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orange pay-as-you-go time limit

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I read recently on here that nrj can supply a sim card so that you need only use your phone once in six months to keep the credit alive. That would be ideal for us. We have an ancient (4 years i think) orange alcatel pay-as-you-go which we bought for emergency use. i suppose we are lucky not to have had any emergencies but this means that we still have 30euros credit and only 4 weeks to use it.T

his happens every time. We normally just make a long unnecessary call to england to use it up, Then we buy another top up but dont activate it (unless we have an emergency) until we are about to lose our number. However, we will be in Spain for six months this winter and we can't top up unless we are in france so it looks like we will just lose the phone number completely unless we come up with some solution.

i did try the nrj website but couldn't manage to understand what it was all about. We are real mobile novices. i would be grateful if someone could explain in basic terms what would be the best thing for us to do (including how to "instal"? a new sim card.)

thanks in advance to all you clever people out there.
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I'm in a similar position to you, except that the decision to change was made for me when one of my sons lost my French mobile (complete with Orange SIM card )on a school trip to France. From memory, I think you get a fair while on Orange before your number actually becomes inactive, and it may pay you to check this first. I generally only used to buy 10€ top-ups on Orange, which have a 2-week validity, and this would be more than adequate for a one or two week stay in France, after which the Orange phone could remain inactive for several months, and I never had a problem with it on returning to France, simply buying more credit on arrival and using it from there. However, I did get cross about the "use it or lose  it" credit system, which made it easy to decide to go with NRJ when my Orange SIM got lost.

To register with NRJ online, you need a French address for delivery of the SIM card, and a french Visa card or similar (foreign ones just won't work ) and I think you'll need a French Bank account because they want your RIB number when you register, too. You should quite easily be able to just open up your phone and insert the new SIM card which activates itself (from what I remember), although you will need to know if your phone is locked to a network or not. If you bought your phone from Orange with your PAYG card, it could well be locked to Orange, but in France I think your operator HAS to unlock your phone if you've had it for more then (IIRC) a year. I can't say if/how much they can or will charge you for doing it, though.

Is it your French that isn't up to understanding the NRJ website, or your technophobia? If the former, do you have a friend/neighbour who could perhaps help? If it's more the latter, don't worry. First, try to find out if your phone is locked (if it's got an Orange logo on the phone casing, chances are it probably is). Get it unlocked if necessary, and if you have a Carrefour or Darty near you pop along there and buy an NRJ card over the counter. If you're lucky, the person working on the sales counter can probably help you load the new SIM card and go through the setup for you........In a nutshell, the basic NRJ SIM card on its own with a few Euros startup credit costs €15, and from there you can top up as required. As you already know, it's just then a question of making sure you use the phone at least once every 6 months, and, as they say, Robert est ton oncle!

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No, you may need to go back to Orange for them to unlock it, but check first how much it will cost. If it's a French phone, I don't know how easy to get it unlocked on the internet, but I'm sure it's possible. You may need to go onto a French language site and do it, but you could try Googling "Unlock mobile phone" and read the instructions about how/what you need to do. I've unlocked several old phones over the internet and it can cost little more than a couple of quid. As I said before, if you've had the phone more than (I think) a year, then in France the original supplier (in your case, Orange) are obliged to unlock it, but I don't know if they can, or do make a charge for this. Orange UK wanted a colossal £20 plus to unlock an old phone of mine, versus the £2-ish I got charged on the net, so shop around.Anyway, once you have unlocked the phone, you can use it in future on any network, so if later on you wanted to move from NRJ you could do so without having to unlock it again.
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You can use this site for Nokia codes:  http://www.trycktill.com/eng

Click on the Union Jack to change the language to English.  You have to follow the instructions to the letter and need to know the network the mobile is currently locked to.  Some of the most recent Nokia's and 3G Nokia's like the 6630 cannot be unlocked this way.

 spanish guy I work with used this to unlock  his (Spanish) Orange phone and was immediately able to put a Luxembourg PAYG sim card in it.  If it works for that it should work for any combination I think!

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