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Newer method to reload TIM account from abroad

Newer method to reload TIM account from abroad

Old Jul 17, 17, 10:59 am
  #1  
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Newer method to reload TIM account from abroad

This probably won't apply to too many people here, but in case it's helpful, I've found another way to reload a TIM account without an Italian credit/debit card and without needing physical presence in Italy. I'm about to recap prior info a bit, so if you know where I'm headed and want to just see the new method, skip down two paragraphs to the one marked below:

If you recall, I've previously posted some details on how to get and maintain a TIM SIM in this forum. The relevant details here are that a TIM SIM expires after 12 months of payment inactivity, and the TIM website tightened up a bit and only allows reloads from domestic credit cards sometimes. In addition, you may just have an older SIM (like me) that for whatever reason, will never take a reload directly on the TIM site.

One workaround (previously mentioned, but recapping to keep the info in one place) is to bring home some small denomination Ricaricards back from Italy with you. You can get them in 5 euro denominations. You scratch them off to see the code, and enter the code on the TIM website (or via SMS if you're in Italy). That still works since there's no credit card to process, but might be inconvenient, like what if you forget, or decide to skip Italy for a year? This is also nice now that roaming in the EU has gone away, since I can now plan to use TIM in other EU countries.

New Info Starts Here!

The new method I found is to use the PayPal Carica app. You must get this from the iTunes Italy Store (not sure about Android), as it's not in the US store. Once you're in it, you can log in with a US-based Paypal account and it will work. I just tested it with mine and my wife's SIM cards, and both worked. A 3rd party (euronetpay) processes the reload, which seems to be why this works but the TIM site doesn't. For me, one account credited instantly, the other took 10 minutes, but the email receipt says it could take 24 hours.

There are some hoops - the app is only in Italian, and only in the Italy store. You may run into some errors initially linking your Paypal account with the app. And at least when I installed, I had to verify my Italian phone number via SMS. Last, Paypal forces currency conversion (on me at least) so I probably paid a little more than I should, but there's no fee for using the service otherwise. I'm not going to detail how to use it step by step, but for anyone sufficiently motivated, you can figure it out and it does work.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 12:45 pm
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Thanks PWMTrav, that's great info. I'm may give it a try tomorrow. Right now I'm on a gamble. I was involved in a lot of job related communications for the past two weeks, and people needed to call or text me at any time.

Using my TIM sim card basically puts me out of touch with the USA, and so I didn't use it. I relied on AT&T's new international program where you just keep your phone the way it is, and use it as much as you want, as you would at home. Every day that you use it, there is a $10 charge, and that's it.

I'm only in Italy for three weeks, and since there has been a lot of job related communication, I thought that was better, rather than switching SIMS every few hours to check voicemails, or to call back to the USA. The cost of $210 is much more than a SIM would cost, but it had to be done. Now, that the business is done and I still have a week to go, I might try this. The gamble is, I'm still suspicious that when I get back to San Francisco AT&T will hit me with a $2,000 phone bill. They are known for doing that. I will have to see.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 12:54 pm
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You should seriously look into a dual-sim Phone. It wouldn't be an iPhone, but it would solve some of that. There are some decent Android models out there.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 12:58 pm
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A dual-sim phone sounds great, but I'm hooked onto the iPhone so that it sync's with all of my other stuff. BTW, cobblestone streets and iPhones don't go together very well. I already have a broken glass screen.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 7:21 am
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Originally Posted by Perche View Post
BTW, cobblestone streets and iPhones don't go together very well. I already have a broken glass screen.
When you get that fixed, buy an Otterbox Defender case. It's a pretty standard issue for corporate environments, which means it must be pretty good at protecting phones My dad's had one on his for a year now and his phone has survived, and I've never met anyone harder on phones (he's a general contractor).
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Old Aug 7, 17, 11:58 am
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Is worth buing Italian SIM card to make a few calls inside of country. My cellphone is unlocked.
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Old Aug 7, 17, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by jb12 View Post
Is worth buing Italian SIM card to make a few calls inside of country. My cellphone is unlocked.
That's entirely up to you, what you plan to use it for, and how much you want to spend. If it's literally just a few calls, I personally wouldn't - I'd use wifi somewhere (hotel?) and use Skype or similar to make the call.
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Old Aug 9, 17, 5:37 am
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Just got Skype unlimited for a month. Hopefully I can make some phone calls to States from Italy. Not sure if I can use my data
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Old Aug 13, 17, 10:39 am
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I've got to see if that works with Android.

Along these lines does anyone know if there's a place to buy ricarica in VCE airport?

I'm flying in Friday for a week to look at some real estate and the SIM for my hotspot needs a recharge as the balance is low from June/July. I tried to recharge on the website but it won't do it. If I can go the PayPal Carica path that's great (it exists but it won't let me install it in the US - I'll try to see if I can do it when VPN'd from Italy). If not, is there a place to buy ricarica in VCE airport?

Thanks

ADDED: No go on downloading/installing the app from the US even with a VPN running. Tried PayPal on the website with the computer and it would not work either. So, I need to find a place I can buy a ricarica when I land.

Last edited by JMN57; Aug 13, 17 at 10:49 am
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Old Aug 13, 17, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by JMN57 View Post
I've got to see if that works with Android.

Along these lines does anyone know if there's a place to buy ricarica in VCE airport?

I'm flying in Friday for a week to look at some real estate and the SIM for my hotspot needs a recharge as the balance is low from June/July. I tried to recharge on the website but it won't do it. If I can go the PayPal Carica path that's great (it exists but it won't let me install it in the US - I'll try to see if I can do it when VPN'd from Italy). If not, is there a place to buy ricarica in VCE airport?

Thanks

ADDED: No go on downloading/installing the app from the US even with a VPN running. Tried PayPal on the website with the computer and it would not work either. So, I need to find a place I can buy a ricarica when I land.
You probably need to change the country of your Play store account, or create a new one with that country specified. That's what I had to do with iOS - I just created a second account based in Italy.

As far as in VCE, their website says there are two tabbachi in there:

http://www.veniceairport.it/acquisti...-tabacchi.html

I always buy recaricards from tabacchi. I haven't been to these in particular, but they all seem to sell them.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
You probably need to change the country of your Play store account, or create a new one with that country specified. That's what I had to do with iOS - I just created a second account based in Italy.

As far as in VCE, their website says there are two tabbachi in there:

http://www.veniceairport.it/acquisti...-tabacchi.html

I always buy recaricards from tabacchi. I haven't been to these in particular, but they all seem to sell them.
Thanks for looking that up. I was going to but you beat me to it. That's probably the easiest way.

I do know that when I am in Italy, I can download certain apps that you can't when you're in the States (for example, immobiliare.it's Android app). I'll try to download it next week when I am there.

Added - just checked them - both tabacchi are post security so they won't do me any good inbound.

I gotta say, I really want to make a business selling euro SIM cards and recharges at US gateway airports. Forget selling FX, you could make a lot selling American tourists SIM cards on this side of the Atlantic.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 5:01 pm
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Originally Posted by JMN57 View Post
Thanks for looking that up. I was going to but you beat me to it. That's probably the easiest way.

I do know that when I am in Italy, I can download certain apps that you can't when you're in the States (for example, immobiliare.it's Android app). I'll try to download it next week when I am there.

Added - just checked them - both tabacchi are post security so they won't do me any good inbound.

I gotta say, I really want to make a business selling euro SIM cards and recharges at US gateway airports. Forget selling FX, you could make a lot selling American tourists SIM cards on this side of the Atlantic.
I haven't been on Android in a bit, but sometimes using a VPN for a local IP + a location spoofer app will work. But it's usually way easier to make a foreign store account, or use an APK downloader on the web. My old Nexus 4 is boot looping, was gonna see if I could grab the APK for you, but no luck there.

One more thing for you to try - the VCE airport map shows that there is a Relay store landside, listed as a kiosk and tobacco shop:

http://www.veniceairport.it/en/at-th...inal-maps.html

I can't remember what Relay looks like, but it's a possibility for you.

I came pretty close to offering loaner SIM cards as part of my travel planning business. I don't do it yet because the SIMs I have are all personal/tied to my codice fiscale, but I plan to eventually. It's such a pain in the butt to maintain these things.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 6:20 pm
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Just bumping my old thread to note that the TIM website now formally accepts foreign credit cards. When you go to the homepage or log in, look for Ricarica (as you normally would), and there you'll see a checkbox in the payment details for foreign credit cards (Carta di Credito Estera). Check that and you should be good to go - Visa or Mastercard only for now, per the info note. It'll let you select Amex/Diners, but it won't authorize. I just put 5 euro on both of my SIM cards to keep them active for another year, so I can confirm that it works. You won't see the balance update in real time - it took about 5 minutes on both of my lines.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by PWMTrav View Post
Just bumping my old thread to note that the TIM website now formally accepts foreign credit cards. When you go to the homepage or log in, look for Ricarica (as you normally would), and there you'll see a checkbox in the payment details for foreign credit cards (Carta di Credito Estera). Check that and you should be good to go - Visa or Mastercard only for now, per the info note. It'll let you select Amex/Diners, but it won't authorize. I just put 5 euro on both of my SIM cards to keep them active for another year, so I can confirm that it works. You won't see the balance update in real time - it took about 5 minutes on both of my lines.
I've been doing that since last fall and should have posted but forgot about the thread. Kudo's to PWMTrav for pointing it out.

Biggest complication is if your bank rejects the charge because it's out of country. I've had that problem with a Citi card. It can be straightened out - technically, they will text and you can authorize but that has occasionally become a mess and it takes a phone call.
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Old Aug 23, 18, 2:02 am
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Originally Posted by jb12 View Post
Is worth buing Italian SIM card to make a few calls inside of country. My cellphone is unlocked.
Yes it is.
Buying local sim cards cost normally 10 euro for the sim call, plus the first month of "package" with different providers.
Wind has the cheapest, but bad customer support.
Vodafone is the best, but more expensive.
Tim is a good in between !
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