Since I’m here for less than the typical 2-year phone contract length, I decided to opt for prepaid mobile phone service (which is what I’ve had for the past several years stateside & in Europe).
Considering the only thread here that came up in a search was from 2002, I thought I might note the following:
Two helpful, non-English-speaking girls at FarEastTone near Gongguan were kind enough to sell me a cheapo phone (in quality only - price was quite a bit too high, in retrospect), but told me they no longer have any prepaid cards, and there weren’t any to be found nearby without traveling across town (from near NTU). None at 7-11s, none at surrounding stores. I got the impression that FET is changing that aspect of their service (different card name, etc), but I’m not positive of the details. The FET website also had virtually no useful information on prepaid phones.
They sent me to a “DaGeDa” store nearby (which I thought was a competitor…?), where, unlike their sister store near the 101 Mitsukoshi, somebody immediately came over & offered to help (in English). After copying my passport & taking down my hotel’s phone #, I had my prepaid SIM installed & ready use (she even changed the phone language to English for me) within 10 minutes.
Just a short FYI for those who, like me, read/heard horror stories about foreigners being refused cell phones in Taiwan. I was all worried about having to register & provide multiple IDs, getting stuck w/some contract, etc. Instead, relatively painless.