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Renewing prepaid phone plan

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
Each of the past two years I have purchased a Vodafone prepaid SIM card for my IPhone. It has served me well, each year Vodafone seems to add more data or calling minutes to the plans which is attractive to the camino customer. The prepaid plan is for four weeks and then has to be renewed to cover the additional two weeks that I am in Spain. I have been able to just go to a Vodafone store to pay and renew but they require that I do this on day 28, not even one day before. What if I am somewhere that I am unable to go to a Vodafone store to renew on day 28? Would someone who has recent experience renewing a Vodafone plan please explain what to do? The website has information in English but I am still confused. I know that one can top up their account at various places but that does not seem to be the same as renewing the time limit of the plan.
 

ELHS220

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés - 2015
Francés - 2017
Norte (Oviedo Costa) - 2018
Finisterre/Muxía - 2018
Norte - (2019)
Vodafone was the pits for me, especially this past year. If you run out of data, the speed slows to a crawl and you can't renew until the date. And you also had to renew in person. I renewed in Santiago on the day I was leaving for Finisterre. The clerk couldn't get the card to activate and he gave me a story that it sometimes takes a couple hours. It was a bunch of BS because it never activated. In Negreira I found a store that sold me a "Republica Movil" card. It was much cheaper with more data. I can't remember the exact cost or amount of data, but it was plenty. Never again with Vodafone. I did get my 20€ refunded from Vodafone when I got back to Santiago. The woman who did it said something to the clerk who had waited on me. It was so fast that I couldn't catch it, but I got the distinct impression she was telling him that he screwed up.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
@ELHS220 Thank you for your comments. It sounds as though the renewal date issue is important when selecting a plan. I will try contacting Vodafone for clarification. That at least two of us have had a similar experience with renewal dates, and one other person had activation problems this past year suggests further investigation.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
Check out Orange. They have a similar 20€ plan. I think it was 80 minutes worth of calls within Spain. 20 gigs of Wi-Fi for a month. You can renew it anytime. I never had any problems whatsoever.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
@It56ny Thank you for your suggestion which I will look into. Another member also suggested Orange over Vodafone. How do you renew the plan if necessary? Would "topping up" at a Carrefour also act to renew/add time to a plan with Orange?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I'm curious. When you renew can you say how long you are renewing for or is it for the same term as originally? If the latter is it essentially the same as signing up again but keeping the same SIM and number? I'm thinking that if you know you need the plan for longer you could sign up again, say on week three. You would get a new number but is that really a problem? How many people would you have to tell your new Spanish number anyway? Would someone please discuss the pros and cons.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017
@It56ny Thank you for your suggestion which I will look into. Another member also suggested Orange over Vodafone. How do you renew the plan if necessary? Would "topping up" at a Carrefour also act to renew/add time to a plan with Orange?
I use the Orange card. Worked well. Renewing minutes for to call is easy- most supermercado’s and tabacs will add money to your account. However, you still need an Orange store to renew the data side. If you have a Spanish credit card (I did not) you can renew online. Orange stores are around but mostly in the bigger cities.
 

Dobinsky-Paral

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk starting this September and finishing in October, 2017
Greetings! I just wanted to echo comments about Orange. I have put an Orange SIM card in my phone several times & it worked very well. Reception good. Easy to add money in gas stations, stores etc and large cities all have Orange stores. Relatively inexpensive, no roaming charges because Orange is an EU carrier. Also, I traveled to Germany w/ an Orange SIM card in my phone & it works equally well in Germany.
 

sunwanderer

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago
Sep/Oct 2015
I have used both Vodafone and Orange - i much prefer Orange.

If you get a new number, you are paying for a new SIM, which can be a significant part of the total cost. That's money that isn't going toward minutes or data.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
The original question had to do with the ease or lack thereof for extending or renewing the phone plan. Vodaphone requires that you go in person to a store on a particular day. Is that the case with orange? Thank you all for your replies!
 
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
I have used both Vodafone and Orange - i much prefer Orange.

If you get a new number, you are paying for a new SIM, which can be a significant part of the total cost. That's money that isn't going toward minutes or data.
SIM cards in the UK are generally less than £1 if
you buy them in a supermarket most of the phone companies will give you one for free if you call them.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
@It56ny Thank you for your suggestion which I will look into. Another member also suggested Orange over Vodafone. How do you renew the plan if necessary? Would "topping up" at a Carrefour also act to renew/add time to a plan with Orange?
I do not think you can top off this plan. I just go to an Orange office before the month is up and pay another 20 Euros. Just google where the offices are. They have lots of them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
I have studied the Vodafone website again and found useful information in English:

We always notify you:
  • When you consume 90% and 100% of your GB.

  • Before your data bundle expires, in case you need to top up and renew your bundle.
  • If you consume your data bundle before the 15 days expiry, all you need to do is:
You can view your Data bundle through Mi Vodafone App. Open in new tab or through dialling *116#.
You can buy the Data bundle more than once at the same time, and the remaining data will accumulate.


So, it appears that someone can renew a plan themselves (not having to go to a Vodafone store) by topping up with 20 euros at any of the locations that accept payment and dialing *116# to affect the plan renewal. When I am in Spain later this year I will be sure to confirm this, unless one of you beats me to it!
 

Tai Chi

a.k.a. "Phil"
Camino(s) past & future
2018 SJPP to Finisterre
2019 Madrid to Santiago; then Porto to Santiago
I used Orange during my Camino last spring and was very happy with it. I will use them again when I return to the Way this spring. I bought the SIM in France, and I bought the renewal at the same time. I did this because the renewal had to be bought from in the same country that the service was originally purchased. Because I bought the service in France, an Orange outlet in Spain would be unable to renew it.

Another major benefit of buying the renewal in advance is that I did not need to seek out an Orange store along the Camino. I just entered the code from wherever I was when the expiry date arrived.... took less than 1 minute to do it.

I'd learned about this through this forum... it was very useful advice that I'm glad to repeat.
 

tomnorth

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: September 24 - October 31 (2015); February/March (2020)
Check out Orange. They have a similar 20€ plan. I think it was 80 minutes worth of calls within Spain. 20 gigs of Wi-Fi for a month. You can renew it anytime. I never had any problems whatsoever.
Where did you pick yours up?
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
I used Orange during my Camino last spring and was very happy with it. I will use them again when I return to the Way this spring. I bought the SIM in France, and I bought the renewal at the same time. I did this because the renewal had to be bought from in the same country that the service was originally purchased. Because I bought the service in France, an Orange outlet in Spain would be unable to renew it.

Another major benefit of buying the renewal in advance is that I did not need to seek out an Orange store along the Camino. I just entered the code from wherever I was when the expiry date arrived.... took less than 1 minute to do it.

I'd learned about this through this forum... it was very useful advice that I'm glad to repeat.
I did the same! it was easy and worked really well.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016, Mansill de las Mulas to Finisterre and Muxia 2017, Camino Aragones 2018
To @4 Eyes and @Tai Chi , thank you for your responses. I believe that you have the solution!! I always try to look at a problem from different sides, I just did not see it in this case. Thank you!
 
Last edited:

Gracem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019
Can I get Orange or Vodafone in SJPDP? or do I have to be in the Spanish side? I am totally new in buying a SIM card in another country !
 

Tai Chi

a.k.a. "Phil"
Camino(s) past & future
2018 SJPP to Finisterre
2019 Madrid to Santiago; then Porto to Santiago
I bought my SIM card in Bordeaux, which was my point of entry into France. Looking on the internet, I don't see an Orange dealer in SJPP, so you might look for one at whatever location you are flying into, whether in Spain or France. Any city with a major airport will likely have an Orange dealer.

Doesn't matter which country you buy it in, but would recommend buying any needed renewals at the same time... then renewal is easy.

I switch SIM cards every tme I travel to Europe. (I use EE in the UK). If your phone is unlocked and GCM capable, it is a breeze... and the SIM card dealers will often swap out the SIM for you and get you up and running... helpful for those of us who are not very tech savvy. The only thing to remember is that you can't make "phone calls" back to N.A. with the SIM changed. I make the calls back home to N.A using internet services, usually Skype. Works for me!
 

Oravasaari

Helsinki, Finland
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJpdP to Fistera, 2016 Leon to Fistera, 2017 CF-Salvadore-Primitivo, 2018 CF run/walk
Just a reminder for non-EU trekkers that after Brexit (29th March 2019) unless there is some transitional agreement made there might be a return to the old sky-high roaming charges foe UK plans! So if you are going to the camino via the UK you may be wise to wait until you are in Spain before buying a temporary phone plan/sim etc. Also a heads-up for UK peeps to keep and eye on what transitional telecoms agreement is made (if any). Personally, I never use my phone to access the phone network/make voice calls when on the camino. I keep it in airplane mode, data turned off and just use wifi with whatsapp when available.
 

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