What should you do if you
- … have a Vodafone SIM
- … have already left India
- … want to activate international roaming?
You can choose an international roaming pack on the Vodafone web site,
but it will send an OTP to your phone by SMS to confirm the request. You
won't receive this SMS, because you don't have international roaming, so
you can't activate international roaming without an OTP.
The trick is to activate the ₹149/month “standard rates” travel pack,
which does not require SMS confirmation. Once this is active, you will
be able to receive SMS messages, and you can confirm your request for a
more sensible international roaming pack.
As we discovered, you cannot rely on Vodafone customer care to tell you
what to do, but if you call them up and request this particular plan,
they should be able to activate it for you. It takes about half an hour.
You may have to reboot your phone and ask someone to SMS you
Warning: Activating the “standard rates” pack will make your
phone work overseas, but you will incur enormous charges if you
use it to do anything other than receive SMS messages. A single outgoing
SMS will cost ₹15, a minute of talk time will cost ₹70, and downloading
1MB of data will cost ₹550. Choose a different pack as soon as you can!
Also remember to deactivate the standard pack once you're back in the
country, to avoid being charged every month.
At the time of writing,
works; otherwise, look for “International roaming” on the Vodafone web
site. Likewise, the numbers above may vary by country and over time.
(Sorry, I don't know the answer for any other Indian telco.)