We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Getting a sim card at London Heathrow - My Experience

Hong Kong, China
1 post
Save Topic
Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

Having read the advice online that buying a sim card in town would be cheaper than getting it at the Heathrow airport , I thought if paying a bit more would save me the trouble of finding a mobile shop in central London, I don't really mind. So I went to the Sim Local in terminal 1, got a sim card with a 30-pounds vodafone "3GB data+ 1000 mins call + text messages" bundle plan that the staff assured me to be enough for my 12-days stay in UK. I had the staff to activate the card for me before I left the shop. It was fine at first but unfortunately it stopped working after one day. I couldn't use the internet, I couldn't call, I couldn't send messages. When I try to call, I would hear a voice message saying that I have no "credits" left. The staff in Sim Local told me that the plan I joined was vodafone, but when I rushed into a vodafone shop in town to seek help, they told me the sim card was a Lebara sim card, and even though it's using vodafone network, they have nothing to do with the plan I signed up for. I tried calling Lebara's customer service, but I couldn't get through to any operator after much waiting. I went to another mobile shop to seek help, and after having them checked the sim card for me, I was told that the sim card had run out of credits, probably because the bundle plan was not set up properly so everytime I used the internet, it was deducting from the amount I paid. Basically he said the person who set up for me didn't do it right, and I wasn't using a bundle plan. I had no other choice but get a new sim card and joined a new plan which I used for the rest of my trip without problems. Just before I left the country, I went back to Sim Local on terminal 1 and found the same staff who sold me the plan. I explained everything and he checked the sim card for me. He said it should have worked and there was no way that I couldn't use it after 1 day. But I told him that was what happened. I said I wanted a refund but he said he couldn't do it and the manager was not around. He insisted that he set up the phone correctly for me and he had no idea why it didn't work, and even though he agreed himself that I wasn't using the plan I signed up for, I did use the internet and used up the credits so he couldn't give me a refund. I just find it totally unbelievable that I would encounter something like this inside the Heathrow airport. Seriously I would never try to get a sim card at London Heathrow again. If you buy it in town and you get a problem, at least it's easier and less time-consuming to go back to the shop and have them checked for you.

Likely To Sell Out
Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Bath from...
5,308 Reviews
from US$127.90*
Likely To Sell Out
Warner Bros Harry Potter Admission...
479 Reviews
from US$106.40*
Special Offer
Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, and Bath...
2,100 Reviews
from US$135.90*
Likely To Sell Out
Luxury Paris Day Trip with Champagne...
468 Reviews
from US$337.80*
70 replies to this topic
1. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 19 October 2017, 00:05
Edited: 19 October 2017, 00:05
Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
33,830 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

< Getting a sim card at London Heathrow >

One word - DON'T.

Wait until you get into the centre of London where you can pick up SIMs for the princely cost of nothing - NADA, ZILCH, ZERO.

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
1 post
54 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

Where is a good place (or best carirer) in London to get a Sim card? I have a AT&T Unite that I would like to get a data plan for so I can be online. Would love to stay on LTE while in the UK.

Level Contributor
4,999 posts
153 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

Carphone Warehouse...in every High Street.

Guelph, Canada
Level Contributor
28 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

Can you explain how to get a SIM card for nothing?

Stirling, United...
Destination Expert
for Stirling
Level Contributor
14,756 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

SIMs are often free if you top up £10 at the time.

Or they cost 99p or a £1.

Level Contributor
2,088 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

I am sorry to hear that stc. And also for JoeintheUK's bad mannered and irrelevant posting.

To summarise for Joe, you were advised to not to buy in Heathrow for cost reasons only. Wherever you bought it, you had the right to believe that it would work, or that they would fix the problem. Unacceptable.

Kent, UK
Level Contributor
7,418 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

For the record I completely agree with Joe, who was 100% correct. There is nothing worse than coming across an extremely long unbroken block of text that someone expects you to read. It makes it very difficult so most of the time I don't bother. Inserting paragraphs isn't rocket science, and is something most of us got taught about in primary school.

Edited: 01 March 2015, 21:14
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
32,012 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

The OP posted 8 months ago and the thread was woken up by #3 (at least it was a relevant question).

I tend to think those that post with no paragraphs are copying/pasting onto multiple forums and not bothering to check if the carriage returns are lost or not.

Level Contributor
49,560 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience

I am sorry to hear that stc.


What, nine months after the event ? I guess he's gotten over it by now,whatever "it" was since judging by the number of replies to his post, most people felt the same as me about the difficulty of reading massive slabs of text.

Edited: 01 March 2015, 21:28
Reply to: Getting a sim card at London Heathrow – My Experience
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Still have questions?
Post your own question so other travellers can help.
Ask a question