The Phone Co-op is, as the name suggests, a cooperative, although you do not become a member by subscribing, you have to buy shares, therefore in that sense, no difference from buying shares in any company and it is difficult to see how it differs from any shareholding company.
It functions like an open coop, in that it finances community projects.
To become a member, you register and buy shares in units of one pound, minimum shareholding one pound.
Sim cards are free. Rates reasonable, though by no means the best. A virtual network, that buys time on other networks.
A free sim card ordered and inserted in a Galaxy Siii mini. It did not work, whether this was because the sim was faulty or inserted as micro-sim not known. The phone did not recognise that a sim was inserted. It could even be because the sim expires after 30 days (though would expect error message on validating sim).
The Phone Co-op notified. Person who answered, could not answer any queries, suggestred call another day. Suggested phone could be locked. Not the case as phone worked when tried with a different sim (and surely if that was the case it would have given a warning phone locked, not no sim inserted).
A second sim ordered, and arrived within a few days. It was inserted in the phone. Sim recognised, activated by dialling 1250 (has to be activated within 30 days) but not possible to put money on using a credit card (it would not recognise the expiry date).
The Phone Co-op called again. No one has complained of this before. Yes, that is why notifying, so you know you have a problem.
Is it possible to register the card during this call? No. Why not? That is how our system works, you have to use our automated system. Yes, but that does not work.
The Phone Co-op supply Fairphone II. During the call it was noticed delivery had slipped from January to February. Asked why (no explanation on website), it was stated manufacturing problems (unable to obtain materials).
Fairphone II is a 4G phone. Is their supplied sim card 4G (it does not say 3G or 4G)? No, and they have no intention in the near future of supplying 4G. When asked why, no response. Thus have an anomaly, they are supplying a 4G phone with a 3G sim. When this was pointed out, would not accept anything wrong, instead suggested purchase the phone elsewhere if not happy, ie direct from Fairphone.
The concept of the Fairphone is good, two sims, 4G, modular, easy to repair, claimed to be future proof, except already dated and the specification poor for the price of the phone ( £395 from The Phone Co-op, 525 euros direct from Fairphone). Connection usb 2 not usb 3, relativly low resolution for the camera, lacks NFC (or appears to lack).
Note: Price of Fairphone II from The Phone Co-op ‘around £395 incl VAT’, a somewhat meaningless statement.
Note: Small print says delivery date an estimate only and price will be confirmed on delivery.
It was suggested buy a phone voucher.
Asked at a main Post Office. No, never heard of. Checked on their system, no, not shown.
They directed to a nearby newsagent that had PayPoint. Lady had never heard of. Checked on her system. Not shown. Double checked, and managed to find.
A few days later, it was possible to register a card, and add ten pounds. They must have fixed the problem.
Adding money not good, press 1 for ten pounds, 2 for twenty pounds etc. Why not ten for ten pounds etc, as Virgin?
Their website a pig’s ear, poorly designed. Irritating images flashing across (though too many websites have this bad design).