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Prepaid SIM - France

Prepaid SIM - France

Old Jul 24, 2013, 8:06 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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SFR ok for me in a hurry.

Originally Posted by NYTA
Whatever you do, don't use SFR. Total disaster - bad service - agents in store who don't know anything - phone agents who know less. Data "service" doesn't include email on iphone.
Last week I picked up an SFR sim at the Relay store at the train station at CDG (Landside, terminal 2, two levels down). I have to say that the clerk at the store was very helpful. She did all the initial setup for both phone/text and data. Plus, she actually cut down the full size sim to a micro.

The initial costs for SFR was 9.90 euro for the sim, which included 5 euro of talk and text, and another 5 euro got me 300mb of data for 7 days. The data did take 24 hours to kick in, but I was in such a hurry to catch my train that I didn't reboot the phone right away after the setup of data, so this may have been my fault, because as soon as I remembered to power down, the data was available. Talk/text was available right away. Email, google maps, etc, all worked fine for me. Using a Nexus 4, btw.

I did stop to do a data recharge whilst in Lyon (reminder to self-do not let your friends use your phone to "check a few things online.") at an SFR store and purchased a 20 euro card that gave me unlimited talk/text within France for 30 days and another 300mb of data for 30 days. Here are two key points I learned at the SFR store:
1) It seems you can buy data only if you wish, 300mb at 5 euro a pop, other options were available.
2) To do a recharge you will need to dial 952 and then enter a number on your receipt, which is clearly marked. However, and this is nice, if you do not speak French you may dial 958 from your phone and this will walk you through the recharge process in English, at least that's what the ladies at the store in Lyon told me. I did not personally use this option as the clerks did the recharge.

I found the reception to be quite good throughout our trip and I only lost service briefly when we were in the Alps, away from any towns or villages.

I am sure there are better options out there, but considering I was on the run at CDG, I was pretty pleased with the overall service.
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Old Jul 24, 2013, 2:33 pm
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave
Welcome to Flyertalk, Rob. Be sure to read this whole thread, which contains a lot of useful info.
Thanks very much...I have read through the thread but am still bit confused as to how you purchase data bundles on Le French Mobile ...any help would be greatly appreciated....I'm going a bit nuts trying to find the best option (even having conversational French skills--quite confusing).
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 3:53 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Landing Gear
my belief has always been that the purpose of Orange Service Clientle (as opposed to their Tech Support) is to make Verizon Wireless look good.
^ + 1
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Old Jul 30, 2013, 5:31 am
  #34  
 
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I will be living in France for four months, and I'm planning on using a prepaid SIM.

I've read that all incoming calls on Orange phones are free, regardless of where— is this true? If so, then would it be possible for me to setup a Skype U.S.-based number and forward it to my Orange SIM so that business and family at home will be able to call me for free (on their part, at least)?
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Old Aug 4, 2013, 4:44 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by char777
I will be living in France for four months, and I'm planning on using a prepaid SIM.

I've read that all incoming calls on Orange phones are free, regardless of where is this true? If so, then would it be possible for me to setup a Skype U.S.-based number and forward it to my Orange SIM so that business and family at home will be able to call me for free (on their part, at least)?
I don't know about the free incoming calls on Orange, as to setting up a local USA number you may want to check out localphone. Their rates are generally better than Skype and I can tell you that it worked like a charm when I was in France 2 weeks ago.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 12:59 am
  #36  
 
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Originally Posted by char777
I will be living in France for four months, and I'm planning on using a prepaid SIM.

I've read that all incoming calls on Orange phones are free, regardless of where is this true? If so, then would it be possible for me to setup a Skype U.S.-based number and forward it to my Orange SIM so that business and family at home will be able to call me for free (on their part, at least)?
Alors, if you're moving to France for four months I presume you either speak the language or have access to those who do. Take a look at the Orange.fr site for the conditions of contract for the Mobicarte prepaid service (URL previously cited) and see.

The general rule in France is that incoming is free regardless of who called you. Incoming is free on my Orange phone but I have a regular account and I therefore have not had a reason to look up prepaid terms in a very long while.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 5:00 am
  #37  
 
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Bien sur, I do, but that site has to be one of the most confusion telephony sites I've ever seen. The mobicarte section doesn't talk much (if at all) about international rates, and it also doesn't tell you that les recharges max (which has apparently replaced the superior Internet Max data option) only works with French credit cards.

I'm starting to wonder if Lebara might be the better option (as suggested). They charge EUR.05 to call the U.S. (inbound and outbound), though even their domestic rates look cheaper, and their data plans are better than Orange. They also are willing to sell and ship SIMs to the U.S. for free apparently. The only problem is that it rungs on Bouygues, which is apparently the weakest of the three networks in France, though I don't imagine I'll be leaving metropolitan areas very much anyway.
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 11:49 am
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by char777
Bien sur, I do, but that site has to be one of the most confusion telephony sites I've ever seen. The mobicarte section doesn't talk much (if at all) about international rates, and it also doesn't tell you that les recharges max (which has apparently replaced the superior Internet Max data option) only works with French credit cards.
You were expecting an American card to work?

Try this and see what they say:

Sige social France Telecom Orange


+33 01 44 44 22 22



Originally Posted by char777
The only problem is that it rungs on Bouygues, which is apparently the weakest of the three networks in France, though I don't imagine I'll be leaving metropolitan areas very much anyway.
That's like saying, "the only problem is that I get only one bar of signal."
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Old Aug 6, 2013, 1:52 pm
  #39  
iff
 
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Originally Posted by char777
The only problem is that it rungs on Bouygues, which is apparently the weakest of the three networks in France, though I don't imagine I'll be leaving metropolitan areas very much anyway.
I've been a Bouygues customer for many years in one form or another (prepaid, contract, B&You) and have never had any problems in metropolitan areas. The Orange network isn't accessible from my central Paris apartment, and I've been very happy with my B&You package. YMMV.
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Old Aug 8, 2013, 2:33 pm
  #40  
 
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Joe Mobile

There is a new MVNO for France, Joe Mobile: www.joemobile.fr

Some very good plans - topping out at 20 EUR per month for unlimited calls within France and to a number of foreign countries (including US), unlimited SMS and MMS, and 3 GB of data per month.

It is a no term contract plan, billed monthly to a credit card. The catch is the credit card must be French or from a surrounding country (e.g., was just able to order using a UK debit card, mailed to an address in France.)

Here is a link to a discussion of the card on prepaidgsm.net:

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum/fran...oe-mobile.html
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 12:22 pm
  #41  
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If you are moving to France and will have a French bank account, Free.fr is suppose to be a good option.

They would bill directly from your bank account.
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 12:43 pm
  #42  
 
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A quick look at their website shows that they have the same plan that Joe started and Virgin Mobile adopted - the unlimited calls (including US), SMS, MMS, and 3 GB of data. All for 20 EUR (or 19.99). It appears to be a trend.



Originally Posted by wco81
If you are moving to France and will have a French bank account, Free.fr is suppose to be a good option.

They would bill directly from your bank account.
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Old Aug 9, 2013, 10:04 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by iff
I've been a Bouygues customer for many years in one form or another (prepaid, contract, B&You) and have never had any problems in metropolitan areas. The Orange network isn't accessible from my central Paris apartment, and I've been very happy with my B&You package. YMMV.
How many people do you know in France who are also Bouygues customers?
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 1:21 am
  #44  
iff
 
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Originally Posted by Landing Gear
How many people do you know in France who are also Bouygues customers?
Quite a few, actually. I also know Orange customers and Free customers (and I have been both an Orange and a Free customer myself at times).
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 2:05 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by Landing Gear
How many people do you know in France who are also Bouygues customers?
Originally Posted by iff
Quite a few, actually. I also know Orange customers and Free customers (and I have been both an Orange and a Free customer myself at times).
Very interesting. What is the selling point of Bouygues over Orange and SFR? (You mentioned your personal issue with reception in your apartment.)

All my French friends have always warned me away from Bouygues.

To cite my hometown as a comparison, I think I have known (by that I mean person with whom I am in regular contact) one person since 2000 who was a T-Mobile customer, one person who used an MVNO and then switched within a month and no Obamaphone customers.
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