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Lycamobile's PayGo Rate Increase and How to Avoid it

I've heard from multiple users of T-Mobile MVNO Lyca Mobile's pay as you go plan that they are now being charged 5¢/minute for outgoing calls, it's still 2/c for incoming calls. The price had been 2¢ per minute for both outgoing and ingoing. So far the price increase has only happened to Lycamobile users with "old" Lycamobile SIMs. Users with "new" aka "Lycamobile Plus" SIMs are still getting charged 2¢/minute, at least for now.

The new SIMs that still get the 2¢ rate were introduced last July. They are called "Lycamobile Plus" SIMs as opposed just plain "Lycamobile" for the old SIMs. The new SIMs, unlike the old ones, support MMS and work in locked T-Mobile phones as well as unlocked GSM phones. They also get LTE data on monthly plans. The only disadvantage of the new SIMs is that they do no get any data at all on the PayGo plans. The old SIMs still get 3G data at 6¢/MB.

Lycamobile's PayGo plan is a sort of a secret. It's not mentioned on the Lycamobile site but is the default plan that Lycamobile accounts fall back to when there's no active monthly plan. New customers can get the PayGo plan by activating a Lycamobile SIM and adding a $10 top up you. Monthly plan users can switch to PayGo by adding a $10 top up and waiting for their plan month to expire.

Even at 5¢/minute the Lyca PayGo plan is a good deal for light users because airtime never expires as long as a call is made, text is sent or data is used at least every 90 days. Other perks include free calls to toll-free numbers and free incoming texts (outgoing texts are 4¢ each).

If you have an old SIM and want to switch to get the 2¢ rate, Lyca will send you a new Lycamobile Plus SIM if you call 611 from your Lyca phone and ask. However, there's no guarantee that the 2¢ rate for new SIMs will last. Since last July, Lycamobile customer support has been saying that the PayGo voice rate is supposed to be 5¢/minute for everyone.

In other Lycamobile news, a reader discovered that the coverage map on the Lycamobile site now shows "partner" (roaming coverage) and the Terms and Conditions section the $45 and higher plan pages states "US roaming allotment: 250 minutes; 200 texts; 0 data (see coverage map for details)". So far I haven't seen any reports of users actually experiencing roaming.

Related: Prepaid Operator Profile - Lycamobile

31 comments:

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  1. "The only disadvantage of the old SIMs is that they do no get any data at all on the PayGo plans."
    Should read The only disadvantage of the "new" SIMs

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  2. I don't live in a TMobile zone but saw the map and tried to start a new account. The sim did not register on either local network so I called support. The rep told me the map is wrong and lyca does not allow for partner roaming. I think I saw a map here showing that my area would be covered by TMobile by the end of 2015 so I hope I can try lyca then.

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  3. Odd, So would adding any none plan top-up amount (like $25) put you on the PayGo plan, or would you be put on the plan that fits that amount the best?

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    1. If you order a SIM without specifying a plan, the SIM will activate on pay as you go. The minimum top up is $10 but can top up with any amount and still be on pay as you go.

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  4. I upgraded 2 of 3 lines in my household to Plus. The new SIMs that Lyca sent me are indistinguishable from the old ones, they do not have Plus printed on them. Despite that, the Plus lines are still 2 cents a mins (I just tested one of the two lines), and I can confirm that my "old" line just charged me five cents for a one minute call.

    So even if your SIM doesn't have Plus printed on it, if you know you upgraded to Plus then you should still be good.

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    1. 5 cents for call out only, incoming/receiving call still 2 cents

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    2. Incoming calls and texts are still free with my old Lyca SIM.

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    3. Yes, that was an outgoing test call that charged me 5 cents. I was surprised when the next incoming call only billed me 2 cents, thanks for the clarification.

      As for free incoming calls, I don't know that I have ever had that.

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  5. I am moving and want to port my old Frontier landline to Pay As You go. Can a new customer follow the instructions today on their porting website and yet get a 'pay as you go' 2¢ plan or does new customer have to pick expensive those monthly plans only?

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    1. You need to call Lycamobile to port a number. When you call tell them you want to use the pay as you go plan.

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  6. Initially, I was recommending Lyca to everyone. Now, I recommend people to run away. And, I can not go because they are so incompetent. Their employees degrade them on glassdoor.com to the lowest possible rating. And when that happens, there is no way it can be good.

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  7. Lyca is a huge company in the EU but in the US, it appears to have been struggling to make some traction in the competitive mvno business. They do have better high speed /large amount data rates then some of the other independent Tmobile mvnos like Ultra or Ptel but their CS does leave a lot to be desired and their rate changes are often and unstable

    I'd say Ptel or H20 would be better alternates for newer users as the latest Paygo from Lyca has no data at all. Ptel gives good US based cs and lower text rates (but no free incoming) and H20 has larger Att coverage .

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  8. Does anyone have idea how long it takes to port number from landline in US with Frontier Communications to Lyca? I placed an order to port, I was told 4-24 hrs by Lyca. 6 hrs later, Frontier told me that they had completed their task. 24 hrs later, I called Lyca, and then I was told that it actually is 3-5 business days.

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    1. Status update: Porting completed. Placed port request around Thursday 10 AM. Porting completed three and half days later. Except for the long port duration, seems successful. Frontier landline seems to still be on make outbound calls Monday AM.

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  9. I'll do the porting in a couple of days from tmobile. Keep me posted of your status. I'm waiting for my sims to ship from amazon. After that I'll call to port and activate.

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  10. I have the old Lyca SIM on PayGo. It works well for me considering my very low usage pattern. It's good to be able to use data occasionally, but the big disadvantage for me is the lack of 8-bit SMS support. I communicate mostly in Swedish and any time I forget that I can't use ÅÄÖåäö, the messages get completely garbled. I know that T-mobile handles it correctly so I assume the new Plus SIMs will as well. So my dilemma is to decide which is more important. I have ordered a Karma Go LTE hotspot with true pay-go, so maybe I'll switch to Lyca Plus and just carry the Karma with me everywhere.

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  11. I am looking for an interim phone service while my Moto G phone is being serviced. I have a T139 Samsung T-Mobile phone - do you know if it would work with Lyca?

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    1. T-Mobile phones like the Samsung T139 will work with current Lycamobile "Plus" SIMs

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  12. New SIM refills do expire. Currently 90 days, but it can change at any time.
    Old SIMs are gone and can't be refilled anymore. If you still have one like I do, you'll get texted every few hours for weeks without unsubscribe option until you change to new SIM. No MMS and Internet for pay as you go in this age, do you still want such provider?

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    1. I don't know what you mean by "new SIM refills" but Lycamobile pay as you go airtime doesn't expire as long as you make a call, send a text or use data at least every 90 days. That's true whether you are using an old or a new SIM except that you can't use pay as you go data with the new SIMs

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  13. My sim does not work properly since I changed from lyca usual to plus sim..I can call but not receive any calls or texts. Anybody else face this problem?

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  14. If I want to switch to Pay as you go, do I really need to top up in advance (say $10) and wait for current plan month to expire, or can I let it expire first and then top up after a day? Will there be any issue with that. Its my spare phone, so I don't have much problem with a day delay in having my phone working again.

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  15. Can anyone confirm lyca's pay as you go pricing? Chat just told me 6cents/min for calls. But no clue of sms. And is data an option on pay as you go now, as it is on H2o? I need to port out from ptel asap.

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    1. Nothing has changed with Lycamobile PayGo. Calls are 2¢, incoming texts are free, outgoing are 4¢, data isn't available.

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  16. They just told it is 5 cents per minute then hung up on me. I'm in the same boat. Ptel just emailed me and said that they are finished and I must get a new carrier by 2/5 or I'll lose my numbers. How do I obtain the lyca plus SIM cards?

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    1. To get a Lycamobile SIM go to SIM with Plan. When ordering do not choose a plan if you want pay as you go instead choose the SIM only option at the bottom of the plans list. SIMs are also available on Amazon and eBay.

      When you SIM arrives do not activate it on line if you are porting a number, instead call 1-866-277-3221. See Porting phone number to Lycamobile and Prepaid Operator Profile - Lycamobile for more information.

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  17. do we need to pay minimum of 10 dollar for top up to keep paygo line active?

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    1. No, a call or sending a text at least every 90 days will keep the plan active.

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  18. It seems Lyca started charging 5 cents/minutes now on the new lyca plus SIM cards.

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