Recommend good deals on disposable phones in the UK & France.
October 10, 2004 7:13 PM   Subscribe

European disposable mobile phones: My parents, who are American, are going to Edinburgh, London & Paris later this week. They've asked me what I know about disposable/rentable phones since their phones won't work over there. I know nothing. So now I'm asking all of you: What do you know about good deals on disposable/rentable phones in the UK & France? (I believe they're looking to use the phones for a period of 7-10 days, and if it makes things simpler I think they are willing to do without during the French portion of the trip if necessary)
posted by bcwinters to Technology (7 answers total)
If they can get an unlocked GSM handset ( at least tri-band coverage if bought in the states) when they get here they can buy a SIM card for about £10. Charge it up and it'll work across Europe. Plenty of cheap ones on eBay, but the deadline's a bit tight I know.

It'll be the cheapest by far. All those renting places are pretty steep. Especially as they usually take $500 credit card authorisation while you have the phone.
posted by bonaldi at 7:28 PM on October 10, 2004

Last year on a trip to Italy, we used Cellular Abroad. I can't recall the exact price, but I think it was around $50-60 for 2 weeks, and that included a pre-charged SIM card with maybe an hour's worth of talk time on it. When that time ran out, it was easy to add more minutes to the card by picking up a recharge card at one of the train stations.
posted by misterioso at 7:51 PM on October 10, 2004

You can pick up an unlocked Ericsson T28 on eBay for around $30 and then buy SIM cards when you get to Europe.
posted by gyc at 8:09 PM on October 10, 2004

Are they sure their phones won't work? I've used mine all over the world (Europe, Africa, Central America, Canada, US) just the same as making a local call (though the local charges are higher if you call someone not in your network.) I had to call T-mobile a few years ago to let them know I'd be travelling, and they had to unlock something to make it international-capable. I guess they just wanted to make sure I paid my bills. It is, in fact, the GSM T28 mentioned above . . .I've had this phone and used it internationally for about 5 years.
posted by sixdifferentways at 8:32 PM on October 10, 2004

It looks like Autoeurope rents cell phones for Europe weekly or monthly. I believe they'll overnight the phone to you in the states.

I've used this company for renting cars in the past, and they're reputable IMO.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:29 AM on October 11, 2004

sixdifferentways, the only way their phone would work would be if they were tri-band GSM, which is not common in the US. Even if their carrier is GSM, most people only have US frequency phones.
posted by smackfu at 7:47 AM on October 11, 2004

Yeah, their phones are definitely not tri-band, so that's a wash. Thank you for the suggestions everyone, I will pass them along!
posted by bcwinters at 12:26 PM on October 11, 2004

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