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-   -   Coopvoce SIM card (http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6702)

woody1 07-05-2011 12:45

Coopvoce SIM card
 
I just returned from a trip to Italy and I wanted to share my experience using a Coopvoce SIM card. Overall, the card is a great solution and very cheap to use.

I bought the card at a coop in Gravina, Sicily. I noticed that not a lot of people in Sicily speak English and this was true at the coop. The two young guys who sold me the card were helpful, but we had some difficulty communicating.

Here's what you need:
1. Make sure you obtain an Italian Codice Fiscale before you go and print it out. You can get this online. I don't think they will sell you a card without it, although you might be able to persuade them to use your passport. You can do it here: How to create an unofficial Italian codice fiscale code to use for making online purchases.

2. The card cost just 5 Euro and came with a 5 Euro credit. A great deal! The problem was that I needed at least 8 Euro to purchase a data package. The guys at the coop couldn't seem to be able to sell me any credit for the card. I don't know if this was a language issue, or they just weren't very knowledgeable.

3. I discovered that I could add credit to the phone on the Coopvoce website using my US Mastercard. Go here to add credit: CoopVoce. At the bottom of the screen, put in the telephone number for your phone and then proceed. You'll have to decipher the Italian instructions or else you can try to use Google to translate. You can add credit in increments of as little as 5 Euro.

4. Once you get enough credit, you can subscribe to a data package. I recommend the volume package, but there is also a usage time package. To buy a volume package, go here: CoopVoce. Your options are a 1 Gigabyte/8 Euro package or a 5 Gigabyte/18 Euro package. To subscribe to a package, send a text message to 4243688 with the phrase: 'SI 1 GIGA' or 'SI 5 GIGA". You will receive a text confirming your purchase. I found that I used more data than I thought I would and I ran through 1 Gigabyte in 18 days. The data package is good for 1 month or until the data is used up.

5. You can check the amount of data remaining by texting 'INTERNET' to 4243688. To find out how much credit you have in Euro text 'PRE CRE SIN' to the same number.

6. If you use up all of your data before a month expires, you can purchase another data package, however you will have to call 188 and speak to an operator in Italian to request that your existing package be disactivated. This is not easy if you don't speak Italian. I would recommend finding someone who speaks Italian to do this for you. For this reason, I would recommend purchasing the 5 Gigabyte package if you think you might need more than 1 Gigabyte.

7. After a month, whichever package you subscribed to will automatically be renewed unless you call 188 and specifically request that the package be disactivated. According to the website, if you have less than the required Euro credit at the end of the month, the package will automatically be disactivated.

Notes: Remember that everything on the site is in Italian, so you need to have some ability to understand the language or else find somebody who can help you with it. Also, once your data package is used up, billing reverts to an expensive rate. Make sure you check your data often and don't let it run out, or else your remaining credit will be quickly exhausted. I recommend that you keep a small balance so that you don't lose too much if this happens.

Also, according to the website, the card will remain good for 1 year from the time you get it and you can extend the life of the card by going online and buying another 5 Euro credit. This is a great deal if you think you will be in Italy again within a few years. You can save yourself the hassle of getting a new card by just remembering to add the 5 Euro once a year. You could also lend the card to someone else who's making a trip to Italy and do them a great favor!

woody1 13-04-2012 17:47

Update: It's now a year later and my card was about to expire. I went on the CoopVoce website to recharge and found that I needed to setup an account first. In order to do that, I had to receive a code via SMS using the CoopVoce sim card.

I was able to connect to a roaming partner in the US, receive the code and set up the account. I was then able to recharge my sim using my US MasterCard. This should make the card valid for another year.

My recommendation to anyone buying the card is to set up your account on the website while you're in Italy, so that it will be easier to recharge the card when you're back in your home country.

labigo 13-04-2012 23:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by woody1 (Post 39183)
Update: It's now a year later and my card was about to expire.

The Coopvoce sim card expires after 25 months.

woody1 14-04-2012 20:59

Quote:

Originally Posted by labigo (Post 39184)
The Coopvoce sim card expires after 25 months.


You are correct! I thought it was 12 months, but it actually turned out to be 2 years! That works out great!

inquisitor 07-10-2012 18:13

A friend of mine is planning a trip to Genova during December and is interested in purchasing a Coopvoce SIM. Is the price still € 5 with the same amount of intial credit included? And what is the minimum amount that can you recharge online by credit card?

labigo 07-10-2012 20:23

Quote:

Originally Posted by inquisitor (Post 40911)
Is the price still 5 with the same amount of intial credit included? And what is the minimum amount that can you recharge online by credit card?

Yes, 5/5
The online recharge minimum amount is 5 (you have to register on their website).

inquisitor 07-10-2012 20:36

Great. Thanks!

inquisitor 03-11-2012 20:20

A friend of mine was denied to buy a Coopvoce SIM because she is not an Italian resident. Can't you really buy a Coopvoce SIM as a non-resident or was the assistant just incompetent?

woody1 04-11-2012 13:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by inquisitor (Post 41149)
A friend of mine was denied to buy a Coopvoce SIM because she is not an Italian resident. Can't you really buy a Coopvoce SIM as a non-resident or was the assistant just incompetent?

I don't know if you have to be a resident, but you do have to have a document called a "Codice Fiscale". You can make yourself one at this website:
Codice Fiscale .us - Codice fiscale Calculation on line!

I did this and printed it out and used it when I got my CoopVoce SIM card. The guys who sold me the card scratched their heads and asked me how I got it. I told them that an Italian friend helped me with my documents. They decided that the document met the requirement, and they sold me the SIM.

Effendi 05-11-2012 13:21

It's a "supermarket operator": people working at supermarkets are usually nice and friendly, but not so much deeply expert of mobile prepaid contracts... having your own codice fiscale ready with you usually helps to sort all things out. That's the only document really required, along with your passport, of course.


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