on 29-12-2012 16:49
I am at my wit's end, having spent hours (literally) speaking to both Movistar and Virgin phone support and being fobbed off by both, being told it's the problem of the other company. I've come here in the hope that someone here can tell me whose fault it is and what I can do.
I have used my British Virgin PAYG phone in Spain for the last eight years without problems. I live in a Spanish village where the only mobile coverage is from Movistar. There has been no problem until now.
On 21 December, my phone is not connecting to Movistar via roaming. There's no problem with Movistar in the village as my Spanish mobile is working fine.
If I drive an hour away to next biggest city (Alcoy, province of Alicante), I can manually search for networks and get given the options of Movistar, Vodaphone, Yoigo and Orange. However, although I can then roam on Yoigo and Orange, if I manually choose Movistar or Vodaphone I get the message that the SIM card does not allow a connection.
No network access.
So, basically, my Virgin phone is working fine, as long as it is using Orange/Yoigo to roam onto. But in the village where I live, where Movistar is the only option, I can no longer connect after eight years of having no problems.
My son is over for Christmas, and is with the Orange network in the UK (recently joined up with EE). He has EXACTLY the same problem. So it is not limited to my phone or to Virgin, but probably to everyone who uses Virgin-Orange-EE in (at least) Eastern Spain, who is trying to connect to Movistar. People who are staying in areas with multiple mobile coverage probably will not see a problem, but if you are unlucky enough to live in a Movistar-only area, you have no coverage.
My son's 3G iPad is on O2 in England and is connecting via roaming to the Movistar network without problem.
With all this information, we rang Virgin yesterday, on hold for an hour as we were passed from department to department only be told that it must be a problem with Movistar's roaming switchboard and that I need to talk to someone technical at Movistar.
Today I have been calling Movistar for perhaps three hours, being fobbed off continually. The answer is almost always: our coverage is working, Virgin and Orange are clearly no longer allowing roaming onto our networks and we cannot help you.
Since the O2 iPad is working fine, I am tending to believe Movistar's explanation more than Virgin's.
Has Virgin recently, in the last week, stopped a roaming agreement with Movistar in parts of Spain??? Who do I talk to?
If this goes on any longer my only option is going to be to cancel my British Virgin mobile and buy a British O2 one, which still seems to work fine on Movistar´s roaming network. But after eight happy years with Virgin, I'm loathe to do that.
Any help very much appreciated. Since we have driven a good hour in various directions and been unable, on two different phones, with two different SIM cards, to connect to Movistar's network, makes it seem to me that I cannot be the only one affected, and surely all tourists to these parts must be affected also, assuming they are with Virgin-Orange-EE and in an area where Movistar is the only option.
Thank you. What I need to know is who do I complain to. As I keep being fobbed off left right and centre.
Robin White (from son Tristán White's account)
Answered! Go to Answer
on 29-12-2012 17:23
You should try a hard reset and a manual roam which you can google for your make of phone if this does not resolve the issue then it will be down to Movistar as they are the local carrier.
on 29-12-2012 17:51
To Hard Reset I'd have to do *#7370#, but this will remove all my numbers, photos, everything. And as I said, the problem happened simultaneously both on the Virgin Nokia 2220 slide, and on the Orange¡EE phone (which is an HTC Sensation).
Movistar are adamant that it is a problem with Virgin_Orange:etc no longer wishing to connect to the Movistar roaming network, and the fact that my British O2 iPad is connecting fine to Movistar somewhat adds weight to that idea.
on 29-12-2012 18:16
Try a manual roam instead then.
on 29-12-2012 18:26
I've tried all that. In this town where we live, Manual Roam only finds Movistar as I said in the original message. If we drive an hour away to the nearest big town (Alcoy) I can manually "find" Movistar, Vodaphone España, Orange España and Yoigo, but I can only roam onto Orange and Yoigo. If I attempt to manually connect to Movistar or Vodaphone I get the message that the SIM is not allowed to connect.
Here in the village where we live, I only have the option of Movistar and whether I try to automatically select a network or manually select, it makes no difference.
on 02-01-2013 13:52
Hi Robin White,
Thank you for your comprehensive and detailed post. If both yourself and someone on EE are getting the same issue but both of you are able to connect onto other networks when in the larger town, that would suggest a network issue of sorts.
Our network aren't aware of any issues with our agreement, but you can collect examples so this can be given to the network to investigate.
Please collect the following information and call our call centre on 789 (please don't disclose this information here) within 24 hours of each other so they can pass this directly onto the network:
- Virgin Phone number
- Post Code/Village
- Date and Time x 5 (must be 30 mins apart)
- Error message
- Phone number trying to ring after network failure
- Handset make and model
- 2G/3G phone/Network on at the time
on 03-01-2013 13:03
Hi Robin (via Tristan or possibly not now),
I was fascinated to read your post as I am having exactly the same problems in our village in Valencia (Vall de Ebo, about an hour inland from Javea, near Pego). The only difference is I am with Orange and the two networks available here in the village are Movistar and Vodafone Esp. I have been with Orange for 18 months (having switched from 3 because their connection problems were so dire) and have never had a problem during that time using my 'phone here. This visit, my husband who is still with 3, is connecting without any difficulty as are my friends on Vodafone but I can only get a signal when we drive down the mountain and come within range of Orange/Voigo. Orange say they cannot understand the problem and assure me there are no contractual problems between them and Movistar/Vodafone but the problem which we had last year with 3 was eventually admitted by them to be just such an issue. So I am sceptical.
Hope your problem is soon resolved if it hasn't been already. We're back here for three long spells during 2013 and am hoping I don't have similar problems then!
09-01-2013 17:59 - edited 09-01-2013 18:18
Hi Jan -- I know Vall de Ebo, lovely place and a great cave of course.
I'm back in the UK but my mother Robin is still unable to use her Virgin phone. I have gone into the sales office here in London as well as the Carphone Warehouse, but the staff are not very knowledgeable (understandably so, this is after all a technical matter).
So I have sent an email today to Graeme Oxby, who is the CEO of Virgin. At least he will now be aware that customers are having problems (I have explained that it's not just my mother up in the mountains, but effectively the whole of (at least) the Valencian area, possibly Spain, because if you try to manually connect to Virgin when you are in eg Valencia capital or Alicante capital, you still cannot do so. Though I'm going to leave it a while before I contact his again, as I don't want to hassle him unduly, it's hardly his fault. But he may be able to find out at least what the issue is.
The fact that users of "3" and "O2" can use their mobile phones without problem will mean that people such as yourself, who go to Spain regularly, will end up changing their network back in the UK also. So hopefully Virgin will take it relatively seriously.
on 09-01-2013 18:02
Hi Krystal, thanks for the reply.
I will try and get this information as soon as possible and send it on. I'm now back in the UK but my mother Robin should be able to do this.
on 09-01-2013 18:17
Just had a reply from Graeme Oxby.
Very efficient and courteous. He emailed me:
"Many thanks for letting me know about this. I will discuss with EE, who run our network and associated international relationships, to work out what is going on ."
So, someone's doing something.
My mobile, on Orange/EE, didn't work either so it does appear to be an EE/Movistar issue