Vodafone – SIM Only – Review

Vodafone Logo

A Full Review Of Vodafone SIM Only Contracts

Vodafone were one of the world’s first mobile networks and are still one of the biggest worldwide and in the UK. Alongside significant investments in customer services and propositions, Vodafone have invested heavily in their SIM only range and it is one of the largest and most varied ranges of the mobile networks.

30 Day, 90 Day and One Year Contracts

On of the advantages of Vodafone SIM contracts is the additional value you can get for signing up for a slightly longer contract. Whilst Vodafone do offer competitive one month SIM only contracts from around £10 a month, at every price point they offer higher monthly allowances for signing up for a longer term plan. In some cases this can be a little frustrating because one of the advantages of SIM only price plans is the flexibility of short term rolling contracts but their 30 day contracts are generally competitive and when looked at from the perspective as getting a loyalty bonus for agreeing to stay for longer the higher allowances in the three and twelve month tariffs look good value.

Add Ons and Other Beneftis

Vodafone also make it easy for you to customise your SIM only contract with a wide range of add ons. Vodafone International allows you make frequent calls abroad from as little as 5p a minute (there are savings of up to 97% compared to standard international rates) for an additional £5 a month on your contract. Vodafone family allows you to make unlimited free calls between three designated Vodafone numbers as long as one of you pays £5 a month or six numbers for £7 a month. If you travel abroad frequently then Vodafone passport allows you to ‘take your UK price plan with you’. For a one off charge of 75p per call your international minutes will come out of your calls allowance or your standard UK call rate if you’ve exceeded that. There are also a range of Web Packs which allow you to add extra data to your monthly allowance. These are probably the strongest range of SIM only add ons available and really do allow you to tailor your contract to suit your needs.

Vodafone VIP

Much like O2 Rewards (see our O2 review), Vodafone VIP is an exclusive service to say thank you to Vodafone customers and is fully available to customers on SIM contracts. From festivals to fashion to Formula One, Vodafone VIP allows you to get your hands on hard to get tickets through presales and competitions and whilst the range isn’t as exhaustive as O2’s there’s still plenty in there to make it a nice additional free service.

Network and Coverage

Vodafone have always been known for the quality of their mobile network and it’s one of the reasons that they have been so successful in acquiring emergency services and business customers who really value excellent coverage. Rather than concentrate on just spreading the network over a wide area, Vodafone’s strategy is to focus on the signal strength and the quality of the coverage. Network coverage obviously varies hugely depending on location but this focus should mean less dropped calls, a better quality signal and faster data signals. The 3G coverage might not be as wide as Three or the combined Orange / T-Mobile network but it still covers the vast majority of the population and they have won awards from the likes of Mobile News and Broadband Expert for the quality of both their 2G and 3G coverage.

Customer Services

As with the other networks, Vodafone have worked hard over the last few years to improve the quality of their customer services and this is one of the main reasons why a You Gov poll showed them tied with Three as the network that customers were least likely to leave (and most likely to join) see here for more info. Vodafone offer a freephone number to call their contact centres which are open from 8am-8pm seven days a week. A nice touch of their customer services is Vodafone Callback, a neat service which allows you to request a call back at a scheduled time rather than waiting on hold. We’d prefer it if we didn’t have to wait on hold in the firstplace but it certainly helps keep the blood pressure down compared to waiting in an endless queue.

Value For Money

Vodafone SIM contracts aren’t necessarily the cheapest in the market and at the time of writing there aren’t any unlimited offers to compete with The One Plan from Three or the Full Monty from T-Mobile but as with O2 there is a sense that you are getting a premium product for a slightly higher price. The network quality really is top notch and the add ons allow for such a degree of personalisation that they leave others standing for international, roaming or family calls and Vodafone VIP is a nice touch on top. Ultimately if you’re only looking for the cheapest standard prices or the biggest monthly allowances they may not be the best bet but for those looking for a little more Vodafone’s SIM contract range may just offer it.