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Daxon
8th Jun 2016, 05:59
I hope to travel to the UK later this year and would like to ask JBers about PAYG sim cards please.

Last time I tried this, a contract had to be entered with Vodafone, requiring all sorts of paperwork and of course a UK address and bank account to pay the direct debit. It was a good deal but a faff, having to then cancel the direct debit after two months etc

Is it possible to pick up a SIM card, valid for say one month, that gives good coverage over most of the UK with a generous allowance for time, texts and data (preferably that allows hotspotting) without all the palaver?

I would be most grateful for any suggestions that you might have.

Thank you.

fujii
8th Jun 2016, 06:46
I was there twelve months ago. Once through Heathrow customs there were vending machines with SIM cards. 20 gave me a thirty day card with the 3 network. 300 minutes talk, 3000 texts and unlimited data. It worked everywhere from Portsmouth to Stromness.

No paperwork, just insert the card and follow the instructions with the pack.

KelvinD
8th Jun 2016, 07:04
You can pick them up over the counter at supermarkets etc.

UniFoxOs
8th Jun 2016, 08:02
You can pick them up over the counter at supermarkets etc.

Tesco's own brand (EE network) is the best deal at the moment, minimum 10 pre-load.

G-CPTN
8th Jun 2016, 09:12
Be aware that the sim-cards that can be bought for nominal amounts (such as 99p) have then to be loaded with credit - this can be done at various (and multiple) outlets such as garage filling stations or newsagents.
You identify the network and pay for a voucher which includes a number (and 'code') which you call from the 'phone which then registers the credit.
What you need to know is that there are different three or four digits for each network :-

UK mobile ‘phone network operators

O2: Dial 4444 free from your mobile, or key *#10# then press the call button and your calltime balance will be shown on your display
Vodafone: 44555 for Pay Monthly customers; for Pay as you Go enter *#1345# followed by SEND from your pay as you go phone (free call), call 2345 from your Vodafone mobile (free call) or call the pay as you go credit line on 08700 778899 (this is a chargeable call) from any other phone
3: Call 444 free from your Three phone
Orange: Call 453 on an Orange phone
T-Mobile: text BA to 150 and they’ll send you a text with your balance.
EE: text AL to 150 for info on your credit balance and any allowances, or call 150 from your EE phone, or 07953 966 25007953 966 250 from any other phone


Be also aware that not all 'phones are 'sim-free' - ie you might need to have a sim that that the same network as the 'locked' phone. There are independent shops that repair phones in most shopping malls that will advise you (and even unlock your 'phone - for a fee), or visit one of the shops that sell mobile 'phones (such as C*rph*ne W*areh*use).
EE (was Orange) also have shops, but, of course, they will (only) supply for their network.

You can also top-up by registering a credit card, but a cash deal from a store that displays a sign:- http://ee.co.uk/content/dam/ee-help/e-gain.s3.amazonaws.com/external/content/EE/Nina%20images/etop%20up.png is probably easier.

Ways to top up | Pay as you go | EE (http://ee.co.uk/help/accounts-billing-and-topping-up/pay-as-you-go-top-ups/ways-to-top-up)

sitigeltfel
8th Jun 2016, 09:26
Have you looked at the plans your current provider offers for travellers?
They might have something suitable that would save you the hassle of getting a new SIM, remembering the number and informing all your contacts.

SilsoeSid
8th Jun 2016, 10:23
You can pick them up over the counter at supermarkets etc.
Tesco's own brand (EE network) is the best deal at the moment, minimum 10 pre-load.

UniFoxOs, I think you'll find Tesco's 'own brand', Tesco Mobile, piggybacks off O2.
You can however find the various other 'brand' SIM cards at the checkout.
:ok:

Ken Borough
8th Jun 2016, 10:28
On my visits to the UK I buy a pre-paid SIM from Three. Cost for 30 days is something like 20 for more time and text than you will ever need plus unlimited data. One excellent feature is that it allows you data in about 30 countries as part of the deal. This is perfect on long journeys home. While in the UK you can also tether but I think the practice may be frowned upon. I've read reports that the companies can tell if users are tethering but based on my experience with Three, it's not an issue while in the UK. Coverage is excellent. One trap is that you must indicate when installing (or beforehand) if you want to use the SIM for more than domestic UK use.

CarPhone Warehouse I've found to be very helpful but they don't supply all carriers' SIMs. Check out what's available before you go (Google can be a very good friend) and then head for the appropriate shop on arrival.

Fareastdriver
8th Jun 2016, 10:33
You can even buy a new phone for 35 in the high street. This solves the problems as to whether your existing overseas phone has problems with a UK sim. If nothing else it's useful as a backup.

ExXB
8th Jun 2016, 13:45
In the security conscious 20teens why is it possible to buy something like this without an ID?

Planemike
8th Jun 2016, 13:53
In the security conscious 20teens why is it possible to buy something like this without an ID?


Thank goodness we can.............

Clare Prop
8th Jun 2016, 14:39
Last year when I was there I got me a dongle, which was easy to buy but when the time came to top it up I drew a blank not having a UK address even though I have a UK bank account. Being in the middle ofthe night with no transport it was really annoying not being able to top it up online.

I also had all kinds of dramas buying an iPad mini there a while back, it was almost impossible to get one without a contract and therefore needing a UK address until I discovered Argos, perhaps the weirdest shopping experience I have ever had! Then there was the epic of claiming back the VAT...

Gertrude the Wombat
8th Jun 2016, 20:39
In the security conscious 20teens why is it possible to buy something like this without an ID?
??? - you can get access to all sorts of other communication channels without proving identity, what's special about mobile phone SIMs?

parabellum
9th Jun 2016, 02:29
Most recent trip to UK I used a company called 'Lebara' for PAYG sim card, worked well, very cheap overseas calls, just a few cents for calls from UK to Oz.

ExXB
9th Jun 2016, 16:00
??? - you can get access to all sorts of other communication channels without proving identity, what's special about mobile phone SIMs?

Well according to Tom Clancy, et al, they are the device of choice to :mad: an :mad: from a distance.

ID is necessary to purchase a Simcard here now as previously anonymous cards purchased in CH were used for such nefarious purposes.

I had understood that such requirements applied everywhere.

You learn something every day, I suppose.

Gertrude the Wombat
9th Jun 2016, 18:57
I had understood that such requirements applied everywhere.
Some places certainly - IIRC I had to show my passport to buy a SIM in Jamaica, but not the UK.


Guess what - you don't to show a passport to obtain a free anonymous email address, either, and they're cheaper than SIM cards with a vastly greater range of supplier choice.

Daxon
15th Jun 2016, 22:31
Many thanks for all the replies.

I came across the following which may be of interest for some:


Free Pay As You Go SIM Cards: Review & Comparison (http://kenstechtips.com/index.php/free-pay-as-you-go-sim-cards-listed-reviewed-and-compared)


Regards, ~D

G-CPTN
15th Jun 2016, 22:41
Many thanks for all the replies.

I came across the following which may be of interest for some:


Free Pay As You Go SIM Cards: Review & Comparison (http://kenstechtips.com/index.php/free-pay-as-you-go-sim-cards-listed-reviewed-and-compared)


Regards, ~D
That's fine, but some of those offers are for one month only - so you need to commit whatever amount (10?) every month.