Aaron Howdle | July 13th, 2022
ASDA Mobile has carved out a niche for itself as an affordable, no-frills provider, but will its range of SIM-only bundles have you slapping your back pocket in delight?
ASDA Mobile was founded in 2007, as a subsidiary of ASDA, a British supermarket chain previously owned by Walmart but now under the ownership of domestic retail giant EG Group. ASDA Mobile is one of over 150 MVNOs operating in the UK today. MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) don't operate their own mobile network, but rather get their network coverage from one of the large providers, in this case, Vodafone. So what does ASDA Mobile have to offer and is it worth a punt?
ASDA Mobile doesn't deal in monthly contracts. Instead, it focuses on straightforward SIM-only bundles and classic Pay-As-You-Go deals. Customers order a free SIM, then buy a bundle of minutes, texts and data according to their needs, or simply top up the SIM and then pay for the minutes, texts, and data used.
ASDA Mobile bundles are divided into two types: Standard bundles and Unlimited data bundles. All the bundles come with unlimited calls and texts. The Standard bundles offer six data allowances ranging from 3GB to 100GB, with the four largest allowances being 5G ready. The Unlimited Data bundles are just three that are priced according to download speed. Choose from 2Mbps, 10Mbps, or 150Mbps. All Unlimited data bundles come 5G ready.
Customers looking for a more contract-like experience can set up a recurring monthly payment for their bundles. All ASDA Mobile SIMs are on rolling one-month contracts, so customers can leave, or change their bundle at will.
ASDA Mobile also offers traditional Pay-As-You-Go. Customers can order a free SIM and then top it up when necessary. Calls are charged at 4p per minute, texts 4p each, and data costs 4p per MB. Voicemail costs 4p per minute and multimedia messaging costs 25p per message.
Top-ups can be bought over the phone, by text, by using a top-up card or in-store at ASDA supermarkets. If you want to top up via phone or text message, you must register a credit or debit card by phone first.
ASDA mobile doesn’t directly offer phone contracts, but you can finance your purchase using PayPal Credit. The company sells high-end phones like the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Fold, and the Galaxy S series alongside low-end brands like Doro, Nokia, and Alcatel. You either pay for the phone outright or finance it with PayPal and pay back over 12 or 24 months
Back in 2013, ASDA Mobile had some well-publicised hiccups when a change of networks from Vodafone to EE created problems for some customers. But, it has moved back to Vodafone and eliminated most problems.
The industry regulator Ofcom doesn't have specific figures on customer satisfaction for ASDA Mobile, but Vodafone is rated 92% for overall customer satisfaction by Ofcom. However, this figure doesn't include information on how ASDA Mobile handles complaints. It's also worth noting that at the time of writing, ASDA Mobile has 3.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, which is pretty good considering people are much more likely to leave a review after a bad experience. For the sake of comparison, Vodafone UK has just 1.3 stars and O2 has 2.3 stars.
ASDA Mobile offers a live chat service which is available from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on Saturdays and 10am-5pm on Sundays and bank holidays. Alternatively, you can call on 0808 006 2732, or 2732 from your ASDA Mobile handset, or you can get in touch via Twitter or Facebook. The FAQ section of the ASDA Mobile website also answers a lot of common questions.
In line with ASDA's image, ASDA Mobile positions itself as a value provider. The theory goes that by letting network partner Vodafone handle the infrastructure, ASDA Mobile can concentrate on offering great-value bundles to its customers. In practice, it does offer cheap deals, but you don't always get as much for your money compared to some of its competitors, particularly those with a similar business model.
ASDA Mobile’s small data allowances are much in line with those of its competitors when it comes to price. In terms of its Unlimited bundles, it is one of the first providers (along with Vodafone) to offer unlimited data at different price points according to the download speed – up to 150Mbps with its most expensive bundle, which is faster than the majority of home broadband connections. As a result, ASDA’s unlimited data bundles offer very good value for money.
It's always important to check local coverage at your postcode, especially if you live in a rural or remote area. Asda Mobile has a coverage checker on its website. It's also worth bearing in mind that while coverage may be generally good in your area, mobile signals can be blocked by tall buildings or the structure of your home. If you want to be certain, it may be a good idea to invite a friend with ASDA Mobile or Vodafone to your home, to check they get a good signal. This advice applies to all mobile providers.
ASDA Mobile has set out its stall as a value-for-money provider and it does offer some very good bundles at reasonable prices, all of which come with unlimited texts and minutes as standard. With no long contracts to tie you down, 5G included with all bigger data bundles, and a choice of download speeds available with the unlimited data plans, ASDA Mobile bundles good value with flexibility into its offering.
ASDA Mobile is not ideal for high-end customers, but if you are looking for a well-priced and flexible SIM-only deal, it offers an all-around impressive mobile phone service that’s worth serious consideration.