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6 Reviews

Manufacturer: Tesco / Type: Phone Operators

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    6 Reviews
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    • More +
      17.10.2013 14:29
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      Brilliant for monthly contracts, but pay as you go is simply OK.

      I've had a phone on the Tesco Mobile network since 2008, before then I didn't have a mobile phone. I've gone from "pay as you go standard" to "pay as you go lite" and most recently to a £7.50-a-month "pay monthly" deal.

      Pay as You Go
      ==========================================================================

      If you have an unlocked phone, or a phone locked to the Tesco Mobile network, to sign up all you need to do is buy a sim card for 99p from a Tesco supermarket or a corner shop. Otherwise you just have to get your phone unlocked so that it can be used with any network's sim. This means either:

      Calling up your current network and paying a hefty unlocking fee (normally about £20).
      or
      Paying someone on eBay to email you an unlock code (I'd be very wary doing this but it is the cheapest option).
      or
      Taking the phone to a mobile phone repair shop (they normal charge £5 per unlock).

      A newly bought Tesco sim card has 20p of credit pre-loaded onto it. I know from personal experience that this really doesn't last long. To add more credit, you have to:

      Call 4444 from your mobile phone and follow the instructions to pay with a credit/debit card.
      Or (if, like me, you don't like entering card details on the phone) you can buy a top up voucher from a Tesco supermarket and, again dial 4444, but enter the details of the voucher instead.

      The minimum amount of credit you can add to a Tesco Mobile phone is £10.

      Pay as You Go Standard (Triple Credit)
      ==========================================================================

      This is currently the only tariff available to new customers and the call tariffs are as follows:

      Calls to UK landlines or mobiles----------25p/minute
      Texts to UK landlines or mobiles----------10p/message
      Listening to voicemail------------------------15p/minute
      Video call to the UK--------------------------50p/minute
      Picture message to the UK----------------25p/message
      Using mobile data in the UK---------------10p/MB
      Calling customer care-----------------------20p/call
      Calls to 0845/0800/0870 etc.---------------20p/minute
      Calling 4444 to top up-----------------------free

      A few things stand out here. Calling numbers starting 0800 should be free. It's not. Calling customer care is also not free. You normally call customer care when there is a problem with the service you are receiving. Having to pay to let Tesco know this is just wrong.

      Compared to other networks these charges are pretty high. Especially compared to the 3 network (3p/minute, 2p/text, 1p/MB).

      They make up for this with a triple credit deal. For example, when you top up £10 Tesco puts £30 on your phone. This extra £20 lasts for a month and can be used for internet, calls and texts. This effectively, unless you are a very heavy user, gives you a free month. Note that this so-called free credit cannot be used to call/message to/from abroad.

      You can purchase bundles with your credit. These are better value if you are a heavy user (but still you'd probably be better off on a contract, pay monthly deal). The deals available are:

      150 minutes-------------£5--------------equivalent to 3p/minute
      5000 texts----------------£5--------------equivalent to 0.01p/message
      500MB--------------------£5--------------equivalent to 1p/MB
      1GB-----------------------£7.50----------equivalent to 0.75p/MB

      These bundles last for a month from the date of purchase. There are also specific bundles available to users of Blackberrys or iPhones. Plus, when you top up at least £15 you receive a "free reward" which is one of the first three bundles listed here, but for free.

      Pay as You Go Lite
      ==========================================================================

      This tariff has now been discontinued and only existing users of it can continue using it. This tariff offers (used to offer, now) a simpler approach. No free credit or free rewards, but it still offered the bundles. Just better value texts and calls:

      Calls to UK landlines or mobiles----------8p/minute
      Texts to UK landlines or mobiles----------4p/message
      Listening to voicemail------------------------8p/minute
      Video call to the UK--------------------------50p/minute
      Picture message to the UK----------------25p/message
      Using mobile data in the UK---------------60p/MB
      Calling customer care-----------------------20p/call
      Calls to 0845/0800/0870 etc.---------------8p/minute
      Calling 4444 to top up-----------------------free

      This was certainly my preferred pay as you go tariff (I'm on pay monthly now).

      Pay as You Go Extra
      ==========================================================================

      Also discontinued. I never used this tariff, because I wasn't ever aware it existed so I can't really comment on it other than listing the charges:

      Calls to UK landlines or mobiles----------15p/minute
      Texts to UK landlines or mobiles----------5p/message
      Listening to voicemail-----------------------15p/minute
      Video call to the UK--------------------------50p/minute
      Picture message to the UK----------------25p/message
      Using mobile data in the UK---------------60p/MB
      Calling customer care-----------------------20p/call
      Calls to 0845/0800/0870 etc.---------------20p/minute
      Calling 4444 to top up-----------------------free

      You might be able to find an old "lite" or "extra" sim card on eBay or Amazon and access the discontinued tariffs with them. I don't know if this would work for certain, but if you buy a cheap one (£1 or so) you're not risking that much.

      Pay Monthly
      ==========================================================================

      At the start of this year I decided to buy a smartphone. Not wanting to pay an extortionate amount for mobile data - 10p/MB would soon add up - I switched to Pay monthly.

      I chose the Huawei Ascend Y201, a basic android phone, based on the fact that it was the best phone available for free on a £7.50-a-month deal. The phone arrived within a couple of days and worked as advertised on the Tesco Mobile website with no problems.

      For £7.50 I get 100 minutes, 5000 texts and 500MB. This is astonishingly better value than any of the pay as you go options. Even pay as you go lite!

      Tesco offer family perks - bonus minutes or data for no extra cost if another member of your family also has a Tesco Mobile phone - which has resulted in me benefiting from an extra 250MB of internet per month.

      I have a 24-month contract but 12-month and even 1-month contracts are also available. Note that getting the same minutes, texts and data but for a shorter length of contract means you pay more per month.

      The higher-end contracts - although I haven't tried them - seem to be reasonably good value as well. You can get the latest iPhone for free (normally about £700) with 500 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB for £36 a month for example.

      General Service
      ==========================================================================

      Looking at the terms and conditions on the Tesco Mobile website, the terms regarding tethering weren't completely clear. Tethering is sharing the internet connection from a phone to a WiFi only device like a laptop or tablet. Being allowed, or not allowed, to do this was a deal-maker or breaker to me. I used the live chat function on the website to ask if tethering was allowed. I spoke to someone who was professional, and succinctly helpful. They told me it was allowed, but I took a screenshot of the chat just in case!

      Coverage of the network is reasonable (Tesco Mobile shares the O2 network). 3G is good in most built up areas with speeds of 2.5mbps-ish, sometimes more sometimes less. 2G is variable. It seems to be good in most places, built up or out in the sticks, on most phones, but my Huawei does seem to drop and pick up and drop again 2G signals frequently.

      You can set up payment with a direct debit. This is useful because, as long as you have enough money, you don't have to worry about paying the phone bills: they pay themselves on a certain day each month.

      Once, when I was still on pay as you go, I had an issue with my phone - a Samsung champ - and had to call up customer service. Apart from having to pay the 20p to call them, which made me angry, there were helpful enough. They sent me a prepaid envelope, I put my broken phone in it, posted it, got it back working a week later - all for free. Apart from the 20p! Grrrrrrrrrrr...

      In short, Tesco Mobile is a company that I've always had pleasant dealings with and I'll be sticking with them until I see a massively better deal elsewhere, which is unlikely. They have always been helpful when I've contacted them. In terms of value, the pay monthly deals are really good but since discontinuing the lite option, pay as you go isn't such good value.
      ==========================================================================
      This review is also posted on Ciao under the same username.

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      • More +
        26.07.2012 21:12

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        Above

        Dear reader,

        I write this message as a very frustrated customer of Tesco Mobile, I would like to communicate my dis-satisfaction so that I put my personal experience of dealing with Tesco mobile out and published on the web, . A drop in the ocean maybe but after dealing with their customer service, in particular a non helpful Matthew and repairs team I think its reasonable to state an opinion.

        I have sent my mobile phone into repair, I purchased this item on 11/01/12 believing that it will be covered by a warranty sent the item for repair. 02/07/2012 , a fault was found sent back with a letter stating the item had been fixed. It wasn't fixed it came back in a worse condition than when it went off and is totally un-useable. The second attempt of sending it back and I was sent a letter stating if I wanted it fixed by tesco mobile, I would have to pay, £51.01. or have the item returned un-fixed as it was deemed outside of warranty. (few days earlier on the first repair, a fault was found and then Tesco stated it was fixed but came back un-useable.)

        That's not the bad part in my view, the frustrating part comes to when you deal with Tesco customer services, or in particular "Matthew" from the escalations team, or what ever position he holds. Contacting him on 01202 713714 is of all my experience in business, the most frustrating phone call I have ever had.

        The fault apparently in Tesco view, was down to myself, and Matthew wanted to make this clear (very clear,) and I could not believe what I was hearing, the only intention of such bluntness, would be in my view to lose a loyal shopper to his company than actually repairing a faulty item.(This would have solved the issue than wasting my time on how many phone calls I care to forget) I ask the simple question if the fault was mine, why was it returned with a letter stating it was in working order a few days before I sent it back the second time. Matthew it wasn't working when your engineers said it was, so that's why you had it back, no amount of boring me on a phone call distracts me from that important detail. What happened to the customer was always right,

        I am a Totally dis-satisfied customer, if you want in my opinion to come off a phone totally annoyed and talked to as if your guilty of damaging a phone, you know in my opinion you just have to call Matthew, on 01202 713 714 he in my personal experience seriously annoyed me, hence this long winded message.

        I will never spend another penney with tesco after years of loyal shopping, you get made to feel your nothing up against a conglomerate, provided in the form of Matthews voice.

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        19.05.2012 20:35
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        good especially the cost.

        I've had an Orange Phone for a long time now (I reviewed this some time ago) using Orange's value promise. I recently decided that it was time for a change, and found that I could get a brand new phone from Tesco with a tariff of £7.50/ month (admittedly that's dearer than I usually paid monthly with Orange), however for this price I got a Samsung Galaxy Mini, 5000 texts, 250 minutes and 500 Mb data Every Month. A comparable tariff on Orange is at least £10 with much less minutes and texts. For me (who usually sends about 10 texts a month, and talks for perhaps 20 minutes) this is a bit of an overkill, however the phone itself also has Wi-Fi (I've got BT Broadband, so get free BTFON / Openzone / FON as well) so can use this in many parts of the world.

        This phone also has GPS as well, so I am able to use it for SAT-NAV purposes as well. Main drawback of the phone is that GPS and / or Wi-Fi runs the battery down very quickly. However this phone can charge via USB and can plug into my cars USB connection which means I can use it for Sat-Nav in the car without bothering if the battery runs out.

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          13.01.2012 13:25
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          some fantastic deals, give it a go

          I think this mobile network is the best out there.

          They do pay as you go and contract phones and both give you the best deals around:

          Pay-as-you-go- When you join up you can pick 5 of your favourite munbers that you can then send half price calls and texts to. The cost of normal calls and texts is around average although you can get it for less on certai packages in other networks. The best thing for me about tesco pay as you go is their triple credit reward, this happens once a month and watever you top up (up to £15) is tripled, thet means if you top up £15 you will get £45 credit, you have a month to use the extra credit but the extra credit is used before the original £15 so there isnt anything to use. This for me makes tesco mobile stand out a mile and is one of the best deals around.

          Contract- They do a few different options on their contract phones however I think the best one is unlimited calls and texts for £30 a month (sim only). That means you can spend as much time on the phone as you want and only pay £30 a month. This is subject to a fair usage policy but I dont think that would have any effect on an ordinary person.

          Another great service tesco mobile provides is ping a pund this is where you can choose to give someone who is also on tesco mobile a pound of your credit, this is great for parents who's child is going out and has ran out of credit as you can quickly and easily give them a pund incase of emergancy.

          I would highly recomend tesco mobile to anyone.

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          27.09.2011 18:20
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          An unlucky customer or poor service from Tesco mobile - unsure!

          This summer my phone contract was coming to an end and so I started hunting around for a new deal. Now, in the past I have went for a cashback deal which usually results in a pretty good phone deal, however with a baby now, I was worried that this would be too much hassle and I wanted something straightforward. My old phone was never one that I particularly warmed to and so I was determined to get a new phone as well - something basic that allows me to phone and text (I really am not high tech at all!!).

          It was only after talking to a colleague that I found out about Tesco mobile and he told me that he was with them though on a pay as you go tariff. I wanted a pay monthly tariff and so looked their Tesco mobile website to see what they had. In the end I opted for a £7.50 monthly contract although I had to buy the handset as well. This contract gave me 150 minutes and 5000 texts a month, which is ample for my usage. There was also the deal at the time that you would get triple clubcard points which was obviously an extra bonus. At the time this was only available until September, but they have now extended the triple points until next Spring.

          Everything was going well at that point. I ordered my new phone through their website (and actually through Topcashback to get an extra £35 back), got right to the completion, when their website froze and I was unsure as to whether my payment details had went through and whether I had actually conpleted the order. I had to phone Tesco mobile, who assured me that their system had just crashed and that he order had not went through. I was told I could set up a new contract over the phone or by going online again once their website was up and running again. I chose the latter since I wanted my cashback points as well.

          This time the order went through and I simply awaited my new phone which arrived within two days via courier, which I was very impressed by. After trying to charge the phone for a good 16 hours, with no light appearing on it or anything to say it was charged, I came to the conclusion that it was a faulty phone. Cue another phone call to Tesco. A very helpful man apologised, explained that it was rather strange, and that he would send out a pre paid envelope for me to send back the phone, where it would then be checked and replaced or fixed. He also assured me that I was be compensated for the loss of the phone whilst I was paying my monthly tariff, by Tesco putting money back on my account, but I was to ring to do this when everything got sorted.

          BY this point, I had had a crashed website and a faulty phone and I thought that was it. I then noticed on my credit card bill, two payments for the phone and monthly tariff, which meant I had obviously been charged for the order that I had been told originally didn't go through. Well, at that point I was getting rather cross and frustrated and had to make another call to Tesco mobile, where I was told that I would have to wait up to 7 to 10 days to get a refund. 10 days past, I had sent my phone back to Tesco but had no refund on the card. So I was without my phone (the contract was literally days from finishing on my old phone) and had a bill for two orders. I had to make a further phone call where I was then told by the same girl who I had spoken to before that I would get a phone call from the refund department before the refund would be issued - something I was never told before. At this point, I wrote a lengthy email to Tesco mobile complaints department, and I don't know if it was because of this or things were simply getting sorted, I received my new phone and I received a phone call from a manager at TEsco mobile who was apologetic and said a refund would be issued (although again I was told this would be up to 10 days!).

          I have now been with Tesco mobile for two months, and although I am happy with the phone and the network itself, I really am not sure whether I was terribly unlucky in having a run of problems with the, or whether there is generally a very bad service with a distinct lack of communication within Tesco mobile, since I got told one thing by one person and then a different thing by someone else. If it weren't that it was a good deal for a low usage phone owner like me I would have told Tesco where to go, but as I was happy with the price and tariff, I kept it, and certainly things have been okay so far. When my contract expires in a year, if it keeps going well I will probably stay, but if I encounter any more problems, I will definitely be moving elsewhere.

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            29.10.2010 01:44
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            Good solid call provider

            When I was deciding which mobile phone to use and which network to take advantage of I didn't have a lot of money and so I opted for a really basic Nokia phone and Tesco as my call provider. I received a Tesco network sim card with my phone but I have since seen them sold separately for 99 pence so if you wanted to start using this Tesco service and your phone allowed you to, you could simply place one of these affordable cards in to your mobile.

            I have only ever used the phone in the UK but as far as I remember I have never struggled with reception and whenever I have had to contact customer services they have been helpful. Topping up your phone with credit is easy enough, you can of course go in to the supermarket and buy a paper voucher and then enter the code on the top up line which you reach on 4444. By telephoning this line you can also register your debit card and purchase credit in that way also. Once or twice I have also used the online top up service as well so all in all there are lots of convenient ways to make sure you have credit.

            The standard everyday tariff for pay as you go mobile phones on this network are twenty pence a minute to call other mobile phones or fixed line numbers in the United Kingdom and ten pence for every text that you send. Listening to voice mails will cost you ten pence a minute. You have the option to register your five favourite numbers which means the costs when contacting these will be halved and become five pence for texts and only ten pence a minute for calls.

            At the moment there are some good promotions in place, for example if you top up your phone with ten pounds Tesco will triple it to thirty and you also receive triple club card points on credit you purchase as well. I rate this call provider as very reliable with some good benefits.

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