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Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile is a 50:50 joint venture between the supermarket Tesco and O2. It’s a virtual network but also sells Tesco Mobile branded services in Tesco stores and offers both pay monthly and PAYG deals.

According to the J.D. Power and Associates UK Mobile Telephone Customer Satisfaction Survey, Tesco Mobile was the number one pre-pay mobile telephone provider for customer satisfaction in 2008 and 2010. Tesco Mobile aims to give customers value, simplicity and choice. It markets cheap supermarket-style offers and gives away Clubcard points.

Free SIM

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Tesco Mobile review

Tesco Mobile offers some of the cheapest PAYG rates with their budget Tesco Lite price plan. With calls at only 8p/minute and texts just 4p each, you can easily save £100s every year compared to a normal mobile network. They even have an amazing text bundle that offers texts from just 1p as well as an amazing value £2/week data bundle.

Even the regular tariff is good value once you consider that you get triple credit with each top-up. You just have to be careful to make sure you don’t top-up too much as the credit expires and also can’t be used for certain items. Still, Tesco Mobile offers amazing value especially compared to the major UK networks. They even offer a great way to get up to £200 by recycling your old mobile. If you buy a new phone from Tesco, do remember that many of their handsets are double-locked so you can’t even use them on other virtual networks that use O2 such as Giffgaff. Check the model before you buy it.

Despite the low prices, Tesco Mobile runs on the strong O2 network and offers great call quality. The only thing you have to watch out for is their patchy 3G coverage if you’re a heavy data user. And if you are a heavy data user, make sure you get the £2/week unlimited data bundle because otherwise the charges are quite dear. Tesco Mobile’s customer service is also reasonable even if you have to pay to call it and a Tesco store is never far away in the UK.

Although it’s annoying that it’s hard to get on the better value Lite tariff, all Tesco Mobile’s offerings are great value and with a wide range of useful extra bundles, it’s a flexible as well as a cheap option. As long as you don’t get caught out by the details of the Triple credit offer, Tesco is a great network to choose and one of the best virtual networks.

PAYG Pricing

At a glance

Calls: 25pTexts: 10p Data: 60p/MBMMS: 25p0800: 8p0870: 8p


Tesco has two main rates – Tesco Mobile and Tesco Lite. The regular Tesco tariff offers calls at 25p per minute and texts at 10p each. This is comparable to standard mobile networks such as 3 but seems relatively high for a no-frills virtual network. However, a little digging around reveals more.

Tesco triple credit

All top-ups on Tesco Mobile qualify for free triple credit. This means that if you top-up £10 you’ll actually get £30 of credit and if you top-up £20 you’ll really get £60. While this seems like an incredible deal, if you remember that the pricing is comparatively high, you get a better idea of the true cost.

As all top-ups qualify for triple credit, we can effectively divide all the costs by three. This means that on the regular tariff, calls are actually about 8p/minute and texts are really costing you just over 3p. This also makes MMS only about 8p each while data which is already down from £4/MB to 60p/MB now effectively costs only 20p/MB.

However, something to bear in mind about the triple credit deal is that none of the “free” credit can be used for things like international calls or texts. It also can’t be used to make 0870 or 0800 calls or for roaming at all. Of course, this information is next-to-impossible to find out from the Tesco website as it means that many people won’t actually find the bonus credit that useful. You should also be aware that the “free” credit actually expires after a month so it’s only good value if you manage to use it all up. Just as important – you must also top-up at least once per month to qualify for the bonus credit.

Tesco Lite

Phew – sounds complicated, right? If you prefer things simpler, check out Tesco’s Lite PAYG plan. No messing about with free credit and expiry dates – just simple flat rates. And low flat rates too. In fact, along with virtual networks like Giffgaff and ASDA Mobile, this is the best value PAYG tariff going. Texts are only 4p each while calls are just 8p per minute. Much simpler than the regular Tesco tariff and much cheaper too!

Unfortunately, Tesco are trying to phase this out and you can’t order SIMs for the Lite tariff anymore. They might even tell you it’s no longer available. However, we’ve learned that by threatening to leave Tesco (ask to get your PAC code), they’ll happily switch you over rather than let you leave.


One of the best things about the Tesco tariffs is that they offer some great bundles. For example, you can get unlimited data for only £2/week which is about £8 a month. However, bear in mind this has a fair use limit. You can also get 5000 SMS for only £5 which makes them just 1p each – perfect for heavy texters. These offers are available to both Triple credit and Lite customers.

Price comparison

To compare Tesco’s latest pricing with that of other networks, please see our price comparison matrix.



2G coverage: 99%3G coverage: 98%

Coverage map

Tesco Mobile runs on the O2 network. Please see our Tesco coverage page to learn the network coverage in your area. For more information, compare it with other mobile phone networks’ coverage.


Give your own rating to Tesco Mobile below:

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.3/5 (113 votes cast)
Tesco Mobile, 3.3 out of 5 based on 113 ratings
by Jon M

141 Responses to “Tesco Mobile”

  1. Richard Davies 28 February 2017 at 12:45 Permalink

    I was with O2 for several years, but swapped to BT when I changed TV/Broadband etc from Sky. That was a mistake. EE-based, and no coverage. So I switched to Tesco, on the basis that it was on the O2 network.

    Now, I sit at the same desk as before, live in the same house as before, park in the same car-park as before, and I’m telling you this as fact – TescoMobile is garbage in comparison to O2, despite being on the same network and allegedly not being restricted. (ha bloody ha)

    Whereas before I was getting a good 4G signal, fast downloads etc, now I’m lucky to get a H. I’m sick and tired of the number of times a website has times out.

    TescoMobile are a disgrace. Barely good enough for phone-calls, let alone mobile data

    • Mobile Network Comparison 21 March 2017 at 16:43 Permalink

      Have you confirmed this with O2 phones too? Could they have changed the masts?

      • Richard Davies 31 March 2017 at 12:51 Permalink

        What? Every mast within a 30 mile radius of our house, in the space of a week and timed purely to coincide with changing my SIM card? No – I haven’t bothered wasting my time doing that, funnily enough.
        And so what if they have? How does that alter anything? The issue is that Tesco 4G is misrepresented as being equivalent to O2, and it clearly isn’t. Old mast new mast red mast blue mast is irrelevant.

        • Ronnie 3 April 2017 at 06:30 Permalink

          GiffGaff make the same claims funnily enough.

  2. Paul 10 June 2016 at 16:43 Permalink

    I thought I was getting good 4G coverage through Tesco Mobile on the O2 network, however at the backend of last year I got tired of getting sub-standard 4G network speeds where I work. I reported this a number of times (using the O2 app) and each time was told “there are no network issues”. Clearly there were when everyone in my office on O2 couldn’t get a 4G signal!
    Like other colleagues I’d had enough and switched to Vodafone. Having been on an O2 network for over 10 years this was a difficult decision but I am so pleased I did it. The 4G Vodafone coverage is so much better than O2’s and I don’t get the frustration of regular network outages i.e. less than acceptable 4G speeds that I had to put up with when on the O2 network. Since switching to Vodafone I haven’t looked back.

  3. Bobby bigbit 5 June 2016 at 10:24 Permalink

    tesco internet is being slowed by o2 so is giffgaff if you want fast internet use ee if it’s calls on a 2g phone use the 02 network which giffgaff and tesco use,

  4. Ronnie 29 April 2016 at 16:24 Permalink

    Hey guys,how the hell do I get rid of the social media website icons on the left hand side of the screen ?
    I don’t do social poison anyway !!!!
    It’s a bloody pain

  5. Ronnie 29 April 2016 at 15:56 Permalink

    Bought an iPhone 6,which was supposed to be unlocked.
    Unfortunately,it was locked to Tesco,but hey ho,I got a pristine iPhone for £370.
    While waiting for Tesco to unlock my phone(2 weeks and counting),I have been using their network.
    What an absolute con it is,and the rates are not competitive at all.
    30p a min,10p per text and a whopping 10p per MB is credit draining to put it mildly.
    Their lure of triple credit is a joke,as the extra £20 was done in 4 days,and the £10 another 2 days.
    It’s funny,when the CSA asked me why I wanted to leave,I told him straight that my usual provider were 10 times cheaper,he spoutedoffin a rather jobsworth kind of way that Tesco had won awards.
    I told him “so what”,it wasn’t helping my bank balance 😀
    So £40 in just over 2 weeks has been wasted on these jokers,andallbecause they can’t be bothered to give me my paid for unlock code.
    I’m pining for Tello every day !!! 😀

  6. Singing Dwarf 25 January 2016 at 14:03 Permalink

    Contrary to the advice presented above, Tesco Lite SIMs are still available to order at the link

    • Mobile Network Comparison 25 January 2016 at 15:26 Permalink

      Which advice exactly?

      • Singing Dwarf 25 January 2016 at 15:27 Permalink

        I quote: “Unfortunately, Tesco are trying to phase this out and you can’t order SIMs for the Lite tariff anymore. They might even tell you it’s no longer available.”

  7. Clive lister 6 October 2015 at 09:27 Permalink

    Like many of the previous posters after years of using Tesco mobile online top ups for pay as you go, there were 2 ghost transactions which appeared, despite Tesco mobiles systems saying transaction was declined!… This is where the major problems began. Rang customer service who could not help unless I was prepares to scan my credit card and send it to them by insecure email (or post). Once they agreed that the ghost transactions occurred any normal company would have credited the payments back to the account from which they were taken. Not so Tesco mobile, they wanted to see a copy of my bank statement so that could credit me back to that account, despite it being one which they have never ever seen and I never use. I refused on the grounds that they should credit it back to the originating credit card. Eventually, I suggested that since I could not meet these requirements could I not have it credited to my phone. They agreed making it seem like they were doing me a favour!…what a set of wxxxers!

  8. Paul 10 September 2015 at 13:02 Permalink

    I’ve been a Tesco Mobile customer along with my eldest son for a couple of years now, from when I signed us both up for a good SIM only deal. Can’t complain about the O2 network coverage – it’s very good and 4G is awesome.
    I was looking to bring the rest of my family (wife and two younger sons) over to Tesco Mobile, unfortunately, they have now slipped down the rankings when it comes to value for money and their SIM only oferings are very poor. Instead I’ve put them on Virgin and GiffGaff. Virgin currently have the best SIM only prices I’ve been able to find, it’s a shame they don’t use the O2 network. If they did, I would have already switched away from Tesco Mobile as their tariffs are very good and provide much more than the Tesco Mobile tariffs for the same money, plus they don’t tie you in for 18 months. Come on Tesco Mobile, start offering some decent deals.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 5 October 2015 at 20:32 Permalink

      Don’t forget the benefit of free GG-to-GG calls and texts within a family…

    • Mobile Network Comparison 16 October 2015 at 00:59 Permalink

      Virgin have the best SIM-only prices? Really?! What are your usage patterns?

      • Paul 16 October 2015 at 13:41 Permalink

        The £12 per month Virgin Pay Monthly Sim Only deal currently gives unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 2gb data. This is more than enough for our usage. The nearest Tesco Mobile deal is £12.50 per month and this gives 750 mins, 5000 texts and 2gb data. This would also be adequate for my family, however, it also comes with an 18 month contract and that just isn’t acceptable to me. Without the long tie in they may have a chance of getting my business, but otherwise there are better deals providing the flexibility of 1 month contracts.

  9. Rick Parisi 8 September 2015 at 17:18 Permalink

    Terrible service, awful customer service. My business phone won’t work at all in my office. Other networks work fine. Tesco wanted to charge up to the end of the contract to let me out. It took a 2 hour rant in the shop to get them agree to let me go. NEVER AGAIN!

  10. R 2 August 2015 at 12:30 Permalink

    Tesco mobile customer service is abominable! They have so many department so many departments and they do not communicate between themselves! I have had to fight with them since day 1 and any time my issue ‘get solved’ I see no outcome and have to call them over and over again.
    Their coverage is poor and all in all I wouldn’t touch them with a barge pole again once my contracts over I’m out.

  11. dick head 12 May 2015 at 19:22 Permalink

    tesco every little will always have little credit on your phone with them

  12. Stewart 12 May 2015 at 11:30 Permalink

    My dealings with Tesco Mobile show that they are absolutely useless. Couldn’t use the phone abroad even though they said it would be OK, and customer service sais tough luck or words to that effect

    Avoid at all costs

  13. Edward Hawkins 7 May 2015 at 06:43 Permalink

    I’ve just switched to Tesco Mobile. My signal, at home, is virtually non-existent. Tesco support will not listen. They will send a new sim card, but that is not the problem. The phone works in other areas. They use 02 as a provider. 02 customers can get an app to solve this problem (my next-door neighbour has it) but Tesco customers cannot use it!

  14. Peter ward 17 April 2015 at 18:32 Permalink

    Actural Charges: Calls 20p/minute Text 10p Data 10p/Mb
    CHARGES: Not as described in COMPARISON TABLE

  15. Lord Draper 28 January 2015 at 15:57 Permalink

    I took out a £12.50 a month contract with Tesco last July (2014)
    I got home from Bristol to South Wales only to find I had NO SIGNAL WHAT SO EVER.
    Unfortunately I was hospitalised within days of the start of the contract and am now only able to speak and hear a reply from Tesco Technical department (One big joke)They only assured me that my phone was on 3G amd should be on 2G, yet it cannot be changed.
    They now say that because I hadn’t contacted them within the 14 day cooling off period (I’m in hospital under traction with broken pelvis, broken back and shoulder) they are not liable.
    I have suggested to them that as I was sold a contract under false pretences they are liable for fraud under The Sale of Goods and Services Act.
    I have spoken to the Ombudsman for communications and the tell me I have a perfect right to cancel the standing order as they are in breach through the salesman’s lies.
    They now suggest that I pay a remaining amount for the handset which is useless because 3G won’t work at my home.
    Even if I were to pay the handset cost, I would be left with a phone that is totally useless and has been since I took it home for the first time!!.
    Tesco mobile are no better than all the other shysters as the charge the earth for a service they DON’T SUPPLY” and then try to sue you if you don’t pay!! I will see them in court first.

  16. ahmed 20 January 2015 at 18:13 Permalink

    can be exspensive, the product looks better online but its not as goods as its shown on the Tesco’s website

  17. ahmed 20 January 2015 at 17:57 Permalink

    Total waste of GBP85 on worst quality item I have ever seen. I am absolutely disgusted with both the quality of this item and the customer service behind the company. Within the first day of wearing the coat all the front buttons had fallen off. I then had to go out of my way to get the item back to them for them to send out another coat of exactly the same poor quality. You would have thought they would have checked the second coat for quality issues before sending it out. But the same thing happened with the replacement. I have been battling this out with customer service now continuingly for over a week and they’ve just made the whole situation ten times worse and they clearly have no regard for retaining customers. Best of luck to anyone using this company! A certain place will have to freeze over before I go back to them.

    • Ronnie 12 September 2015 at 20:35 Permalink

      Why the fuck are you ranting about a coat with no buttons !!! ???
      You do realise this is Mobile Network Comparison ?
      Not Overgarment Relability Comparison

  18. stuart 13 November 2014 at 19:46 Permalink

    Do not use tesco mobile as their customer support leaves a lot to be desired. My frustrations have grown to such a level now even avoid up shopping at the stores. Absolute bunch of time wasters. No wonder the chain is performing badly with this type of customer care.

  19. CHARLES BURLEY 27 October 2014 at 23:26 Permalink

    TESCO I GOT A CONTRACT PHONE FROM TESCO BUT I CANCELLED IT B4 IT WAS DELIVERED 4 MONTH AGO SINCE THEN THEY KEEP SENDING ME BILLS IVE PHONED THEM NUMEROUSE TIMES AND THE LAST TIME I PHONED THEM IT COST ME £8.46 THE LAST BILL IS FOR £106 and they agree when i phone them its been a mistake but it still goes on ive emailed they say we will phone u but they never d and again i end up having to pay to phone them on a costly line im sick to the back teeth of them

  20. Andrew 10 October 2014 at 19:44 Permalink

    Tesco mobile contract what a joke u just get sent round in circles and get messed about and bills for a phone that dosent work and won’t replace what a joke never again will I go with Tesco and stuff there shopping 2 rather go to waitross

  21. Grace Merling 18 August 2014 at 14:31 Permalink

    It’s so obvious, all those 5 ***** reviews are done by Tesco staff!!
    Stay away from Tesco mobile! My husband and I had constant various problems with them. and same with 2 other people from my work place! You call them, all they do is put you from one department to another, and no one knows what they’re doing. They, took £100 off me and it took them 3 months to returned it. They will promise you that the problem you called for will be definitely fixed and weeks later it’s still not! It’s outrageous service! The worse one was when my iPhone’s battery died after 14 months, while I was on a 2 year contract with them and they claimed that the phone is only covered for 12 months. I told them that by EU statutory law all the apple products are covered for 2 years their statement to me was “we over rule the EU law with UK law”. Absolute shambles! Watch out people!! I had to report them to Ombudsmen.

  22. Graham 1 June 2014 at 12:38 Permalink

    Beware the promised coverage. I switched from Vodaphone with whom I had poor coverage to Tesco because the coverage web calculator indicated I would get a much better signal. I didn’t I actually got a worse signal. Regrettably I did not complain within the 14 day period so I am stuck with them for 2 years. Despite me pointing out the poor level of signal in my l area they are still claiming the same higher level of signal availability on the web page coverage calculator. Beware !!

    • Ronnie 13 September 2015 at 01:13 Permalink

      I can never understand why people take on these lengthy contracts.
      Is it the lure of the latest “free” phone ?
      We all know that is bullshit,as you pay for the phone 2/3 times over with the astronomical “per month” fees.
      Even sometimes having to pay another fee just to have the privilage of having it.
      There are Virtual Networks out there offering rock bottom tariffs that last forever.
      Do yourself a favour,and buy an unlocked phone so you can chop and change your networks.
      This will ensure you always get the best rates
      Sure,you will pay a bit more short term,but long term you will save a packet.

  23. Gemma 23 January 2014 at 12:16 Permalink

    If your direct debit is set up for the first of the month and you would like to change the date to the eighth then they will charge you on both dates in the month that you change over, so beware when you change your payment date you will almost pay double for your mobile subscription!

  24. mane 6 January 2014 at 23:21 Permalink

    Hello there, I hopped over to your website page via Twitter. Not some thing I generally read, yet I enjoy your opinions nevertheless. Thanks for writing something worthy of reading through!

  25. James 14 November 2013 at 21:04 Permalink

    Been with tesco over a year & no probs whatsoever. Good reception in my home town. Will stay with them as in my opinion it is good value. Sim only £10 per month 500 mins, 5000 texts and a gig of data!

  26. James MAnion 14 November 2013 at 12:57 Permalink

    Anyone thinking of going with Tesco mobile …. Don’t waste your time! Ordered a phone on Monday, they didn’t email out the proper documents so the whole order got cancelled! Even though the people on chat and customer services told us the phone was on its way and would be here any day. Had to reorder and was told it should be here by Friday. Paid the first month twice now! Spoke to someone else today who told me it wont be dispatched until tomorrow afternoon! Spent the past 2 days in the house waiting on something that was never going to be here!!!!!! To top it off the guy on the phone hung up on me when I told him I wasn’t happy, total joke of a company. 3 can have it here by tomorrow if I order today!!

  27. Ebony 19 October 2013 at 11:27 Permalink

    I return my iPhone5C to Tesco technical team, my first iphone ever, its the worse thing I ever done it taking them three weeks to grade my phone which I have for one week. now I just found out that they trying to call ring on my mobile which I don’t have access to make calls on.

    Silly silly, now I have to ring on Monday to have remove things off my phone before they can grade it rubbish.
    I tell you if there’s a way I can cancel I would.funny thing repair team don’t works weekends great

  28. kathleen 29 August 2013 at 23:11 Permalink

    Hi I am on a 18 month contract with tesco mobile I have one month left on contract but they refuse to upgrade me because I was late with one payment . I asked was I being penalised because I was late with one payment and the assistant said yes and I didn’t find her very friendly when my contract is up I am leaving tesco . I never found the customer service very kind

  29. Andy 30 July 2013 at 22:22 Permalink

    Tesco Mobile’s customer service is truly appalling!!! Initially I bought two iPhone 4S for myself and wife. One was faulty and sent back… Well over 4 weeks and took multiple phone calls to get a replacement.

    3 months later bought a third 4s for daughter. Faulty again. Returned. It took a week for Tesco to admit that they had no replacement stock, a further 2 weeks to decide to replace the phone with a 5, and a further 2 weeks to dispatch it. It arrived with a blocked sim. Seriously, this has taken over 15 hours on the phone to sort out, and now it appears that they have messed up porting a number onto the phone….guess I will be onto the phone to them again tomorrow!

    In my experience, if they can get it wrong, they will, and there is stuff all that you can do as the customer to get the situation sorted. I have written to the CEO etc who have yet to even offer the courtesy of a reply.


  30. Pauline 23 June 2013 at 18:02 Permalink

    Hi my granddaughter bought a Galaxy Ace from Tesco and she had trouble with it from day one she could not get through to any one and no one could get through to her she lost £10 by topping up and then not getting any use from it. Took it back to Tesco after 2 two or 3 calls to customer services with a man on the other end of the phone who kept saying sorry can’t hear you for about 10 min it was very annoying so i put the phone down and asked for a new phone so the lady said ill have a word with the manager and to my surprise got a new phone could not believe it still in shock but worse to come since getting it back home and registering it, tried to get into account since but it keeps saying not my right password not right user name I don’t know if its me or does every on else seem as if there going round in circles and does not get any where. why can’t Tesco mobile just make it easy to get help as easy as it is when they take your money of you for a new phone sorry I would not recommend Tesco for a phone I find my self very lucky in away i nearly bought a iPhone 4s on Tesco then decided to go to a different net work thank G

  31. Colin 5 June 2012 at 20:16 Permalink

    I put £10 into my Tesco Mobile phone 2 days ago, I checked it today [I haven’t used it since putting the Tenner in I now have £5.77 I believe they have stolen money from me before after I have Topped up. I eventually got through to their customer services their attitude was “tough” they claim that a company called “GOGOLY” have been sending me unsolicited texts that cost me money! but I have never heard of being charged for receiving unsolicited texts. In short Tesco Mobile are THIEVING CHEATS! Avoid them like the Plague!

    • Mobile Network Comparison 5 June 2012 at 20:22 Permalink

      What do “GOGOLY” say?

      • Ronnie 3 April 2017 at 06:43 Permalink

        A simple question I wanted an answer to.

    • brian 21 December 2015 at 10:30 Permalink

      colin, exactly the same experience with me, £10 top up credit reduced in a couple of days. sOLUTION

      The same experience with me, £10 top up only to find reduced to £1.90 a few days later without having used the phone, Solution, remove sim and dump, cut up card,done

    • Ronnie 30 April 2016 at 12:37 Permalink

      Yeah,when I phoned them for my unlock code,they told me that they would use my credit.
      Now bearing in mind,they told ME I had only just topped up a tenner a mere 6 minutes ago.
      The guy told me a moment after that I didn’t have enough credit to pay the £10 unlocking fee.”but I haven’t used my phone at all” I said.
      He said “well you only have £8.96” sir !!!
      “So tell me where over a quid went in 10 mins then,while I have been on a landline to you then? ”
      I don’t have that information sir”
      Con artist Tesco at work methinks
      Oh,forgot to mention!!!
      They told me that the phone was not theirs,repeating it constantly.
      Put me on hold,and came back and said “oh yeah,It is one of ours ” :\
      Be glad to back onto Tello

  32. Terry 24 April 2012 at 11:38 Permalink

    I have been on an iPhone 4 1yr contract and been on a rolling month contact for the past 3-4 months. (£25 Month)

    Tescos coverage is exactly the same as O2, I find it extremely rare if I have no signal in my area (NW Kent) I have had no issues with them while on the contract, although their charging when in Canada is extremely high!

    Tescos didn’t contact me once my contract was up to offer upgrades etc. When I contacted them the number 4455, the operator (Tracey) advised me that there was a new offer £12.50 a month, 3 month contract. I thought great, I’ll have that! Unfortunately their phone switching system was down? Due to this she didn’t past me to the sales team and confirmed to me that she would handle everything. A month pasted… the bill came in at £25 (same as the year iPhone contract?)

    Looking at their online portal, I hadn’t been put on the new contract. I contacted 4455, the operator (Shelly, I think) said she would listen to the conversation with Tracy and if found my story checked out I would be reimbursed the difference, either way contact me the following day. She then pasted me to the sales team who said the offer no longer stood. Ringing 4455 again (Sales team can’t switch calls) I asked to speak to Shelly, she told me not to worry. She’d contact me tomorrow once listened to the previous call and sort things out then.

    1 day pasted, 2 days, 3rd day I called. Talking to ‘The manager’ I was then told it could take up to 24 days to get a call listened too!
    I waited, after a month of waiting I have given up. I have just terminated my contact and will be switching to giffgaff. This messing around in all this has cost me an additional £30 (2 months’ worth of contract with giffgaff) hopefully thing with be simpler there…

    To sum things up…
    >Tescos network coverage is good- no issues.
    >Once your setup- Leave them alone, they leave you alone
    >If you need to contact any of their customer support teams, Firstly, GOOD LUCK! and write everything down. Time; Date; Person everything, even record it if you can!
    >I also wouldn’t take anything they say as golden.
    >I wont be using tesco’s again

    Thanks for reading,

  33. Richard Heath 15 April 2012 at 15:15 Permalink

    Hi everyone,

    I have to say I’m so shocked at all the bad reviews.

    I bought the iPhone 4s back in December 2011 and I absolutely love it. I was with O2 and then moved to tesco as the tarrif was better. I’ve had no problems with the network, no more than I would have with O2. My phone delivered on time, the sales advisors were very helpful.

    If you go into your settings, network tab, it will say O2 network.

    A few limitations with tesco mobile though. No call waiting and if you go abroad, u can’t buy a package which gives you cheaper calls and texts.

    However, as My tariff is 7000 texts and 600 mins, for 35 quid a month, I’m not complaining. I don’t need call waiting, if it’s urgent, leave me a message… And I buy a cheap sim when going abroad. I’m not willing to pay stupid money just two have a couple of extra features.

  34. Sam 13 April 2012 at 13:52 Permalink

    1 You don’t need to cancel the contract; I guess you can talk to Tesco to modify it so far as you’re not reducing your monthly payment.
    2. Cutting a normal sim to use in iPhone will work; there’s a simple machine that does it. Just pop in any of the phone shops eg 3, any of the Indian phone repair shops for a small fee or an expect will do it Please note cutting normal to micro sim might cause you some few signal or facility issues. Once again just call Tesco and they’ll be willing to send you micro sim for your iPhone.
    3. Insert sim in a different phone and you will find out if PIN is required. Tesco customer service will provide PIN provided you’re not in breach of contract.

  35. Frank 13 April 2012 at 05:41 Permalink

    I am locked into a 2yr contract but want to get an iPhone. Three questions, please:

    1. How much does Tesco charge when you cancel a contract.
    2. Does cutting a Tesco sim to the size of a micro sim work in an iPhone
    3. How do I find out if my sim has a PIN lock on it.

    • Paul Blackburn 17 April 2012 at 23:42 Permalink

      1 the entire remaining balance
      2 You will have limitations don’t expect location services to work and you may get bugs. it wont damage the software
      3 yes it does 5555 if you get it wrong your need a puk

  36. Sam 27 March 2012 at 07:07 Permalink

    This’s my 2nd posting. Pls calm down; I was with O2 and switched to Nov2011. I was on £35/month contract with O2 and now on sim only £12.5 with Tesco enjoying more minutes and data. Initially I had few problems with signal intermittently reverting to O2. I complained to O2 and since then signal has been excellent. My advice is if you have signal problems, check your network settings. It may have reverted.PLS DO NOT JUST BLAME TESCO. It may also be worth noting that Tesco uses O2 as carrier and the signal strengths must be same.

  37. daryl 15 March 2012 at 16:34 Permalink

    I ordered an iphone 4from Tesco Mobile, which took 4 days to arrive. On opening the box and using I found nobody could hear me when I called them. Reported the microphone fault and they suggested it was software fault. Downloaded latest software which took 2 hours, exactly the same. Reported again to customer services said would send out padded envelope to return.10 days later I am still waiting for the envelope to arrive.Does not bode well for the future.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 15 March 2012 at 16:36 Permalink

      That sounds terrible. You’d hope Apple would have better quality control.

      Have you contacted Tesco Mobile again?

      • Frank 13 April 2012 at 05:43 Permalink

        Have you tried taking it to a Tesco shop where they sell mobiles and mobile phone contracts? It’s usually better talking face to face

    • Paul Blackburn 17 April 2012 at 23:43 Permalink

      Call them again

  38. Rebecca Fitzjohn 5 March 2012 at 09:31 Permalink

    Do not touch Tesco Mobile. Bought a contract with them end of Nov with a Blackberry phone which broke in early Feb. We are now in first week of March and still no phone. Took them a week to send me a padded envelope to return the phone for repair.

  39. Steven 29 February 2012 at 17:08 Permalink

    I have just ordered my phone online, but nowhere does it say if I have to pick up the phone or if they will post it to me!

  40. Gavin 21 February 2012 at 19:43 Permalink

    Not sure who to go with, tesco or three? both offering very similar deals on the samsung galaxy s2 but i have heard different things from different sites and people regarding customer service and coverage. Left vodafone as the deals they would offer me where far higher than a new customer and there customer service team where not very helpful all this after being with them for 13 years, talk about not looking after your customers!!

  41. Arbi 7 February 2012 at 18:47 Permalink

    What does the 12 month mean on pay as you go for blackberry only sim

  42. aza 31 January 2012 at 20:18 Permalink

    reading through,,tesco dont sound that bad. Virgin mobile have got worse..
    in october i wanted a lower cost package which never got applied and its i was being charged for a different package, which was unlimited mins, a bill for 85 pounds..when i called they said it was a computer error after 2 different calls. looking at the bill i only used 180 inclusive mins. nothing else…then this month i get text saying my bill is 140 pounds..called up,, the manager amanda was next to useless..i am waiting for the actual mins i’ve used from the bill and cancell the rolling contract and come april will also cancell the virgin media home contract…goodbye virgin and hello tesco

  43. louisa smith 30 January 2012 at 17:43 Permalink

    WOULD NOT RECOMMEND!!!!!!! I recently took out a tesco contract mobile, and had an htc sensation. I week into the contract I asked for my tariff to be capped, but it wouldn’t cap til the next bill. I have never had an android phone before, so was not aware how often my htc was updating and sync-ing online. Had a message telling me i only had 100mb left on my tariff so I switched off all internet network. 3 hrs later had another text saying i’d exceeded the tariff. Rang customer services was told there was a delay in the text alert, and I had actually run out of tariff 8 hours before receiving the text alert. In that time i incurred £52 pounds of data charges whilst I had been asleep! They would not waiver this. I rang customer services and got this halved but still, this is daylight robbery!

    • robert1965 26 March 2012 at 22:55 Permalink

      i agree… stay away… i had my contract since august 2011 and have had to send the phone back three times due to the people i am calling can not make out what i am saying…. tesco blame the phone and every time the phone comes back i have the same problems…. am in process of seeking county court action to get away from my contract
      and compensation

  44. martin hawthorne 18 January 2012 at 12:13 Permalink

    Reasons not to use tesco mobile

    They cap the spend to £90. If you go over it you cannot pay with a debit or credit card until a month end bill is produced so you stay cut off

    It take 6 hours for top ups to be activated

    They sent me an email with other customers full bank, address, password, card details on and werent bothered. Proof is available, ive saved the emails

    Customer services only open during the day

    They were cheap when they first started, but Ive just moved to O2 for the same price and get much better service.

    • robert1965 26 March 2012 at 22:53 Permalink

      also they run a useless substandard customer service who are totally clueless about thier own company…
      they advise you to check thier website for a map of thier coverage strength but it is just a picture and not an accurate reflection of the coverage

  45. Ashley A 9 January 2012 at 21:59 Permalink


    So I wanted a good deal on an iphone 4s. I had seen the tesco offer when the phone first came out but I was reluctant, as I thought tesco sounded cheap. So I decided to wait a couple of months, and look around elsewhere, however, vodafone, tmobile and even o2 were so expensive that I decided to do a little research into the tesco deal.

    I thoroughly did my research, as you would with any product you’re spending a lot of money on. I spoke with online advisors on the tesco web page, looked up the terms and conditions (which surprises me so much, that most people don’t even bother looking at this!) and phoned customer services. The advisor was very helpful.

    I am very happy with my phone, the carrier is ultimately o2. The only phone that gave me 100% reception was my blackberry so I knew what to expect with this.

    My advice, do a little research before buying… and then complaining!

  46. James L 7 January 2012 at 10:35 Permalink

    I am considering tesco mobile PAYG for a Iphone 3GS handset I am buying. On their website package page, it says for some packages that you get free access to the BT openzone network.

    This sounds very tempting, does anyone have experience of this? It seems a little too good to be true.

    thanks, J

    • robert1965 26 March 2012 at 22:51 Permalink

      for goodness sake stay away from tesco mobile…. they truely are the worse network i have ever dealt with…. this is not a hoax… you will live to regret ever getting involved with them….
      i did
      contact me for further details on how i got ripped off

  47. S. Gyamfi. 5 December 2011 at 17:53 Permalink

    Just want to share my recent experience with Tesco sim only on iPhone 4. Switched from O2 and technically there was not to be any difference in coverage or signal strength. Unfortunately my mobile data network kept defaulting to O2 even though I passed my PAC code to Tesco. I found out by my own research that O2 had without my knowledge extended my contract for further 4 months and thus causing my Tesco mobile data network being unstable. I called O2 and made a complaint. Though O2 denied, my signal has since been stable.
    Please if anyone has problems with Tesco mobile, they may not be the cause after all. Revisit your previous provider and make a complaint. It worked for me and I’m saving a lot. I should have saved what I found on my research.

  48. Ellie 1 December 2011 at 19:03 Permalink

    Will this network be good with an iphone 3gs, or will i get more out of another network, such as 3.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 1 December 2011 at 19:11 Permalink

      It shouldn’t make any difference at all. While 3 do have some good iPhone deals, it will also work fine on Tesco Mobile. What exactly do you want to do with your phone?

    • robert1965 26 March 2012 at 22:49 Permalink

      tesco advises you to check thier website for a map showing the coverage quality but the map always shows excellent quality because its a photo and will never change…. tesco is ripping me off big time and i have to send my phone back a third time because of this
      go to another network stay well away
      tesco also runs an uniformed, substandard customer service that knows nothing aboput customer relations

  49. Paddy 1 December 2011 at 13:40 Permalink

    I tried to buy two mobiles from tesco on 15th Nov 2011 and they cancelled both orders without any reason. They did however take my money on both occassions and when I asked for it back they they said they would refund the money in 3 – 5 working days. After 10 working days I got 1 refund back. When I phoned to ask about the second I was cut off. I phoned again and was then put in touch with several people including 2 managers and still go no refund. I then e-mailed them twice and still no reply and still no refund. STAY WELL CLEAR OF TESCO MOBILE.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 1 December 2011 at 15:12 Permalink

      Have you had any luck at all getting the payments back?

      • Paddy 1 December 2011 at 19:02 Permalink

        No still waiting and getting very fustrated with the tesco service.
        Any suggestions?

        • Mobile Network Comparison 1 December 2011 at 19:12 Permalink

          When you call them and get put through to a supervisor, what exactly do they say?

          • Paddy 1 December 2011 at 19:17 Permalink

            They say they are very sorry and will process the refund and phone me when it is done. Still waiting. This hashappened 4 times now. Have sent 4 e-mails had reply to 1 wanting info then nothing since.

            • Mobile Network Comparison 1 December 2011 at 19:51 Permalink

              What timescale have they given for the refund? You should also ask for compensation!

              • Paddy 2 December 2011 at 09:45 Permalink

                They told me 3-5 working days but they say that every time I get in touch wiyh somebody.

                • Mobile Network Comparison 2 December 2011 at 10:30 Permalink

                  I think you need to either demand an immediate refund or at the very least a specific date. After all, they are the ones who messed up here…

  50. Matt 23 November 2011 at 21:17 Permalink

    Hi, if you top up by ten pounds, how much data will you get? For example, on orange when you top up by ten pounds you get 100mb free data, 300 texts etc…

    • Mobile Network Comparison 23 November 2011 at 23:24 Permalink

      You actually get £20 free credit when you top-up £10 which you can use for calls, texts or data! You can use £2 of your £30 credit to buy unlimited data for a week. Otherwise it’s 60p/MB with a max of £5 per day.

      For more info go to the Tesco Mobile site with the link at the top of the review.

  51. JP 16 November 2011 at 17:12 Permalink

    I tried porting to Tesco Mobile, gave them my PAC on 7th of the month, they said they’d port my number over 2 days later. On the 9th, my number dropped off Vodafone, so I turned the phone off and on to see it registered on Tesco Mobile. Or so I thought. Ah well, I thought, at least I have a temporary number while the switchover happens, it’ll only be a couple of hours.
    No it won’t. By the 11th, I was still without my usual number, so I called for the 5th time to ask what was going on. I was told that because I was porting from O2 there had been an issue. I told them I wasn’t porting from O2, I was porting from Vodafone. They said “Oh, that’s because O2 own a part of Vodafone”. Really???? At least they said it would take 4 hours to get the problem sorted.
    In actual fact I was stuck on a train, waiting to get home to my wife and 8 week old baby. Now I won’t blame Tesco for the fact that the train got delayed by 3 hours. I will blame them for the fact that they decided that would be a good time to also disconnect the temporary number that I’d been using, so I had no way of contacting home. An irate call once I’d got home later, and I was told the number would be ported by the following day, 4pm latest. Nope. Nor the next day. The following day (keep up, it’s now the 13th) I complained again and was put through to the management team at Tesco. Now you’re talking! I was given an apology and a personal guarantee that the line would be provisioned no later than 24 hours, but probably within 4-5 hours. Yawn. I’m getting used to this now. As of today, the 16th, I still have no phone. No old number, no temporary number. Trust me, as soon as I get my number back, I’m requesting a PAC to go to a company that knows what they’re doing (and no, that won’t be O2). That is of course if they ever manage to retrieve the number I’ve had for the past 15 years.
    There is a silver lining. I was very generously offered £15 of line rental as compensation for the 7 days without a phone and 4 hours I’ve variously spent on hold or talking to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. When I questioned if they really thought that my time was worth that little, I was told that they thought that it was a very generous offer, as they only had to compensate me for the time I didn’t have service (£4.35). Well as they say at Tesco, every little helps.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 16 November 2011 at 17:25 Permalink

      That’s an awful story – sorry you’ve had such a bad experience with Tesco. You should definitely report them to Ofcom as they are breaking several regulations.

      Also, while O2 is definitely nothing to do with Vodafone, thankfully we can confirm that other virtual networks using O2‘s infrastructure aren’t nearly this bad!

  52. Yasir 3 November 2011 at 09:59 Permalink

    Tesco phone reception rubbish. I know it runs off the o2 network but it’s almost like direct o2 customers are given priority over Tesco users. It can take upto 40 seconds sometimes trying to connect to a number. all my friends complain that they need to phone me 6 or 7 times before they get through. Constantly loosing reception then getting back again. (before any one says it might be your phone, I have had the phone replaced). I have had my contract with tesco for 12 months and thank god it is over and I have now got my PAC code. The only good thing about it was the 12 month contract and a iphone 4. However I would not recomend any company that piggy banks of another network.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 3 November 2011 at 10:36 Permalink

      Do you know of anyone else experiencing similar problems with Tesco Mobile?

      • Yasir 3 November 2011 at 13:06 Permalink

        Yep, i know quite a few of other people who experienced similar probs with Tesco Mobile.

        • Mobile Network Comparison 3 November 2011 at 13:13 Permalink

          Hmm, seems that this problem doesn’t occur on Giffgaff though who also use O2. Have you got a response from Tesco?

          • Nathan 17 December 2011 at 09:37 Permalink

            I have only been with Tesco Mobile for a week, but although very cheap, i am getting sick of my friends shoutiung down the phone are you still there, as the call drops without any notice, and as previous mentiond, it can take several attempts to call a number, upp to yet i would give tesco mobile 3 out of 10 for the quality of service that is being provided, but 10 out of 10 for the price, however quality is more important to me, so thank god i am only on a 3 month contract and could afford to change if need be, but never would i go back to giffgaff who had £50 of credit and never put it on my account,

            • Mobile Network Comparison 17 December 2011 at 22:06 Permalink

              What problem did you have with Giffgaff? What did they say when you asked about it?

              • mike 1 March 2012 at 16:10 Permalink

                Tesco mobile, according to customer services does not support video or music streaming. i’ve had so many people telling me that youtube worked and suddenly stopped working. Tesco offer no explanation other than the customer was lucky to have access to youtube but they shouldn’t have had it anyway. its feels like O2 lite.

    • robert1965 26 March 2012 at 22:45 Permalink

      i have been a tesco mobile customer since august 2011 and my phone has never worked properly , tesco blamed the phone ( sony experia arc )
      i have been forced to send it back twice and about to do it a third time and tesco refuses to acknowledge they are operating a sub standard coverage network…. get out of it through the county courts because they are ripping thier customers off big time…

  53. Liz 23 October 2011 at 22:12 Permalink

    I took out a £15 a month contract with Tesco mobile in Aug, but then changed my mind as decided to stick to 02. Absolutely appalling customer service, they sent me in circles to get my refund, making me wait hours. I called on 5 occasions and they had no record of my prior conversations. When I complained, I got this response:

    ‘I am sorry to read of the inconvenience Tesco Mobile have caused you when refusing delivery for your handset, please accept my sincere apologies for the time it has taken for the contract to be cancelled. Unfortunately Tesco Mobile are not able to offer any compensation for your time, I understand this what not the reply that you was hoping for and again I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.’

    I would not recommend them!

    • zoe 22 January 2012 at 17:41 Permalink

      but if you decided to cancel your contract at the last min just because you changed your mind you shouldnt be given a refund for that reason. if you sign on the dotted line you unfortunatly cant turn back and you agree to everything they have stated. i know this as i work in retail and this sort of thing happens. if people want a contract phone you should be looking into it fully first befor you make any desisions, weigh up the pros and cons befor you sign or submit anything.

      • Darren 5 February 2012 at 23:09 Permalink

        You have a 7 day cooling off period so u do have the right too cancel ur contact

        • Jon 8 February 2013 at 15:53 Permalink

          Absolute garbage. You don not have any 7 day cooling off period at all. None whatsoever. If you stand in a store and sign on the dotted line, thats it.

          The ONLY time you have cooling off period is when you buy mail order.

          Stop spouting rubbish about something you clearly know nothing about!

          • k 7 March 2013 at 19:04 Permalink

            Nope, you are wrong. Tesco Mobile offer a 14 day cooling off period and you can cancel your contract within that time for whatever reason.

  54. Tania Rao 17 October 2011 at 14:46 Permalink

    Do you think it would be a good decision to sign up for Tesco Mobile iPhone 4S for 12 months contract.

    Also will it unlock my iPhone at the end of 12 month contract?

    And one more special question I travel overseas outside EU very often can I request them to unlock my iPhone during that 12 month contract period?

    • Mobile Network Comparison 17 October 2011 at 19:01 Permalink

      If they offer a good deal for you, it’s probably a good deal. You should definitely also check out some of the Talkmobile deals though and also the iPhone 4S plans on 3 are currently very popular.

      Tesco Mobile’s pay monthly handsets are free to unlock at the end of the contract but if you need to unlock it they will charge £20. However, if you got a PAYG iPhone on Tesco Mobile they don’t unlock until after 12 months of the contract.

      You don’t need to unlock your phone to use it abroad unless you want to switch out the SIM.

  55. Danni 27 September 2011 at 19:46 Permalink

    Is this network worth getting a Blackberry contract with? And do Tesco charge for BBM?

    • Mobile Network Comparison 28 September 2011 at 21:44 Permalink

      If Tesco Mobile have the best Blackberry contract for you, they are a great budget network. You should also look at 3 and the other main carriers too though.

      They don’t charge for BBM as long as you have a Blackberry package.

  56. stephen brown 24 July 2011 at 18:17 Permalink

    cant seem to be able to play you tube videos on my LG viewty snap, i am on the 1 month 10 pound rolling price plan

    • Mobile Network Comparison 25 July 2011 at 18:42 Permalink

      Does normal internet data work fine?

    • k 7 March 2013 at 18:59 Permalink

      tesco mobile doesn’t support video streaming

      • Mobile Network Comparison 8 March 2013 at 15:46 Permalink

        What does that mean? What happens if you try to use YouTube for example?

        • k 9 March 2013 at 22:35 Permalink

          well tesco mobile latches onto O2’s 3G bandwidth, but O2 doesn’t supply a very large amount of bandwidth for them. so if you try to watch a video stream (say YouTube, BBC iPlayer, etc) it’s not likely to work.

          • Mobile Network Comparison 10 March 2013 at 11:57 Permalink

            Surely it depends what the signal is like where you are? Or have you heard of an official policy where they throttle the bandwidth for Tesco Mobile?

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