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    • Former MSE Nick
    • By Former MSE Nick 4th Nov 16, 4:35 PM
    • 254Posts
    • 78Thanks
    Former MSE Nick
    Cheap Pay-as-you-go Deals Article Discussion
    • #1
    • 4th Nov 16, 4:35 PM
    Cheap Pay-as-you-go Deals Article Discussion 4th Nov 16 at 4:35 PM

    This thread is specifically to discuss the content of the

    Cheap Pay-as-you-go Sims guide

    To discuss or ask a question about this article: click reply
Page 2
    • SpanishBlue
    • By SpanishBlue 30th Aug 18, 12:03 PM
    • 267 Posts
    • 143 Thanks
    How much data does your phone say you have used?
    • smipx013
    • By smipx013 30th Aug 18, 12:08 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    When I checked the phone it was not that granular - ie. it was less than 1Mb
    • smipx013
    • By smipx013 30th Aug 18, 12:13 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Okay. Just did the test again...

    Reset mobile data usage counter on phone (to 0b)
    checked balance of o2 payg sim = £5.67
    Turned data on
    Went into email client
    Sent an email to self
    turned data off
    in phone mobile data usage it shows 68.75Kb (approx. 0.07Mb)
    checked balance of o2 payg sim = £5.47

    • fonesaver
    • By fonesaver 30th Aug 18, 1:53 PM
    • 205 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    I have had a similar thing with O2 PAYG. I'm on an old tariff where you get charged a max of £1 per day for data if your data allowance has run out. Sometimes my balance goes down by £1 when I know I haven't used data as I have turned data off and used Wi-Fi. Possibly the myO2 app uses data. Then when I re-boot the phone the £1 magically comes back when I check the app. Same results with *#10# This has never happened when I still have unused data that month.
    So suggest you re-boot your phone and check the balance. Only a suggestion...
    • smipx013
    • By smipx013 30th Aug 18, 2:22 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 19 Thanks

    Happy to give that a go... Just did and BLOO*Y NORA you are right. I will stand at the foot of my stairs (he says spitting out bits of hat).

    Fonesaver - thank you... cudos to you and "go to get some retraining" to the o2 call centre staff!!

    I did the *#10# after a reboot and it went back up from £5.47 to £5.67. I need to do some more testing but that is even more curious as I did use "some" data in my test (68Kb) and it should have gone down to £5.66. I will wait until the morning and check the data charge again with the *#10# and see if the magic 1p is deducted.

    I will report back tomorrow to see what the balance shows (minus any SMS and any calls I make in the meantime).

    Confusing or what. You would have thought that the o2 folk would have this on their "FAQ" scripts and be able to explain that. Would have saved me hours of stress and angst :-)

    • smipx013
    • By smipx013 30th Aug 18, 2:33 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    so.... Reading a bit more on the interweb I have gleaned that o2 reserve 20p when you start using the data and then do some hokey-pokey calculation, refund you the 20p and take off teh actual amount of data you used to the nearest penny (at some point later down the line/overnight). So I'll see the balance in the morning to see if that hold true.
    • smipx013
    • By smipx013 31st Aug 18, 10:47 AM
    • 60 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    so.... Its the morning now and the balance is still £5.67 so I got the 68.75Kb for free it seems so its gone (in my mind) from

    3.2.1 ==> 3.2.20 ==> 3.2.0 :-)

    I guess that there is a minimum point at which it starts to charge (no idea what but perhaps 100Kb or someting similar).

    Anyway - I'm not complaining (any more at least)...
    • Anthorn
    • By Anthorn 31st Aug 18, 11:04 AM
    • 4,300 Posts
    • 1,202 Thanks
    The article needs updating because Asda Mobile have increased the data on the £10+ bundles: For £10 the data allowance has increased and is now 3GB.
    • k984942
    • By k984942 31st Aug 18, 11:06 AM
    • 10 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    I live in Switzerland mostly, but am back in the UK about a half-dozen times a year. Being outside the EU, my Swiss mobile contract charges crazy roaming rates, so am looking for a UK PAYG. It'll be mainly for receiving UK calls when I'm in Switzerland (so cheap/free roaming would be good), plenty of data when I'm in the UK, and no monthly charges or top-up credit that expires quickly / ever.

    Any suggestions all?
    Smile and be happy, things can usually get worse!
    • johnbb99
    • By johnbb99 5th Oct 18, 1:43 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    ASDA payg sim is nearly free.
    Sorry if you all know this, but I don't see asda on the mse page for payg sims.

    sim is free, comes quickly [well mine did, overnight] and comes with free 10mins, 10 txts, and 10Mb. which last for 30 days.

    no costs until 180 days when you must make a chargeable call or txt, so you have then to put credit on it if you haven't already, to keep the sim active.
    If you just want it for receiving calls, this seems like a pretty good deal, no?
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 13th Oct 18, 9:51 AM
    • 4,647 Posts
    • 2,696 Thanks
    Start October 1, 2018 there is a new rules from ofcom to allow mobile customers to limit their bills from 1st October 2018

    I wonder whether this is also applied to registered PAYG accounts. Sometimes you just want to use your PAYG to receive call, message.

    When you try to insert this simcard to another mobile phone and you are not carefull it will automatilly take your balance.. O2 for instance it will automatically take £1 a day for 50mb data which in some occasion you do not need this.

    Is this cap also applicable to PAYG ? thanks
    Originally posted by adindas
    I'd have thought that there's a clue in the name? It's PAYG so the spending is entirely the responsibility of the user including turning off data use in a different phone.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 13th Oct 18, 11:20 AM
    • 10,134 Posts
    • 7,757 Thanks
    I'm sure o2 will only charge you for data a: if your phone uses it and b: if you have chosen a tariff that includes this charge.

    In both cases, the solution is in your hands.
    • AshleyH
    • By AshleyH 22nd Oct 18, 9:08 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Beware the SMARTY deal
    Joined SMARTY as it looked a good deal.

    However the service is rubbish. If it works out of the box then well done you. If however it doesn't and you need to contact them then the nonsense starts.
    SIM arrived and was set up easily, number ported the next day.
    Restrictions were removed via their automated process.

    restrictions then activated again despite showing as deactivated. Chat was rubbish as the response time is poor and they skim the chat and give tick box answers. Once you spend your life getting past that whatever it is that you are chatting to agrees to "start a ticket" and pass it down the line. Ne expected resolution time given.

    UTTELY USELESS SERVICE. I suppose being '3' it is to be expected but it isn't good.
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 22nd Oct 18, 9:31 AM
    • 10,134 Posts
    • 7,757 Thanks
    I'm sorry you're having issues, I've had no problems or delays with their customer service in the 13-14 months I've been with them. I've always had a response within 5 minutes, they don't advertise it as instant chat, just messaging.

    I've worked in that environment (not for Smarty). Sometimes it just isn't possible to give an ETA for a resolution, especially when the cause of a problem is unknown. I appreciate how frustrating it is though.
    • grumbler
    • By grumbler 29th Mar 19, 10:54 PM
    • 51,740 Posts
    • 21,942 Thanks
    you can claim a £15 Amazon voucher, just make sure to activate your Sim within the first 90 days.
    by MSE
    • Welcome e-mail received from the 'Administrator',
    • SIM bought and activated.
    • First bill paid
    Delivery: Your Gift Card will be sent by email from Giftcloud within 3 months of your Qualifying Purchase.
    by Giftcloud
    Nothing was sent within 3 months.
    What if I have difficulties? Try getting in touch with Smarty first.
    by MSE
    Three cannot accept responsibility for the delivery of your Gift Card by Giftcloud, which is beyond Three’s control.
    by Giftcloud
    If you have any questions, please contact our friendly customer care team at quoting
    by Giftcloud
    Don't hold you breath. No reply after 5 days.
    Conclusion: trust neither MSE, nor so called 'Giftcloud'. Go via Topcashback instead.

    Ah, almost forgot...
    If after contacting the firm you still have difficulties, please let us know and we will do our best to help.
    by MSE
    Hardly a surprise that on this page I don't see anything related to Amazon gift card. Is it an "MSE Blagged voucher or cashback "? I don't think so.
    We are born naked, wet and hungry...Then things get worse.

    .withdrawal, NOT withdrawel ..bear with me, NOT bare with me
    .definitely, NOT definately ......separate, NOT seperate
    should have, NOT should of
    .....guaranteed, NOT guarenteed
    • mobilejunkie
    • By mobilejunkie 30th Mar 19, 6:59 AM
    • 8,239 Posts
    • 2,850 Thanks
    Trusting TCB is like jumping from the frying pan... I don't trust either one. Their primary reason for existence is (like most commercial companies) to make money from their gullible customers.
    • jklsc
    • By jklsc 24th Apr 19, 1:58 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    The BEST Occasional/back-up use deal is actually Asda
    At 3/2/1 (pence per: minute/text/MB) O2 has good rates but it is definitely not good for occasional use:

    "though you'll have to top up with a minimum of £10 every six months to keep it active."

    £20 per year is over 55 minutes per month... This is not occasional use!

    Asda is a way better deal. They charge more: 8/4/5 BUT a top up can be as low as £1 (using a debit or credit card) AND "As long as you make one chargeable call, text or use a bit of mobile data every 180 days the credit on your phone will not expire."

    So, send a text message every 4 months (just to be safe) and it will take you 83 years to use up the £10 that O2 expect you to give them every 6 months. Now that's what I call occasional or back-up use. Just set a reminder somewhere to send a text from your back-up/occasional use SIM so that you don't forget!!!


    1. Why in the world is Lebara Mobile (19/19/9) recommended over Asda (8/4/5), GiffGaff (15/5/5), ID Mobile (3/2/1) or many others? Even Vodaphone's "Pay As You Go 1" tariff (20/20/4) is better because at least it is capped at £1 per day if you really want to go to town. Then there is this from their terms and conditions: "60. If you do not use the Pre-Pay Services to make at least one chargeable event or outgoing call for a period of 84 days, this Agreement will be deemed to be terminated by you, and the Service will be disconnected."
    Lebara Mobile has got to be the worst recommendation I have ever seen on this site.

    2. If you are going to recommend 1pMobile for low use then you really MUST warn users that the minimum top-up is £10 and it has to be made once every 4 months to keep your number. It is this combination that is THE gotcha for occasional users as they not only lose their money but their phone number as well. Although it is important to note that some companies give a very short grace period where you can recover your number but not your balance. I think that Asda offers the longest that I have seen at 90 days (this may not be the current grace period) but many/most, like Lebara and 1pMobile, give zero days grace and really are not appropriate for occasional/back-up use.

    In summary:
    With Asda you have to spend 8p per year.
    With O2 you have to spend an average of £1.67 a month.
    With 1pMobile you have to spend £2.50 but you get more for your money.

    Occasional Use vs Low Use
    Low users have a very different requirement to occasional users or people who just want a back-up/emergency phone. Low users are people who actually use their phones regularly - just not very much. They are a difficult bunch to generalise for but a good rule of thumb is:

    If your Asda bill is more than £1.67 a month then move to O2.
    If your O2 bill is more than £2.50 a month then move to 1pMobile.

    This is why I would rank them as Asda (best for very low users), O2 (best for low users), 1pMobile (best for modest users).

    If your bill is more than £5 per month change to pay monthly. I personally dislike bundles and find the huge variety out there difficult to keep up with. They are also difficult to manage and, nowadays, rarely as good value for money as the best pay monthly deals.
    Last edited by jklsc; 24-04-2019 at 2:16 AM.
    • eDicky
    • By eDicky 24th Apr 19, 6:37 AM
    • 4,934 Posts
    • 3,033 Thanks
    At 3/2/1 (pence per: minute/text/MB) O2 has good rates but it is definitely not good for occasional use:

    "though you'll have to top up with a minimum of £10 every six months to keep it active."
    Originally posted by jklsc
    There's actually no truth in the quoted statement, making O2 Classic PAYG the best choice for occasional use, along with Three PAYG (same rates) that you seem to have overlooked.
    • ask66
    • By ask66 24th Apr 19, 7:27 AM
    • 83 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    At 3/2/1 (pence per: minute/text/MB) O2 has good rates but it is definitely not good for occasional use:

    "though you'll have to top up with a minimum of £10 every six months to keep it active."
    Originally posted by jklsc
    Hi jklsc. As eDicky has said, o2 don't enforce the minimum top-up every 6 months.

    See my post of 16-1-18 here:

    • Farway
    • By Farway 24th Apr 19, 8:40 AM
    • 7,675 Posts
    • 15,299 Thanks
    Hi jklsc. As eDicky has said, o2 don't enforce the minimum top-up every 6 months.

    See my post of 16-1-18 here:
    Originally posted by ask66
    Agree, I've O2 PAYG emergency use, never topped up since initial tenner about 3 years back. I make the conditional payable call every 3 months or so, just a text to another phone does the job for me
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