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Oh dear... cell phone app Iphone — Vodaphone — question and warning

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#1
So... Spouse got a SIM card in Pamplona and the phone was registered there — iphone 6+. He has not been able to connect at all. He’s stuck with Wifi. That’s *kind of* OK insofar as I am still at home, but I leave for Spain and arrive in Madrid on the 19/20th.

The reason he can’t connect is that Vodaphone keeps demanding that he download an App. But he can’t download it from the App store because our credit cards go to a Canadian address which means he can’t access the Spanish store.

Does Orange present the same problem?

When we are away, we really do have to have a proper 24/7 cell phone availability. And before I am asked to eat crow for that... no we are not millennial who can’t let go of tech. We have two family members with significant health concerns at home. They are caring for each other while we are away, but either one could have a full-blown emergency that requires we immediately leave the trail and head home, or will have a need for a serious consultation (mostly with me) to hold a full catastrophe in abeyance. So please do not burden me with a scolding about cell phones and narcissism and not knowing the true purpose of camino.

If anyone knows a workaround for Spouse’s current situation, please share. He’s had no luck so far.

If someone can tell me if I can avoid this issue by going with Orange for my phone (iphone 8+) or Movistar, please do advise.

If I can’t have a connection, I can’t go on Camino and I will have to cancel my ticket. I cannot take the risk of being there without a proper cell connection. Wifi is inadequate for our needs.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

And a warning for those in a similar situation — just the SIM card without the App is not enough to make the phone work in Spain on Vodaphone. I don’t yet know about Orange.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#2
The reason he can’t connect is that Vodaphone keeps demanding that he download an App. But he can’t download it from the App store because our credit cards go to a Canadian address which means he can’t access the Spanish store.

Does Orange present the same problem?
...
In another post I mentioned that you should try (top up on-line etc.) everything while still in the store. My best advice would for hubby would be to visit Vodafone store once again. Not the same one of course.

I had no such problems with Vodafone this year and also none with Orange in years 2014-2016. It's not about the provider.

...So please do not burden me with a scolding about cell phones and narcissism and not knowing the true purpose of camino.
...
It's not scolding, it's knowing things. You take it as scolding although we don't intend it to be one.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#3
"And a warning for those in a similar situation — just the SIM card without the App is not enough to make the phone work in Spain on Vodaphone. I don’t yet know about Orange. "
And this warning is a panicky one and altogether wrong advice. I didn't upload any app and my Vodafone SIM worked just great. Until it ran out of credit after 30 days of course. Same goes for Orange. Never ever had to download any app or anything as such to make phone works.
 

JDecay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
#4
I had no issues in Portugal or Spain last year with Vodafone. I purchased new SIMs in each country and had the Vodafone staff install and use the card instore.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#5
I used Orange in 2014 without difficulty. I did not need an App. Spouse had his phone registered in the shop before he left. He paid for his data in the shop before he left.
Now the phone does not work without the App that he cannot download because we cannot register with the Spanish Apple App store (because our credit cards are Canadian).
If the answer is that he bought a useless plan then so be it, but if that is our only option then I will be cancelling my trip.
This is a serious issue.
If anyone had handled this problem in the last few weeks, I’d love to hear the advice.
Spouse does intend to go back into a shop, but that is days away and I have to make some serious decisions.
Thanks in advance.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#6
"And a warning for those in a similar situation — just the SIM card without the App is not enough to make the phone work in Spain on Vodaphone. I don’t yet know about Orange. "
And this warning is a panicky one and altogether wrong advice. I didn't upload any app and my Vodafone SIM worked just great. Until it ran out of credit after 30 days of course. Same goes for Orange. Never ever had to download any app or anything as such to make phone works.
No. Currently the phones will not work without the App. When he tries to log on or place a call the phone automatically diverts to the app to prompt the downloading that is not possible. Whether this is specific to 6+ phones, or anything after iphone 6 I do not know. But I do know that he has now been 4 days with a registered SIM, prepaid in the store, registered in the store!
The app is not optional now. What I need is a tech guru type to answer my question. Thanks.
And the warning is for people like us for whom a connection to vulnerable people at home is not optional.
It is a heads up that allows people [like me, maybe) to solve the problem before we leave, or cancel our trips if we can’t solve the problem.
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
#7
@morgan First stop panicking - needing a photo to work n Spain is hardly rare, nor is it unique to the Camino. Vodafone is a big operator and iPhone 6 is a common phone. I’ve googled and there is no general issue ie nothing on google. There is a problem with either your husbands phone setup or the way he’s using it or both.

I’m technically fluent but I’m not a mind reader - your husband needs to demo the issue to either a Vodafone shop or a tech expert on the ground.

Also there are many ways to make calls - I never use a local sim to call international- I use Skype to phone number which costs a fraction of a cent , or use whatsapp for text , there are other options
 
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#8
No. Currently the phones will not work without the App. When he tries to log on or place a call the phone automatically diverts to the app to prompt the downloading that is not possible. Whether this is specific to 6+ phones, or anything after iphone 6 I do not know. But I do know that he has now been 4 days with a registered SIM, prepaid in the store, registered in the store!
The app is not optional now. What I need is a tech guru type to answer my question. Thanks.
And the warning is for people like us for whom a connection to vulnerable people at home is not optional.
It is a heads up that allows people [like me, maybe) to solve the problem before we leave, or cancel our trips if we can’t solve the problem.
@Morgan Holmes this is probably something you have already looked into, but just in case: have you checked with your current (home) phone account provider as to what if any international roaming plans they offer and the costs? I ask because having given myself headaches trying to decide on what to do I ended up going with my phone as it was, and it was ok. You don't need a Spanish SIM for your phone to work in Spain, it's just cheaper usually. But if you need the phone mainly for quick check-ins with your family members, or emergencies, it may be worth just taking your phone as is, if the costs are not too prohibitive. Plus the advantage is you keep your normal phone number and people calling you don't have to learn a new one or pay international charges. But you have probably checked all that out already, in which case ignore this!
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#9
@Morgan Holmes this is probably something you have already looked into, but just in case: have you checked with your current (home) phone account provider as to what if any international roaming plans they offer and the costs? I ask because having given myself headaches trying to decide on what to do I ended up going with my phone as it was, and it was ok.....]

Actually I like this advice very much. It is helpful. We do have a “roam like home” plan but it is wildly expensive and I need to find out if our provider will charge me simply for having my phone turned on every day (in which case: no go). If I can only be charged if a connection is actually made, it will be OK because for anything except emergencies (predictable for us sadly) waiting for wifi, even for days, is fine.

I still hope to help find a solution to spouse’s problem. That is what we do; we help each other when asked, and he asked me because he can’t get a connection to trouble shoot this for himself. His phone just keeps defaulting to a command to download the app before connecting to the network. Can’t load the app because the Spanish app store can’t take our credit card information to enrol there. It’s Kafkaesque!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#10
I'm no help in the tech area, but just to say that I've used both Vodafone and Orange SIMs and never needed to download an app.
Another suggestion is that your husband can chat with a tech online to troubleshoot when he's at an albergue with wifi. And if that doesn't solve the problem, then when he gets to Logrono a shop can offer live tech help.
Edit - I just see from the post you just wrote that he can't troubleshoot. Grf. it sounds super frustrating.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#11
I'm no help in the tech area, but just to say that I've used both Vodafone and Orange SIMs and never needed to download an app.
Another suggestion is that your husband can chat with a tech online to troubleshoot when he's at an albergue with wifi. And if that doesn't solve the problem, then when he gets to Logrono a shop can offer live tech help.
Thanks, I will suggest the online tech support over wifi. Unfortunately he is beyond Logrono. Maybe Burgos...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#12
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
#13
Definitely keep trying with the issues he is having - hopefully someone can suggest a fix or he'll find a Vodafone place soon. Maybe Najera? Or Santo Domingo? Probably a silly question but have you tried calling him on the new number? Just in case the connection issue is to do with the internet connection rather than receiving calls.

For your phone, hopefully you'll find your provider doesn't charge unless you use the phone - there should be a command in the settings to prevent data roaming unless you specifically turn it back on, which stops inadvertent connections. Good luck anyway!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#14
Thanks, I will suggest the online tech support over wifi. Unfortunately he is beyond Logrono. Maybe Burgos...
Does his data coverage works? Or free wi-fi, like in the bar? Can he call you or you call him?

He is most possible well asleep right now but I can talk to him and try to solve the problem over the wi-fi tomorrow.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances Sept/Oct 2018
#15
I used Orange in 2014 without difficulty. I did not need an App. Spouse had his phone registered in the shop before he left. He paid for his data in the shop before he left.
Now the phone does not work without the App that he cannot download because we cannot register with the Spanish Apple App store (because our credit cards are Canadian).
If the answer is that he bought a useless plan then so be it, but if that is our only option then I will be cancelling my trip.
This is a serious issue.
If anyone had handled this problem in the last few weeks, I’d love to hear the advice.
Spouse does intend to go back into a shop, but that is days away and I have to make some serious decisions.
Thanks in advance.
Thank you for asking. We leave in 18 days and also need cell service 24/7 for possible emergency situation.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#17

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#19
Does his data coverage works? Or free wi-fi, like in the bar? Can he call you or you call him?

He is most possible well asleep right now but I can talk to him and try to solve the problem over the wi-fi tomorrow.
His data coverage does not work, and his phone cannot make calls. Wifi has been spotty — slow or not available where he has been staying, so setting up an appointment call is likely not practical ... likely to leave you hanging around if he does not arrive in x place at y time... or wifi is slow or broken...

I will tell him about Haro and Najera. I think that he has been sold some kind of broadband only Sim, perhaps in the wrong package that appeared to be a regular SIM. The App, by the way is Mi Vodafone, and he phone just defaults to demanding its installation on boot. Thanks for the offer though.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#21
@Morgan Holmes I found that I could not pay for or top-up my Spanish sim online unless I downloaded an app - but I could if I walked into a supermarket or tabac or other store, gave them my phone number and paid on the spot.
OK... this is interesting Kanga. He cannot even get his phone to connect without the App and has prepaid 50 euros I think, for 10 GB and cell phone number. So he has not yet used any of the value up. But your message makes me think it’s something about the plan.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#22
Hi Morgan,
Hope it works out for your hubby soon.

As for you, Orange should be a good choice for a pre-paid SIM card. We just helped a friend purchase one a few weeks ago and she didn't need to download an app to use it.
Thank you. I was with Orange last time, and in France and in Ireland. Too bad my existing SIM timed out 2 years ago.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#23
OK... this is interesting Kanga. He cannot even get his phone to connect without the App and has prepaid 50 euros I think, for 10 GB and cell phone number. So he has not yet used any of the value up. But your message makes me think it’s something about the plan.
Morgan, It's not about the plan. What's the plan called if you can not use it? A "can't use it plan"???
I think your hubby needs to get in touch with someone with just a little bit more knowledge about the smartphones, SIMs and maybe even reading small print. Tobacco stores might be first alternative as @Kanga mentioned.
 
Camino(s) past & future
VDLP (Sept 2015)

CF SJPDP-SdC+
(Sept/Oct 2018)
#24
Hi Morgan, Another idea which MIGHT work is based on this old (11/2014) support thread: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6663741 (Excerpt):
http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT2534 Your husband would need to create a new Apple ID (in Spain, obviously) for login without payment information and use it. He would not be able to buy any paid apps, music, movies, etc.
He should be able to do this on Wi-Fi. Changing Apple IDs on a phone can often do something funny but the issues are usually easy to fix.
When creating a new Apple ID on a phone the process has gotten pretty smart, it asks for instance if you want to copy Contacts (etc.) from the existing account, I believe.

¡Buen Camino!
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#25
Morgan, It's not about the plan. What's the plan called if you can not use it? A "can't use it plan"???
I think your hubby needs to get in touch with someone with just a little bit more knowledge about the smartphones, SIMs and maybe even reading small print. Tobacco stores might be first alternative as @Kanga mentioned.
You have misunderstood my meaning. Some plans require the app for some features (as Kanga noted). Perhaps Spouse’s plan is meant only for residents and was sold in error. There is no other conceivable reason that the boot process would demand downloading an app that a nonresident cannot access.


I am deeply concerned that this not happen to anyone else for whom reliable connection is a necessity not a luxury.

I have emailed Spouse Kanga’s and VN’s suggestions.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#26
Hi Morgan, Another idea which MIGHT work is based on this old (11/2014) support thread: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/6663741 (Excerpt):
Your husband would need to create a new Apple ID (in Spain, obviously) for login without payment information and use it. He would not be able to buy any paid apps, music, movies, etc.
He should be able to do this on Wi-Fi. Changing Apple IDs on a phone can often do something funny but the issues are usually easy to fix.
When creating a new Apple ID on a phone the process has gotten pretty smart, it asks for instance if you want to copy Contacts (etc.) from the existing account, I believe.

¡Buen Camino!
Copying and sending to him. Thanks!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#27
just the SIM card without the App is not enough to make the phone work in Spain on Vodaphone.
That isn't supposed to be true, but clearly something is not set up properly. In April, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what my Vodafone plan would and would not give me. In the end I got what I wanted, but it wasn't easy, to the extent that I will not do Vodafone next time even though I have had success in the past. I got messages suggesting that I download the App, but it wasn't necessary to use the phone, but I think it was necessary to top up using a credit card, which I didn't do. And it is always wise to test all features of the phone/SIM card before you leave the store!

Hopefully, he can find a store to help.

I need to find out if our provider will charge me simply for having my phone turned on every day
If your phone is on airplane mode, it will not incur charges. If it is not on airplane mode (since you want to receive calls) you should be sure to turn off data roaming. I have Rogers in Canada, and they will charge $10/day if you access the network at all, that day. (I'm not sure what time zone applies.) Once you've paid the $10, I believe you can use to your heart's content, that day. So, while you want to receive phone calls (and therefore don't put it into airplane mode), you need to turn off all data to avoid accidentally using the network. I have successfully traveled in Europe without incurring charges, but having my phone on.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#29
Morgan, do you have a family member or a friend who could use the forum? If so, they could become a member, and if there should be a need to contact you, they could use a pre-agreed thread topic that you would check in for during the day, so that you would know if something goes wrong. Don’t cancel.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#30
When we have solved this, I will post the solution here. I do not want anyone else to experience the same problem.
Thanks all for the advice. I did send suggestions about store locations and working around the CC issue for enrolling in the Spanish App store.
We will go from here, and when I've heard from him, will update.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Burgos-SdC May-June 2016; CF: The whole enchilada April-June 2018
#31
Your spouse might also ask for help from a sympathetic hospitalero or hostel staff member. An Albergue owner along the way helped us solve our Vodaphone problem when we couldn’t make an in-country call (when our 30 days ran out).

Downloading the app wasn’t necessary, but we were making only local calls, not international. I did however have to register on the Vodaphone site in order to add more Euros after 30 days — somewhat difficult with limited Spanish, but it can be done.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#32
Update: Spouse had to borrow a hotspot from a person with a data plan in order to get fast enough wifi and was able to go online and complete some kind of registration that had not been correct in the store. It may have timed out in the store... that’s the guess, and therefore, did not complete the registration.

That said, he still has to go into a store tomorrow and figure out why his 25 euro plan that he paid for and has not used has a current balance of 73 cents and no data.

However, I was able to phone him and make the connection, which is the most important consideration when it comes to our emergency concerns. We have established that he can receive calls, but not make them (because of the 73 cents balance issue). He will try to fix that tomorrow.

I will update again.

But for those reading along with your own concerns about emergency contact issues: make sure that you walk outside of the store’s wifi range and us your cellular hookup to connect before you move on with your fresh SIM.

If you cannot connect on the cellular network, walk back into the shop and have them complete the issue. Trouble shooting later over bad wifi on a webpage without complete Spanish fluency is not fun.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#33
Update: Spouse had to borrow a hotspot from a person with a data plan in order to get fast enough wifi and was able to go online and complete some kind of registration that had not been correct in the store. It may have timed out in the store... that’s the guess, and therefore, did not complete the registration.

That said, he still has to go into a store tomorrow and figure out why his 25 euro plan that he paid for and has not used has a current balance of 73 cents and no data.

However, I was able to phone him and make the connection, which is the most important consideration when it comes to our emergency concerns. We have established that he can receive calls, but not make them (because of the 73 cents balance issue). He will try to fix that tomorrow.

I will update again.

But for those reading along with your own concerns about emergency contact issues: make sure that you walk outside of the store’s wifi range and us your cellular hookup to connect before you move on with your fresh SIM.

If you cannot connect on the cellular network, walk back into the shop and have them complete the issue. Trouble shooting later over bad wifi on a webpage without complete Spanish fluency is not fun.
Couldn't you simply turn off the wifi to check if you can get on the network?
 
#35
I did not want to jump in while the crisis was in full force, but now that a solution seems to have been found, I will add my two cents on Vodafone.

I have used both vodafone and movistar, having moved to Vodafone a few years ago when Annie and I had the same plan and were walking together and could thus call each other for free. It’s called Super Yuser. Can’t remember the costs but it comes with 30 days of phone calls and some data, 2.5 GB maybe. Somewhere around 20€. The people at the Vodafone store in Almería, along with a few of the Mozárabe mob, told me that if I didn’t use data for movies, maps.me, etc., I would have plenty. I used it minimally, only to check email when I had no wifi, for whatsapp with a few camino friends, etc. Imagine my surprise when about 9 days out, in Córdoba, I got a text message saying my data was almost gone. Luckily I was in a city and headed straight to the vodafone store. They could not tell me how I had consumed all of that data in such a short time, because the clerks in the store do not have access to your actual usage. Rather than try to figure it out, I just made sure to keep the data totally off every moment except when I actually wanted to use it, and I was fine with another month’s plan of Supre Yuser.”

I would love to continue with Vodafone next year, because their staff is universally much more helpful and kind than those I have met in numerous Movistar stores over the years. In fact, the woman I met in Almería spent more than an hour with me and C Clearly, always smiling and never impatient. But poor @Morgan Holmes ´s nightmare is giving me second thoughts.

Buen camino, Laurie
 
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Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#36
I know that this is no help for the OP, who lives in Canada, but for those in the US, who are following this thread, I can't tell you how great it is to have T-mobile service. My "unlimited everything" plan carries over while I'm traveling - except for phone calls, which cost 20¢ a minute. But most importantly, I have unlimited data and texting to/from US numbers. I use the Viber app to make very cheap - 2¢ a minute phone calls to landlines in Spain and the US. This year, I paid an extra $10/month for faster data speeds (though I never had a problem before), and the ability to make my phone into a Hotspot, which has benefitted other pilgrims. Anyone who travels very much should look into this plan.
BTW - another forum member alerted me to the fact that T-mobile offers a deal to those of us over 55 - only $100/month for two lines.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#37
I did not want to jump in while the crisis was in full force, but now that a solution seems to have been found, I will add my two cents on Vodafone.

I have used both vodafone and movistar, having moved to Vodafone a few years ago when Annie and I had the same plan and were walking together and could thus call each other for free. It’s called Super Yuser. Can’t remember the costs but it comes with 30 days of phone calls and some data, 2.5 GB maybe. Somewhere around 20€. The people at the Vodafone store in Almería, along with a few of the Mozárabe mob, told me that if I didn’t use data for movies, maps.me, etc., I would have plenty. I used it minimally, only to check email when I had no wifi, for whatsapp with a few camino friends, etc. Imagine my surprise when about 9 days out, in Córdoba, I got a text message saying my data was almost gone. Luckily I was in a city and headed straight to the vodafone store. They could not tell me how I had consumed all of that data in such a short time, because the clerks in the store do not have access to your actual usage. Rather than try to figure it out, I just made sure to keep the data totally off every moment except when I actually wanted to use it, and I was fine with another month’s plan of Supre Yuser.”

I would love to continue with Vodafone next year, because their staff is universally much more helpful and kind than those I have met in numerous Movistar stores over the years. In fact, the woman I met in Almería spent more than an hour with me and C Clearly, always smiling and never impatient. But poor @morgan Holmes’s nightmare is giving me second thoughts.

Buen camino, Laurie
This year me and my companion also get Vodafone Hazte Yuser in Madrid on Puerta del Sol. I actually wouldn't have to do it because I have EU SIM card and thus no roaming fees but then she would pay a lot if in emergency calling me. That's why we get the same package and it was OK because I have dual SIM phone. 10€ for 1,5GB, 15 minutes of talk (unlimited & free within Youser SIMs) and some text messages and all in 4G. For 30 days. She ran out of her credit once we hit Zamora and we went to a Tabacco to top it up for 30€. Few days later the credit was gone. What happened? We didn't know until Cee when we had time to go in Vodafone store in Carrefour on the main plaza and the guy (in very good English) explained what was it all about. Obviously guy at the Tabacco in Zamora didn't put the 30€ top up to the right package but rather to the ordinary one and with few clicks on the internet the credit was gone. So I would suggest to bring the original cardboard sleeve with you in the store when you want to upload the credit. No need to know any Spanish really because they will see which package you are with. That's why I wrote in one of my previous posts to check everything while you're still in the store.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
#38
I used vodafone in May of this year. I discovered that lots of apps on my phone were updating and using data. I changed my settings so only a couple of apps could update on data and the rest had to wait for wifi. That solved the problem of using up the data. Quite a few of the apps I don't use - they just came installed on the phone so that was really annoying to see them using my data.
 
#39
I used vodafone in May of this year. I discovered that lots of apps on my phone were updating and using data. I changed my settings so only a couple of apps could update on data and the rest had to wait for wifi. That solved the problem of using up the data. Quite a few of the apps I don't use - they just came installed on the phone so that was really annoying to see them using my data.
Hi, CdnDreamer.I think that must be what happened this year to me as well. But what I don’t understand is that I never turn off data at home, use the exact same programs (it’s the same phone, just a different SIM card), and never go over my limit, which I think is 2GB for my phone and my husband’s phone. So is it that Vodafone has a greedy program that intentionally eats up data more than other plans?

My other question is how did you discover that the apps on your phone were using data?
I hope I am not derailing this thread, because I do not have an immediate problem like poor morgan homles´ spouse!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2015 & 2018) San Salvador (2018)
#40
My samsung phone - go to settings and there is data usage. It lists all the apps and how much data they use. I can go back monthly and look at what each app used in each month. It doesnt appear that the apps used any more data in Spain than at home. When I was in Spain I googled how to stop the apps from using data in the background and I followed the directions.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#41
My samsung phone - go to settings and there is data usage. It lists all the apps and how much data they use. I can go back monthly and look at what each app used in each month. It doesnt appear that the apps used any more data in Spain than at home. When I was in Spain I googled how to stop the apps from using data in the background and I followed the directions.
Exactly!

It's not about the app(s) that any (Spanish or German or...) SIM would need to run on. You just put the SIM into your phone, put in the PIN number and if provider already activated your SIM that's it. No rocket science. BUT maybe you do have to sign in to app to top up digitally, from your credit card or Pay Pal or... I prefer cash.

Re using battery/data etc. Just go in Settings and activate something like "energy saving" (sorry I don't have English menu activated on my phone) and it will send you notice that certain number of apps that were running in the back and weren't used for some time were stopped/shut down. For example, I have the location manager activated. But if I don't move from my home like for three days (and not used GoogleMaps/Wikiloc etc.) my phone just shut down the location app. Easy.
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Travel318
#42
Having the plan added wrong is a common frustration and I would call and demand it be recredited to your account. That said, we used Orange without any problems in June/July 20 euro gets your SIM card with 5 euro voice and 15 euro of data which usually is 3gigabytes but they’re running a triple special thru Sept 30 so you get 9 gigabyte for 15 euro plus the 5 euro voice and sim. It’s a great deal. Orange store in Burgos and Leòn. You can also recharge this plan.
 

lissie45

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk Frances 2019
#44
Hi, CdnDreamer.I think that must be what happened this year to me as well. But what I don’t understand is that I never turn off data at home, use the exact same programs (it’s the same phone, just a different SIM card), and never go over my limit, which I think is 2GB for my phone and my husband’s phone. So is it that Vodafone has a greedy program that intentionally eats up data more than other plans?

My other question is how did you discover that the apps on your phone were using data?
I hope I am not derailing this thread, because I do not have an immediate problem like poor morgan homles´ spouse!
Do you have wifi at home? The default for iPhones is to update apps when connected to wifi on an unmetered connection. Also it’s unlikely you use the phone in the same way in Spain as you do at home - for example if gps doesn’t have a good connection it will use data to supplement
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#45
Having the plan added wrong is a common frustration and I would call and demand it be recredited to your account. That said, we used Orange without any problems in June/July 20 euro gets your SIM card with 5 euro voice and 15 euro of data which usually is 3gigabytes but they’re running a triple special thru Sept 30 so you get 9 gigabyte for 15 euro plus the 5 euro voice and sim. It’s a great deal. Orange store in Burgos and Leòn. You can also recharge this plan.
Thank you so much for this very helpful advice. If I can't manage it at the Madrid airport, I will do it in Leon a few days after I land (maybe Fomista, maybe Sahagun??? Dunno)vand will use my home SIM until then. 20 euros is much better than $12 per day with a max amount of $150 -- which I would easily use with the need to be contactable all the time.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#46
Exactly!

It's not about the app(s) that any (Spanish or German or...) SIM would need to run on. You just put the SIM into your phone, put in the PIN number and if provider already activated your SIM that's it. No rocket science. BUT maybe you do have to sign in to app to top up digitally, from your credit card or Pay Pal or... I prefer cash. END QUOTE]


This really does not reflect the problem we were having (which is only about 80% reseolved). The phone *did* need to launch a specific Vodaphone app in order to complete a registration that the clerk in the shop had said was already completed. Wifi everywhere was too slow for the app to complete the data input Spouse was trying to do in order to trouble-shoot and just get to the home screen. He could not even enter the SIM PIN because the phone kept defaulting to demand the app *first*.

There will be a discussion at the Vodaphone store because a phone that is not connected and cannot get past the registration screen should not show a 73 cent balance on an unused plan.

Why the phone defaulted to demand an app installation before even allowing a PIN entry is as yet an unanswered question.

In Canada, we have Bell and Rogers as our main providers and neither is any good, but we are familiar with the ways they fail. In the US I always used T-Mobile and I am familiar with how that fails. I realize Orange could be just as problematic, but I have received good advice about their current offerta from @Glamgrrl and I've used Orange in 3 different countries before. So....

It is, nonetheless false that the phone never needs an app to launch. We were exactly in the position in which the phone could only be used as a wifi device and not as a *phone* without an App installation.

Those who don't really mind, or have some days and euros to kill may not care about the issue, but this thread has provided some solutions, work-arounds and helpful suggestions for those who don't have much (if any) wiggle room. I hope those who are taking the opportunity to go on Camino because they have managed to have all the necessary, finely tuned operations for home responsibilities lined up can use the thread to minimize communications difficulties on landing in Spain. We never know how many responsibilities or troubles a person is carrying and I've communicated these troubles here with a hope to help those others with troubles unseen by by-standers.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#48
Any further news, Morgan?
A little: the person in the shop sold Spouse a 15 euro package deal, but set up the SIM card as a 5 euro pay-go.

Spouse was able to get some tech support on the phone today, but will have to get more because when anyone tries to call him, the phone goes to a message in Spanish, and does not go through to him. Instead he receives a text message from Vodafone that someone has tried to call. This is the reverse of yesterday, when I was able to call him to test the connection. But today, he asked me to test the connection and no deal...

All very frustrating. His advice to me, as some suggested upthread, is to get an Orange SIM when I land. We have very little need to call *out* -- no need at all, really. But we absolutely must be reachable at any hour. Our phones will quietly vibrate on our wrists if there is a medical emergency at home in the middle of the night Spanish time, and we can take the calls outside the dorm in a common room. But it all has to work properly. Still working on it. I will get an update tomorrow.

Thanks for asking. I will update when there is a resolution. One impediment to getting help was that until he got to fast enough wifi, he could not complete the registration of the phone and bypass the App prompt; now the problem is getting the purchase to match the set-up on the SIM. It really was human error in the shop.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#49
I know that this is no help for the OP, who lives in Canada, but for those in the US, who are following this thread, I can't tell you how great it is to have T-mobile service. My "unlimited everything" plan carries over while I'm traveling - except for phone calls, which cost 20¢ a minute. But most importantly, I have unlimited data and texting to/from US numbers. I use the Viber app to make very cheap - 2¢ a minute phone calls to landlines in Spain and the US. This year, I paid an extra $10/month for faster data speeds (though I never had a problem before), and the ability to make my phone into a Hotspot, which has benefitted other pilgrims. Anyone who travels very much should look into this plan.
BTW - another forum member alerted me to the fact that T-mobile offers a deal to those of us over 55 - only $100/month for two lines.
Lucky! Canucks really have some of the worst plans in the world. "Roam Like Home" with our providers would cost an average pilgrim $180 plus tax for the month, plus another $12 per day for the 2 weeks to get to Santiago. -- That $180 would be the top-out equivalent of 15 days at $12 per day which is the maximum they can charge on the plan. If I were to turn on my phone and have it connect for a nanosecond to any data, it would cost $12 up to the $180 max. I guess highway robbery is still a possibility on Camino after all.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#50
. One impediment to getting help was that until he got to fast enough wifi, he could not complete the registration of the phone and bypass the App prompt; now the problem is getting the purchase to match the set-up on the SIM. It really was human error in the shop.
There've been a couple of layers of complication to tease apart, from the sound of it.
I'm sorry this has all happened to you, Morgan, but the silver lining is that because of this thread we've all learned something. Bottom line is we can't assume a SIM will work, but need to check it in the shop before leaving. And to make sure the whiz-kid tech in the shop actually sets it up for the right plan.

Well, may it all work out for you - and in the end may there be no need at all to use the phone for an emergency during your Camino! This time sounds especially precious.
Muy Buen Camino to you both.........
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#51
...Our phones will quietly vibrate on our wrists if there is a medical emergency at home in the middle of the night Spanish time, and we can take the calls outside the dorm in a common room. ...
On your wrists? While walking? What phones do you have???
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#53
It’s not the phone - I have a Garmin step counter that looks like a watch on my wrist my phone is paired via Bluetooth so it vibrates on calls, and other notifications. It’s like an Apple Watch but much cheaper and more useful
My fitbit also vibrates when I receive a call or text. And makes a good silent alarm.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
#54
So... Spouse got a SIM card in Pamplona and the phone was registered there — iphone 6+. He has not been able to connect at all. He’s stuck with Wifi. That’s *kind of* OK insofar as I am still at home, but I leave for Spain and arrive in Madrid on the 19/20th.

The reason he can’t connect is that Vodaphone keeps demanding that he download an App. But he can’t download it from the App store because our credit cards go to a Canadian address which means he can’t access the Spanish store.

Does Orange present the same problem?

When we are away, we really do have to have a proper 24/7 cell phone availability. And before I am asked to eat crow for that... no we are not millennial who can’t let go of tech. We have two family members with significant health concerns at home. They are caring for each other while we are away, but either one could have a full-blown emergency that requires we immediately leave the trail and head home, or will have a need for a serious consultation (mostly with me) to hold a full catastrophe in abeyance. So please do not burden me with a scolding about cell phones and narcissism and not knowing the true purpose of camino.

If anyone knows a workaround for Spouse’s current situation, please share. He’s had no luck so far.

If someone can tell me if I can avoid this issue by going with Orange for my phone (iphone 8+) or Movistar, please do advise.

If I can’t have a connection, I can’t go on Camino and I will have to cancel my ticket. I cannot take the risk of being there without a proper cell connection. Wifi is inadequate for our needs.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

And a warning for those in a similar situation — just the SIM card without the App is not enough to make the phone work in Spain on Vodaphone. I don’t yet know about Orange.
Based on everything in this thread, to date, I suggest that your phone is “locked” to your service provider at home. This is a common practice in North America, and especially in the US.

This practice does not exist in Europe. All smart phones here are sold “unlocked” and can be used with any provider.

The provider at home has to provide a code that you can enter to your phone to “unlock” the phone. However, you are in Spain, and your provider is not.

I recommend trying to contact they when you do have Wi-Fi in a hotel or Cafe. With an iPhone, make an audio only call over Face Time. On Android, use Skype or whatever VOIP app you have.

This places the phone call over the internet for free. Make sure “enable Wi-Fi calls” is turned on in your settings.

The code is an alphanumeric string that is usually entered using the phone keypad. Be careful, as some codes may be single use.

Take your time. Write it down. Better yet, as them to e-mail it to you.

Once your phone is unlocked it will work fine with any different SIM card.

Hope this helps.
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#55
Based on everything in this thread, to date, I suggest that your phone is “locked” to your service provider at home. This is a common practice in North America, and especially in the US.

This practice does not exist in Europe. All smart phones here are sold “unlocked” and can be used with any provider.

The provider at home has to provide a code that you can enter to your phone to “unlock” the phone. However, you are in Spain, and your provider is not.

I recommend trying to contact they when you do have Wi-Fi in a hotel or Cafe. With an iPhone, make an audio only call over Face Time. On Android, use Skype or whatever VOIP app you have.

This places the phone call over the internet for free. Make sure “enable Wi-Fi calls” is turned on in your settings.

The code is an alphanumeric string that is usually entered using the phone keypad. Be careful, as some codes may be single use.

Take your time. Write it down. Better yet, as them to e-mail it to you.

Once your phone is unlocked it will work fine with any different SIM card.

Hope this helps.
Thank hou so much for the sincere effort to help, T2Andreo. Alas, the phone is not locked to a provider. VOIP calling is fine for social calls, but we don’t need that. We need a connection for emergency calls to go to the phone regardless of wifi connection. At this time, spouse can place a call to me over the cell connection, but not receive a call directly.
We are probably going to give up the effort with his phone if he cannot get it all resolved by Burgos.
I arrive soon in Madrid and have a day there to get my own emergency cellular connection established. Once I do that, all will be well.
Please hope for our phone to remain securely connected to home and happily silent for the 3 weeks when I am joining him.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#57
Thank hou so much for the sincere effort to help, T2Andreo. Alas, the phone is not locked to a provider. VOIP calling is fine for social calls, but we don’t need that. We need a connection for emergency calls to go to the phone regardless of wifi connection. At this time, spouse can place a call to me over the cell connection, but not receive a call directly.
We are probably going to give up the effort with his phone if he cannot get it all resolved by Burgos.
I arrive soon in Madrid and have a day there to get my own emergency cellular connection established. Once I do that, all will be well.
Please hope for our phone to remain securely connected to home and happily silent for the 3 weeks when I am joining him.
Morgen,
I hope you have blessed weeks of peace and joy during your camino! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Burgos-SdC May-June 2016; CF: The whole enchilada April-June 2018
#58
Morgan, do you know at which Vodaphone outlet in Pamplona your husband bought his SIM? I have friends going thru there in a couple of weeks and they plan to visit the one in Cortes Ingles shopping center. I’ve alerted them to the potential problems, but it would be good to know if this is the outlet where your hubby had problems.

I hope he is enjoying his Camino in spite of the difficulties he’s had. And I hope your Camino, and your communications, go smoothly from now on!

Buen Camino!
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#59
Morgan, do you know at which Vodaphone outlet in Pamplona your husband bought his SIM? I have friends going thru there in a couple of weeks and they plan to visit the one in Cortes Ingles shopping center. I’ve alerted them to the potential problems, but it would be good to know if this is the outlet where your hubby had problems.

I hope he is enjoying his Camino in spite of the difficulties he’s had. And I hope your Camino, and your communications, go smoothly from now on!

Buen Camino!
Dear Laurie; I don't know, but I don't think it matters. The problem could as easily occur at any shop, with any provider. We've had faulty set-ups here with my mum's service; it's just easier to deal with in an environment and language that are familiar. My advice is to test the cellular connection before leaving the shop by turning off wifi. Then turn wifi back on, log on, and check that you have the correct package indicated for your account.

best wishes & buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
none
#61
So... Spouse got a SIM card in Pamplona and the phone was registered there — iphone 6+. He has not been able to connect at all. He’s stuck with Wifi. That’s *kind of* OK insofar as I am still at home, but I leave for Spain and arrive in Madrid on the 19/20th.

The reason he can’t connect is that Vodaphone keeps demanding that he download an App. But he can’t download it from the App store because our credit cards go to a Canadian address which means he can’t access the Spanish store.

Does Orange present the same problem?

When we are away, we really do have to have a proper 24/7 cell phone availability. And before I am asked to eat crow for that... no we are not millennial who can’t let go of tech. We have two family members with significant health concerns at home. They are caring for each other while we are away, but either one could have a full-blown emergency that requires we immediately leave the trail and head home, or will have a need for a serious consultation (mostly with me) to hold a full catastrophe in abeyance. So please do not burden me with a scolding about cell phones and narcissism and not knowing the true purpose of camino.

If anyone knows a workaround for Spouse’s current situation, please share. He’s had no luck so far.

If someone can tell me if I can avoid this issue by going with Orange for my phone (iphone 8+) or Movistar, please do advise.

If I can’t have a connection, I can’t go on Camino and I will have to cancel my ticket. I cannot take the risk of being there without a proper cell connection. Wifi is inadequate for our needs.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

And a warning for those in a similar situation — just the SIM card without the App is not enough to make the phone work in Spain on Vodaphone. I don’t yet know about Orange.
My daughter couldn’t use the app but you could login Vodafone using the browser. Vodafone has the phone working at he store before we left though. So I would go back to a store it’s probably just a set up issue. Then login to Vodafone via a browser and you can see your minsutes and data usage and add money if needed. I could even login her accout here in the us
 

J Willhaus

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May 2016- 14 July CF
Hospitalero, Zamora Dec 15-31, 2017
#62
Morgan,
Here is one other suggestion. Last year my husband and I got an older model flip phone with a Spanish number while serving as hospiteleros. Although our home T Mobile service allowed us to receive low cost calls, we thought that would be off putting to pilgrim's to place an international call if we were out shopping to reach us. It was about 30 euro and included minutes. It could receive texts and calls, but had no data. We used it for emergencies and will take it again this winter for the same purpose. The store set it up for us. I don't recall if it is Orange or Vodaphone, but it worked just fine and allowed us to use our US credit card to buy more minutes. It could be cheaper than your home roaming plan although one more device to carry.
Janet
 

Mick McQueen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/
Camino(s) past & future
I am escorting the Roll of Honour (Afghanistan) on Camino France on 20 May from SJPDP
The Roll of Honour details the 41 young Australians who died on Active Service in Afghanistan. In the centenary of the ANZAC’s, the Roll of Honour will be escorted to 41 prominent places and events around the World, laying 41 Poppies at each location.
#63
I used Vodaphone on my iPhone 6 last year just make sure you have both call and data and the store guy will fire it up, did the same in the us on the way, just remember it won’t work till you get to Ronsavall because it’s a Spanish sim and won’t work in France
 

easygoing

Walking the Camino with my 15 year old self
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 5 times, twice in 2017. (May 2018 and September 2018)
#64
So... Spouse got a SIM card in Pamplona and the phone was registered there — iphone 6+. He has not been able to connect at all. He’s stuck with Wifi. That’s *kind of* OK insofar as I am still at home, but I leave for Spain and arrive in Madrid on the 19/20th.

The reason he can’t connect is that Vodaphone keeps demanding that he download an App. But he can’t download it from the App store because our credit cards go to a Canadian address which means he can’t access the Spanish store.

Does Orange present the same problem?

When we are away, we really do have to have a proper 24/7 cell phone availability. And before I am asked to eat crow for that... no we are not millennial who can’t let go of tech. We have two family members with significant health concerns at home. They are caring for each other while we are away, but either one could have a full-blown emergency that requires we immediately leave the trail and head home, or will have a need for a serious consultation (mostly with me) to hold a full catastrophe in abeyance. So please do not burden me with a scolding about cell phones and narcissism and not knowing the true purpose of camino.

If anyone knows a workaround for Spouse’s current situation, please share. He’s had no luck so far.

If someone can tell me if I can avoid this issue by going with Orange for my phone (iphone 8+) or Movistar, please do advise.

If I can’t have a connection, I can’t go on Camino and I will have to cancel my ticket. I cannot take the risk of being there without a proper cell connection. Wifi is inadequate for our needs.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

And a warning for those in a similar situation — just the SIM card without the App is not enough to make the phone work in Spain on Vodaphone. I don’t yet know about Orange.
I have used orange for my Droid phone 5 years in a row and I don't need any app. I've even called the US, which I did by mistake but my husband was glad for the call
 

MoniRose

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(5/28-7/4, 2012) Camino Frances - SJPP to Santiago
(7/22-8/2, 2013) Camino Finesterra
(?) Camino Le Puy
#66
I have iPhone 6+ and Verizon (US). Just returned from Italy and called my dtr back home using FB Messenger. No cost, but also used their travel data plan of $5 for each 24-hour period. Maybe an option?
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
#67
So... Spouse got a SIM card in Pamplona and the phone was registered there — iphone 6+. He has not been able to connect at all. He’s stuck with Wifi. That’s *kind of* OK insofar as I am still at home, but I leave for Spain and arrive in Madrid on the 19/20th.

The reason he can’t connect is that Vodaphone keeps demanding that he download an App. But he can’t download it from the App store because our credit cards go to a Canadian address which means he can’t access the Spanish store.

Does Orange present the same problem?

When we are away, we really do have to have a proper 24/7 cell phone availability. And before I am asked to eat crow for that... no we are not millennial who can’t let go of tech. We have two family members with significant health concerns at home. They are caring for each other while we are away, but either one could have a full-blown emergency that requires we immediately leave the trail and head home, or will have a need for a serious consultation (mostly with me) to hold a full catastrophe in abeyance. So please do not burden me with a scolding about cell phones and narcissism and not knowing the true purpose of camino.

If anyone knows a workaround for Spouse’s current situation, please share. He’s had no luck so far.

If someone can tell me if I can avoid this issue by going with Orange for my phone (iphone 8+) or Movistar, please do advise.

If I can’t have a connection, I can’t go on Camino and I will have to cancel my ticket. I cannot take the risk of being there without a proper cell connection. Wifi is inadequate for our needs.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

And a warning for those in a similar situation — just the SIM card without the App is not enough to make the phone work in Spain on Vodaphone. I don’t yet know about Orange.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
#68
We had vodaphone SIM cards in an iPhone 6 and a android phone and never had the problem you describe. Has he been to a vodaphone store to see if they could help? They were very helpful to us.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March 2018
#69
I don't understand why you are panicking. Your international SIM will work on roaming. Seems all you need is for someone to be able to call you so you don't actually need data. No idea on Vodafone. I used Orange in March April 18. Got the guy in the store to set it up and test it. Did top ups in Orange stores. I did have one top up disappear 2 days later at the 21 day limit of the fist sign up. Generally OK.
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
#70
@morgan ... thinking of you and hoping everything goes smoothly. Prayers for you and your hub and the entire situation. The last few trips were a bit nervy as my father got progressively older and sicker. So I understand walking with a need to know what's going on back home. So truly wishing you Buen Camino & Peace. Karin
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2016)
#71
Just a random thought, does Spain have cheap-ish "burner phones" like we do here? Could he get one of those at a Tabac, and just put all the trouble shooting away? Yes, his original payment would be for nothing . . . but peace of mind might be restored.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September (2018)
#72
Based on everything in this thread, to date, I suggest that your phone is “locked” to your service provider at home. This is a common practice in North America, and especially in the US.

This practice does not exist in Europe. All smart phones here are sold “unlocked” and can be used with any provider.

The provider at home has to provide a code that you can enter to your phone to “unlock” the phone. However, you are in Spain, and your provider is not.

I recommend trying to contact they when you do have Wi-Fi in a hotel or Cafe. With an iPhone, make an audio only call over Face Time. On Android, use Skype or whatever VOIP app you have.

This places the phone call over the internet for free. Make sure “enable Wi-Fi calls” is turned on in your settings.

The code is an alphanumeric string that is usually entered using the phone keypad. Be careful, as some codes may be single use.

Take your time. Write it down. Better yet, as them to e-mail it to you.

Once your phone is unlocked it will work fine with any different SIM card.

Hope this helps.
I love your detailed posts. Now feeling well informed as I head off to have my iPhone unlocked here in Nova Scotia, Canada to ready myself for CF in three weeks time. Yay!
 

Keyes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF May-June 2016
Francesco June-July 2017
Francigena July-August 2017
Portuguese July 2018
#73
Go with Orange.

I had Vodaphone in Spain (CF) in 2016. It was fine until credit ran out. Wasted an hour in a Vodaphone shop with no help. Went a supermarket and added credit.

This year I got an Orange sim and 2 month plan in Madrid airport on the way to Lisbon. It worked fine all the way through Portugal, Spain and on to Ireland.

Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#74
Go with Orange.

I had Vodaphone in Spain (CF) in 2016. It was fine until credit ran out. Wasted an hour in a Vodaphone shop with no help. Went a supermarket and added credit.

This year I got an Orange sim and 2 month plan in Madrid airport on the way to Lisbon. It worked fine all the way through Portugal, Spain and on to Ireland.

Buen Camino
I had problems with Vodafone this year. Really bad connections...... Never again.
 
#75
We went with Vodaphone because it seemed like everyone recommended it above Orange and Movistar. First time, San Salvador, all was fine. Second time, Primitivo, I tried to put in my pin and it told me it wasn't my pin. It was. Second time I put it in the pin, and it was refused, I knew that the third time would discontinue my plan. Unfortunately, there wasn't another Vodaphone store (that I knew of) until Lugo, nearly at the end. The man said he didn't know why that had happened, he fixed it, it worked with my pin, but they were not willing to refund any of the cost despite the fact that it hadn't worked for two thirds of my Camino. I'll go with Orange next November. Sigh.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#76
I also had an Orange sim purchased at Madrid airport (there is an Orange shop) with a 2 month sim and lots of data. Worked seamlessly.
 

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