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dduane (Offline)
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Default Advice for newbie re: Fonic purchase in Germany, etc? - 15-10-2011, 13:42

(waves at everyone) Hi there, folks.

My husband and I are going to be visiting Germany shortly (the Nuremberg / Bamberg area). This isn't our first visit by any means, but it's the first time we'll both be there with smartphones, and the data roaming issues have been on both our minds.

After reading through a lot of messages on the forums here, it looks like picking up a couple of Fonic SIMs will be the best bet for us (and though I take the often-made point that the Lidl SIMs are a better deal, the Fonics are just a touch more convenient for us at the moment). We'll be putting one of these in my unlocked HTC Desire, and another in either an unlocked Huawei E160G stick or a soon-to-be-unlocked Huawei E5830 MiFi.

There are just a couple of things I want to check on before committing to this plan.

(a) This thread seems pretty concrete on the issue of not needing a German bank account for the first top-up payment on a newly bought Fonic SIM, despite what the Fonic website says. Can anyone confirm that this hasn't changed over the last few weeks / months? (And as a side issue, can anyone suggest any reason why Fonic's website still says that you do need a German bank account? Are they trying to frighten off non-resident purchasers, or do they just have a lazy webmaster?) Additionally, I'm assuming that topping up the first time using an aufladebon will work?

(b) How's the Fonic reception around Nuremberg and Bamberg? I know the network is O2 and the reception maps look excellent, but local advice is always welcome.

(c) Can someone reconfirm for me the "referrer number" to use at Fonic online registration? -- as it seems only right that folks who've been so helpful to the out-of-country clueless should get something back for their effort.

Thanks in advance for the help, everyone!

Best -- Diane


Diane Duane | The Owl Springs Partnership | Co. Wicklow, Ireland
YoungWizards.com | EuropeanCuisines.com | DianeDuane.com
   
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SporkLover (Offline)
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Default 12-12-2011, 22:58

Quote:
Originally Posted by dduane View Post
(waves at everyone) Hi there, folks.

My husband and I are going to be visiting Germany shortly (the Nuremberg / Bamberg area). This isn't our first visit by any means, but it's the first time we'll both be there with smartphones, and the data roaming issues have been on both our minds.

After reading through a lot of messages on the forums here, it looks like picking up a couple of Fonic SIMs will be the best bet for us (and though I take the often-made point that the Lidl SIMs are a better deal, the Fonics are just a touch more convenient for us at the moment). We'll be putting one of these in my unlocked HTC Desire, and another in either an unlocked Huawei E160G stick or a soon-to-be-unlocked Huawei E5830 MiFi.

There are just a couple of things I want to check on before committing to this plan.

(a) This thread seems pretty concrete on the issue of not needing a German bank account for the first top-up payment on a newly bought Fonic SIM, despite what the Fonic website says. Can anyone confirm that this hasn't changed over the last few weeks / months? (And as a side issue, can anyone suggest any reason why Fonic's website still says that you do need a German bank account? Are they trying to frighten off non-resident purchasers, or do they just have a lazy webmaster?) Additionally, I'm assuming that topping up the first time using an aufladebon will work?

(b) How's the Fonic reception around Nuremberg and Bamberg? I know the network is O2 and the reception maps look excellent, but local advice is always welcome.

(c) Can someone reconfirm for me the "referrer number" to use at Fonic online registration? -- as it seems only right that folks who've been so helpful to the out-of-country clueless should get something back for their effort.

Thanks in advance for the help, everyone!

Best -- Diane
Diane,

I just returned last night from another successful trip using my Lidl branded Fonic sim in Germany. Answers to your questions....

a) You still do not need a German Bank account for the first top up. Lidl or Fonic, you still manage the pre-paid account through the same Fonic webpage. Top up via bank account is still optional.

Just practical advice, follow this website for top up Germany - Fonic - Prepaid Wireless Internet Access

I've purchased top up vouchers from almost all of those re-sellers.

b) I passed through the Bamberg area and had zero issues with reception.

c) I'll PM you my referrers code
   
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SporkLover (Offline)
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Default 12-12-2011, 23:19

One last statement, the LIDL card is truly convenient. I had a much easier time finding a Lidl than the others who sell Fonic branded cards.

The activation is the same.
   
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Default 13-12-2011, 01:16

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Originally Posted by dduane View Post
And as a side issue, can anyone suggest any reason why Fonic's website still says that you do need a German bank account? Are they trying to frighten off non-resident purchasers, or do they just have a lazy webmaster?)
I'm replying a little late, but better than never: Germans are extremly paranoid about data protection and many hesitate to share credit card or bank account information especially online. Against this background a lot of potential customers are likely to prefer recharging their SIM cards with recharge codes from brick and mortar stores instead of using direct debit payments. However for cell providers direct debit payments generate far fewer costs (~0.3% of amount paid) than the sale of recharge vouchers through retailers, who get a margin of ~5%. Further customers using direct debit are likely to recharge faster and more frequent as they can do this in a breath from home, while customers relying to topup vouchers need to visit a retailer first. As a result direct debit customers will usually generate more revenue. Lastly when using direct debit customers can also activate automatic recharge which again stimulates revenue.
That's why Fonic probably intentionally make people believe that they have to recharge by direct debit.


terminals: Samsung: Galaxy S5 DuoS (G900FD); BLU: Win HD LTE; Nokia: 1200; Asus: Fonepad 7 ME372CG; Huawei data: E3372, Vodafone R201, K3765, E1762;
postpaid: O2 on Business XL; prepaid: DE: Aldi Talk, Lidl; UK: 3; BG: MTel, vivacom; RU: MTS; RS: MTS; UAE: du Tourist SIM; INT'L: toggle mobile
VoIP: sipgate.de (German DID); sipgate.co.uk (British DID); ukddi.com (British DID); sipcall.ch (Swiss DID); megafon.bg (Bulgarian DID); InterVoip.com
   
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