Unlimited calls and texts to any mobile network in Ireland for just €10 a month. Sounds too good to be true, right?
48 is a new virtual mobile network (running on the O2 network) that launched at the end of January, offering unlimited calls and texts to any network for €10 a month. The catch? You have to be aged between 18-22 in order to sign up. I signed up to 48 about a month ago to see for myself how 48 compare to the other major network operators.
I ordered a free SIM from their website, www.48months.ie, which arrived 2 days later. You can either get a normal sized or Micro SIM depending on the type of handset you have.
And that’s when the trouble set in. I followed the activation process included in the pack, which explains that it can take up to 30 minutes to complete. A day later, and I still had no service on the phone!
48 don’t have any phone-based customer care line, so it took me 3 emails and over a week of waiting to finally get the service activated on my SIM card. I didn’t even receive any kind of goodwill gesture for the unusual delay.
However, once topped up with your €10 membership fee, it does exactly what it says on the tin; unlimited free calls and texts to Irish mobiles.
So if you’re looking to save money on your mobile spending, then 48 might seem the perfect option. But before you decide to jump ship from your current network and move over, just be aware of these following points:
- Inclusive Data – There is none! No data is included in your monthly plan. 48 is offering a ‘Special Offer’ Data Plan for the first 30 days where Weekly ‘Unlimited’ Web Access costs €2, however, despite claims it’s ‘unlimited’ it has a fair usage of just 500MB. N.B. 48 states clearly this promotional offer ends after the first 30 days after which the customer will be liable for a higher daily Internet charge but fails to state how much this will be.
- Forget about Tethering. 48 strictly prohibits any type of tethering and its Internet settings are specifically configured to prevent any tethering taking place. If you tether your service will be cut off, no questions asked.
- If you don’t top-up, you get cut off… no calls, no texts, nothing! Compared with Three, after your 30 day of free services expires, you still have your remaining balance for calls and texts. With 48, they will keep your money and suspend your services, and won’t re-connect you until you top-up. Only incoming calls and texts will work when you haven’t topped up.
- Roaming? Best to stay at home! Data Roaming is not supported on the 48 network. When travelling in the European Union, 48 allows its customers to purchase an ‘Add-On’ for €3.50, allowing them 10 minutes of calls. This expires after 30 days, after which calls increase to 42c a minute.
- A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? THIS IS A BILLPAY! 48 requires customers to provide debit or credit card details to register membership on the network. If a customer owes 48 money from unpaid monthly top-up membership, it reserves the right to take this amount directly from your bank account. According to Section 6.5 of their Terms & Conditions, they can charge you a 2% daily rate of interest plus bank administrative charges for failing to pay them on-time!
- Up a Creek Without A Paddle! 48 provides no phone customer service team, and its help team on the website is the only form of contact with the company for customers. This online customer service only operates within their ‘office hours’ – so no good if you’re in an emergency! General enquiries will be answered via email within 24 hours, whilst billing enquiries can take up to 48 hours to get a response.
Update: 48 have changed around their deals, so it’s best to take a look on www.48months.ie to see the latest offers.
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