Free calls from mobiles when in Europe or Oz this summer.

edited 20 May 2009 at 3:59PM in Overseas holidays & travel planning
104 replies 46.4K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
8.3K Posts
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What's the deal?

From 1 June to 31 August this summer, a Vodafone promotion effectively allows ANYONE to make calls or texts home (or receive calls) from most European or Australasian countries at UK calling rates.

How it works for Vodafone Customers

The Vodafone Passport scheme is free to join and usually allows its customers to make and receive calls when abroad at UK calls rates plus 75p connection per call (or up to 29p per text) - but this Summer it's dropping those connection fees. That means you can call at UK call costs, even using your inclusive minutes if you have them.

The scheme is free but you must join...
  • Contract customers: Texting 'Passport' to 97888
  • Pay-As-You-Go customers: Text 'Passport' to 2345
How it works for non-Vodafone customers

It's quite easy, currently you can get a free Vodafone PAYG sim and simply put it in your phone while you're away, effectively acting as a Vodafone customer. Though, of course, it will mean you're on a different number (you can always simply switch it to and fro with your normal Sim when needed).

Here's a step by step guide:
  • Check if your handset's unlocked. To be able to switch sim you need an unlocked mobile handset (see the mobile unlocking guide). If you can't unlock your current phone, try putting the Sim in an old handset (this may even be more convenient then your new phone will be active to receive calls)
  • Order a FREE Vodafone PAYG sim. These are free, you can top up for £5 and then you pay 20p/call (inc to mobiles) and 10p per text, or for much better value top up £10 and then you get 100 mins of calls and 300 texts. What you do depends on how much you'll use.
  • Sign up to the free passport scheme. Put the Sim in the back of your phone here in the UK, then follow the guide for existing customers above.
  • Use the vodafone sim when abroad this summer. Switch the Sim into your handset when abroad then you're on the Vodafone tariff.
  • Don't top up again. The beauty of Pay-As-You-Go is you can let it lapse once you don't need it (though in some circumstances even without this offer Passport scheme is a good deal so you may want to keep the Sim for the future).
Don't use this for mobile data.

While it cuts the costs of calls and texts this doesn't reduce the cost of using the web abroad, as with all network's that's very expensive: £5 for 15Mb.

In what countries can the passport scheme be used?

The full press release about this promotion is here: Vodafone Passport

The countries included are...

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Channel Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroes, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Vatican City, New Zealand, Australia.

Make sure you're on a Vodafone network

To get the special Passport rates you need to make sure you're on a Vodafone or Vodafone partner network. When you arrive in a new country your phone will scan for local networks and might not pick a Vodafone one. However you can manually pick the network you want to us. You'll usually find the option to switch networks under Settings, connectivity then select network though it will differ for each handset. See a list of Vodafone's partner networks in each country.

Related News: Vodafone deal
Related Guide: Mobile Roaming, mobile unlocking, Cheap Mobiles

Martin

PS Thanks to all the posters who've noted the new passport scheme elsewhere.



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Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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Replies

  • jago25_98jago25_98 Forumite
    623 Posts
    Great to hear. No info on the Passport promo page about incoming calls - charges to receive and how much it costs the person calling you. When I go abroad I'll try it and report back.... unless someone can call :money:Vodafone UK External Communications
    +44 (0) 1635 666777 to ask (I can't - at sea)
    Order of events: Banks lose our money -> get bailed out -> were inflating GBP to cover it -> now taxing us -> next will grab your funds direct -> things get really desperate to balance the books. What should have happened?: banks go bust and we lost our money much quicker
  • tgttgt Forumite
    13 Posts
    The end date of 31st August can be taken to mean one of two things -

    1. The sim card with the special deal won't be offered after that date, or

    2. Having obtained the sim card, UK calling rates from those overseas countries will no long apply after the date.

    I am going to New Zealand for six months, hence my concern.

    Anyone knows if pay-as-you-go sim card is available in NZ?
  • tonygoldtonygold Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    jago25_98 wrote: »
    Great to hear. No info on the Passport promo page about incoming calls - charges to receive and how much it costs the person calling you. When I go abroad I'll try it and report back.... unless someone can call :money:Vodafone UK External Communications
    +44 (0) 1635 666777 to ask (I can't - at sea)

    as the roaming charges have been abolished for that period it should be that to receive a call is free and the cost to the caller will be like calling you if you were in uk.
  • BaldurBaldur Forumite
    6.6K Posts
    tgt wrote: »
    The end date of 31st August can be taken to mean one of two things -

    1. The sim card with the special deal won't be offered after that date, or

    2. Having obtained the sim card, UK calling rates from those overseas countries will no long apply after the date.

    If you look HERE, it's clear that your #2 above applies.
    Summer roaming promotion
    From 1 June to 31 August it won't cost you any more to call, text or send picture messages when you're abroad than it does at home.
  • jago25_98 wrote: »
    Great to hear. No info on the Passport promo page about incoming calls - charges to receive and how much it costs the person calling you. When I go abroad I'll try it and report back.... unless someone can call :money:Vodafone UK External Communications
    +44 (0) 1635 666777 to ask (I can't - at sea)

    From Vodafone site:

    1. Eligibility: The Summer Roaming Promotion is open to customers on Your Plan, Anytime, Anynet, Smartstep, Smartplus and Simply price plans who have registered for Vodafone Passport. From 1 June it can take up to 1 working day to register Vodafone Passport on your price plan.
    2. The Promotion: The Offer Period is from 0.00 on 1 June to 23.59 to 31 August 2009 UK time. Whilst registered with Vodafone Passport and within a Vodafone Passport country:
    a. voice calls, texts and picture messages made or sent to the UK and within the same originating Vodafone Passport country during the Offer Period will be charged your standard UK rate; and
    b. incoming calls (for first 60 minutes), texts and picture messages you receive during the Offer Period are free. From 60th minute an incoming call will cost 20p per minute and is charged per second.
    Data usage is excluded.
  • MagnoliaMagnolia Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    tgt wrote: »
    Anyone knows if pay-as-you-go sim card is available in NZ?

    My son bought a PAYG sim card in NZ as the calls were so much cheaper than using his uk one.

    Hope that helps.
    Mags - who loves shopping
  • MaximatMaximat Forumite
    1 Post
    Don't get too excited about this alleged saving (unless I've got it wrong that is!). I've been on the Passport scheme since its inception, phoning home regularly from my boat in France. A five minute call to my mother on Saturdays used to cost one pound: 75p connection charge plus five pence/minute off-peak rate. Looking at the new details, a five minute call (admittedly at any time) will cost one pound: 20 pence/minute x five minutes. When the promotion finishes my call will cost £1.75.........
    Who's conning whom?
    JB
  • tgttgt Forumite
    13 Posts
    Maximat wrote: »
    Don't get too excited about this alleged saving
    (cut)
    JB

    Great info. Thanks Maximat.

    Also thank you Magnolia & Baldur for your replies.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    Forumite
    Maximat wrote: »
    Don't get too excited about this alleged saving (unless I've got it wrong that is!). I've been on the Passport scheme since its inception, phoning home regularly from my boat in France. A five minute call to my mother on Saturdays used to cost one pound: 75p connection charge plus five pence/minute off-peak rate. Looking at the new details, a five minute call (admittedly at any time) will cost one pound: 20 pence/minute x five minutes. When the promotion finishes my call will cost £1.75.........
    Who's conning whom?
    JB

    I think that is slightly disingenuous to the scheme.

    The point is you will pay UK call rates, what they are depends on your package - for some this means all their calls overseas will be in their inclusive UK minutes. It is vastly cheaper than any other network and a big savings for most who grab the Sim
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • kernalpopkernalpop Forumite
    255 Posts
    It really goes to show what a huge rip off roaming calls are and how much money the phone companies are making.

    I go to Cyprus twice a year and have a So Easy PAYG sim. It costs me approx 8 cents a min to call to anywhere (Euro's there) or just 1.5 cents a text to anywhere in the world.

    I am glad Vodafone are doing this as it may open the doors for other providers to follow.
    The art is not in making money,
    but in keeping it!!!
This discussion has been closed.
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