*Non-existent customer service and lack of availability angers US user*
UKMR reader *Lauren Kim* wrote to me about Lebara. She is not a happy bunny and I hope Lebara have the time to give their side of the story. Here's Kim's thoughts:
Dear UK Mobile Report
Lebara is actually quite terrible. I don't understand how so many people can be satisfied with their low cost calls when, firstly, the cellular connection is so unreliable, if nonexistant at times. I've had to walk around the city (London) to try to find a location at which I can dial without seeing 'No Service', then, 'Call ended' on my screen.
Initially, I thought there was a problem with my GSM unlocked phone. I tried placing the Lebara Prepaid Sim Card in my friend's LG Phone. It did not work. Lebara customer services, through email, repeated to me the exact same instructions I was given over the phone (to go to Network Settings, switch to manual, etc.). It worked for neither phone.
Lebara seems not to work at all inside buildings, like my apartment in SE1.
Secondly, and what's even worse, Lebara's customer service line is impossible to reach. I have sent two emails now, and have called the office at least 20 times (10 pence per minute on my friends' phones, 7 cents on Skype), have been put on hold for four minutes every time by a machine which lies, 'someone will be with you shortly.' It hangs up after it says, 'all of our representatives are busy please hold.'
I do not recommend Lebara at all. It has been nearly a week since I've arrived in London. I still do not have connection in most places.
I purchased the Lebara UK Prepaid Sim Card through a company called Cellular Abroad in order to have a cell phone before I left the US. It charged me 50 dollars for an the Sim Card when I could have purchased it directly from Lebara at £2.99 and £5. That was my carelessness. But even so, I now wish that I hadn't heard about Lebara at all.
I have not, however, been careless about asking Lebara to follow through in its promises to consumers listed on its website: http://www.lebara-mobile.co.uk/en/
I have spent very much time and a rather large sum in hopes of reaching someone on the other line at customer services. I got through once. She gave me the Network-Settings instructions, told me to call back, then never picked up.
Do not be fooled by the reassuring look of Lebara's website. If the company follows through on what it claims to do in other countries, then I restrict this comment to UK phone users only. Otherwise, Lebara is the least reliable, trustworthy phone company I have thus used, and regret it deeply.