Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => OT Knowledge => Topic started by: road-runner on May 10, 2018, 01:53:20 pm

Title: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 10, 2018, 01:53:20 pm
After 19 delightful years with T-Mobile, EE bought T-Mobile, switched me (and everyone else) over to an EE SIM and has now cancelled my number and credit. I have lost both. Unbelievable customer service!

I have a twin-SIM mobile that I use for voice calls and text messages, no internet or games or stuff. I usually spend about £30 per year on PAYG credit. Some companies (web sites, usually) insist on a UK number so I would like to continue to have a UK SIM.

As I am starting over I don't feel particularly keen on EE. I am happy with my O2 Slovak SIM so would consider O2 in the UK but you may know better than me. Who do you recommend?
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: orienteer on May 10, 2018, 02:48:10 pm
I use Virgin Mobile, a monthly SIM-only myself, and a pay as you go SIM for Mrs O, which she rarely uses.

It uses the EE network, but all dealings are with Virgin, never had a problem, always seem helpful.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: CAMRAMan on May 10, 2018, 02:51:08 pm
Lester, when I was in Hungary I set up a landline UK number with a VOIP provider. Skype do something similar. I used that for UK orders. Might be an alternative for you?
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: Thor on May 10, 2018, 03:03:37 pm
Three 3-2-1 SIM-only plan (https://www.three.co.uk/Support/Free_SIM/Order). PAYG credit does not expire, importantly.  3p/min for calls, 2p per text (1p/mb of data but you don't do data).  Simples!
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: fuaran on May 10, 2018, 03:40:27 pm
Worth a look at Giffgaff as well. Uses the O2 network. Fairly cheap for most things, including international calls I think. Credit doesn't expire, so long as you make a call/text every 6 months to keep it active.

Or O2's new 321 PAYG tariff looks pretty good.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 10, 2018, 03:48:53 pm
... Virgin Mobile ... uses the EE network ...

Unless I have no choice I will steer completely clear of EE. It is difficult to want to do business with a company that has just stolen my phone number and credit.

... a landline UK number with a VOIP provider ...

VOIP had crossed my mind. I need to learn more about it but sure, it is a possibility. Thanks.

Three 3-2-1 SIM-only plan (https://www.three.co.uk/Support/Free_SIM/Order). PAYG credit does not expire, importantly.  3p/min for calls, 2p per text (1p/mb of data but you don't do data).  Simples!

My new Nokia 216 dual-SIM phone is 2G. 3 SIMs only work on 3G and 4G. Drat! Otherwise, that looks ideal.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: dim on May 10, 2018, 03:52:21 pm
I have an O2 pay as you go package ...

£10 a month gets me 1000 texts, 250 minutes call time, and 500 MB of data (they also have a £15 and a £20 pay as you go option)

I was with Vodaphone, but o2 has a better signal in my village
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: Plug1n on May 10, 2018, 03:54:25 pm
A 3 SIM has been working without problems for me in France for the last year, alongside a French SFR SIM.  Well now I cast my mind back there was a 2 day outage for roaming users due to some 3 technical c0ck-up across at least France and Spain, I do recall.

Even changed from my previous 3 pay monthly plan to pay as you go while in France.  A downside is that 3 only gives you 3G connections, but for voice and text it is fine.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 10, 2018, 04:05:02 pm
O2 and Giffgaff use 4G, which is odd as I have O2 in Slovakia and it works fine on my new 2G handset.

Thanks all for your suggestions so far; they are giving lots of leads to study further.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: fuaran on May 10, 2018, 04:16:54 pm
O2 and Giffgaff use 4G, which is odd as I have O2 in Slovakia and it works fine on my new 2G handset.
The O2 network includes 2G, 3G and 4G coverage. They will still work fine with a 2G handset. There's still large parts of the country where you can only get a 2G signal (though 4G coverage has improved a lot over the last year or so).
All of the 2G network is still operational.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: ian on May 10, 2018, 04:53:42 pm
I'm still on T-mobile. Which probably explains why they still aren't charging me for data (currently six years and running). I really don't feel bad, I'd expect them to screw me over if they got the chance.

I'm sure there's rules these days about being able to retain numbers etc. I've had the same one since my first mobile phone.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: gonzo on May 10, 2018, 06:43:53 pm
If reception is not certain, most companies will send you a free sim so try a few, work out who has signal where you are.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 10, 2018, 07:11:26 pm
I'm sure there's rules these days about being able to retain numbers etc. I've had the same one since my first mobile phone.

Me too, I have had this number since 1997 and would dearly love to hang onto it. EE's Exective Customer Care tells me that it has cancelled my number and I cannot have it back. That is not customer care.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: ian on May 10, 2018, 07:14:26 pm
The seems both unwarranted and unusual. I'd complain vociferously.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: hellymedic on May 10, 2018, 08:06:47 pm
I'm sure there's rules these days about being able to retain numbers etc. I've had the same one since my first mobile phone.

Me too, I have had this number since 1997 and would dearly love to hang onto it. EE's Exective Customer Care tells me that it has cancelled my number and I cannot have it back. That is not customer care.

How long was the number unused?

Orange/EE had a six month clause though I wouldn't be surprised if they had changed it to 30 days on the quiet.

I am still with EE/Orange and have the same number and Plan as I've had since 2001. They have forgotten to charge me for Orange Out There renewal for around a decade so I get 5 free texts a day.

They have closed down my online account, which is a PITA.

Calls can be pricy but I make very few, though enough to keep the phone 'alive'.

But I am here and you aren't!
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 10, 2018, 08:20:32 pm
EE tells me it has been unused for 6 months but given the amount of spam calls I receive I don't think so and I logged onto HMRC recently and HMRC sends a log-in code by text message.

Like you Helly, I wish to keep my number alive - I cannot count the number of people that will have that number for me and I certainly couldn't contact all of them to announce a different number.

I have replied to EE, asking for a PAC so that I can take my number elsewhere, possibly to O2.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: lahoski on May 11, 2018, 09:50:29 am
Just as an FYI. I have an old 2G phone with a giffgaff sim as a backup/emergency phone.   :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 11, 2018, 10:44:44 am
Thanks, lahoski.

I am going off EE rapidly: today the Executive Customer Team tells me it cancelled my number on 14th January, 180 days after it was last used (which makes that 17th July), which is not true as I called Torslanda on 18th July and Helly on 19th July as well as calls to AirBNB hosts in August and more beyond including getting a login code from HMRC by text message in February 2018. My Slovak SIM did not have international roaming so I had to use my UK number all the time outside of Slovakia last July and August. EE is wrong, intentionally or not.

The ombudsman online doesn't recognise the EE company name, nor its owner, BT Group, so I am unable to continue with the ombudsman. The ombudsman suggests I talk with Citizens' Advice.

I read today that when a PAYG number is cancelled it sits dormant for 6 months before being released back into the market, so I have two months (until 13th July) to discover whether it is possible to get my old number back. I just called it and it is not active - as a One2One number from 1997 (0956 back then, laterly 07956) maybe no one will be allocated it.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: Mr Larrington on May 11, 2018, 11:01:38 am
I pay £5 per month to GiffGaff, which allows me to do everything I need to do in the UK, but not in Abroad.  For the latter you need to top up your credit balance and remember to switch off data.  And swear at the bloody thing when it decides there are no networks in Billings MT (pop. 100,000).
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 11, 2018, 11:07:51 am
Thanks, all comments are proving to be helpful.

I can think on it for a week or so. I am warming to O2 (as is my Slovak SIM) or Giffgaff which, as fuaran says, uses the O2 network, and Giffgaff could help me avoid confusion between two O2 SIMs.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: hellymedic on May 11, 2018, 11:22:53 am
The diary entry for your visit to us was on 26 July. Did you not make any calls or texts after 19 July?

I am a little surprised/puzzled!
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: fuaran on May 11, 2018, 11:46:09 am
Receiving calls or texts does not count as use. You have to make a chargeable outgoing call or text.
Maybe worth marking it on your calendar, as a reminder to send a text every few months?

Useful summary of PAYG expiry policies here: https://kenstechtips.com/index.php/payg-inactivity-account-termination-and-credit-expiry
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: hellymedic on May 11, 2018, 11:55:15 am
Indeed but as I have difficulty answering the door, I always ask visitors to text or call on approach...
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 11, 2018, 12:59:03 pm
The diary entry for your visit to us was on 26 July. Did you not make any calls or texts after 19 July?

Aha, I got my weeks muddled up: that means I called Torslanda on 25th and you on 26th (with our ETA, driving down from Sheffield in the rain). I called our AirBNB host in Kent on 31st July as I couldn't find their house, as well as calling our AirBNB host in Holland the following day, 1st August, also with our ETA so I know EE is lying but there seems to be nothing I can do to get my number back.

fuaran, thanks.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: frankly frankie on May 11, 2018, 04:52:13 pm
I have more than once left my O2 PAYG unused for over 6 months (unused as in, phone switched off) - but so far no problems with continuity of service, no loss of credit, I last topped-up about 2 years ago.  Sheila's Giffgaff PAYG (again no monthly top-up required) is noticeably flakier when roaming, than my O2. 
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 11, 2018, 07:47:47 pm
Frankie, this 6 month thing is a newish regulation as there are not enough mobile numbers to go round. I suspect it has applied to new contracts over the last few years. As with your old O2 contract, my old T-Mobile contract predated the new regulations and the power to cancel contracts, numbers and steal customers' credit was not in the older contracts ... but it is now. The 6 months varies from 60 days to 6 months, depending on the provider.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: hellymedic on May 11, 2018, 08:09:30 pm
It's been 180 days with Orange since I got my phone in 2001.

It was only 90 days with Virgin and 80 days with Lebara when I've bought SIMs/phones with them.

A niece who had put quite a lot on the Lebara phone we used for international visitors got thrown out, with credit loss very shortly after the 80 days expired.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: hubner on May 12, 2018, 10:09:32 am
Those "bundles" of minutes and texts which expire after 1 month are not PAYG! And they could even work out to be more expensive per minute for low or irregular use.

The real payg (ie credits that don't expire if you make at least one call within 3/6 months) prices of the main operaters are ridiculous, something like 25p per min!

3 (stupid name) is by far the cheapest, but the signal can be unreliable IME  depending on location.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: fuaran on May 12, 2018, 11:28:28 am
O2 Classic PAYG is 3p per minute, same as 3. And usually much better coverage.

Giffgaff is 15p per minute, not too expensive for light usage. Plus free calls/texts to other Giffgaff users, so long as you have topped up in the last 3 months.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: hellymedic on May 12, 2018, 12:24:25 pm
Those "bundles" of minutes and texts which expire after 1 month are not PAYG! And they could even work out to be more expensive per minute for low or irregular use.

The real payg (ie credits that don't expire if you make at least one call within 3/6 months) prices of the main operaters are ridiculous, something like 25p per min!

3 (stupid name) is by far the cheapest, but the signal can be unreliable IME  depending on location.

I think I'm paying 15p/min off-peak and 40p/min peak.

Which is fine unless...

I have made three £10 top-ups in the last 12 months.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: Gattopardo on May 16, 2018, 12:27:13 am
Is giffgaff 02?

virgin did the same to me, but have got an old number back from tmobile (now EE) recently and looking to move it to 3 as they give you 200mb a month free internet.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: road-runner on May 16, 2018, 08:14:01 am
Giffgaff is a separate company. As it doesn't have its own network it licenses O2's.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: fuaran on May 16, 2018, 10:17:19 am
Giffgaff are owned by O2/Telefonica, though they like to pretend they are a separate company.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: Cunobelin on May 16, 2018, 05:48:51 pm
I have an O2 pay as you go package ...

£10 a month gets me 1000 texts, 250 minutes call time, and 500 MB of data (they also have a £15 and a £20 pay as you go option)

I was with Vodaphone, but o2 has a better signal in my village

I left O2 because I got the same service from Tesco for half the tariff

When I asked for the Code, the guy told me that they could have matched the Tesco deal.

Sorry, but I asked for the lowest tariff, and if you are now saying that you can do it for half that price ,,,,,you lied to me when you gave me the quote

Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: hubner on October 13, 2018, 02:52:11 pm
O2 Classic PAYG is 3p per minute, same as 3. And usually much better coverage.

Giffgaff is 15p per minute, not too expensive for light usage. Plus free calls/texts to other Giffgaff users, so long as you have topped up in the last 3 months.

I had thought it's good another company is matching 3's prices but I've just checked and there's a catch:

https://www.o2.co.uk/help/pay-as-you-go/classic-pay-as-you-go

Quote
When you join O2 Classic Pay As You Go, you pay for what you use, as you go. The minimum top up requirement is £10.

If you don't top up, or add a Bolt On at least once in any six month period, your mobile will be disconnected and you'll lose any credit on your account. If you want to be reconnected you'll be given a new mobile number.

I'm looking to get another real payg sim and it will be from 3.

Giffgaff at15p per minute is 5 times more expensive than 3.
Title: Re: Recommended SIM provider for PAYG?
Post by: fuaran on October 13, 2018, 04:05:52 pm
O2 Classic PAYG is 3p per minute, same as 3. And usually much better coverage.

Giffgaff is 15p per minute, not too expensive for light usage. Plus free calls/texts to other Giffgaff users, so long as you have topped up in the last 3 months.

I had thought it's good another company is matching 3's prices but I've just checked and there's a catch:

https://www.o2.co.uk/help/pay-as-you-go/classic-pay-as-you-go

Quote
When you join O2 Classic Pay As You Go, you pay for what you use, as you go. The minimum top up requirement is £10.

If you don't top up, or add a Bolt On at least once in any six month period, your mobile will be disconnected and you'll lose any credit on your account. If you want to be reconnected you'll be given a new mobile number.

I suspect the page is inaccurate. O2 have said that so long as you make any chargeable call/text every 6 months, it will keep your account active. No need to top up.
That's what the terms and conditions say. https://www.o2.co.uk/termsandconditions/mobile/on-pay-and-go-our-service-terms-are-worth-a-read#bm-our-rights-to-bar-or-disconnect-your-mobile-phone