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Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

Hong Kong, China
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Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

I went to an O2 shop to buy a prepaid card from the S-bahn friedrichstrasse station yesterday, stating clearly that i only want the card for the data plan so i can use my iphone4 to get online. The guy there said that i can do that with a plan of 10Euros per month and that it should be activated in ten minutes.

After i paid and he gave me the card, he instructed me to call a number to top up the card and said that i should receive a sms afterwards. As everything he handed me was in german, i asked if he could help me do it, and he refused, saying that it is really easy, i only have to type in the number and call. So i did, and we waited for five minutes and there was no sms whatsoever, so he said it could arrive within 30minutes, so we went off to do other things.

However, after two hours, i still couldn't get online, so i went back to the shop and asked him for help. The apn settings didn't setup automatically as he said it would, and he said it is because the system is down and it might be for another 24 hours. I said i am only staying for a few days, so that means i am paying 25euros for a card that i cannot use at all. He just gave me an expression that he can't do anything about it, without any apologies, and meanwhile, his colleague next to him (who seemed of a higher position) was very impolite all along giving us an impression that he found us very annoying as we couldn't speak german.

In conclusion, DO NOT go to buy sim cards from o2 as they are really unprofessional and unhelpful and also impolite. Not mentionning that the cards dont' work at all and they staff dont' even want to help you solve your problem.

Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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1. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

I would also advise against O2. I have a German mobile with pre-paid O2 card and it is really expensive to use and credit only valid 6 months unless you top up (15€ minimum each time). I know it's a rip-off because I can compare with using Virgin prepaid in the UK which is a lot cheaper and still allows small top-ups whenever you want. I bought the German phone in March 2007 before the EU put a cap on cost of calls within the EU, nowadays I'd probably just use my Spanish phone if I was "starting from scratch".

Also, twice I have topped up and it's not registered on the system and one time the phone was blocked as a result and I had to go to an O2 shop where one of the sales staff was extremely unhelpful, his colleague luckily a lot better (this was at Alexanderplatz station). I do speak German and have managed to get it sorted out but it's a real hassle even so.

Am now looking into a Lidl SIM card (I only use the phone for a few calls and texts, no data.)

Toronto
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2. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

>> He just gave me an expression that he can't do anything about it, without any apologies

What could he possibly have done other than giving an apology? Would that make your iPhone data plan work?

>> DO NOT go to buy sim cards from o2

So other providers are guaranteed to work?

When you travel, things don't always work the way you expected. You have back up plans and move forward. APN and settings are available online. There are many internet cafes around.

Germany
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3. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

> Am now looking into a Lidl SIM card (I only use the phone for a few calls and texts, no data.)

Lidl ~> Fonic ~> O2

I've a Fonic UMTS stick (per paid). Can't lament on the fees and that it does not work. Fonic is the budget brand of O2. The only problem with O2 (and e-plus) is that their network coverage outside the big cities is not as good as the networks of t-mobile (D1) and vodafone (D2). O2, e-plus, t-mobile and vodafone are the 4 network providers in Germany. Thus whatever you do/buy - in the end you use one of those 4 networks.

All providers/resellers offer a contract jungle with always new contract schemes coming up. While others go out of the market (as they won't sell anymore) but are still in use with the existing customers (as they are good business for the providers).

What is good for you or not depends on a number of factors. It's much easier to pick a wrong contract option than the right one for you.

Barcelona, Spain
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4. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

My problem is that the phone I have is tied to O2 and I'd have to pay 25€ to unlock it . I spend a fortune on O2 compared with Virgin UK (far more credit bought on O2 than Virgin, far fewer calls made in germany than the UK) . O2 actually once sent me a letter telling me it cost them a lot of money to keep a mobile network going, and I had to keep paying up every 6 months to maintain credit or phone is blocked and I would lose the number after 12 months.

Other mobile phone companies don't have these stringent restrictions, with most of them the credit is there for 12 months, or unlimited. so they are obviously more efficient ( or less rip-off merchants) than O2 germany. I now know I made a bad choice for what I need. And O2's stricter conditions still apply so I would still warn against them.

5. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

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Removed on: 5:05 am, June 01, 2013
Berlin
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6. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

@Lynda - you cannot compare German plans to UK plans. You will have to compare German plans with other German plans.

I hate dealing with any phone company in Germany. I have had bad experiences with a couple of them. You really have to compare offers and prices and try to find the one that works out best for you. If you just walk into a shop and buy a card you (sadly) have a risk ending up with something that is not the best choice for you.

Barcelona, Spain
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7. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

I did actually enquire in Mediamarkt before buying and was told O2 was best for what I wanted then (March 2007). Maybe it was then? i have now bought a Netto SIM card (not a Lidl one). Ironically in both cases, Netto and Lidl, the service is actually run by O2 so if you are a real O2 customer you get ripped off, if you go for the cheaper deal (for basic cover) you do a lot better. That is particularly galling!

Annedawn I agree that comparing countries isn't a good idea but other German phone companies don't have this 6-month rule (eagle DE Dresden has told me that T-mobile is more flexible, for example as is Netto with top up within a year) . The online customer service from Netto has been great too, answering my queries very quickly.

I agree that staff in O2 shops are not customer-oriented, I've had dealings twice at Alexanderplatz station O2 shop and also bad experiences. One time it turned out to be a "technical error" with O2 that my phone had been blocked despite a recent top-up; the first salesman I dealt with treated me like an absolute idiot (and I speak fluent German so no excuse re the langauge).; luckily his colleague was more helpful and we got that reply from O2 about technical error (ti's actually happened a second time that a top-up hasn't been activated: I always keep the sms message from O2 "your top-up was successful" so have been able to show it at the shop when there was a query.

Edit.realise I've talked about that top-up problem way back, sorry for repeat. I do now use my German phone (Netto) when in Spain if contacting a German or UK number as it's a lot cheaper than using a Spanish phone (text from Spanish phone to German/UK mobile is 60 cents, Gerrman to German/UK within EU is 13cts.

agree

Edited: 9:35 am, June 11, 2011
Stockholm, Sweden
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8. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

What? You bought a pre-paid SIM card. And then you expect the store to provide you with support? That is absurd. Stores don't provide support, at least not in northern europe. :)

Amsterdam, The...
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for Munich, Amsterdam, The Ardennes
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9. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

You say it is prepaid but the costs are 10 euros a month. Are you sure you haven't bought a subscription?

Philadelphia...
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10. Re: Got ripped off by O2 prepaid sim card. BAD service.

I'm traveling to Germany for a week at the end of December. I have a Quad band unlocked GMS phone. Is there a way to purchase a Sim card at the airport? I'll be landing at Franfurt. And which one would you recomend for light calling and sms and around 300mbs of data?