Well, of course, everyone has their own story, this is mine. As some f you know, we spent 3 months of our summer in Spain, most of it with me recovering from illness and so probably more than ever, having a working mobile contract was very important this year.
We’ve moved home in the UK and moved in shortly before heading off to Spain. In the sleepy village of Wark on Tyne we now have excellent home broadband thanks to Vodafone who, despite having no mobile signal in the village, managed to achieve what BT could not (despite all the grants and other funding the latter has had over the years), that is, Vodafone offer a sub-£30 a month fibre80 Mb download, 20Mb upload home broadband service – and it WORKS – and their router is not a toy. Contrast that with Plusnet who gave me two toy routers which were unreliable and useless and after a year (and a new contact) gave me a decent router.
But I digress. knowing the latter have no mobile signal here (neither does THREE) I checked out O2 who are overly expensive for mobile, but GiffGaff (who use O2) are not. I went for the GiffGaff £12 a month package giving me 3GB (plus extra 1GB offer). All of that worked well and of course includes ROAMING in the EU (at least until the UK self-destructs with the upcoming Brexit). However while in Spain, having previously allowed more, GiffGaff decided that users should not stay out of the UK for more than 2 months (it will get worse) and when they twigged that I was going to exceed this I got a message to say I’d soon get a warning then lose my roaming.
Well,not only did the bastards NOT send a warning, they cut me off mid-package, not holding my data until I got back to the UK but effectively robbing me of data I’d paid for, mid-month! That’s a nasty trick- so much for the cutesy, we’re pals language on their website. Well, I could have just rolled over and died, nature already tried to help me do that once and if nature can’t succeed, GiffGaff certainly can’t. Accordingly I signed up with Simyo in Spain. Not speaking Spanish made that more fun than it might otherwise have been but we got there.
Not ONLY are they cheaper than UK operators, not ONLY do they let you roll over unused data from month to month unlike the mainly tight-fisted UK operators few of whom, if any, allow rollover of data, but ALSO they allow roaming for up to 4 months at a stretch… and clearly have agreements with the major players as my phone is working perfectly here in Wark with a decent 4G signal, as it does in most places in Spain.
Add to that the wonderful Pi-VPN which allows me internal access to my home kit while travelling and the equally excellent Pi-Hole which saves me a shedload of mobile data being used to pay for adverts I don’t want and right now I’m on a roll. I hope others find this useful,