Friday, 4 June 2010

Two of the ways mobile phone companies earn extra income

Just after Easter 10, I was in Dublin, Ireland and wanted to buy my elerley mother in law a sim card for a Nokia mobile phone that we had in the UK. When she was recently in hospital a mobile phone would have been very useful.

I went into a Vodaphone shop in Henry Street Dublin and was told that although the mobile phone itself was from Vodaphone UK, it would not accept foreign sim cards even if they came from the same company. They therefore could not sell a sim card.

We took the Nokia phone, plus another Nokia back to the local shop in England and they said it was not blocked. Who do you believe?
Earlier this week I set off for Dublin again armed with these two Nokia phones that were not meant to be locked into Vodaphone UK. As I was not 100 per cent trusting I also took an older "Vodaphone" phone that had had a French provider's sim card working in it for a number of years. It was fortunate that I had.

I went into another Vodaphone branch in Henry Street, Dublin and was told the two Nokia phones were both locked. As I had the third older phone, this worked and I purchased the new sim card.

Today I have gone back to my regular Vodaphone shop in England. I told them what had happened and was informed that their colleague had made a mistake. So could they unlock it, sure, but it was cost £20 per phone! I said that was crazy and the very helpful person suggested trying a general mobile phone shop in the town centre. They unlocked both phones for £5 each.

Apparently all the networks are doing this now. Great way to make extra money, not so good if you are off travelling around the world and want to buy local sim cards. You should check first before you go to see if they have been unlocked. I was at London Heathrow Airport T 5 last Saturday and in the arrivals area there was a shop selling UK sim cards. Again anyone coming to the UK should have their phones checked before arriving as there is always the possibility that the phone will not work.

The other area the mobile phone companies are making a good income out of will be on insurance. I have discovered that when you renew your Vodaphone contract and get a newer phone that they offer 3 months insurance for Free. This is automatically put on the monthly account as a debit, then credit and if you don't cancel it you will be paying around £12.45 a month - £149.40 a year. A lot of money.

It is a bit like when you book an airline ticket, if you don't uncheck the box by Travel Insurance or when renting a car you end up buying the car hire company's own car hire excess insurance.

I went to the web site and found JS Insurance. Here I am paying £4.99 per month - £59.88 a year and saving nearly £90 a year.

Do make sure that you check the locking out if you want to buy other sim cards and also the insurance issue

No comments: