Cell phones just seem to be a complicated business here, even though two cell providers monopolize the system: China Mobile & Unicom. They have actual shops, but there seem to also be numerous re-sellers who try to rip you off.
Just outside Walmart, there is a small market, and one of the stands was China Mobile. The lady would tell us one thing and keep on adding other extraneous prices, not to mention the fact that the prices were a rip off (90 yuan for the SIM card, which only comes with 25 yuan of credit!). So we left for a kiosk across the street from Walmart.
The dude at the kiosk was so illegitimate. It was a debacle as he tried to sell us the SIM cards while watching TV. Oh, and a phone number with a 4 in it costs more than a phone number without a 4.
In Walmart, they also sell cell phones. However, at one counter, a lady told us that they only sell one year plans in Walmart. Well, thankfully, the stand right next to them sold disposable SIM cards. AND it was a wonderful deal (look at Tips below).
The downside was that we were sort of heckled at Walmart. Some older guy came up and wanted to buy a phone. The Walmart employee immediately told him that the phone was on sale—because it was getting late. WHAT?! When did Walmart do things like that? This isn’t some little shack on the streets!
Aside from cell phones, Walmart is huge!!! The best part is all the hanging sausages (Figure 2).
But the one thing they don’t have is make-up remover wipes.
- Don’t go to the little stands on the street. They are rip-offs.
- A China Mobile SIM card was pricier than Unicom, which cost 30 yuan for a SIM card that comes with 30 yuan of credit!
- The cheapest cell phone is a bit pricier at Walmart than elsewhere, though. It’s 288 yuan for a phone at Walmart, while it could be just mid-100’s.
Getting a cell phone and SIM card really is not as easy as it looks, not to mention that Walmart wasn’t even fully fool-proof!