Buying a mobile phone at Heathrow

Apr 17th, 2003, 12:17 PM
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Buying a mobile phone at Heathrow


After spending way too much time in phone booths and missing the calls from my friends, for this year's trip to Britain I want to buy a mobile phone. Is there a place in Heathrow where I can do this since I will be getting on the road and driving out to Wales upon arrival.

Thanks for the help
RitaSartie is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 12:43 PM
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There's lots of good specific info already here on this topic. I typed "mobile AND heathrow" into the text box and got back a whole string of threads. Here is the most recent:
Lesli is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 01:34 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I had read that thread and addresses renting a mobile phone at Heathrow, I wish to buy. So I again pose the question is it possible. Thanks
RitaSartie is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Actually Rita, althorugh the *question* on that thread is about rental, the first reply, which is very detailed, is about why it is better to purchase and precisely how to do so.

"My opinion is that renting a cell phone is a waste of can buy....At Heathrow or when you get into town, you go into a Virgin megastore or a chain store...."

And again, there are plenty of other threads which a text search will pull up.
Lesli is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 02:10 PM
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Hi Rita:

I contributed to that post and after some research, found a few websites that offer phones for sale. Though I have not checked prices in the UK, I found that phone prices in Ireland were considerably higher than what you could buy on line.

Here's the text of my message which has the results of my tromping through the web for a bit.

Message: I did a long serch, still have more pages to go, but so far I have found a few sites that offer phones for less than telestial. They are:
Ghandi Electronics
They don't carry the cheapest phones, but they appear to have some pretty good deals.
World Gift Center
They carry the lower priced Motorola phones.

They have the lowest prices I've seen. A phone for $53.

On the less expensive ones, I have not been able to find anything that lists the talk and standby battery time, but my eyes may be blurry from
staring at 100s of web pages.

wojazz3 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 04:06 PM
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You can buy a Virgin mobile phone without a contract and use "top-up" cards to get your minutes. They definitely have a Virgin at Heathrow, I am just not sure if they sell the mobile phones. Check out Virgin's web page for more infor on their phones. They are pretty standard prices (you can always use them on future trips) and the top-up cards are comparable to companies that make you sign a contract. Hope this helps.
ashleynona is offline  
Apr 17th, 2003, 07:17 PM
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this is the store locator link. perhaps the town you are going to will have one. doesn't appear heathrow has one... you may be able to buy one online as well.

flygirl is offline  
Apr 18th, 2003, 02:24 AM
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Hi Rita,
If you are really stuck, almost every service station on the M4 between London and Cardiff in Wales has a mobile phone shop.
You may pay slightly more but its an option.
Failing that, every towns high street has at least 2 or 3 mobile phone shops, You can get the best value for a pay as you go top up type phone at supermarkets. Try Asda, Sainsbury's, TESCO. They all have phones at good prices. These stores are everywhere so it shouldn't take you long to find one.
Remember, these phones do not normally allow direct international calls so confirm before you buy. For this type of information you will probably have to discuss it with a phone shop specialist as supermarkets do not usually have the specialist knowledge of these phones. Or check out the websites.
Good luck
Mucky is offline  
Apr 18th, 2003, 04:24 AM
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Depends on the carrier:

Both Orange and Virgin plans allow direct international calls immediately upon insertio of the SIM card at most affordable prices (not the cheapest but pretty good).

Then there is the option of buying a phone card with 0207 access making the local call at UK prices and paying additional 2p a minutes for the long distancecall.
xyz123 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2003, 10:18 AM
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I want to thank you all for the help especially the info on buying cell phones in supermarkets. Sounds like it wont be a problem. Truthfully, I am not too concerned about calling internationally, the phone is really for UK calls. I am still looking into buying an unlocked phone here but time is of the essence.

Once again thanks everyone for the help you guys are the best.
RitaSartie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 07:28 AM
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where in Wales are you going? Vodafone has a store in Cardiff. I didn't do a search on the other operators, but, I agree - you won't have a problem finding a pay as you go phone!!
flygirl is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 04:14 AM
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Yes Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and has shops for all the phone companies.
Also Carphone warehouse which has an assortment from all the companies and should be able to help.
But I still stick by the Supermarket idea they are the best value for what you want.

Mucky is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 04:31 AM
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All the major networks in the UK offer pay as you go deals, so you won't have any problem buying a phone. Some networks, like Vodafone, sell their phones unlocked, while others, like Orange, can only be used on their network. You don't say where you are from, but it would be an advantage to have a phone you can use when you return home.
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 11:03 AM
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Well flygirl, I will be staying in Swansea so Cardiff is on the way. Actually, I may be getting a phone from a friend in London who has an extra and will ship it to me, so I may be looking just for the SIMS card and time. Based on the help from all you fodorites, it seems tht the SIMS card will be easy to find and talk time can be purchased easily.

Thanks for the help and I'll keep you all advised.
RitaSartie is offline  
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