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Old May 1st 2012, 3:51 pm   #1
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Default Cell phone in UK

Hi
Just found out that my Virgin PAYG cell phone has been suspended as it has not been used for a while. Fair enough, I did not read the small print but as the phone is not a quad phone, it cannot be used here.

Landline and broadband is not being reconnected till 4 days after I arrive home. I ordered from BT yesterday and the earliest date for connection was May 22nd. Went with BT as had had contract with them before .. seemed the easiest option but a 3 week wait? Still, I suppose they only have about 6 engineers covering the whole of the UK now.

I do have a Canadian cell phone but expensive to use in the UK.

Has anyone bought a cell phone at the airport? I do have a recent letter from my local authority regarding council tax with my UK address and I do have UK credit and debit cards.

Anyone done this? If so, how long before the phone could be activated?

Could I order a new cellphone in the UK and have it delivered to a friend?

Any advice gratefully received!!
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Old May 1st 2012, 4:43 pm   #2
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

You should be able to get a new sim card for the PAYG phone; I've seen them advertised free with a £10 top up and the store will activate it for you immediately. I'm sure there'll be places you can do this at the airport when you land. If you're opting for a new mobile, you can get a bare bones model cheap enough activated right in store for PAYG. No doubt if you're shopping in the airport they will be more expensive but if you need a phone straight away its easily done and if you want to go on a plan with a more expensive model later on it would always do as a spare. Just remember to use it every 6 months to keep the sim card active. When my Dad came last year I bought him an el cheapo nokia for about £20 plus £10 top up (they're no doubt even cheaper now) and posted it to him in Canada so he would have a live phone as soon as he hit the tarmac at Gatwick.

As for internet connection times, I think it depends on geography. Hubby had his landline and internet in within 24 hours of moving when he lived in the northeast but when he came down to Kent, he had to wait 5 or 6 weeks for BT - you can always get one of those PAYG dongles to get on the net right away but believe me they're a pain!
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Old May 1st 2012, 10:08 pm   #3
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

If you're talking about the UK then it's mobiles.
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Old May 2nd 2012, 10:05 am   #4
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

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Originally Posted by Moggiemiss View Post
Hi

Has anyone bought a cell phone at the airport?
We thought this would be a no-brainer and yet - at least at Manchester - there were no cell phones for sale at the airport. We bought iphones in the US unlocked and then got a SIM card as soon as we got here (saved about $100 per phone doing it that way as they cost more here).

My husband also ordered an international cell phone and we brought that with us for the first few days until we could get the SIMs. It was a bit of a hassle to get working but it did work in the end. Not sure where he got it from but Google should be able to tell you.
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Old May 2nd 2012, 11:32 am   #5
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

If you're opting for a new mobile, can get a bare bones model activated right in store for PAYG...
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Old May 3rd 2012, 12:11 am   #6
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

Thanks for all the info. Very helpful.

Think the way to got is to pick up a PAYG phone. I am surprised that Manchester airport doesn't have a shop. Hopefully HEathrow does ... There is a Dixons.
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Old May 3rd 2012, 2:20 pm   #7
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

Another one of my questions answered by this thread. Thank you guys! So how is the PAYG dongle?
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Old May 3rd 2012, 2:31 pm   #8
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

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Originally Posted by rebecca.hartstrom View Post
Another one of my questions answered by this thread. Thank you guys! So how is the PAYG dongle?
My experience with dongles is they are pretty rubbish (poor connection).

Check the coverage map before buying - most of the big providers have a map you can enter a post code and it tells you what the coverage is like in the area.

Apparently in my street for some providers I can get dongle internet outside but not inside the building - fine if it wasn't peshing down every day in Glasgow! Also, if I walk up the street about 40 yards the indoor coverage is fine.
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Old May 3rd 2012, 11:40 pm   #9
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

Virgin have said that I can buy a new SIM card for£5 but will only ship to Uk address .... Friend picking me up at airport said I can ship to her. Virgin also said they would credit me with the amount left on the old SIM card ...

Think I will give the dongle a miss. Will get broadband restored 4 days after arrival. Withdrawal symptoms shouldn't get too bad in 4 days ....
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Old May 5th 2012, 12:08 am   #10
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/VIRGIN-MO...item19b5dd2efb
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Old May 5th 2012, 6:08 pm   #11
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

Heathrow Airport has vending machines as soon as you go thru customs (in the waiting area where your friends and family meet you) They sell quite a few. Cheapest was 10 quid. I arrived in terminal 3 but I'm guessing all terminals have them. Hope that helps!
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Old May 5th 2012, 7:42 pm   #12
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

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Heathrow Airport has vending machines as soon as you go thru customs (in the waiting area where your friends and family meet you) They sell quite a few. Cheapest was 10 quid. I arrived in terminal 3 but I'm guessing all terminals have them. Hope that helps!
What a relief, because we are taking my old cell phone from 10 years ago on holiday with us (our Canadian one is only local) and it still works ha ha but huge and my OH laughs at me when I say I want to take it and for 10 quid I would take a chance and buy a sim card there! So convenient than trying to get one in Tesco's I take it you can just buy one?
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Old May 6th 2012, 7:39 am   #13
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

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What a relief, because we are taking my old cell phone from 10 years ago on holiday with us (our Canadian one is only local) and it still works ha ha but huge and my OH laughs at me when I say I want to take it and for 10 quid I would take a chance and buy a sim card there! So convenient than trying to get one in Tesco's I take it you can just buy one?
You can buy a cheap phone at most supermarkets now, I bought a basic Nokia phone for 10 quid at Asda when I first got here then just bought the sim card and stayed on the pay as you go top up for some months. It did me just fine, I was with Vodaphone.
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Old May 6th 2012, 7:42 am   #14
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

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Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
My experience with dongles is they are pretty rubbish (poor connection).

Check the coverage map before buying - most of the big providers have a map you can enter a post code and it tells you what the coverage is like in the area.

Apparently in my street for some providers I can get dongle internet outside but not inside the building - fine if it wasn't peshing down every day in Glasgow! Also, if I walk up the street about 40 yards the indoor coverage is fine.
I agree with Dunroving (that's twice today ) I tried 2 dongles when I lived in the Lake District and the connection was oh so soooooo slow, it was worse than dial up.
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Old May 11th 2012, 4:45 am   #15
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Default Re: Cell phone in UK

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Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
My experience with dongles is they are pretty rubbish (poor connection).

Check the coverage map before buying - most of the big providers have a map you can enter a post code and it tells you what the coverage is like in the area.

Apparently in my street for some providers I can get dongle internet outside but not inside the building - fine if it wasn't peshing down every day in Glasgow! Also, if I walk up the street about 40 yards the indoor coverage is fine.
Thanks for the insider tips dunroving. Will definitely keep that in mind. Gotta have reliable internet connection always.
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