Until February, 2011, getting a Smart Phone as a foreigner was next to impossible. Now, foreigners are allowed to sign up for Smartphones with Korean phone companies, but only after they have obtained their ARC (Alien Resident Card). On average, it takes 5 weeks to get your ARC after you’ve arrived in Korea.
Why an ARC? In order to set up a phone contract with a Korean company, you must have a bank account. Before you can open a bank account, you must be registered with the government (your ARC is proof of registration). After you’ve received your ARC you can open a bank account, and then, finally, get a phone.
As you can see, this is usually a time-consuming and frustrating experience. TheArrivalStore.com (TAS) cell phones enable customers to skip these hassles completely. If you are coming to Korea, the phone (like all other TAS products) will be waiting at a conveniently arranged location such as the airport, your school or office, your apartment, etc. If you are already in Korea, your TAS phone will be set up and sent to you within a day or two of your online purchase.
TheArrivalStore.com is excited to give you the opportunity to own a Smart Phone in Korea.
You do not need to have or wait for your ARC – not only will we have your phone ready for you upon arrival, but you only need to commit to a 9-month contract! You have three great options for getting a Smartphone from TAS:
- Purchase the smartphone of your choice, and pay the 100% refundable deposit of $275 USD. The phone will be ready for you upon arrival (deposit explained below).
- Use the convenient “Order Now, Pay Later” (ONPL) option. We understand the investment it takes to even get to Korea – shipping all those documents to your employer isn’t cheap, not to mention the plane ticket! If money is tight and you need to wait for your first paycheck, no problem! All you need to do is pay the $275 USD deposit upfront, and pay the rest of your order within 60 days (deposit explained below).
- Use TAS Cell Phone Rental service until you have your ARC. Then, TAS will assist you in setting up your own personal smartphone through a Korean company.
Remember, immediate access to communication is central to a smooth transition abroad!
Why is it difficult to have a phone set up without TAS?
- Alien Resident Card (ARC). An ARC is almost always required to set up a phone, which takes about 4-6 weeks to complete.
- No SIM card system. Because Korea does not utilize the SIM card system, foreigners cannot simply swap out their SIM card from their US phone. The process is either impossible, or requires a lengthy, tedious registration and phone screening from the government.
- Cost & Convenience. Look around online and you will find most foreigners in Korea end up frustrated with the contractual phone process. Many will tell stories of settling for clunky, second hand pre-paid phones. Not only do they have to continually go to the phone shop to “top off” their minutes, but these phones are expensive (average cost between ₩70,000 and ₩200,000), unreliable, are usually cluttered with technical issues, and have a per-minute calling rate that is 3x higher than a contracted phone.
Benefits of TheArrivalStore.com Smart Phone Plans
- Upon Arrival. Your phone will be waiting for you, as opposed to you waiting for your phone. You do not need an ARC, a Korean bank account, or any other paperwork. TheArrivalStore.com is the only way to have a phone ready for you as soon as you arrive.
- New Phones, Ready to Use. TAS will register your phone with the service provider, switch the language from Korean to English, and charge the battery for you. When you arrive, your phone will be immediately available for calls and texts.
- New Phones, Lowest Price. TAS phones are provided at a fraction of the actual retail price of the phone. Compared to pre-paid phones (mentioned above), TAS phones the best deal around!
- Discounted Long-Distance Calling. TAS service has built-in protection from large, unexpected long-distance bills. Upon purchase, we will provide you with a long-distance calling number that enables you to call internationally at a surprisingly low rate. What does it cost you? Local minutes. That’s all! Certain countries exculded.
- Discounted Long-Distance Texting. TAS will also provide you with a long-distance texting code that will allow you to text friends and family back home. Certain countries excuded?
- Unlimited Data (internet). Need we say more?
- English Support. If you’ve never experienced language barriers, buckle in! Let TAS be one place where you can always find support and solutions in English, without navigating dozens of operators.
- Other Benefits:
- TAS contract cell phones are post-paid plans. Remember the “Order Now, Pay Later” (ONPL) option? Besides the deposit, you pay nothing upfront!
- Smart Phone contracts are a 9 month commitment – by far the shortest and most lenient of any other provider in Korea (compared to the usual 2-3 year contract).
- Do you want to extend your contract? No problem, and no renewal fee! Just keep using the phone and let us know when you would like to end the service.
- TAS customers are billed in English by email once a month. Bills are paid quickly and conveniently by ATM bank transfer or via Korean online bank transfer. (Because we understand that it often takes a few weeks to get your bank account set up, there is a grace period for the first month’s billing)
- If you use TAS phone service for 2 or more years, when you leave Korea you can take the phone with you … for FREE.
Smart Phone Service Plan
All phones are subject to a 10% VAT tax in addition to the basic monthly fee. A standard phone bill after activation/registration fees have been completely paid will be approximately ₩82,390 including tax.
9 months. No fees to extend contract. TheArrivalStore.com offers the shortest cell phone contract available in Korea, giving expats an additional amount of flexibility.
TAS Phone Bill
TAS customers are sent a bill by email once a month. Pay conveniently through an ATM machine at a nearby bank or using your Korean online banking (any Koran bank is acceptable).
Average Monthly Bill: The basic monthly fee for a Smart Phone is ₩74,900, which includes 300 free minutes and unlimited data. With the exception of the first month, the vast majority of our Smart Phone customers end up having a bill around ₩74,900/month, plus tax.
- The first month’s bill is about ₩105,000, due to the activation fee (₩20,000) and first third of the registration fee (₩10,000) plus tax.
- The second and third month bills are approximately ₩85,000 plus tax.
Texts: All incoming texts (both domestic and international) are free. Outgoing domestic text messages beyond the 300 included in the base fee are about 2 cents each (₩20 per text). International texts require a code.
Calls: All in coming calls (both domestic and international) are free. Outgoing domestic calls beyond the 300 included in the base fee are about 10 cents per minute (₩18 per 10-second increment). International calls require a calling card or code.
- Minutes are broken into 10-second increments, not 60-second increments (i.e., if a call goes 3 seconds into the next minute, the customer is only charged for 10 seconds, not the entire minute). The per-minute usage is added to the base fee each month.
100% Refundable Deposit
All TAS Smart Phones have a $275 USD (about ₩300,000 depending on current exchange rate) fully refundable deposit. This is basic and necessary collateral against any future damage to the phone and/or unpaid bills (further explanation below).
Termination of Service within the first 7 days
If the cell phone is returned within 7 days of delivery and the phone is in condition equivalent to which it was issued, the purchase price of the cell phone and phone deposit will be returned, less the following non-refundable charges:
- non-refundable registration fee: ₩30,000
- non-refundable activation fee: ₩20,000
- any usage charges incurred on the phone
Termination of Service after 7 days and before 9 months
If a customer chooses to cancel service after 7 days but before completing the full ninth month of the contract, 50% of the deposit and any additional usage/damage charges will be withheld.
Termination of Service after 9 months
If you wish to cancel after fulfilling the ninth month of the contract, give TAS a 30-day notice by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
100% Refundable Smart Phone Deposit: Further Explained
TheArrivalStore.com requires a 100% fully refundable deposit with the purchase of every new, used, or Smart phone. This necessary evil was introduced after a few customers left the country without paying their outstanding bills. TAS holds your deposit while the phone is in use and returns your deposit after the phone is (1) successfully returned to our TAS Korea office and (2) the contract is terminated.
While TAS understands that all phones are subject to normal wear and tear, excessive damage to a phone will result in the loss of some or all of the deposit.
The following are examples of excessive damage that will result in partial or complete loss of the cell phone deposit
- Missing buttons
- Missing battery cover
- Cracked screen
- Excessively scratched screen
- Cracked plastic casing
- Water damage
- Improper functioning
- Obvious misuse
The deposit is returned after the service contract has been completed, the phone has been returned to TAS, and phone damage has been assessed. If applicable, the deposit will be used to (1) pay your final month phone bill and/or (2) cover the cost of any damage. The remainder is returned to you, via PayPal or another payment method arranged. Be assured that TheArrivalStore.com is committed to assessing the damage as fairly as possible!
If you have any specific questions that have not been answered, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com