Phone issues and SIM cards

Hello - I know this topic was covered last August but given that technology changes so rapidly …

Until a week ago I had a UK phone number (monthly Direct Debit to EE - NOT PAYG) to call family and to receive codes for log-ins to my bank, Amazon and my currency exchange company. Without warning, EE cancelled my contract throwing everything into disarray. I only found this out while doing some maintenance on my laptop, i.e. deleting old files and clearing cookies. I was able to sort out the currency exchange with an email and my French number but I can no longer get into Amazon. I tried inputting my French number but was told a code had been sent to an unknown email address. This happened before when I changed my old UK landline number to a French mobile one to access AirBnB and found myself in someone’s else account! I’ve been going around in circles with Amazon as they now appear to insist on a phone number so will obviously have to get another French SIM but I need a UK one as well. I’m looking for recommendations for a UK SIM/contract that can be used in France without issues. Not a fan of GiffGaff though. TIA.

If you live in France permanently I don’t think an English mobile company will accept you.

If in France we have got on well with RegloMobile

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Some of us manage with Giffgaff. But the OP seems to not like them.


You could try Lebara - I have no idea if they will give you an account without a UK address but I used them for a low-cost contract for my elderly mother’s “emergencies” mobile and have been happy with them.

Or do you have a friend or family member whose UK address you could use for billing?


Is there a French Giffgaff? (Genuine question as just bought a neatly new phone from them whilst in UK and it was excellent value)

If not do their T&Cs allow a user to live overseas?

I use smarty, you get 12gb fair usage per month whilst in france, you are not tied to any contracts, leave when you want, I have the 60gb plan for £10 a month and I have had no issues using it over the last couple of years living here.

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I don’t know if there T&Cs explicitly say anything about needing to live in UK, but they happily sent me a SIM card to my French address (for free!).

Ok, so curiosity got the better of me… Here’s the clause I think they’d use if they wanted to stop people like us. So, use outside the UK is tolerated as long as not excessive.

2.9. You may only use our services in the EU and selected destinations for periodic travel, like holidays or short breaks. If you’re not genuinely using our services for periodic travel we may have to charge you for, or suspend you from, using our services in the EU and selected destinations.

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This is exactly what I need but I wonder if I can persuade my son to take out a contract for his elderly mother’s emergencies in France. He actually suggested Lebara during the annual phone call on my birthday. It’s a definite possibility but also a remote one. He might turn up in spring or summer or …

It’s a pity as I’d been with EE for years, first with a PAYG and then a contract taken out before I left the UK having informed them that I was moving to France on a permanent basis. I used the number just two weeks ago and then out of the blue calls were barred. My main concern at the moment is being able to access my Amazon accounts as they won’t allow me to change the number … .

Looking at RegloMobile now and I’m impressed by their no-nonsense website and its clarity - and they have a less than five euros deal which is all I really need but I wonder if a cheap contract will mean a recycled number.

Unfortunately, my laptop isn’t compatible with Vyke.

If you have a smartphone, load the app.

They’re legally obliged to allow you to port your existing number (under sections 51 and 58 of the Communications Act 2003).

It’s really designed to stop networks preventing you from taking your number with you when you switch, but it works equally for your case too.

I wasn’t clear - I have a cheap contract with Bouygues but the number is ‘recycled’, i.e. when I tried to use it to update my Amazon France account, which I still can’t access after three days, it sent a log-in code to an unknown email address, hence wanting another cheap deal that hopefully won’t have someone else’s number attached to it. When I logged into AirBnB a couple of years ago my account was still registered to an old UK landline so I input the French number and I ended up in a complete stranger’s account. I like the look of Reglo and have contacted them to ask if they ‘recycle’ numbers - I frequently get calls, and appointments, clearly meant for someone else.

Like one or two others on this thread, we’ve happily used Réglo for several years (though we pay the 9,95€ pm version)… we get occasional cold calls, usually from Bouygues for some reason (never used them) asking about our interest in their internet packages. I tell the disbelieving cold caller that we don’t have either WiFi (we just use Réglo for mobile internet/4g) nor do we have a TV. They tend to ring off in a state of shock.

One oddity that I’ve mentioned elsewhere on SF - I simply can’t persuade Réglo that I can’t access their service when in the UK, despite their claims that it shouldn’t be a problem. Others on SF have successfully used their Réglo to make/receive calls while in the UK…

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That’s interesting regarding using Reglo overseas as I’ve made a list and that was one of the plus points. I’m a bit disillusioned with Bouygues given the SIM & lack of security but I use them for the Internet (a 4G Box which has been fine so far but previously I had an ADSL line and the phone never worked, probably because the outside line looked as if the crows had chewed it - I felt somewhat ripped off). I don’t have a television either, nor do I drive - sometimes it seems like it’s a criminal offence.

Amazon seems ok with a french number on my account, so far

They now have a pretty generous 7.95€ package - I have just downgraded to it but it is still 5x my normal requirements.

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check the APN.

They may have more than one available and some may or may not work in other countries.

Also I guess you allowed roaming incl data roaming on your phone?

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Hi. Why do you need the phone for Amazon? Is it just to log in? If so you can use the Google Authenticator app instead. That’s what I have.

You’ll need to get in to change the settings. Can’t you request email authentication instead of sms??