Frequently Asked Questions

International Calling

The networks provide standard international charges when it comes to calling from the UK to abroad. Vodafone for example charge

  • European countries - £1 a minute
  • Channel Islands and isle of man - 36p a minute
  • Rest of the world - £1.50 a minute
  • International texts - 30p each

If you make regular calls to a country though you can get "International Bolt ons". Every network does this which means you pay a monthly fee to receive discounted calls to that location.


What about charges for international data roaming services such as 3G?

Using your mobile internet, or ‘data’, connection to go online overseas can cost considerably more than it does at home – particularly outside Europe

.In the European Union (EU), phone companies are not allowed to charge any more than €0.45 (around 38p) per MB of data, plus VAT.

However, the cost of data roaming can be significantly higher outside Europe – often around £6 – £8 per MB of data.

You can even run up a big bill without actively using your phone as smartphones and 3G/4G enabled tablets automatically seek out mobile connections and use them to update apps.

So unless you turn off data roaming before you go, these devices could be downloading data at standard rates throughout your stay without you realising it.

There is a safety net – all mobile operators have to apply a cut-off limit once you have used €50 (excluding VAT) – around £40 – of data per month, wherever you travel in the world, unless you choose to opt out.


How do I do a hard reset?

When you have a problem with your mobile phone for example your app wont load properly, your phone freezes, signal or connectivity issues etc your first port of call should be to do a hard reset. This usually fixes the majority of issues. 

iPhone - Press and hold the power (sleep/wake) key + home buttons for about 10 seconds, until you see the phone restart. An apple logo will immediately show up on screen folling the reboot.

Android - Press and hold the power button untill the power options menu displays on screen. Select "power off". Once its off, wait a minute, then press and hold the power button again untill the phone begins to light up.

Blackberry - Remove the battery cover from the back of the BlackBerry smartphone. Remove the battery, and then reinsert it after a few seconds. Replace the battery cover.

If you have a QWERTY keypad you can preform a reset by Pressing and holding the Alt key. While holding down the Alt key, press and hold the Right Shift key. With both of those buttons still pressed, press the Backspace/Delete key. When the screen turns off to indicate that the BlackBerry smartphone is restarting, you can then release the keys you have been holding.

Windows - Press and hold down the "Volume Down" button + the power button. The phone will reboot.

Why does it cost more to use my mobile abroad?

International roaming is a service offered by mobile providers that allows you to use your mobile phone abroad.

Your UK mobile provider will not have a mobile network in the country you’re travelling to - though they may belong to the same group as a foreign provider – so whenever you use your mobile abroad you are ‘roaming’ on the foreign provider’s network.

The foreign mobile provider charges your provider in the UK a wholesale charge for your use of its network. Your provider will then pass this on to you as part of its retail charge for the international roaming service.

Can I check the location of a telephone number?

Do you ever get a missed call on your phone but don’t recognise the number?

Are you ever flummoxed by the odd call on your phone bill and can’t work out who you rang?

Ofcom has a telephone area code checker which can help shed some light on those mysterious numbers.

It includes a list of UK area codes making it much easier to narrow down which area of the country the call came from.

Telephone code number checker

The strength of a mobile signal varies depending on where you live and which provider you choose.

So, just because you enjoy a strong signal with your current provider doesn’t mean that a competitor will necessarily provide the same coverage.

Each of the mobile networks have coverage checkers on their sites.

These online tools that can give an indication of 2G (voice and text) and 3G (mobile broadband) coverage according to postcode.

You simply enter the postcodes of your home, office and anywhere else where you know you’ll depend on good coverage. The site should then give you a guide as to what you can expect.

Coverage Checkers

3 coverage checker


Orange coverage checker

O2 coverage checker

T-Mobile coverage checker

Vodafone coverage checker

Asda Mobile coverage checker

Tesco Mobile coverage checker (uses the map of its partner O2)

Virgin Mobile coverage checker

Yes and you can now transfer your existing number to a new mobile company in just one working day.

To transfer your number you have to contact your original provider and ask for a Porting Authorisation Code or PAC.

The PAC enables you to transfer your number to another network. The PAC must be issued to you immediately over the phone or within two hours by text message.

Your PAC is likely to be a nine digit code and is valid for 30 days.

Contact your new chosen mobile provider and give them your PAC.

Mobile contact numbers

Mobile contact numbers

3 0843 373 3333

O2 08705 678 678

Orange 0800 079 2000

T-Mobile 0845 412 5000

Tesco Mobile 0845 301 4455

Virgin Mobile 0845 6000 789

Vodafone 08080 044 423

How long is a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) valid for?

Once you have your PAC, it is valid for 30 days. In order to complete the port you must provide the PAC to your new mobile provider within those 30 days. If it runs out, you will need to request a new PAC from your existing mobile provider.

Distance Selling Law

Requires extensive information to consumers before and after consumers enter into contracts using channels of marketing such as direct response press or TV adverts,  telemarketing, mail order, etc 
  • requires cancellation rights (minimum 7 working days) to be given to consumers, starting from the date of delivery of prescribed information 
  • provides that making demands for payment for services not ordered by consumer is a criminal offence.

I keep losing mobile phone signal in my home, what can I do?

When you buy goods on their own, with no service attached, you're protected by the Sales of Goods Act. Yet if you buy goods as part of a service, eg, a handset with a mobile contract, you're protected by the Supply of Goods and Services Act.

Having a poor mobile phone signal in your home - or having none at all - when you're forking out for a monthly contract can be really frustrating. 

If your mobile signal is poor at home, you have rights under the Supply of Goods and Services Act, and several options to seek resolution.

If your provider doesn't provide the service with what is deemed to be reasonable care and skill, then you’re entitled to terminate your mobile contract for breach of that agreement with no financial penalty.


What is a Porting Authorisation Code(PAC)?

Mobile phone customers have the right to take their number with them when they switch provider. This is known as mobile number portability.

The process is simple. To transfer or 'port' your number, you ask your current mobile provider for a PAC (Porting Authorisation Code) before your service is terminated.

PACs have to be issued immediately over the phone or within a maximum of two hours by text message.

Once you have your PAC, it’s valid for 30 days and you must give it to your new mobile provider within this time.

If it runs out, you will need to request a new PAC from your existing mobile provider.

Once your new provider has your PAC and notifies your existing provider of the port request, your number will normally be transferred the next working day.

Some mobile phone providers may charge you a fee to move your number.

You must also remember that, if you are still under contract to your old company, you may still be liable for charges under that contract.

Mobile contact numbers

3 0843 373 3333

O2 08705 678 678

Orange 0800 079 2000

T-Mobile 0845 412 5000

Tesco Mobile 0845 301 4455

Virgin Mobile 0845 6000 789

Vodafone 08080 044 423