Free Mobile in France - help please

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Free Mobile in France - help please


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Old 16th December 2012, 10:38 AM
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Default Free Mobile in France - help please

Hi,

Does anyone have experience with Free Mobile in France?

The deals the offer seem really good, but almost too good to be true... Does the 19.99 Euro plan really have unlimited talk and text to all those countries? I was trying to read their terms and conditions, and my French is still weak, but it did seem there was some kind of limit to the talk time and internet use... Can anyone clarify this? Are there any roaming charges as well? And would I be able to get a sim card for an old iphone 3gs?

Also, how would I go about getting a new phone and sms card? Is it all done online and through mail? Are ther no retailers?

Lastly, what do I need to sign up with them? Do I need a french bankl account? Or can I leave a credit card number?

Any help or advice is greatly appreciated!! I'm totally lost in all the details of these cell phone plans. My boyfriend and I are students in France and we're here until the ned of May, so some kind of cell phone plan would be handy.

Thanks again!
-Anna

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Old 16th December 2012, 11:03 AM
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I've had Free since last April and have found them very easy to deal with and yes, they seem to deliver everything they promise on their site.

Yes, the overseas calls are included in the 19.99 a month. For countries within Europe, where calling a mobile costs considerably more than calling a land line, only calls to land lines are included. For calling the US and Canada, you can call mobiles or land lines, no problem.

Texts outside of France will cost you extra - I had to send a text to the US and it ran 0,19€.

Internet service is limited to 3 GB a month, and in the terms there is a section telling you how much data over that costs.

You order the sim online on their site when you sign up. (I find that easier than trying to find one of their stores and deal with a live salesman, because you can take your time and look up any words you don't understand while you work your way through.) I think they charge you 10€ to issue the sim, but that may be only for a replacement sim. You activate the sim online (don't even need a phone to put it in).

You can't order a phone from them until you are a subscriber and you can pay for your phone using a credit card. The subscription itself has to be paid by standing order from your French bank account.

And the sim they send out is a "one size fits all" - for an iPhone, you snap out the smaller version of the card, and for any other type of phone, you use the larger version. (I actually messed up and had to tape the outer portion back onto the smaller card - very carefully - but it still works just fine once I got it installed into my phone!)
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 16th December 2012, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Bevdeforges View Post
Internet service is limited to 3 GB a month, and in the terms there is a section telling you how much data over that costs.
My understanding was that you get 3GB at 3G speed, and after that they limit your download speed. I never get anywhere close, not even to 1GB, so haven't really cared.

Quote:
And the sim they send out is a "one size fits all" - for an iPhone, you snap out the smaller version of the card,
What you said is true or the iPhone4 and after, but I think the 3GS would use a regular size SIM. The bigger picture of what you said is right, though--what FREE sends you will work for any unlocked GSM-based phone.

Remaining questions are: (1) is your phone unlocked (i.e. not tied to AT&T and able to use a different SIM card?), and (2) was the iPhone 3GS made to work on European 3G networks? I *think* it was, but it's worth double-checking.

I've been using FREE in Paris for about a year. The 3G coverage is often weak and slow; I suspect it's noticably worse than the "prime" networks... but it's so cheap I'm willing to settle. Plus, you get to "tether" your laptop and when you find yourself somewhere with 3G but without wifi you can still get online with your laptop or tablet, which is great.

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Old 16th December 2012, 06:08 PM
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Thanks so much Bev! That really helps

Do you by any chance know how canceling would work? Would I have to give them a 30 day notice or anything?

-Anna

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Old 16th December 2012, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by maartenvd View Post
Remaining questions are: (1) is your phone unlocked (i.e. not tied to AT&T and able to use a different SIM card?), and (2) was the iPhone 3GS made to work on European 3G networks? I *think* it was, but it's worth double-checking.
The iphone 3GS is unlocked. I'll check about whether it works on the European networks, thanks for the advice

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Old 16th December 2012, 07:36 PM
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Thanks so much Bev! That really helps

Do you by any chance know how canceling would work? Would I have to give them a 30 day notice or anything?

-Anna
I'd have to check the terms and conditions statement on the website. But I would assume you need to give them at least 30 days of notice.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 18th December 2012, 09:23 AM
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Hi folks, I also have Free and have found it to be pretty good after a few teething problems at the start of our service. We couldn't receive ANY calls the first couple of days and texts were very iffy. But it all worked out fairly well after about three days and we've had the service for nearly three months now.
I have a 4G iPhone and my partner is on a 3G and for some reason his internet works better than mine while we're at home. There is a Free WiFi signal close by, but mine doesn't always stay connected (but could just be a weak signal). Once we're on the street here in Paris there are actually very few spots where there isn't a Free WiFi signal available and you can use that unlimited, it's just the 3G data that's subject to the 3Gb limit, though for some reason I went over last month and didn't pay for the extra....perhaps it rolls over?
As far as service goes since my family is back in the States, I can call both landlines and mobiles for free, which is awesome. Texting does cots 0.19 per text, but I've found that if the other person has an iPhone and you use iMessaging, then those don't factor in the bill. Of course if you're not on 3G and the iMessage has to be sent as a text, then it will cost too. However most calls and texts to the UK and Europe will cost a little.
I've attached a copy of the summary of my lastest bill with all the personal info taken out, so you can get an idea of what one looks like. I hardly ever phone anyone and have never gotten near my limit.
Your iPhone will work on European networks as they're designed to be multi-channel ready (won't get into technical stuff, but the US and Europe operate on different channels). Our iPhones were unlocked in Belfast to be able to use here in France and we just popped in the SIM and off we went. When my partner travels back to the UK he changes to avoid being hit with huge charges.Freemobile_0781133728_14-12-2012a.pdf

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Old 18th December 2012, 09:50 AM
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...I've attached a copy of the summary of my lastest bill with all the personal info taken out, so you can get an idea of what one looks like...

...Our iPhones were unlocked in Belfast to be able to use here in France and we just popped in the SIM and off we went...
Thanks for posting your bill. It's very useful.

You mention in your post that your "iPhones were unlocked in Belfast" for use in France. How were your iPhones unlocked in Belfast?

It would be great to be able to use FREE with our US iPhones. And to be able to use a SIM card for other countries when we travel, like the UK and Canada.

Thanks in advance.

Ray

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Old 18th December 2012, 10:00 AM
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We bought our phones used and mine was already unlocked. However my partner's was locked to O2. They have a service through their website and we paid about 15Pounds to have it unlocked while we still lived here. We knew we were moving over and needed to have them available to work here.

There are a lot of "unlocking services" on the internet, but you'll be best if you go to a proper phone shop who can do it for you, or contact your current provider. Once your phone has been unlocked, you'll put in the new SIM and once you connect to iTunes, it will update your phone to be able to use on any network.

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Old 18th December 2012, 10:14 AM
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We bought our phones used and mine was already unlocked. However my partner's was locked to O2. They have a service through their website and we paid about 15Pounds to have it unlocked while we still lived here.
Daniel

We'll go to a local provider here in France. Our US provider (AT&T) said "We can unlock other phones but not iPhones, go to Apple." Apple says that they only unlock iPhones purchased directly from Apple (ours were purchased from AT&T, unfortunately).

I was hoping for a less expensive yet still reliable way to unlock our phones (the Yankee in me, my wife says).

It was great to see confirmation on your FREE invoice that calls to the US and other countries from one's mobile can be made at no charge. Amazing! Makes me think I should switch to FREE for our Internet access, TV, and home telephone as well.

Thanks again for posting the invoice and your advice.

Ray

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