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Thread: Help with UK VodaPhone: Buy Sim in Airport?

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    Help with UK VodaPhone: Buy Sim in Airport?

    My 15 yo daughter is flying to Gatewick, then to Geneva, touring France with her uncle, then meeting friends in Italy. The friends will pass through Gatewick on the way to Italy.

    Can VodaPhone sims be purchased in the airport?

    Vodaphone has free roaming in Europe? So if they all get VodaPhone UK sims, they can call each other for 20p per minute? Or they each pay 20p, so total of 40p? Is it cheaper to buy in Italy? It's mostly so they (she and friends) can communicate amongst themselves. Any other options?

    They're going to India after that, but will use Airtel.in sims.

    Thanks,

    John

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    Buy the Voda SIM at Gatwick and top it up with plenty of cash because the only way to top it up outside the UK will be with a credit card over the phone and there is a possibility that Vodafone may only accept British credit cards. You won't be able to use non-British Vodafone shops/outlets to top up a British Vodafone SIM card, they are separate companies and not compatible; other Vodafone customer services etc will not be able to help you with a British Vodafone SIM card and vice versa.

    Your daughter will be charged for making calls, sending texts, etc at the same rate as if she were in the UK. Incoming calls will be free for the first 60 minutes and then charged at 20p/min after that. Incoming texts and MMS will be free. The offer also covers the Vatican City, which is a separate country, which some people might forget so with this it won't matter.

    If the whole party get Voda SIM cards then only the caller will pay for the call at the standard Vodafone rate. Of course if the call goes beyond 60 minutes then the receiver will start to pay as per above.

    Unless your daughter can speak a language other than English I would suggest getting a British Vodafone SIM card so that it is easier for her if she ever has to contact customer services. When purchasing the SIM card your daughter needs to make sure to activate Vodafone Passport whilst in the UK so that she will be eligible for the free roaming offer. Once the SIM card is taken outside the UK it may not be possible to change such settings.
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    Cool, thanks.

    -Could we add minutes online for her? If not with a US CC, then a UK friend could do it? I'd give them the username and password.

    -Incoming calls: That's 60 minutes per call right? Not likely to hit that limit, but just want to understand the parameters.

    -Buying SIM and installing: Shouldn't be hard, right? Just stick it in, type some codes, and it will work? Or does she needs to call Vodafone on another phone to set it up? She's a bright kid, but it would be good to understand ahead.

    -Adding minutes: Assuming she's in the UK, she buys something for say 20 pounds. Then types some codes in the phone and it tops it up?

    -Is this the best phone plan do you think? She's separate from the group June 9th to the 14th in UK, Switzerland and mostly France, then 14th to the 28 in Italy with the group. Then a few days in the UK with the group, then off to India with the group on July 1st.

    So Vodafone Italy is cheaper per minute (.16 Euro vs. 30p), but doesn't have the same flexibility (roaming, cheap long distance)

    -Are there other plans that might be better. Mostly to call themselves in the various countries.

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    What is the basis for that statement? At http://www.abroad.vodafone.co.uk/ind...e=a6&nu=1&le=6 it says:

    * You can buy selected TopUp vouchers locally. Once you've bought the card, dial 2345 free of charge and select option 6.

    Australia
    Vodafone Australia
    Austria
    Mobikom Austria
    Croatia
    VIPNET
    Egypt
    Vodafone Egypt
    France
    SFR
    Germany
    Vodafone Germany
    Greece
    Vodafone Greece
    Hungary
    Vodafone Hungary
    Ireland
    Vodafone Ireland
    Italy
    Vodafone Italy
    Malta
    Vodafone Malta
    Netherlands
    Vodafone Netherlands
    New Zealand
    Vodafone New Zealand


    Quote Originally Posted by scotsboyuk
    You won't be able to use non-British Vodafone shops/outlets to top up a British Vodafone SIM card, they are separate companies and not compatible; other Vodafone customer services etc will not be able to help you with a British Vodafone SIM card and vice versa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jivago
    Cool, thanks.

    -Could we add minutes online for her? If not with a US CC, then a UK friend could do it? I'd give them the username and password.
    You should be able to top-up online yes.

    -Incoming calls: That's 60 minutes per call right? Not likely to hit that limit, but just want to understand the parameters.
    Yes, that's per call.

    -Buying SIM and installing: Shouldn't be hard, right? Just stick it in, type some codes, and it will work? Or does she needs to call Vodafone on another phone to set it up? She's a bright kid, but it would be good to understand ahead.
    British SIM cards are pre-activated, you just pop it in and go. Vodafone should then automatically send you MMS and GPRS settings via SMS.

    -Adding minutes: Assuming she's in the UK, she buys something for say 20 pounds. Then types some codes in the phone and it tops it up?
    She can buy a voucher and type in the code.

    -Is this the best phone plan do you think? She's separate from the group June 9th to the 14th in UK, Switzerland and mostly France, then 14th to the 28 in Italy with the group. Then a few days in the UK with the group, then off to India with the group on July 1st.
    For Europe it is probably he best because Vodafone have scrapped roaming fees for the summer. For India it will be quite expensive.

    So Vodafone Italy is cheaper per minute (.16 Euro vs. 30p), but doesn't have the same flexibility (roaming, cheap long distance)

    -Are there other plans that might be better. Mostly to call themselves in the various countries.
    Vodafone Italy might offer the same roaming deal, I don't know for sure so check it out, especially if their rates are cheaper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfnow
    What is the basis for that statement? At http://www.abroad.vodafone.co.uk/ind...e=a6&nu=1&le=6 it says:

    * You can buy selected TopUp vouchers locally. Once you've bought the card, dial 2345 free of charge and select option 6.
    I was under the impression that one couldn't buy vouchers abroad, but if Vodafone allow it then super!

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotsboyuk
    For Europe it is probably he best because Vodafone have scrapped roaming fees for the summer. For India it will be quite expensive.
    Thanks for the help.

    In India they'll get Airtel sims for about 1 rupee ($.02 US) per minute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotsboyuk
    I was under the impression that one couldn't buy vouchers abroad, but if Vodafone allow it then super!
    1. Vodafone does, and has for a few years, allowed you to buy vodafone top up vouchers outside the UK from vodafone affiliated companies. Thus since SFR, for example, is really almost a subsidiary of vodafone even though it's not called Vodafone FR, you can get an SFR voucher from a tabac, and top up your vodafone UK account by dialing 2345 and following instructions. But this can only be done in France. You can't buy an sfr voucher, take it to Germany and use it to top up a vodafone UK card...you would need a vodafone DE voucher in Germany. It works, I've done it.

    2. For the most part, it seems that you can't use a non UK credit card to top up most of the British telcom operators online. I've run into trouble as soon as they ask for postal code...if I enter my US zip code it rejects it and if I enter the UK postal code of my hotel, the authorization system rejects it as the use of the proper postal code is one of the "security" features of many credit cards. Amex might work though (have to try it)...

    3. If you want to know in advance the vodafone UK number, by doing a search on ebay, you can find at least one merchant who will sell you a vodafone UK sim card for less than £1 (99p) and charges £2.25 for shipping to the USA...that's less than $5. (I haven't checked but I wonder if you can buy 2 or 3 sim cards and only pay for the one shipping charge)...many of the ebay merchant charge a tad more but if you look hard enough, you'll find the one I used. The card comes with £1 of credit...you also have to text message vodafine UK to sign up for vodafone passport to get the european and Australian free roaming and for vodafone international to get the dirt cheap internatonal calls from the UK. Outside the UK, the text messages will use up the £1 credit (although they're supposed to be free) or you can wait till you get to the UK to do this. Also upon arrival in the UK, you will need to top up. Vodafone UK sim card packs do not come with the ever popular swipe cards which you can pick up at a vodafone UK shop (or some other mobile phone shops) but I think, as I understand it and correct me if I'm wrong, at any chemist or petrol station or grocery with the green e top up sign can issue an e voucher to top up (at least that's what the manual suggests).

    4. If you go to the vodafone UK web site (www.vodafone.co.uk) you will find an offer to send up to 4 free sim cards to any UK address. You can have the sim cards sent to your (or your daughter's) first hotel but again it will have to be topped up.

    5. Many of the mobile phone stores in the UK so I assume you can find one at Gatwick, will sell free vodafone UK sim cards but you have to purchase at the same time a 10 quid top up (which you'll probably want anyway).

    So as you can see, there are lots of solutions to the problems.

    Incidentally, I haven't heard yet that vodafone IT is matching the offer. It seemed to me when the offer was first announced that the other vodafones throughout Europe and In Australia and New Zealand would almost have to match but they haven't done so yet. Also I thought surely O2 and/or Orange would have to match the free European roaming for the summer but they haven't done so as of yet.

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    Sadly O2 isn't matching it, much to my annoyance since I just spent a few days in Paris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scotsboyuk
    Sadly O2 isn't matching it, much to my annoyance since I just spent a few days in Paris.
    Well it isn't 01 June yet so the vodafone summer promotion is not yet in effect, eh.

    O2 UK has an add on called, I believe, My Europe. For the most part, they have lowered roaming rates within Europe in line with the eu guidelines so I think at present, they charge 18p or so to receive calls within Europe and 43p to make a call....with a payment of £10 a month, you can get from O2 the free roaming throughout Europe (although I don't think Australia or New Zealand).

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    Roaming costs will be coming down further over the next year or two as well.

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