Column: Keeping in touch with the outside world

Tyler Wailes

This column is part of a series written by Tyler Wailes. Wailes is on a study abroad trip and each week she shares her experience with Spinnaker readers. This column gets published every Friday.

In order to switch cell service providers, customers must first unlock their phone. This requires an individual to get in contact with their current carrier and ask them to allow other companies to access their device. For example, when in the U.S., my family uses Cricket. After a face to face conversation with one of their representatives though, I made the decision that it would be too expensive to acquire an international plan with them. Instead, I would set up a temporary plan with an English service provider once I arrived in England.   

I made a phone call to customer services and explained to them I would soon be leaving the country for a five month study abroad. I went on to tell them this was only a temporary situation and my intention was not to relieve them as my service provider. After asking me a few security questions, they kindly informed me that my device was already unlocked and I went on my merry way.

Tyler Wailes
Tyler Wailes in London.

My first trip into London was on Jan. 15, 2019, and my biggest ambition for the trip was to set up my phone plan. Accompanied by several of my new friends and fellow exchange students, we experienced sights such as Big Ben, although it is under maintenance until 2021, The London Eye, Buckingham Palace, The British Museum, Trafalgar Square, Piccadily Square, and Westminster. We also ate at my first English Pub, The Chandos, where I had a fish stick sandwich. After a pleasant meal, we eventually made our way to Vodafone.

Vodafone is one of the top service providers in the UK. This company is associated with VOXI, a completely online service, that provides customers with pay as you go plans. For ten pounds a month, which is the equivalent to thirteen U.S. dollars, I have unlimited call, text, and social media usage anywhere in the UK. With this plan I am also allowed six gigs of data. The beauty of this service is my ability to withdraw from my plan at anytime. Come May, I will be able to turn in my UK sim card and replace it with my old U.S. sim card.

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