Pay-as-you-go phones and more about the courses

By | February 14, 2022
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This week I thought I’d mention something you might not know about “pay-as-you-go” phones – and that I know has tripped some people up.

Most pay-as-you-go accounts come with an “activity” clause. Basically, if you don’t use the phone, they’ll cancel your account and give the number to someone else. They should tell you this when you buy your SIM card, but it’s not always very obvious.

I have to deal with this issue for my son, Alastair. He’s at secondary school now (I know – how did that happen!), so I’ve got him a cheap pay-as-you-go phone to use in case of emergencies. He’s never had to use it yet, and it’s turned off most of the time, but it’s there just in case.

But once every six months at least, he needs to make a call from the phone (he can hang up before anyone answers – it doesn’t have to cost anything) to keep the SIM card active. If we let it go longer than six months, he’ll lose his phone number and any money that was on the account – which obviously we don’t want!

I get an email at three months to remind me (I know, because I was sent one just the other week). But if you don’t have a reminder like that set up, it’s easy to let the time pass without you noticing.

If you have a pay-as-you-go phone, it’s a good idea to check the terms of your account to find out what you need to do to keep it active. Then put a note on your calendar to remind you to use the phone every six months, year, or whatever the terms are for your deal.

A few questions you might have about the courses

Thank you to everyone so far who’s signed up for one of our updated courses. We’ve had some great feedback already. I thought this would be a good time to answer a few questions the you might have about the courses:

Is there a time limit on when I have to start my course?

No – you can start straight away or leave it till later. Once you’re enrolled in a course you have complete access for as long as the course is online (at least 3 years), so you can join now and then start it whenever you like.

Do I have to work through it at set times?

No – it’s not like an evening class in that way.  You can work through each part or “lesson” whenever it suits you.  Do it in the evenings, the mornings or even the middle of the night if you like!  You can get halfway through a lesson, stop there and carry on again next time from wherever you got to – you’re in control.

Can I follow the course on a different device – e.g. a desktop PC or a laptop?

Yes – you can use any PC, laptop or tablet, so long as it’s connected to the internet.  You could even use a smartphone if you like, but you might find everything a bit small on a phone screen.  For example, if you sign up for the Tablet course, you might want to follow it sitting at a desktop PC.  You could watch the videos on your PC while you try out the things you’re being shown on your tablet – up to you.  

In fact you can even use two different devices.  The course will keep track of where you’re up to – so you can sign in to your account from anywhere.

Can I join any time?

No – the courses are only open to new members until Friday 4th March.  After that we’ll be closing enrolment so you won’t be able to join – best get in before then if you think it might help you.

You can read the full details about each of the courses (including how to join and the rather unusual guarantee) here – why not have a look: Smartphones Made Simple, Tablets Made Simple.

Julie Wakeling

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