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SIM card & service

Where is the best place close to Edinburgh train station to buy SIM card and service. Need some minutes for Scotland and England and back to US with data and texts. Want someplace honest with options, good carriers and help who won't rip me off. Will only be there 2 weeks. This seems to be superior to paying for global service from Verizon but websites are confusing with exactly what they are offering.

Posted by
970 posts

There are two stations servicing Edinburgh, but most likely you will be in the center of town at Waverly Station. The primary shopping district is along Princes Street, just a block up the hill from the station. A shopping center is also, more or less, adjacent to the station. Plenty of shops selling phone stuff. Dunno that any are specifically ripoffs, but I'd be inclined to use one affiliated with a major UK provider.

And, yes, don't pay Verizon for service in Scotland. I've bought SIM's in carrier franchise shops in or near stations in London with no regrets. Let them install and set it up so you know you have a working phone before you leave.

Posted by
67 posts

Verizon told me it would only cost five dollars per line for international calling and then a per minute charge for phone service we only plan to use in emergencies. Justify for me how the nearly equal (or greater) cost of a SIM card is worth the big hassle.

Posted by
970 posts

Klecsr, if all you plan to do is use your phone in emergencies and for international calls, then I suppose Verizon's offer works, if you trust them.

But, if you need a phone for calls, texts, and net within the UK, as I certainly did, getting a SIM and a cheap pay-as-you-go plan from a UK provider works better. All my calls were to UK numbers -- hotels, B&B's, restaurants, ticketing agencies, friends, etc. I don't think I've ever called back to the U.S. on any of the trips I've made to the UK. Email, yes. Phone, no.

It's not a hassle to stop into a shop, sign up for a plan and have a SIM installed. Usually takes me about 15 minutes. More often than not, the SIM has been free.

Posted by
67 posts

I've been under the impression that I'll be able to call UK numbers with this plan. Maybe I'll check with them to be sure.

Posted by
672 posts

Free Sim, £15 UK Plus Lebara tarrif.150mins US calls, 250 UK mins, 2gb data, valid for a month.

Posted by
45 posts

Back in the US now and we bought the £15 Lebarra SIM card in a phone shop across street from train station for both of our phones. Easy to get, clerk helpful, tested it before I left and it had a UK number for incoming calls. Plenty of time: 1000 UK minutes plus 180 to a long list of countries including the US and 2 Gb of data. We used phone and web and didn't come close to using it up. Only complaint is that coverage was a little spotty as we traveled the border country.
If you're going to call home a lot or they need to call you, consider using Viber.

Posted by
7 posts

Iasmith7779, do you know if that would work with an iPad? I'm thinking of bringing my iPad and getting a SIM card for data. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by
3258 posts

We just returned last night. Across from the TI on Princes St are 3 mobile phone stores. The first two closed at 5 PM on a Sunday (we got there at 5:03 PM), but the T-mobile store was still open, and we got a really cheap SIM just for making calls and sending texts.

To our surprise, we couldn't call the toll-free numbers that many of the places we wanted to call used; turns out toll-free calls aren't dialable on regular mobile phones in the UK! We went to a convenience store and loaded 10 pounds extra on our phone, allowing it to call toll-free numbers, too.