We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Reviving cell phone

Redlands, California
Level Contributor
5,439 posts
51 reviews
Save Topic
Reviving cell phone

Last year in London I bought a cheap cell (mobile) phone from Carphone to use during my visit. Can I take it back to a shop and have some money added? Or has the time lapse made it a one & done?

Oh, did I mention I'm coming back soon? :P

UK
Level Contributor
49,561 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Reviving cell phone

Just take it into a carphonewarehouse. Worst case you'll have to put a new SIM in it which will cost a fiver plus some PAYG money.

TX
Level Contributor
5,732 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Reviving cell phone

Another great question! I had been wondering the same thing. Briefly considered throwing mine away once I got home and unpacked in March, and before I knew it I'd started planning a trip back to the UK for next year! Good to know my "throw-away" can be used again.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,852 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Reviving cell phone

FWIW, and for future reference, if you have a cheap UK mobile you bring back to the States, you can keep the SIM card active by simply making a call or sending a text every 90 days. I just send a text to my US mobile, every 80 days or so. It costs a few pence, but it keeps the SIM card active, so that you always have the same phone number. (I have TMobile UK, so my phone just roams to TMobile here in the States, but I'd imagine it would work for any service provider.) For those of us who are lucky enough to make repeated trips to London (!!), I think the convenience of having the same number and having the phone ready to go when you land is worth the nominal charge.

London, England
Level Contributor
8,285 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Reviving cell phone

I have a Spanish mobile as I visit Spain frequently. I do the same as Alison78 and call myself every now and again.

However, it had become inactive last year, so i took it to the mobile phone shop and they reactivated it for 5 Euros. I wanted to keep the same number as all my friends and contacts have that number, but I could have bought a new phone cheaply.

Stirling, United...
Destination Expert
for Stirling
Level Contributor
14,130 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Reviving cell phone

Even if the SIM expires, you can just get a new SIM and put it in the phone.

Redlands, California
Level Contributor
5,439 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Reviving cell phone

I think I only paid 3.95 GBP for the phone, so a new SIM card for a fiver looks extortionate! (Smiles.) Thanks for the answers--I'm wondering, how did you keep your phones charged up in the U.S. inorder to make calls to keep it active? Not that I really care about keeping the same #.

Stirling, United...
Destination Expert
for Stirling
Level Contributor
14,130 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Reviving cell phone

There are usually free SIM card deals around.

A lot of phones can be charged from USB if you don't have a UK-visiting-US mains plug adapter.

Hitchin, United...
Level Contributor
8,331 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Reviving cell phone

^^ Yes. And most Sims that appear to cost £5 are actually giving you £5 of credit so in effect they're free.

You'll either get a free sim card that you have to top up, or you'll pay for a sim card that has the same amount of credit already loaded on it.

You'll rarely find a sim card that you have to pay for in itself... the most expensive sim card I've seen was 99p for the actual card.

Edited: 19 May 2011, 19:01
Wolverhampton...
Level Contributor
38 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Reviving cell phone

If you are going to be making calls to different countries I would just get a new sim card on Lebara. They offer calls abroad far cheaper than any of the main networks which will more than compensate any additional cost for a new sim, plus you get £10 free credit when you top up by £20. I have seen plenty of shops advertising that they sell them, but you can find out more in at http://www.lebara-mobile.co.uk/

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,852 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Reviving cell phone

< Thanks for the answers--I'm wondering, how did you keep your phones charged up in the U.S. inorder to make calls to keep it active? >

One of my plug adapters is a multi-adapter, so it can be used to plug the UK charger into the adapter, and then into the socket here at home. I find, though, that I rarely need to charge it here, as the UK phone is off 99% of the time when I'm in the US.