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Thread: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

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    PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    I'm interested in getting a PAYG mobile SIM, which will only be used for emergencies, so (hopefully) very rarely. The question is, are there any PAYG deals which don't deactivate your number if it's used very infrequently? The cheapest pay monthly SIM I can find is £3.95 per month, which I'd rather avoid if I can.

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Maybe look at the Giffgaff deals, they used to have it so as long as you had credit on the SIM and it was connected to the network every now and again it'd stay live. I had a GG sim in my drawer for ages (4 years or there about) which got dropped into a spare Nokia just to register on the network..

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    I always thought you could dial 999 without a SIM.
    However, a quick search outs this as a myth.

    https://www.lakesfirstaid.co.uk/999-call-mobile-phone/


    A further search seems to reveal that there are no operators with non expiring SIMs
    You have to use the phone for a chargeable call or have account activity once every 180 days (on average).

    Quote Originally Posted by VOXI
    We may suspend our services or end the Agreement if

    ii. you choose not to use the service for 180 consecutive days. Using the service means purchasing a Plan, topping up or making any chargeable outbound activity;
    So you could do a top-up of £5 for example and schedule a reminder on the phone to make a call to the answerphone every 180 days. This should be enough to maintain the remaining credit and SIM. £5 would keep the phone active for years. Most used to charge about 10p to call the answer phone.

    https://kenstechtips.com/index.php/p...ivity_Policies
    Last edited by AGTDenton; 05-05-2022 at 01:18 AM.

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    I had a 3 payg sim which I sent a text to my main phone on every few months to keep it active and had that for years. I let my son use it a couple of months ago and not seen it since, so probably empty now

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Thanks for the feedback. I didn't realise that all PAYG deals will deactivate your number if you don't use the service for a specific period of time.

    The cheapest pay monthly service I found was this one at £3 a month, which I think I might use, just because I don't trust myself to use a PAYG service often enough!

    https://www.1pmobile.com/1year-calls-texts-data-SIM.taf

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    The GG SIM I had I didnt put anything on it for literally years, like I say tho, deffo read up on it as things might have changed since then.

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Quote Originally Posted by [GSV]Trig View Post
    The GG SIM I had I didnt put anything on it for literally years, like I say tho, deffo read up on it as things might have changed since then.
    I suspect while they put these restrictions in place, they're a loose set of guidelines. It probably costs them more to deal with it than not and will do it when there's a number shortage or its clogging up the system.

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    I use a Vodafone PAYG SIM which, IIRC (the deal changed a few months back) costs £0.00p per month if you don't use it, but if you do use it (other than via wifi, etc) you pay for the first use per day, then except for data, nothing 'til the next day.

    It's called Pay As You Go 1. Yup, not a lot of marketing effort gone into thinking that up.

    Cost is £1/day if you use texts, minutes or (mobile) data, on that day. Otherwise, zip. Usage over your own (or other, I guess) wifi is obviously free. Which is what I mostly use.

    For your £1/day, only on days where you trigger any text, call or data, you get (during that day) :-

    - unlimited minutes
    - unlimited texts
    - 500MB of data, after which, further charges start.


    The number will die if it's not used periodically, but that's something like every 6 monhs. I get a text warning me about 45 days ahead of expiry, and usually another a few days ahead. I also stick a reminder in my diary, both on the phone and PC to give me an automatic nudge. So, just before it dies, I think of some excuse to use it, and it costs me £1.

    So .... £1 (in Argos, I think) for the SIM, and about £2/year to keep it going.

    It certainly isn't a good idea for a regular usage, but as I really don't like mobile phones and use it as little as possible, it's about the cheapest and least fuss way I can find to have the phone readily available when I (or the wife) are out and about, without paying anything monthly, at all.

    And personally, I tend to use at least one of those twice a year updates to update the location for the Return Home function on my DJI drone software, when I go flying. It's a bit niche, that, but I even get value for at least one of my two £1/year charges.

    Tight? M'oi?

    /shrug
    A lesson learned from PeterB about dignity in adversity, so Peter, In Memorium, "Onwards and Upwards".

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    So .... £1 (in Argos, I think) for the SIM, and about £2/year to keep it going.
    You could get it as a free sim and also get £4.25 cashback.

    Although as the referral from TopCashback's site lands specifically on Vodafone's page about data sims, and presumably the free data sim listed at the bottom wouldn't be the actual right type of sim you'd want, you'd need to click "Go back to Pay as you go page" at the top and then scroll down to the "Choose a free sim" option there.

    If I recall correctly, I was able to successfully get the cashback doing something like that last year.

    https://www.topcashback.co.uk/vodafone-ltd-free-sims/

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Indeed, but my local Argos in inside our local Sainsburys and we were in there anyway, so for £1, I had it when we went home. No messing with deliveries.

    For the sake of not spreading my data any wider than is unavoidable, I don't use voucher sites at all. Or store reward sites like Clubcard or whatever the Sainsbury thing is called.

    I know I'm in the minority on all that, and that's a good tip for those that do use voucher sites, but I prefer to just pay the £1. The privacy fight might be one already lost, but keeping the fig leaf of resisting is worth it to me.
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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    So .... £1 (in Argos, I think) for the SIM, and about £2/year to keep it going.
    A quid?? Outrageous!

    And I was annoyed that Three put their prices up. I think the every 6 months text went up from 2p to 10p. I put a tenner on that sim when I bought it, and I think after about 5 years when I let my son have it it was down to about £9.50

    Another point for the OP, some pay as you go sims expire the money you put on the sim after a time, which is why I ended up on Three.

    I don't think any of the mobile companies want light users any more, which is a real pain. There used to be contracts with no included data/minutes/texts so if you don't use it you don't pay anything that month, and if you do then you pay payg rates for using the phone as you are basically on overage rates. So it cost the same as pay as you go, but without having to remember to top up. Not seen one of those for a while.

    This modern common payg setup where the moment you walk out the door it costs you a quid from the tiny background data activity that a smartphone does means you either need to leave the phone at home or you turn off mobile data, so no-one can message you. Neither strikes me as useful.

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceswithUnix View Post
    A quid?? Outrageous!

    And I was annoyed that Three put their prices up. I think the every 6 months text went up from 2p to 10p. I put a tenner on that sim when I bought it, and I think after about 5 years when I let my son have it it was down to about £9.50

    Another point for the OP, some pay as you go sims expire the money you put on the sim after a time, which is why I ended up on Three.

    I don't think any of the mobile companies want light users any more, which is a real pain. There used to be contracts with no included data/minutes/texts so if you don't use it you don't pay anything that month, and if you do then you pay payg rates for using the phone as you are basically on overage rates. So it cost the same as pay as you go, but without having to remember to top up. Not seen one of those for a while.

    This modern common payg setup where the moment you walk out the door it costs you a quid from the tiny background data activity that a smartphone does means you either need to leave the phone at home or you turn off mobile data, so no-one can message you. Neither strikes me as useful.
    They can message via text but,yeah, I keep mobile data turned off unless I explicitly want it, and then, only for the duration of why I want it.

    This SIM isn't ideal for many low-volume/light users but who do still use it frequently. It is ideal, IMHO, for those (like me) that want the ability to use it, but rarely actually do. i.e. emergency use. I've had this phone, with this SIM, for two years and just topped up after my initial £20. And I only used most of that £20 (a quid at a time) because we were away a fair bit clearing out a house after a relative died, and BT cut off the land line despite having the situation explained and us agreeing to pay the bill, because of course, the bank froze the accounts the nanosecond they were notified of the death and that stopped the direct debit. Which was why we rang and spent half an hour explaining, and setting up to pay the bill ourselves. That helped a lot. Thanks for nothing, BT and bank.

    Idiots.

    But.... once the initial £1 was incurred,we then had unlimited minutes for the rest of the day. Vodafone SIM to the rescue. We had to activate it several times per trip, over several trips but, damn, was it good value.

    Since then, I've reverted to my £1 every six months or so, but the phone is there, if I need it. It's the best I can find for that kind of usage pattern but, for a regular but light user? Probably not a good bet.

    It did also change a year or so back. It used to be 20p per call or text, and then switched to unlimited calls/texts IF you exceeded £1. Now, the first call is £1m but goes unlimited immediately. My six-monthly refresh used to cost me 20p. So yeah, they're not keen on very occasional users. That annoyed me, but all said and done, it's still worth it (a whole two valuable pounds, per year). For my usage, it's far better than any regular monthly charge because most months, I just don't use it (except on wifi, with Signal, at home).
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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    Indeed, but my local Argos in inside our local Sainsburys and we were in there anyway, so for £1, I had it when we went home. No messing with deliveries.

    For the sake of not spreading my data any wider than is unavoidable, I don't use voucher sites at all. Or store reward sites like Clubcard or whatever the Sainsbury thing is called.

    I know I'm in the minority on all that, and that's a good tip for those that do use voucher sites, but I prefer to just pay the £1. The privacy fight might be one already lost, but keeping the fig leaf of resisting is worth it to me.
    That's fair, I just thought I'd point it out as an option if there's no rush and no problem with having it posted out like that.

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Quote Originally Posted by Output View Post
    That's fair, I just thought I'd point it out as an option if there's no rush and no problem with having it posted out like that.
    And it was good to have it pointed out. It's not for me, but it probably would suit most people, and others read it too. And lets face it, in this day and age with everything getting more expensive, most people will be glad to save a few quid here and there.
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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    I use a Vodafone PAYG SIM which, IIRC (the deal changed a few months back) costs £0.00p per month if you don't use it, but if you do use it (other than via wifi, etc) you pay for the first use per day, then except for data, nothing 'til the next day.
    Vodafone is a bit of a problem for me, because the reception at my house is terrible! A bit ironic given that they're one of the largest networks, but I guess I just happen to be in a 'black spot'.

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    Re: PAYG Mobile phone deal for emergency use only...

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJim View Post
    Vodafone is a bit of a problem for me, because the reception at my house is terrible! A bit ironic given that they're one of the largest networks, but I guess I just happen to be in a 'black spot'.
    They've been selling off their masts for a number of years as well as a couple of datacentres.

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