As I am sure you all know by now, iD Ireland has officially gone into liquidation leaving 40,000 Irish customers looking for a new mobile network provider. Whether fortunately or unfortunately, today’s mobile network market is awash with slightly over-complicated service offerings all wrapped in up a neat cloak of jargon. While this is not intentional it can be confusing for customers and with the rake of options available it can be difficult to find the plan to suit your personal needs. So to help, we have put on our old phone shop staff uniforms and put together this one complete guide to help guide you to your next mobile provider:
Ok so let’s get stuck into this. The customers really feeling the effect of the iD Mobile liquidation is prepay customers. Any remaining credit a customer currently has will need to be used up by 6 April or it’s gone and we’ve had people contacting us with over €100 credit on their accounts with no offer of refunds. Although it might sound cutthroat it’s actually impossible to transfer credit from one network to another and refunding isn’t an option, outlined in iD Mobile’s terms of service. Still, there are plenty of good prepay deals out there to help take the sting out of things.
Vodafone is nationally renowned for their top-level coverage. So if coverage is more important than price Vodafone will always come out as one of the top two alongside eir. With that in mind, their prepay offers are actually quite competitively priced…
Vodafone X Student Offer
€20 per month will get you 20GB of data, 100mins of calls and unlimited texts. You also get the choice between free Spotify, Sky Sports Mobile or unlimited weekend service as a little extra to sweeten the deal.
Standard customers will get a choice between a €20 & €30 euro top-up options.
For €20 you can get unlimited calls and texts to all Irish networks with 1GB of Data or Vodafone calls and texts, 100minutes and texts with 6GB of data while the €30 option gets you unlimited Irish calls and texts, 100 international minutes and 8gb of data. If that’s not all customers can also avail of Data Rollover, so if you only use 4Gb of the 6 you have been given the extra 2GB will move into next month. Really handy for people whose data usage can change month to month.
With eir, the prepay system, just like Meteor of old, is rather simple. For €10 you get unlimited calls. For €20 choose between 15GB data with unlimited social media access, unlimited calls or unlimited texts while for €30 you get all three. The only catch is here is the credit gets taken so you will show a balance of 0, still not a bad price to pay for a good deal with good coverage. Oh and right now if you port and take a €20 package they will give you an extra €10 for the first 6 months.
As an MVNO their signal will be similar to that of iD mobile but unfortunately, Tesco Mobile don’t believe in 4G. However, their prepay offer is rather good. Unlimited calls, Tesco texts, 10GB of data all for €15. You also keep your balance which can be used for texts or add-ons. If this appeals to you please check out their coverage checker to make sure you will get service.
Ah, Three; the data people. If any of the above plans aren’t floating your boat you can get a nice little package with Three for only €20. With this, you get Three to Three calls, texts to all networks and unlimited data. The cherry on top is access to music with Deezer for three months and access to their 3Plus rewards system which includes early access to gigs in the 3Arena.
We covered these recently but if you are thinking sim-only might be for you, pop over and give that a read you can always come back to check out your options with a phone. If you are an iD Mobile customer looking for a new network, eir seems to offer the best sim-only offer. €15 per month for 12-months, unlimited calls and texts, 15GB of data where most social platforms don’t count towards your data usage and access to eir Sports, including BT Sports. Not too shabby.
Bill Pay Options
As with everything we have covered so far, there is a small pile of ‘phone included bill pay options’. To be honest with you most will be a 24-month contract while there are one or two which will be 18-months, but we will get to that.
Vodafone offers three different packages, with different levels of service for the money you will pay and the cost of the handset upfront.
Their introductory package is €40 per month where you will receive unlimited Vodafone calls and 100 mins to other networks, unlimited texts and 5GB of data. You will generally pay more for a phone upfront on this plan in comparison to their higher plans but generally, they have good offers on midrange handsets like the Samsung A5 or Huawei P9. Alternatively, if you need more minutes or data then the €60 per month plan might be more your speed. For this you get unlimited Irish calls and texts with 15GB of data and access to Sky Sports or Spotify Premium. Their big plan is only for those who need a lot of minutes (if data cannot be used), this package offers 30GB of data and 500 international minutes for a whopping €80 per month.
Three, to their credit, keep thing nice and simple with three simple plans. €30, €45 and €60 per month and the only thing that is different is the flexi unit with unlimited data available on all packages. What the f*** is a flexi unit I hear you ask? Ok, so a flexi unit is either 2 text messages or a minute of a call. So with the basic package you get 100 of these units, so 200 texts or 100 minutes of calls or mix and match however you choose. Just keep track of it. The €45 package gives 350 units while the largest give unlimited. Each plan also comes with access to music app Deezer as well as 3Plus rewards.
In my humble opinion, their network connection simply isn’t up to scratch. However their packages are quite well priced. So if price is the most important thing for you they might be worth a look. Unlimited mins, unlimited texts, 15GB data all come for €50 a month. 500mins, 500 texts, 15GB data for €30 a month plan. To be honest they have a €20 and €10 package but the usage is very low on both.
Before you think about going with Virgin as yourself one question. Is your broadband with them? If not move along as you will get a better service with a bigger network for the same money. If you are with Virgin broadband hang on a minute this gets interesting. Like iD of old, your phone and service contract are separated to give you more clarity on what you are actually paying for. Their base package is €25 per month and then it comes down to what phone you choose. Say a Samsung Galaxy S8 for example you will pay something upfront for the phone and then €60 a month for the duration of contract. However if you choose a lower tiered model your monthly payments could be as low as €40pm. Why being a Virgin customer is vital is simple, for the first 6 months of your contract you receive a €12 discount to sweeten the deal.
Once again are you with eir for your home broadband services? If so you can get great combined deals. Being honest, the offers are pretty good even if you’re home broadband isn’t with eir. They offer so many different packages that I won’t go into the detail and as they say a picture paints a thousand words. Just keep an eye on the second column that shows your post-introductory offer price.
So if you are with eir for your broadband:
and if not:
The Goosed Recommendation
This actually caused a bit of debate among the team as two of us are currently in that pool of 40,000 customers looking for a new deal. Really it comes down to what you as a user feel you need from your service. While prepay works for some people, billpay will suit others. While price might be more important to you, coverage is more important to someone else.
Our best recommendation is this: if you are currently on a bill or sim-only contract, download your last three bills and give them a read through. This will show you exactly what you are using and should give you a better idea of what you actually need. Don’t pay more just for the sake of more minutes when you won’t use them.
Go online to each of the networks and check their coverage in your area, because cheap so you can actually use your phone. Finally, weigh up whether or not you need a new phone right now or if you can wait a few months for the new stuff to launch. Going sim-only over bill pay for a couple months while you choose a new phone can save you a good few quid. So to summarize follow these three steps:
- Check your current usage
- Check coverage
- Decide if you need a new phone
We really do hope this helps. If you have any questions about this or anything else (preferably tech related, we wouldn’t be great at the old life advice) please give us a shout through any of our social channels either privately or publicly and we will do our best to get you the answers.