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Mobile by Sainsbury’s

Mobile by Sainsbury’s is a joint venture between the British supermarket Sainsbury’s (surprise!) and the mobile network Vodafone. It was first announced in 2013 and eventually went live on the 24th of July that year.

It joins competing supermarkets Tesco and ASDA in offering a mobile phone service although it came several years later. Mobile by Sainsbury’s aims to use its strong brand as well as its marketing nous to carve out a niche for itself in an already-crowded mobile phone provider market.

It uses Vodafone as its parent carrier and is offering both a basic PAYG service as well as rolling 30-day bundles. In addition, Mobile by Sainsbury’s will be offering Nectar reward card points for its customers as well as selling mobile handsets too.

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Mobile by Sainsbury’s review

Mobile by Sainsbury’s claims to have very competitive price plans and compared with the offerings from its supermarket rivals Tesco and ASDA, the deals certainly seem quite reasonable. In fact, Sainsbury’s tariff is one of the best value PAYG deals available with calls costing only :sainsburys:/minute and texts coming in at 4p each.

When you look at Vodafone’s own PAYG rates which are about three times as expensive at 30p for calls and 14p for texts, it becomes lucidly clear how much can be saved. For these lower prices you’ll still be getting exactly the same service as on Vodafone’s regular network. You get the same call quality and coverage for both 2G and 3G.

Sainsbury’s have heavily pushed their Nectar points rewards as a major selling point. For example, every time you spend money on a top-up your get double Nectar points effectively meaning you get the value of 2% back. If you buy one of their bundles, you also get double Nectar points on Sainsbury’s shopping and fuel station purchases. Sainsbury’s claim that this could save some families about £180 over the course of a year.

There certainly are cheaper options available, but compared to the major networks, Mobile by Sainsbury’s can save you a lot of money. As they are backed by such an established brand you should be confident about the customer support and the quality of the service. And there will always be a Sainsbury’s shop nearby if you need to top-up.

PAYG Pricing

At a glance

Calls: 8pTexts: 4p Data: 20p/MBMMS: 8p0800: 8p0870: 8p

Details

Mobile by Sainsbury’s has pretty decent base rates on its PAYG tariff and they are more or less comparable to those offered by ASDA Mobile and Tesco Mobile. Starting off with call prices, all UK calls to mobiles and landlines are 8p at all times which is definitely good value. SMS text messages are very cheap too costing only 4p each.

Voicemail is also reasonable at just 8p per call no matter how long it lasts. We’re happy to see than both 0870 and 0800 numbers cost just 8p/minute too. And MMS picture messages are pretty reasonable at 25p each.

However, not everything is good news. The data pricing is pretty poor at 50p per day but with a limit of only 25MB. While this is only 2p/MB which is pretty good for PAYG, the fact that there’s a 50p minimum makes it a bad choice for low-volume users. And the fact there’s no discount for bulk data means that it’s no good for heavy data users either.

Deals

In addition to their basic tariff, Mobile by Sainsbury’s also offer various bundles ranging between £10-£20 for 30 days of usage. All come with unlimited texts as well as a varying amount of UK minutes and included mobile internet usage.

For £10 you get 200 included minutes as well as 250MB of mobile data. £15 gives you 300 minutes and 500MB of data instead along with the unlimited texts. And if you pay for the £20 bundle, you get 30 days to make up to 800 minutes of outgoing calls as well as a more reasonable 1GB mobile internet allowance. All the bundles also come with double Nectar points in store and on fuel for the life of the bundle as long as you link your Nectar card. While these bundles all offer great value compared to the standard PAYG prices, if you look at other networks offering rolling bundles there are much better deals to be had elsewhere.

Unfortunately there’s also a big catch if you choose to go for the bundles. Once you’ve used up your allowances, the call price massively increases to 20p/minute. This means that you need to be really careful not only to not go outside your allotted amounts but to be sure that you choose a bundle that will last you for the full 30 days. It might be a good idea to build in a small buffer to avoid these excessive overage charges.

If you have a BlackBerry, Mobile by Sainsbury’s will also charge you £5 for a 30 day pass allowing you to use BlackBerry Internet Services such as BBM and email.

Price comparison

To help you compare Mobile by Sainsbury’s latest pricing with that of all the other providers, we’ve prepared a comprehensive comparison table.

Coverage

Summary

2G coverage: 99%3G coverage: 97%

Coverage map

Mobile by Sainsbury’s runs on the Vodafone network. Please head over to the Mobile by Sainsbury’s coverage page to learn the network coverage in your area. For more information, check out our coverage comparison table.

Rating

Give your own rating to Mobile by Sainsbury’s below:

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 2.6/5 (17 votes cast)
Mobile by Sainsbury's, 2.6 out of 5 based on 17 ratings
by Jon M

47 Responses to “Mobile by Sainsbury’s”

  1. james c 25 November 2015 at 14:34 Permalink

    excellent customer service, always helpful and sorted issue immediately!
    shame theyre closing

  2. kate 8 October 2015 at 19:24 Permalink

    absolute rubbish service..month by month my txts don’t send.I continually complain and ask complaint to be escalated and it NEVER happens.Try talking to a manager..never one available and never call back.I had my phone out of service 2 days with their network…stay well clear!!!!

  3. PB 17 September 2015 at 09:47 Permalink

    I don’t normally post reviews but mobilebysainsburys has ZERO CUSTOMER SERVICE or ability to fix a problem. I politely asked for help with an account problem for two weeks. The only thing they are capable of doing is parroting a prepared text saying ‘We know this is frustrating and thank you for your patience’. Avoid this abysmal operation. It has even made me think badly of the Sainsbury’s name generally which is quite a feat.

  4. Eddy Evans 29 July 2015 at 16:38 Permalink

    I wish I had seen this site before I went over to mobilebysainsburys. Truly dreadful service. AVOID!

  5. AK 9 July 2015 at 16:08 Permalink

    I decided to try Sainsbury’s Mobile because of the low prices so I changed my monthly paid SIM only from Orange to their plan which is 10 pounds a month (5 pounds for first 3 months as a discount). Haven’t been disappointed! I was frustrated with Orange because their customer service is horrid; it’s very difficult to get touch with them and they seemed to always add additional data charges to my bill. The contract with Sainsbury’s is cheaper than I used to have AND it has twice the amount of date to use. Once I received my SIM I ordered online (only took 2 days) I called the number (for free) which came with the card and gave them the PAC-code from my old Orange contract. Then it took just two days (during which I was able to use my old SIM) and once the old SIM stopped working, I popped the new one in and everything worked instantly! Very pleased so far, also a huge bonus is that when I called Sainsbury’s Mobile, someone answered almost instantly, I didn’t have to go through five minutes of “press one if you…” Great service, great coverage (seems better than Orange!) and great prices! So far, no complaints!

  6. HJay 13 May 2015 at 16:36 Permalink

    Your review quotes…”Unfortunately there’s also a big catch if you choose to go for the bundles. Once you’ve used up your allowances, the call price massively increases to 20p/minute. ”

    You might want to check this page – http://www.phoneshopbysainsburys.co.uk/pay-monthly-out-of-allowance-charges – and update your review, perhaps.

  7. Shaun 4 April 2015 at 20:17 Permalink

    I have been with sainsburys mobile for 3 months. I have not managed to get a 3g signal on my iphone 5c in a town centre, even though when switched to vodafone sim card I get full signal. I tried to transport 2 numbers over and one was lost! the other is intermittent. I would stay away from this network, cheap rates but if it doesn’t work whats the point! Seriously stressed soon to be X customer!

  8. Disapointed 17 March 2015 at 08:05 Permalink

    Just don t go there !!THEY ARE USELESS and as for customer service IT DOES NOT EXIST

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  10. lin 12 February 2015 at 16:31 Permalink

    when you buy a £10 top up for sainsburys mobile with a debit card,what does it show as on your bank statement …

    • olwen horrigan 25 February 2015 at 04:01 Permalink

      I can’t remember exactly but it mention Sainsburys, possibly phonesbySainsburys

  11. bill 15 January 2015 at 10:25 Permalink

    they seem to have a problem with texts you send them and people don’t receive it or don’t get it for hours and the signal is bad to.i don’t recommend them at all they refuse to help.2 times I have been with them and 2 times I had the same problem with other networks I don’t.

  12. olwen669 19 November 2014 at 07:32 Permalink

    I bought my first Sainsbury mobile credit on 22.10.14 (£10 bundle) & at same time connected my nectar card – didn’t need to use mobile for a few weeks & when I did the calls just kept ending, I tried the same number I rang in beginning 40775 & same thing but can receive calls & texts. Bank statement shows £10 went out 23.10.14, Went online to phonesbysainsburys my account & its says I have no purchases, so used the email on the website, 24hrs later an advisor just said I need to confirm certain details to verify (I am fuming as I supplied all this in first email) so replied explaining this & heard nothing, so sent a new email explaining what’s happened & how fed up I am, 24hrs later a different advisor said “Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear that you have not received the information you have been looking for.
    I have checked the account for the number you have provided and can see that when you called our customer service team and spoke to my colleague Stewart, he processed your £10 top-up for you and applied a bundle using this £10. A bundle would be requested by the customer and applied during the call.
    It is showing that your bundle is due to expire on 19/11/14, therefore you would still have had full use of your phone over the last 30 days. When dialling 40775, the automated message will advised there is no calling credit and will then go on to advise you what is remaining on your bundle allowances.
    Regarding your online account, this will only show account information after topping up via the online system. As your top-up was processed over the phone, it will not show you your balance online.
    As you have purchased a bundle with your £10, and there has been no issue with the top-up being applied, I am afraid no refund is due.
    I hope this information is of help to you.
    Thank you again for your email”
    So it looks like I have lost £10 & I can’t afford it – currently on long term sick … can anyone suggest anything? thank you

  13. Mavis 12 October 2014 at 16:00 Permalink

    Do i have to deal with all this stupid “bundle” stuff or can i simply just top up and pay the 4p per text/8p per call when i use it?

    I’ve been using the same o2 sim for like 15 years until it got disconnected recently (because i hadn’t used it in a while) I have a unactivated Sainsbury’s sim i was going to use instead…but it’s all this buying bundles and other such things now that i don’t really understand.

  14. A PALMER 8 September 2014 at 18:42 Permalink

    May Be but if you cannot send SMS on an IPhone its USELESS We changed back to Vodafone and their system works fine,
    Sainsburys customer service is sadly lacking as well THEY COULD NOT CARE LESS

  15. chris 7 September 2014 at 16:37 Permalink

    Very good network been with them 2 weeks and everything works well, there UK callcenter is very good and the deals are not bad they just need to offer a little more data.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 7 September 2014 at 23:59 Permalink

      What about the cheaper alternatives?

      • chris 8 September 2014 at 18:30 Permalink

        Not many offer what they do 800mins unlimited texts and 2gb for £15 only giffgaff offer more data for the same but soon it will only be 5gb.

  16. A PALMER 29 August 2014 at 19:11 Permalink

    ITS USELESS Texts with I phones 4s & 5 s dont go continualy checking settings and going to support NEVER RESOLVES THE PROBLEMS
    STAY WITH VODOPHONE

  17. julie knowles 25 August 2014 at 21:37 Permalink

    went on this network in july have problems when i ported my number over from virgin mobile. Ended up with a split port, were phoned out with ported number from sainsburys sim, but incoming calls went to the virgin sim. it took about 3 weeks to sort out, after this had not problems and have found them very cheep and great bundles.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 2 September 2014 at 02:56 Permalink

      Did you work out which network messed it up?

      • N Pariish 26 November 2014 at 15:12 Permalink

        JUST DONT GO THERE
        Tomow its a week since I asked Sainsburys to port my no in from Vodafone
        They still haven’t done it
        No Phone & My old sim/no does not work
        Customer service is useless there is NO SERVICE I call them they tell you NOTHING AND FIX NOTHING IT SUCKS

        • Mobile Network Comparison 26 November 2014 at 15:15 Permalink

          Have you informed them of their obligations?

          • N Pariish 26 November 2014 at 15:35 Permalink

            They could not care less I have numerous times
            I sent email asking how I get back onto Vodafone NO ANSWER
            As I said SAINSBURYS MOBILE SUCKS

            • N Pariish 26 November 2014 at 18:12 Permalink

              Just called them again
              THEY SAY THEY CAN DO NOTHING !!!! wait another 48 hours thats week end and they dont work then !!!!
              THEY LOST THE NUMBER
              DOESN’T WORK ON THE OLD VODAFONE SIM
              WHAT CAN I DO SUE THEM I GUESS

        • Lee S 16 March 2015 at 17:44 Permalink

          I WISH I HAD SEEN THIS BEFORE PORTING

          Same issue for me, old number dead, useless call centre staff just tell you to wait, utter joke, I’d rather drink donkey puke than recommend these useless sods.

  18. Peter Broch 4 August 2014 at 07:46 Permalink

    I have decided to try this network to see how well its mobile internet would work in some places the other networks don’t do well. Ordered free SIM card and topped up £5 as they promised to give away a £15 bundle for everybody who tries their network and buy a credit for a fiver.
    I have installed the SIM card in my mobile 3 days ago and topped up promptly, so far there is no sign of a bundle but hey – the calls are cheap…Phoned the customer service and the guy on the phone said the bundle has not activated yet but it will some time later on as they aim to activate the bundle within 7 days!!!
    I find it at least amusing to have to wait up to 7 days to get a bundle activated – thought we are in 21st century after all.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 2 September 2014 at 03:17 Permalink

      Did you ever get it?

      • olwen669 19 November 2014 at 08:53 Permalink

        Same thing has happened to me, put credit on by ringing 40775 on 22.10.14 didn’t use phone for few weeks & when I did the calls kept ending & I tried to ring 40775 also nothing, checked my bank they had £10 on 23.10.14, so emailed them & 24hrs later an advisor “Thank you for emailing us about your account.
        I am sorry to hear that you are having issues with your account.
        To allow me to investigate this for you could you please confirm your Mobile by Sainsbury’s number.
        Also can you confirm the date that you activated the Mobile by Sainsbury’s SIM card, the last date, time and amount of the top up and the last time you spoke to us at customer services. The reason for this is to allow us to verify your account and resolve this issue for you.
        Thank you for your email and we look forward to hearing from you soon. Kind regards Sinead” I sent an email explaining this info was supplied in first one, heard nothing back so sent another one “Thank you for your email. I am sorry to hear that you have not received the information you have been looking for.
        I have checked the account for the number you have provided and can see that when you called our customer service team and spoke to my colleague Stewart, he processed your £10 top-up for you and applied a bundle using this £10. A bundle would be requested by the customer and applied during the call.
        It is showing that your bundle is due to expire on 19/11/14, therefore you would still have had full use of your phone over the last 30 days. When dialling 40775, the automated message will advised there is no calling credit and will then go on to advise you what is remaining on your bundle allowances.
        Regarding your online account, this will only show account information after topping up via the online system. As your top-up was processed over the phone, it will not show you your balance online.
        As you have purchased a bundle with your £10, and there has been no issue with the top-up being applied, I am afraid no refund is due.
        I hope this information is of help to you.
        Thank you again for your email.
        Kind regards Nicola”
        Don’t know what to do, I can’t afford to lose this money as on long term sick but need a phone as am fighting home repossession

        • Mobile Network Comparison 25 November 2014 at 23:45 Permalink

          Did you get in touch with them again?

          • olwen horrigan 16 March 2015 at 22:03 Permalink

            Yes i tried a few more times kept getting fobbed off.
            I DO NOT RECOMMEND SAINSBURYS MOBILE-CUSTOMER SERVICE IS ON PAR WITH TALK TALK MOBILE

            • Mobile Network Comparison 20 March 2015 at 13:52 Permalink

              Did you complain to the ombudsman?

              • olwen horrigan 22 March 2015 at 07:30 Permalink

                Not much point I put a complaint in before (June 2014) about talktalk trying to rip me off on my landline (£220) saying I hadn’t cancelled when I had all the proof they contacted me requesting some follow up files – which I sent and didn’t hear anything back, customers don’t Seem to get any genuine help concerning Mobile Companties, with GiffGaff now and all good so far, if anyonE has suffered from talktalks evil ways please like my page onb FACEBOOk I want to hand it into Ofcom.

                https://m.facebook.com/TalkTalk.appreciation.society?ref=bookmark

        • David 11 October 2015 at 19:36 Permalink

          HOW TO TEXT USING SAINSBURYS MOBILE.
          After having no trouble in 15 years of texting from home , heres a guide for anyone who signs up with Sainsburys mobile.
          Write your text and “send” in the normal way. The text will fail. Stand at the front door with the door open and switch your phone into airplane mode. Wait 5 seconds and switch it back out of airplane mode. The press “send” . If it fails again try iy in the back garden .
          This is a total rubbish service provider and Sainsburys should give up and leave it to Tesco’s to mop up the supermarket budget mobile users.


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