I recently spent a week in London as a tourist from NYC. Before leaving the US I called Vodafone in London and told them I wanted a sim card for my iPhone so that I could use it to tether my laptop (I wanted to use my phone as a hotspot for my laptop). They told me that their "international freebie" card would be perfect for this purpose. When I got to Heathrow I bought the sim card, they installed it, and all was supposedly great. As I was leaving the terminal the salesperson caught up with me and apologized, saying that they had just realized the tethering plan wouldn't work. I followed him back to the shop, and they told me that I'd also need to buy a dongle. They didn't have them in stock, so the next day I bought one in the city. I initially had 500Mb of data, which the Vodafone salesperson assured me would be enough for a week of websurfing, email, and Facebook (no movies or music streaming). I attached the dongle that evening and it worked fine. That first night I spent perhaps two hours online. The next evening, after another sightseeing day, I returned to my hotel and went online again, and after about an hour the dongle disconnected, telling me I had exhausted the data plan! I was in shock--this 500MB of data had run out in around 3 hours. Vodafone customer service isn't available after 8, so I had to wait until the next day to contact them. They were very unhelpful, saying they had no way to know what I was doing online, etc. Insult to injury, while a foreign credit card was perfectly fine to purchase their sim card and dongle, it wasn't acceptable as a way to top up online or over the phone! So I went to a tobacco shop and bought a $50BP voucher, and, unbelievably, this lasted for about three more hours!! What an incredible rip-off! Once connected, the counter would show data download when there was nothing at all running on the computer--the browser closed, no updates, no email programs running. I called to complain about this and while waiting for someone to answer, the counter showed I had used 20Mb of data!!
I would say avoid Vodafone dongles or data plans like the plague. They're a scam, pure and simple.
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