Bringing and unlocked iPhone to India seemed like a good idea at the time. We thought that if we couldn’t get to an Internet Café, we would at least be able to check our email. It is three weeks into our trip and we have finally managed to make our iPhone and Data Plan work.
Here is what we had to go through to make our iPhone work in India.
1 – Go to at least 3 VodaPhone outlets, an Airtel and Reliance dealer to talk about the iPhone prepaid plan.
2 – Have everyone tell you that you can’t use your iPhone and that they don’t do prepaid Data plans.
3 – Go back to the outlet after you look up forums online and see that you can actually use your iPhone.
4 – Have the dealer tell you that yes you can use your iPhone, but you will have to go to the town an hour away to have them connect it because they cannot here
5 – Take the bus to Margao and find the Vodaphone dealer. Have them tell you that the person that looks after the iPhone is not here and you have to come back later tonight. You can’t come back later tonight, because you have to catch the bus back to Patnem.
6 – Have them at sell you a SIM Card for 500 Rupees plus air time worth 222 Rupees.
7 – Find out that the SIM Card does not work, but you already bought it, so you have to keep it.
8 – Have them give you instructions on how to connect the data plan just in case you somehow make it work on your own.
9 – Go back to Patnem, look up the problem online and see that the SIM Card not working on an iPhone is common. You must reload the new software again and re-jailbreak the phone and re-unlock the phone. Then you pray that it works.
Lucky for us, it works!
Start all over again
1 – We then type the message that the representative told us to send to the number 144 – ACT IDATA … nothing happens.
2 – Go to Vodaphone the next day in Choudy (near Patnem). Find our that the SIM card should have only cost 25 Rs and that they can indeed hook up an iPhone. (a few days ago they said the opposite.)
3 – Buy 199 Rs worth of airtime and text a message to 144. We are told that it will be working within 24 hours.
4 – Ride our bikes to a nearby beach and receive a text stating that they cannot complete our transaction.
5 – Phone Vodaphone customer care 4 more times to receive different instructions.
6 – Finally talk to a woman at Tech Support who states that all of our information was wrong and we need to text ACT IPHONE to 144 and that our 199Rs that we just paid for our data plan is useless.
7 – Transfer to Customer Care to have them move that 199Rs Data time to talk time which we can then put towards our iPhone data time.
8 – Customer care tells us that the information we received from tech support is wrong and they cannot transfer the 199Rs and that the iPhone does not work.
9 – We ask to speak to someone else and they repeat like a robot, “I suggest that you go to a Vodaphone Dealer, I suggest that you go to a VodaPhone Dealer”…etc. They refuse to help us and we are infuriated.
10 -Go back to the Vodaphone dealer in Choudy and tell him our problem. Luckily, he is the only sane phone dealer in India and he transfers the 199Rs over for us. We use that to buy 199Rs worth of data time and then we take a chance and text DATA I PHONE 144.
Hallelujah it is a miracle!
We have data, a cell phone that works and it only cost us 921 Rupees for a card and airtime that should have only cost 224 Rs.
Never go to the Vodaphone store in Margao, they blatantly ripped us off. I understand people trying to make a buck from corner stores or markets, but from the actual Vodaphone dealer in a city, that is just criminal.Buy a Sim card for 25 Rs. It works even on an iPhone.
By air time and type DATA IPHONE to the number 144. No matter what everyone else says, text that phrase, nothing else works.
When you buy airtime for talking and texting (and data for iPhone), buy it in increments of
- 111 Rs
- 222 Rs
- 333 Rs
If you don’t buy these exact numbers, you will make one phone call and use up all of your minutes in one shot. Nobody could explain why, they just stressed to buy these amounts.
Forget about trying to launch a complaint with VodaPhone, they will just repeat some phrase to you like a robot.
- Incoming calls and texts – Free
- Local calls are 1 Rs per minute
- Roaming calls are 1.50 Rs per minute
- International Texts are 5Rs each
- To call Canada is 6.50 Rs per minute.
- To Call US, South East Asia and Landlines in Europe, Australia and New Zealand 6.50 Rs per minute
- Africa, Gulf and Mobile phones in Europe Australia and New Zealand 9.19 per minute
- Data 10 kb free – after that 5p per kb
- 1 Canadian Dollar = 43 Rs