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BANGKOK 10 December 2018 08:41
techy5025

Visitor trying to understand thai phone

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Hello,

I am in Thailand for one-two months every year. In the past, I have been able to use my US phone by buying a Thai sim card and a plan even thought it wasn't optimum as the phone didn't cover all phone bands (HTC). However, this year for one reason or another the phone rejected the sim card from all three companies (didn't recognize SIM card). The phone is unlocked.

 

So, rather than fight it, I bought a new VIVO v9 phone, bought a sim, and a Traveller SIM through AIS. Unfortunate, all the transactions were done by a Thai friend (in THAI!) and so although the phone is working fine .. I'm not sure how long it will be working. I was told it was unlimited data only but with a tiny amount of voice for 30 days. Cost 600 BAHT. I am not interested in voice, but I need the data to work until Dec. 25th. So, how to I check to see when the plan will run out? I tried *123*3#, but the message was in Thai so... 

 

I freely confess also to not understanding the concept of "topups". What are you topping up ... data or voice? ..or are you just putting money into your account (SIM)? Do you have to wait until one "plan" expires to set up a new one? How do all the *..*..# codes work. Do you have to have money in your account/sim for them to work? In fact, as they are prepaid, I guess your SIM is your account.

 

It would be nice to be able to use the same SIM next year, but reading through the forum, this seems to be difficult. (expires after 90 days, top up in 10 BAHT steps/old cards you can/new ones you can't). Topping up from abroad .. how does that work?

 

I have chased through about 5-6 pages on this forum, but a lot of the posts seem to be about the cheapest/best plans/companies/phones, but not about the mechanism for paying/switching/topping up. That is obviously old hat to the locals! I was looking for a "sticky" that covered the basics but didn't see one. I link to one would be greatly helpful. 😉

 

Sorry for the long post  ..

 

Jim

 

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Probably your easiest solution is to go into an AiS shop and ask them to set everything to English.

I have AiS and all my important messages are in English so it can be done.

Once you've sorted that most of the other issues will resolve themselves.

 

When you re-load you are adding cash to your account which you can use to buy plans or voice calls etc.

 

Do you have Thai bank account with internet banking, most (if not all) will do online phone reloads, certainly Bangkok Bank works from overseas. Set it all up before you leave the country.

 

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2 hours ago, techy5025 said:

I tried *123*3#, but the message was in Thai so... 

Let's start with changing message language to English:

 

*700*9*7*2# <dial>

 

You will first get a popup message (likely in Thai, just tap OK).

In English would say something like "your request is being processed ...". Then after a minute or so you get an SMS that confirms the language change. Be patient.

 

Checking internet package.

I have a "normal AIS SIM and for me this works:

 

*121*32# <dial>

 

It will say whether/what package is active, how much data remains (if volume limit) and when it will end.

 

Topup/keep SIM valid:

 

Where do you stay? Look for an AIS service center.

 

It's possible to topup with credit valid for up to one year.

A somewhat boring method: have enough 20 Baht notes at hand and use the self service machines at AIS.

Every 20 Baht topup will extend the validity of the credit/SIM for one more month. And even if the credit is lost the SIM is not deactivated immediately. It can be reactivated by another topup.

I just don't know the time span (grace period).

 

If you have a contact/friend in Thailand the topup can be done by him/her without the SIM being active/in Thailand.

Just the number is needed.

 

Edited by KhunBENQ
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I read here .. I think .. that the 20 Baht top's up only worked out to 90 days with the Traveller card. Is this not true?

 

I am in Bang Sue, but I use the MBK  AIS store as they seem to speak better English.

 

Thanks,

 

Jim

 

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14 hours ago, techy5025 said:

I read here .. I think .. that the 20 Baht top's up only worked out to 90 days with the Traveller card. Is this not true?

I do not want to argue about this "Traveller card" as I don't know much about it.

Best ask at AIS if they could swap with a standard SIM (registered to your name) with the same number?

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I bought a true move tourist card this trip.  I guess all they sell at the airport.  I had a Sim card a Thai bought me two years ago but it had expired.  I think I showed my passport but they had to show their ID.   Something was said about Sim cards and terrorist bombs.  This trip I didn't want to try to top up at 7-11 as most times as this time my sim card has to be put into another phone to activate.   The airport gals could speak English quite well and they said a tourist card only can extend out 90 days.   The old card worked even if my visits were 4 months apart.   

Edited by Elkski

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I had a True tourist card... I used it for two years, would still be using it if I was still in Thailand.  Topped up whenever needed, no problems or expiration.  Maybe the rules have changed since I bought mine?  It was one of the 7-day ones (they didn't ask when I bought it how long I was staying, so I didn't get a chance to tell them it wasn't a vacation).

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I think there has been a change in how long cards last.  

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