Explora is in the business of renting smartphones to travelers in the U.S from abroad and founder and CEO Raj Patel was almost completely blind to entertaining the Canadian audience. He told Mobilesyrup that he knew that of the 70 million annual tourists that come to the U.S. each year that 23 million, or 33-percent, were from Canada, but he naturally assumed that most of them would use they own phones and plans. The overseas families are what Raj was concentrating on servicing – like tourists from Japan that have global roaming rates as high as $10/MB. He thought Canadians would receive some sort of special rates from their carriers for those that frequently visit the U.S., as many do…he admitted he was completely wrong.
Raj explains, “It was super interesting how much the service got traction in Canada. We don’t, in all honestly, save Canadians as much [as some of our other international customers], but I’m quickly learning we’re saving Canadians a hell of a lot.” After only three months in business, Raj is finding that Canadians are making up 45-percent of his business! There are some other companies, such as Roam Mobility that offer considerably more savings for Canadian customers that want only talk and text, however, you only save using their data plans if you are staying in the U.S. for an extended period of time. With Explora, you may pay a little more, but you have unlimited everything, including data.
Explora offers one phone and one plan for $8.00 a day – a Nexus 5 and unlimited talk, text and data. It works out great for Canadian travelers that are shooting down to the U.S. for a 4-5 day stay, possibly a last minute trip and they want something quick and painless with no hassles. Raj says that the Canadians are taking advantage of that unlimited data – Explora customers tend to use 1.5 times than that of an average domestic user…not to mention that Canadians are known for using more data than other nationalities.
Reserving is quick and easy – Raj realized that customers wanted a no-hassle and quick way to get their device and normal reservation time is less than 10 minutes. Your Nexus 5 is delivered directly to your hotel or residential address anyway in the U.S. prior to your arrival – and special arrangements can be made in an emergency. There are over 40 pre-installed apps but you are welcome to download any app from the Google Play Store. To return the phone, simply put it in the prepaid mailer and drop it in the mail. Your $8 a day covers everything, even delivery and return postage. The renter also receives special offers and benefits from restaurants, tours, hotels, on transportation and much more with arrangements Explora has with these businesses.
Some customers told Mobilesyrup that their readers expressed a concern over security – sending a phone back after using it for personal business. Explora claims that 50-60-percent of their customers wipe the phone prior to sending it back; however, all devices received are automatically factory reset before they are sent back out again for rental. Raj also said that Explora does not share any personal data with any external parties.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you would be interested in a service such as Explora provides…as always, we would love to hear from you.