UK mobile advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by epicwelshman, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #1
    ** Mods, feel free to move if in wrong forum **

    I'm moving to the UK in 4 days. I'm going to need a cell phone while I'm there, as it'll be my only form of communication when I'm trekking through London all day.

    Firstly, what cell provider should I look at? I know 02 will prob have the iPhone, but I'm not getting one for a while, so I can wait :) So who's better for price/features... 02, Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile... am I missing any?

    I'd also like email on my phone, as I don't like the idea of being out of touch in the city, and I also don't want to lug my laptop around with me all day. I noticed that T-Mobile has ulimited internet for roughly 7 pounds extra. What are the other carriers like?

    Any help is always appreciated!
     
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #2
    Three are the only true 3G mobile provider in the UK with 90+% 3G coverage so if that is what you want go with them. They also offer the best value tariffs, you can get 250 minutes 50 texts and unlimited internet access plus a free phone for £20 a month on an 18 month contract.
     
  3. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #3
    I would either go with Vodafone or O2, just go into one of their shops and talk to someone and tell them what you need. Shop around for a day and see what deal suits you best.

    IMHO I would steer clear of Phones 4U though, they always have displays of great offers but they will just sell you any old phone for the sake of selling it to you. They all work on commision so thats the way it is unfortunately.

    Dont get bullied into buying something you dont want, you will know once you have found what you want/need.

    Hope that helps and happy hunting!!! :)
     
  4. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #4
    They can also rip you off something terrible with £45 a month contracts that you dont know you are signing but again that was because of Phones 4U. A good example as to why to avoid them.
     
  5. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #5
    Everyone gets paid commission in the mobile phone market :). But you are right stay away from Phones 4 U.
     
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #6
    No they don't. If you buy from a third party then you can't blame Three, you have to blame the third party. Always buy from the network direct it is the safest option.

    Edit : Sorry for the double post :(.
     
  7. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Location:
    Indiana
    #7
    Sorry never meant to blame Three, from what I know of them they are quite good, just a good oppertunity to point out Phones 4U are terrible. Never meant to make any direct link to Three.

    Sorry for the confusion.
     
  8. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #8
    Thanks, both of you. I guess all I can do really is shop around :)
     
  9. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #9
    How long are you going to be in the UK for? If it's less than 12-18 months, you might have some trouble getting a monthly contract. Not to mention without a UK credit history, you may not get approved immediately.

    You might want to consider getting a PAYG phone from one of the networks, particularly if you've got an existing GSM tri-band phone that you like. The PAYG SIMs aren't bad value with deals on free minutes, free weekend calls and free texts so long as you top up £10 or so a month.

    You'll hear good and bad stories about every network - just look at those initial which network for the iPhone threads. I've been with O2 for nearly three years after many years with T-mobile and one with Orange. And for me, they've been fine - fair upgrades, reasonable deals and no problems.
     
  10. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
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    Nassau, Bahamas
    #10
    I'm moving back to the UK, so it's more than likely a permanent move. As for credit... yeah... I have none, haha. It's a shame because my Canadian credit is pretty good, but I'll start back at zero in the UK. Hmm... maybe that's not so bad, I may avoid some of my past mistakes!
     
  11. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #11
    Im on Three with the X-Series, and it works great.

    I got the E65 with MSN, and SKype unlimited.

    Highly recommended!
     
  12. SonicChronicler macrumors member

    SonicChronicler

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Location:
    In the Wilds....Northumberland, UK
    #12
    I'm pretty happy with 3. I was going to move to get an iphone when they arrive over here, but they tempted me to stay by offering me 500 minutes and 100 texts for £10 per month if I didn't upgrade my phone.

    They have also introduced a mobile broadband plan for laptops (I know you said you don't want to lug your laptop around all the time) which is very good value IMHO at £15 per month with a 3GB allowance.

    ------------
    I get what everyone is saying about Phones 4 U but so long as you know how to play them and make sure you know what you are signing up for they can be OK. They were so desperate to get my trade 18 months ago, I walked out of the shop with a good plan, a N70 and £45 in cash.
    ---------------

    Give us an idea of how much allowance you need at the moment - will you be phoning back home a lot? The above 3 X-series Skype option could be good for that.
    ----------------

    If you have a decent phone now, a SIM only plan might get you a good deal

    ----------------

    If you're moving from the States, remember, in the sensible world, you only get charged for calls you make, not ones people make to you. ;)

    Sonic
     
  13. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #13

    I don't need any kind of broadband access for my laptop in the wild, there are always hotspots around, I just don't want to have to bring it with me all day.

    In terms of allowance, I have no idea how much I'll be using. I don't have a cell phone right now, so I'll need the phone+tariff. I've never texted a whole lot, but I know that texting is huge in the UK, so I may be forced to jump on that bandwagon.

    I looked at the "3" tariff's, and the E65 with unlimited internet looks nice, but I'm not sure how happy I'd be with email on a keypad. I think if I'm gonna have mobile email I'm going to need a "real" smartphone.

    I think I'm going to need to shop around and talk to the salespeople *shudder*.
     
  14. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #14
    Personal recommendation for Vodafone. Their tariffs sometimes look unfavourably expensive compared to rivals, but they're reliable and have great coverage. They have a fantastic 2.5G/3G network and a large range of handsets available. They have mobile email options, but then everyone does.

    Alternatively, T-Mobile is a great option. You can get Web n Walk for that unlimited browsing & email and, perhaps, a Blackberry? Depends what you're into.

    Orange are more of a converged provider now, specialising in Mobile + Broadband + Home Phone. There are some good deals to be had, but generally speaking innovation has fallen through the floor since they were taken over by France Telecom. I can't recommend Orange, despite being a customer of theirs now for many years.

    O2 are pretty poor. They've dropped the ball in several areas, including customer service and network performance. However, they're currently the UK's largest network. They have no 3G network to speak of (relatively speaking, here). Their tariffs are stale, but several are good value. I wouldn't recommend O2 either.

    Three have pitiful customer service. If something goes wrong you're going to be stuck, and if you're moving here I believe you've got enough on your plate already. Their 'true' 3G network is a myth. True 3G networks, like Vodafone's, are integrated tightly with their 2G networks. Three have no 2G network and have a sharing agreement with Orange. Is the value really worth the risk? They also specialise in mobile media, videos, skype, that sort of thing. If you're not bothered about that stuff, don't even consider Three - you can get better service elsewhere.

    Hope that helps! If you're still undecided, give Talk3G.co.uk a look.
     
  15. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #15
    I too recommend vodafone. I threatened to cancel and got given a deal of £15 a month for 500 texts and 250 minutes with stop the clock.

    If you go abroad - passport is great too.

    They also have some of the best phones and signal everywhere.
     
  16. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

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    Oct 23, 2006
    #16
    I think that vodafone have better 3G coverage and they also have amazing 2G coverage.
     
  17. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #17
    No they don't. Vodaphone have something like 80% 3G coverage.

    Edit : Just to clear this up:

    Actually it is O2 and Orange.
     
  18. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #18
    It's Vodafone. For goodness sake! It does matter - because people trying to send emails to my damn vodafone account misplel the damn name!

    I still think Vodafone is better than 3. At least the customer support for Vodafone is English. I hated 3. I like to be able to understand customer support.
     
  19. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Oct 2, 2006
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    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #19
    Whatever, I really couldn't give a monkies how to spell the name of their network. Oh, and it is misspell by the way.

    Each to their own I guess.
     
  20. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #20
    :rolleyes:

    hehe. I make myself laugh sometimes. By the way, I suppose you mean monkey's, as monkies is a collective term for more than one monkey and I think you meant something like "I couldn't give a monkey's banana" or some such similar anecdote.

    True. I just really think that Vodafone gives a better overall package. I joined 3 and returned back to vodafone within the week.
     
  21. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #21
    3 is really tempting, with their 20pound talk package, then I can get email/internet for 5 pounds more.

    But I do have doubts, mainly due to the concerns voiced here and elsewhere.

    The other option is a Vodaphone package for nearly double the cost... but with a Blackberry and peace of mind :)
     
  22. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #22
    I would get a vodafone package... you pay for what you get...
     
  23. epicwelshman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    #23
    Actually, I do have another question.

    This is probably very hard to answer, but I'll try anyway. I haven't owned a cell phone for a few years. Being in a tiny university town, I never really needed one. How many minutes is decent? That's really bad grammar, but anyway. Incoming calls are free, right? From anywhere in the UK? So I'd need to pay for outgoing calls. Vodafone also has their "stop the clock" thing which I'd get by default. So essentially, my main minutes would be used for calling people during the weekdays. What's an appropriate amount of minutes for that? I could get 750 from Vodafone, or the next amount down is 300. That's quite the drop for 8 pounds. Any suggestions?
     
  24. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #24
    In the UK there is no charge for receiving a call.

    I really think you'll only need 300 minutes. Stop the clock is great - it means I don't need a landline.

    Unless you're on the phone all the time, 300 minutes should be enough. What is your budget? You can get good deals on the Vodafone site, and if you were to speak to someone in store, you may be able to get a freebe (like a BT headset) that you could sell on if you didn't want.

    Texting (SMS) is popular here, so most people find they communicate with that more than voice minutes. I have 500 texts and 250 minutes in my package as well as stop the clock. 250 minutes is nearly 10 minutes a day, and on average, I don't use that at all. Bear in mind that stop the clock allows you to talk for up to an hour for the 'cost' of 3 minutes. A good deal. :)
     
  25. Kaiser Phoenix macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #25
    I said earlier that i got Three with the X-series etc.

    Well i am a recent switcher from Vodafone and they are really crap IMO.

    Vodafone had all sorts of hidden charges like insurance on my phone for 6 quid which I couldnt cancel at the time of contract and had to call them 1 month later at which point i forgot about for a while.

    My typical bill on the vodafone was around 60-70 quid for some reason when my base was 30.

    With Three, I can track my useage, free minutes ALL from the handset in real time which is very convenient as you can see what your Bill will be like. Vodafone also stopped sending me bills as well for some reason.

    Overall I know this is highly biased and there are loads of people with amazing expereiences on Voda, but for me, after 7 years on Voda, the switch to Three was the best move ever.
     

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