Advantages Cheap, easy to get started, good coverage, clubcard points
Disadvantages None so far
So here we go again another review brought about by the fact I had to move to keep my job (long story and will be covered when I write the review of my employers when and if Ciao list them). Sadly for Orange their network doesn't cover Lydd camp - just the area outside it but no signal penerates the camp fence oddly enough.So while on my hunt for a working network I checked the O2 website and found they claim to have full coverage across the camp, not long after this I remembered the handset and SIM I was given by the nightclub I used to work for but was on Tesco mobile. Dont worry I've not lost it, Tesco mobile and O2 are pretty much the same thing because Tesco buy the 'spare' satellite time from O2 to operate their network. Which means that while the Tesco sell the SIM's and the handsets its O2 that owns and operates the satellites and masts that the network requires.
Right so now thats cleared up, I've decided to not invest in a new phone contract as if my pay as you go tesco SIM works whats the need?The signal here is usually between 3 bars and full signal on my sasung e530 handset. The range of handsets avaliable changes but currently there are phones ranging in price from £29.99 to £199.99 so a handset for every price range. There are 3 pay as you go tariffs to choose from Standard, Extra and Value, more of these later, but they don't offer contract phones. Also they offer SIM only options the cost of these is noted along with the tariff charges below.
The network coverage is good, certainly everywhere I've been with this phone I have been able to make calls and send and receive texts including the Oban Roads in Scotland where on the boat noone else had phone signal and on the Isle of Mull (in Balamory no less!!!!!).I have never as I remember had a lost or dropped call with Tesco mobile, and only once or twice has it not sent texts (and that was in Tenerife because the 02 network is notouriously unreliable in that area).
You can buy 30 day text and call bundles, usually I buy the Text 200 for £10 but don't bother with the call bundles, however should they offer bundles that allow cheaper international calling I would probably buy them. Other bundles avaliable are Text 50 for £2.50, Text 100 for £5, Calls 25 for £2.50, and Calls 50 for £5. These mean that you know how much you've spent already and can only be bought when you have enough credit.As with all Tesco products you can earn clubcard points for buying credit and more unusually for spending it for example you earn 1 point for every £1 of credit you buy at Tesco but also 1 point for every £1 you spend as long as you register your clubcard number with Tesco Mobile (so 2 points for every £1 spent) . Tesco also have fairly regular extra point offers when buying credit over a certain amount, typically double points for buying £15 credit or more (bringing it to 3 points for every £1 spent as long as you top up the required amount). The offers are usually advertised in store or online. When credit is bought from somewhere other than Tesco you'll only receive 5 points for every £10 (1/2 point for every £1 spent and nothing for the initial topup).
Setting up the phone is simple, there are instructions in the SIM pack and the numbers you'll need are prestored on the SIM itself. There is also an excellent How Do I? help line, along with numbers for other 'useful' things like Tesco Flowers and Tesco Offers (neither of which I've ever used).******CHARGES******
Value - 15p/min to landlines, 15p/min to mobiles and 5p texts but no favourite numbers option. To buy this as a SIM only option costs £3.47.Extra - as long as you top up £15 per month 10p/min to landlines, 10p/min to mobiles and 5p texts and no favourite number option.
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