Costly SIM card

By Vaughan Parker
This item appears on page 14 of the February 2013 issue.

For a 5-day London visit, Nov. 15-20, 2012, I took my cell phone which is capable of being used outside of the US. I had planned to buy a SIM card in London, but upon arriving at Heathrow Airport I saw a vending machine offering SIM cards from a couple of different companies. I purchased a LycaMobile card for £10 (near $16.25).

A couple of days later, after using the phone for a couple of brief calls, I checked my remaining balance. I was shocked to find that I had less than £2 left.

I found the LycaMobile number in the booklet that came with the card and called them. I was told that the SIM card I purchased started out with only £2! There was nothing on the card or the vending machine to indicate that paying £10 was going to get me only £2 worth of phone time.

After returning home, I logged on to and found that I could have purchased a SIM card from them online for £5 that had £5 worth of time. The “convenience” of using the airport vending machine cost me £8. Live and learn.

Santa Barbara, CA