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Old 10.09.2012, 14:26
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Need cell phone advice urgently

I need a nothing-fancy, inexpensive cell phone to be used for emergencies only to call home (in Zurich) from anywhere in Switzerland. Ideally, I would like something where we would pay x number of Swiss francs for y number of minutes that expire in z months.

Could someone pls advice me on what to get and where to get it.

The situation: Grandpa, who is in his 80's, is visiting us in Zurich for ~1 month. He loves trains and boats so he bought himself an SBB Swiss travel card. He is now like a kid in a candy store and wants to travel all around Switzerland throughout his stay. Grandpa is having the time of his life, which is really awesome. But we would feel better if we could arm him with a cell phone just in case. He is now planning to come again for Christmas and in the spring 2013, so we envision using the cell phone again for his subsequent visits.

I know there is tons of cell phone info on the EF and I apologize for asking what has already been asked a million times, but I don't have time to wade through all the posts. I need to run out an purchase the cell phone this afternoon.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10.09.2012, 14:33
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Re: Need cell phone advice urgently

Pay as you go phone available in ANY phone shop
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Old 10.09.2012, 14:33
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Re: Need cell phone advice urgently

You probably need a prepaid mobile phone from CoopMobile or Migros' M-Budget. They have a selection of cheap devices.
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Old 10.09.2012, 14:50
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Re: Need cell phone advice urgently

There's some important questions first:

1. Does Grandpa need a smartphone? (i.e. to access the SBB mobile app for timetables, etc , taking and uploading photos, or for using GPS)

2. Is Grandpa staying just in Switzerland, or might he venture into neighboring regions of other countries?

My advice would be to go down to one of the larger retailers first, because they seem to have the best coverage (orange, swisscom, sunrise, etc.) whereas some of the smaller providers might have incomplete coverage in all regions. Also, by talking to a sales representative, you can find out about the latest offers and promotions, and you might get some good advice on what kind of package your grandfather would like best. When I went to get a phone, I was told to come back the following week, as it would be the beginning of the month and they were going to offer a better promotion then.
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Old 10.09.2012, 15:00
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Re: Need cell phone advice urgently

Supermarkets are probably the best option for pre-paid and easy to top up: - in store, on-line and many other places.

Coop = Orange
Migros = Swisscom
Aldi = Sunrise

All should be able to offer basic hand set for about CHF20 and a SIM card starter kit (with CHF15/20 free start-up credit), for about the same.

Rates may vary, but look on line.

I have Aldi Mobile: cost 14rp to landline (within CH) and Aldi Mobile nos.; and 34rp to all other operator mobiles.
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Old 10.09.2012, 16:21
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Re: Need cell phone advice urgently

You may also want to consider which to choose based on your current provider. I had Aldi prepaid when I first moved here and it worked fine. Then Mr. Wishes got a new phone and plan on Sunrise, so I changed to Coop (kept phone, just bought new SIM). Advantage - calls from him to me are free (included with monthly cost) since we're on the same network. We only pay if I call him.
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