Getting a phone as a foreigner in Korea is usually a time-consuming and frustrating experience. 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, go get a phone.
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.
TAS is excited to offer customers 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 100% refundable deposit of $125 USD upfront, and pay the rest of your order within 60 days (deposit explained below).
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 New/Used Simple 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.
- Used Phones: Ready to Use. TAS will register your phone with the service provider, switch the language from Korean to English, install a FREE protective screen film and plastic cover, and charge the battery for you. When you arrive, your phone will be immediately available for calls and texts.
- Used Phones: Highest Quality, Lowest Price. TAS phones are provided at a fraction of the actual retail price of the phone. If the phone does not function properly or has technical issues (not caused by the user) while it is in the possession of a customer, TAS will help you fix the problem immediately. Compared to pre-paid phones (mentioned above), TAS used phones are the best deal around!
- Used phones have typically only been used for one year. TAS used phones are nicer than pre-paid phones, with many additional features like: caller ID, camera, games, mp3 player, Korean/English dictionary, etc. The used cell phone plan is the same as the new phone plan (described below).
- The used phones come in a variety of different models, styles, and colors. You can see the specific models available at any given time by viewing the pictures above and picking the preferred model in the drop down list.
- Many used come with additional accessories (extra battery, earphones/headset, adapter, etc). All TAS customers also get 1100 free monthly outgoing minutes to other LG Telecom subscribers.
- Manufacturers: Samsung, Cyon, Sky, Anycall, LG, etc.
- Style: slide or flip
- 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 excluded.
- 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.
- English Support. If you’ve never experienced language barriers, buckle in! Let TheArrivalStore.com be one place where you can always find support and answers to questions in English, without navigating dozens of operators.
- Other Benefits:
- TAS Simple contract cell phones are post-paid plans. Remember the “Order Now, Pay Later” (ONPL) option? Besides the deposit, you pay nothing upfront!
- Used phone contracts are a 6 month commitment – by far the shortest and most lenient of any other provider in Korea (compared to the usual 1-3 year contract).
- Do you want to extend your contract? No problem, and no renewal fee or extension fees!
- TAS customers are billed in English by email once a month. Bills are paid quickly and conveniently by ATM bank transfer or by online bank transfer using your Korean online banking. (Because we understand that it often takes a few weeks to get your bank account set up, we even provide a grace period for the first month’s billing)
Used Phone Simple Service Plan:
All phones are subject to a 10% VAT in addition to the monthly base fee. A simple phone bill after registration fees have been completely paid will be no less than ₩27,390 a month, and is on average ₩38,500 a month since the included minutes are not “any network” minutes.
6 months. No fees to extend the contract. TAS 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 (any Koran bank is acceptable).
Average Monthly Bill: On average, TAS customers spend between ₩35,000 and ₩50,000 per month. The monthly bill fluctuates according to usage, mostly outgoing minutes and texts.
Texts: Outgoing text messages beyond the 100 included in the base fee are about 2 cents each (₩20 per text)
Calls: Outgoing calls are about 10 cents per minute (₩18 per 10-second increment)
- 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.
Internet Usage: Using internet on TAS phones can be quite expensive. If a customer plans to use internet on a consistent basis they should contact firstname.lastname@example.org so that TAS can move the customer to a suitable plan. Unless adjusted, TAS plan internet costs are as follows:
- OZ internet: ₩0.25 per .5KB
- OZ Music On: ₩1.04 per .5KB to download and stream music
- OZ Multimedia: ₩2.01 per .5KB to download and play games
For reference: ₩.25 = .00025 cents USD 1 low resolution photo = 100 KB = ₩50, about 4 cents USD
100% Refundable Deposit
TAS requires a 100% fully refundable deposit with the purchase of every phone - new, used, and smart phone. All TAS Simple phones have a $125 USD (around ₩145,000) 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 activation fee: ₩30,000
- non-refundable re-stocking fee: ₩10,000
- any usage charges incurred on the phone
Phone Cancellation after 7 days and before 6 months
If a customer chooses to cancel service after 7 days but before completing the full sixth month of the contract, 50% of the deposit and any additional usage/damage charges will be withheld.
Phone Cancellation after 6 months
If you wish to cancel after fulfilling the sixth month of the contract, give TAS a 30-day notice by email (email@example.com).
100% Refundable Cell Phone Deposit: Further Explained
TheArrivalStore.com requires a 100% fully refundable deposit with the purchase of every new or used 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. TAS provides plastic cell phone covers and screen protectors free of charge for most phone models to help you care for your phone. To ensure a full refund on the deposit, TAS highly recommends using the plastic cover and screen protector.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by Alyssa Z
everyone is so helpful! I have called them many times, and they even helped me translate my needs at a post office! They are great people
Reviewed by Kelly
I ordered a simple cell phone. It works very well but it made me feel like I live in 2008!
Reviewed by Rowdy
If TAS' customer service has one weakness, it's that they are too nice not to push you into an upgrade. Do not buy a simple phone. You will be laughed at by any Korean that sees you use it. You will think you are okay with the slow, non-T9 texting... then you will hate yourself for thinking that. Korea is a smart phone culture- even the 1st graders in elementary school have these super-advanced pocket computers. You will feel the bulk of your ridiculous flip phone sitting in your pocket, getting heavier with each step as you are lost in some Korean city, wishing you weren't an idiot for not getting something with navigation abilities. If there is one upside, it's maybe that you will read more when you sit on the 3-hour bus ride to Busan rather than play games, watch movies, chat with friends, or read an e-book in your downtime. Get a smartphone through TAS.