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New Samsung phone and SIM cards

Hi, I'm sorry to ask another question about this, I know the forum has posts about this, but I'm a bit frustrated and need some help that I am not getting from Verizon. My wife and I just bought new Samsung S22+ phones, I am going to Ireland Tuesday for six weeks. I was told by the Verizon rep that I did not need an international plan with my unlimited data plan, I was skeptical about this, and of course she was wrong. I prefer to not have to pay for the international plan, as both my wife and I would have to do that. Verizon told me that my phone cannot be unlocked until August 6th and without them being unlocked I cannot get a SIM card in Ireland. I read that SIM cards are harder to deal with for non iPhones anyway. In past years, I've just tried to do wifi mostly, but that can be a headache, and we are going to be gone longer this year, although almost always just in Galway.

Anyone with advice for me? Just bite the bullet and do a Verizon plan? Appreciate any expertise and suggestions.

Posted by
9871 posts

Indeed, if they have told you your phone won't be unlocked before your trip dates, you don't have much choice other than to buy their (expensive) plan if you want cell coverage while traveling.

(SIM cards are not more difficult to deal with for Android phones, so don't get worried about that— it's simply not true.)

Posted by
2267 posts

Do you still have the old phone? You could probably unlock that (if it isn't already), and use it while you're out and about (and off wifi).

(could maybe also tether to the old phone's cell connection, using it as a "hotspot".)

Posted by
92 posts

Thanks so much, Kim, I'm happy to have a straight answer! We will adjust. Appreciate the prompt reply.

Posted by
92 posts

Hi Scudder, no we turned in our old phones as part of the plan. That definitely would have been the smart thing to do!

Posted by
1302 posts

Grief, just looked at the international " plan" and it's extortionate robbery as compared to a local SIM.

I be be taking your shiny new phones and hovering up wifi where available.
Buy a second hand OK android phone.
A local SIM takes 10 minutes to fit and activate.
£10-15 us the going rate for unlimited local calls and txt and say 15/20 GB of data.
You may even be able to click Hotspot in settings and share the data with your US phones

Posted by
2267 posts

@richard - North American mobile services are insanely expensive from all angles compared to global averages.

Posted by
99 posts

If you have a T-Mobile in your area, it is really silly not to investigate their service. Especially if you travel. Nothing against Verizon. We were customers of them for years had the same questions when traveling. Now with T-Mobile and Wi-Fi calling going over is way less a problem.

Posted by
1302 posts

Oh I know.
My US cousins used to visit every summer and it was the case I could buy them phones and local packages with multiples that ATnT offered in thier bargain package" and still be up on the deal.

The killer was if they phoned each other on thier package they were billed a terrible rate on the outgoing call and a wince inducing higher rate on the receiving end.

Posted by
92 posts

Richard, I just realized thanks to your post that I have two old Samsung Galaxy phones, one an S4 and the other an S8. So I could just take these to something like a Vodafone and get a SIM card for them? That would allow me to just use it for data to search while I'm out and about. That would work, correct?

Posted by
5687 posts

IggyStooge, really old Android phones may not work in Ireland or not well - they may not be 4GLTE or at least have the LTE frequencies used in Ireland. (Your new phones will no doubt though.) Plus...have to make sure those old phones are unlocked, too!!

Personally, although this is not something I would do (because I'm too frugal even to buy something like the new phones you just bought)...I'd just pay for the Verizon international plans and forget about. Next time, your phones will be able to be unlocked and you'll be able to buy SIM cards if you want to.

Posted by
267 posts

IggyStooge, Your Samsung S8 should work with European GSM signals. It can be upgraded to Android ver. 9 if not already there. It will accept nano-SIM cards. You can check/reset for 4G_LTE after upgrading to ver. 9: go to Settings > Network settings > Mobile network. It should give you a drop down menu of mobile standards such as 2G, 3G or LTE (4G). If you don't see 4G or LTE, then your smartphone doesn't support the standard. You also need to make sure your S8 is unlocked. Google "Unlocking S8 for free". There are lots of ways to perform an unlock. It is best if you are still with the same service provider for the S8 as the S22s. They are required to unlock any phone that has been paid for and has their software. If all this works properly for you, use it in Europe with a local nano-SIM card. BUT, the S22 works with eSIM so you can keep your Verizon account and add the eSIM for Europe. Search in Tech Tips here for how to do that. This may be be quickest solution for you. Good Luck.

Posted by
92 posts

That is awesome, Larry. I really appreciate you taking time to respond and spell all of that out, very kind of you.

Thanks to all of you who weighed in, this forum is terrific!

Posted by
5059 posts

Verizon has a dedicated number to call for assisstance with international plans, rates, and etc. We've always found them to be helpful and they alway seem to know what they are talking about. Perhaps they can be of some help. 1-800-711-8300.

Posted by
4933 posts

I have two old Samsung Galaxy phones, one an S4 and the other an S8. So I could just take these to something like a Vodafone and get a SIM card for them?

I have an older Samsung Galaxy S8 that is my travel phone. I regularly use it with a Vodafone UK SIM (haven't used it in Ireland) and just got back a few days ago from a trip to Turkey where I used it with a TurkCell SIM. The phone has always worked perfectly (in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and now Turkey) for calls, messages and data.

I set the Vodafone UK SIM up myself in the US before I traveled, but the Vodafone store will do it for you, as the Turkcell store did for me.

One thing I will say: when I walked out of the TurkCell store, the SIM was not working, even after the 10 minutes they said it would take. I had to go back and they had to fiddle with it, grumbling that because it was an older phone, they had to manually do some things that normally would happen automatically.

They may tell you it takes 10 minutes (or 1 hour, or whatever) until the SIM works, so you may not know right away if they've set it up correctly. I would stand there until it is working, unless it is close enough to walk back if they haven't set everything correctly.

Posted by
4933 posts

If you have a T-Mobile in your area, it is really silly not to investigate their service.

Ugh, if only their service were better near my home.

Posted by
267 posts

You are right, periscope. Verizon locks the eSIM capability, too. We have a long-time Verizon account and the store unlocked the eSIM on a new phone right away after we whined about needing to travel soon. They knew we would not use their travel plan, instead buying a cheap phone in Europe. Verizon people once said that the European carriers charge them large fees for network access because that is not regulated. Lesson to be learned: Do not buy a new device within 3 months of travel.