View Single Post
woody1 (Offline)
Advanced Member
Posts: 62
Join Date: 16 Mar 2011

Default Coopvoce SIM card - 07-05-2011, 12:45

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!
Reply With Quote