Friday, January 28, 2011

How to top up your friend's mobile phone without knowing what network they're on

A.K.A how to top up your kid's cellphones!

This article explains how to top up third party mobile pay-as-you-go phones in the United Kingdom.

Topping up friend's mobile phones is something that (for whatever reason) we sometimes feel the need to do, but sometimes our friends aren't keen on our 'charity' so we can't ask them what network they're on (so that we can buy them a top-up card).

Let me try to clarify by telling you how I came to need to find out to top up a friend's pay as you go mobile phone:  A friend of mine is having a spot of minor bother (nothing serious) and I want to stay in touch with him, but he never has any credit on his phone, so text message conversations are very one sided.  His lack of credit also means that if I text him to ask what network he is on (so I can buy him a top-up voucher) he won't be able to text me back to let me know!

How to top up your friend's mobile phone without knowing what network they're on:

  1. Go to http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/numbering/s7.xls and look up the first part of your friend's mobile phone number, it's the first column on the Ofcom spreadsheet (the SABC column).  The network your friend is on is listed in the 'Communications provider' column, which makes sense doesn't it.
  2. Go to http://www.topupsdirect.co.uk/ and click the big 'buy now' button and follow the instructions.  Payment can be made using PayPal.  You will be charged a £2.50 handing fee but I think that's quite a reasonable fee.
  3. Your friend will be sent a text message telling them that they've been given 'pay as you go' credit, at this stage you might want to text them to tell them what's going on!