, and confirm the phone’s number to you.
Guests travelling on our cycle trips or renting one of our Paris apartments do not need to pre-pay in order to reserve a phone.  However, the same cancellation conditions apply (see below), so cancellation may result in an invoice which you are expected to settle.

Phone reservations can be canceled as specified below.
Phone reservations are considered canceled if the phone is not claimed at the lastest on the day after the date for which it is reserved (unless you inform us of the pick-up delay on or before the pick-up date).


Claiming / Returning Your Phone

  • Phones can be picked up at, and / or returned to our Paris office.
  • If you are a traveller on one of our cycle trips, your Trip Coordinator can deliver your phone to you, and / or take it back from you at the end of your trip.
  • Phones can be returned to our Paris office by post.
    Rental charges continue to accrue until the phone is received.   Sending the phone by some sort of traceable mail is wise, and in your interest, but is not required.  You bear the risk if the phone is not received in our office.

Phones returned by post to our US office are subject to a 25€ shipping charge to cover the cost of sending them on to France.


Extending (or Shortening) Your Rental Period
Either can be done without penalty provided you tell us at least one day in advance.  Details are on our “phone use” page.


Using Your Phone
Hints are on our “phone use” page.



Cancellation of a Reserved Phone Rental
For individual travellers not participating in our cycle trips, nor renting one of our Paris apartments.

  • At least one week in advance:  whichever is greater of 5€, or 10% of the rental cost.
  • Between 6 days and the day prior to the date of the reserved service:  whichever is greater of 10€ or 20% of the rental cost.
  • No refund can be made for the first week of rental if the phone is not claimed by the date after the date for which it was contracted.
  • No refund can be made for any pre-purchased phone credit.

Discount phone rentals for travellers on our cycle trips or for renters of our Paris apartments are instead subject to the cancellation terms applying to those services.
- Trip cancellation terms may be consulted here.
- Apartment rental cancellation terms may be consulted here.

For the purposes of cancellations and refunds, days are indivisible.

In the absence of a written cancellation, phone / SIM chip rental is considered to be canceled on the day after the first date of the reserved period.  Conversely, the phone / chip will be held for you through that day.  This term is intended to protect you, since it means the reserved phone is still guaranteed to be available, even if you arrive a day late without warning us of your late arrival (air travel makes this a routine event).

Example:  a phone or chip rented from April 15th would be considered to be cancelled on April 16th if you did not arrive by the end of that day. No refund would be due for the first week of the rental.

Rental charges for whatever period follows the first week’s rental, so from the 22nd, would be refunded.

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