Why I Switched to SMARTY

My contract with EE expired recently, so I was keen to switch to a cheaper SIM-only deal.

My fiancée changed to SMARTY last year, and she had no problems with the switching process, or with the transfer of her old phone number.

SMARTY is a tempting choice because it offers good value for money, and you can choose from a number of data plans.

If you don’t use all of your data allowance, you get some money back at the end of the month. And if you need more, you can purchase it for a very reasonable price. You can also pause or cancel at any time.

In my case, I chose the 4 GB plan, which costs £10 per month at the time of writing.

Referral Link

Use this link to switch to SMARTY and get a £10 Amazon voucher, plus a free month on your mobile.

(I will also get a free month on my mobile.)


Things didn’t go to plan at first, so I started preparing a scathing angry review of SMARTY. But in the end, everything got sorted out — and I’ll now save a considerable amount of money every month, compared to my old contract with EE.

I’ve written more details about what went wrong later on in this article (it was all down to me not reading a sticker on the packaging in the end). But first, I want to share some tips, after realising what I should have done.

Tips and Advice
(What I Should Have Done)

 1  One Step at a Time

Follow SMARTY’s instructions, and get your new SIM installed and working before you do anything else.

If you’re planning to move your old phone number across, do not be tempted to enter your PAC code at this stage. (You don’t want to be left with no mobile service if there are problems setting things up.)

 2  Check the Phone Number

Make sure that the phone number on your new SIM card’s packaging matches the one shown in your online account.

And make sure you have used the correct SIM card — SMARTY may include a second one for you to give to a friend(!)

(I was in a rush to get up and running, and didn’t realise they had sent two SIMs… it took some time to sort out.)

 3  Now Use Your PAC Code

Once you’re happy that your new SMARTY SIM is working correctly, if you want to transfer your existing phone number to SMARTY, log in to SMARTY’s website and enter your PAC code (obtained from your existing provider).

There may be a delay of a day or so before the transfer actually takes place; both numbers will remain active until then.

Afterwards, your old SIM will no longer work, your old number will have moved to SMARTY, and your initial SMARTY phone number will no longer be valid.

 4  No Reply from Web Chat? Start a New Message

If you’ve waited for a few hours and still received no response from the SMARTY web chat, it may be that your message has been assigned to someone who is not available — that is what happened to me.

Rather than waiting a very long time and hoping for a reply, just create a completely new message. There is a good chance that it will be assigned to a different member of staff.

In my case, the person assigned to my first message always showed as ‘away’, whereas the person dealing with my second message showed as ‘active’. And although they still took up to an hour to reply, it was much better than waiting 15 hours and getting nowhere.

(It is polite to add a note to the first message thread, to let them know it has been resolved.)

Referral Link

Use this link to switch to SMARTY and get a £10 Amazon voucher, plus a free month on your mobile.

(I will also get a free month on my mobile.)

The Long Story: The Problems I Had

When my SIM arrived, I followed the instructions and installed it. I then found that my phone was still locked to EE, so I unlocked it using their website. Because of that, I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that my phone showed ‘No Service’.

Having recently obtained a PAC code from EE, to move or ‘port’ my number to SMARTY, I was keen to enter it on the SMARTY website, to move my number as quickly as possible. (I wanted to minimise the length of time that I’d be paying for both the old and the new services at the same time.

After a couple of hours, it was still showing ‘No Service’. Then I noticed that the packaging on the SIM that SMARTY had sent me showed a different phone number to the one which was shown in my account on their website!

It seemed that as far as SMARTY were concerned, I was up and running. Except that I didn’t seem to have the SIM associated with my account!

That was when I found out that the only way to contact them is via web chat.

I sent a message explaining the problem, and got no reply.

After about 12 hours, the message still hadn’t been read by a human.

Worried that I’d lose the use of my existing phone number, I contacted EE to cancel the PAC code. But it was already too late, the transfer of my old phone number to SMARTY could not be stopped, and would take place within hours. That meant my phone number would end up on a SIM which I didn’t possess.

Searching on sites like Trustpilot showed quite a number of people complaining that they were unable to contact SMARTY in a timely manner. I imagined it was going to take weeks to sort out, so I bought a new SIM for an old Nokia phone, just so I’d have something in the mean time.

My fiancée told me that she’d managed to contact SMARTY recently with no problems — that prompted me to look more closely. It seemed that the person I’d been assigned to in the web chat was always marked as ‘away’.

So I decided to write a new message. That got assigned to a different member of staff, and I got an answer within about 45 minutes. They asked some security questions, and for my SIM number. Shortly afterwards, it started working. At last, I was up and running with SMARTY, and my old number had been transferred across as well!

Final Thoughts

I found the whole experience to be quite stressful, but I’m relieved that it turned out alright in the end. My faith in SMARTY has been restored, and I’m happy that I’ll be saving money every month from now on.

People complain that there is no customer service phone number for SMARTY. But given their low prices, it’s not surprising. And although the web chat can be slow, it does work.

Hopefully, the tips listed earlier should help you to avoid problems — or at least deal with them more quickly — resulting in a smoother transition.

Update #1 (2 May 2019)

One day later, whilst tidying up, I found that there was another SIM card tucked away in the box!

It seems that they’d sent me two — and I’d only found the ‘wrong’ one initially!

If it weren’t for that, I’d have been up and running in no time… But at least I got to experience SMARTY’s customer service and web chat.

Update #2 (5 May 2019)

Today, I found the cardboard envelope that contained the SIM I used. I turned it over and saw a large sticker on the other side. It reads ‘Give this SIM to a friend’. How embarrassing!

In my haste to get up and running, I’d not even turned the package over, and had just ripped it open and followed the instructions on the back!

If only I’d seen that sticker, and looked for the other SIM…

(In my defence, I was short of time when it arrived, and the sticker was not on the side of the envelope that opens. Also, when my fiancée signed up last year, she only received one SIM, so I wasn’t expecting to find an extra one.)

Referral Link

Use this link to switch to SMARTY and get a £10 Amazon voucher, plus a free month on your mobile.

(I will also get a free month on my mobile.)


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