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mwaqas
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Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

Hi,


I received the following email: "We recently tried to update your network services so you can use your mobile while travelling outside of the UK, but unfortunately it didn’t work. This might be because your phone was switched off when we sent the update to your SIM.

We’ve tried sending you a text so you can order a new SIM, but we haven’t had a reply. So you know, if you plan to travel abroad without an updated SIM, your roaming services will no longer work from 1st October 2021."

I am currently abroad and will be for the foreseeable future. I really need roaming to work as I have 2 factor authentication on multiple accounts linked to my number.  I cannot get a new SIM and activate it in UK.  Can you please try sending the settings again as it's possible I was using a local SIM at the time you sent the settings.  If not, please suggest an alternative option/solution.

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DJ_Shadow1966
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Message 2 of 28
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Re: Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

Hello

The problem you are having is because you are outside of the UK the update will only work when connected to the home network I am afraid.

Regards Mike

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Robert_P
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Message 3 of 28
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Re: Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

Hello mwaqas

 

Thanks for taking the time to raise your query regarding the email received in regards to your mobile services, roaming and requiring a new SIM card, we appreciate the confusion this can cause and appreciate you letting us know. Welcome to the community.

 

As DJ_Shadow1966 has advised we have been in the process of sending updates to our customers SIM's in relation to roaming, this has been an on going process which started a few months ago. This was a phased roll out so if you were in the UK during this time it may not be that the update was sent until later on.

 

As has also already been explained, we aren't able to send the update to SIM's outside of the UK, which appears to be what has caused the issue in the first place. The only option we have is to send a new SIM to a UK address and then it be forwarded to yourself. The problem with this is activation of the SIM as it needs to be in the UK which would mean your current SIM would be deactivated meaning you wouldn't be able to use it until the new SIM arrived.

 

Rob

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mwaqas
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Message 4 of 28
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Re: Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

Hi,


Firstly, thank you both for the prompt reply and trying to resolve this situation.  Unfortunately I am working abroad and my family is here with me so the option of having it activated and sent is not a viable one for me. What else can be done?  It is very unfortunate that this is being done at such a time where people will suffer due to no fault of their own.  Can this deadline not be extended? 

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Robert_P
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Message 5 of 28
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Re: Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

I understand your frustration mwaqas, as advised, this has been rolled out for a couple of months now and in the main has been a success. Unfortunately due to your circumstances and being outside of the UK for work this has caused problems.

 

Due to the nature and reason for the update, we aren't able to extend the deadline I'm afraid. Is there any relatives that live in the UK we could send the SIM to who could then forward it on to yourself?

 

Rob

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iancohen
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Message 6 of 28
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Re: Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

I have to say that this is extremely frustrating.
I am in exactly the same situation.

You have given us only 6 weeks to solve a complex problem - made even more complex by Covid and travel restrictions.

Just a couple of years ago, I switched my sims, but did so by making sure that I was in the UK within 30 days of you posting them to me.
I cannot do that this time. It's impossible!

The solution is very insecure and complicated. The sims need to be posted to my UK address.
Someone has to activate them ( not easy for my 77 year old father ) - after you guys activate them from your end manually ( not easy either).
The reason is that the old sims are not in England to automate the switch.

Once activated - the new sims need to be posted abroad - which in itself feels very insecure to me,
These days - so many banking activities, and other financial type logins are connected to codes sent to your phone.
I am very concerned that an activated sim could fall into the wrong hands.

There just has to be a better way to do this?

Much more complicated phone updates can be achieved by connecting one's phone to the computer for example.
Alternatively - you should extend the date, and look for ways of posting the sims directly abroad, with a method to activate either online, through a computer connection or via a local phone connection.

I am sure this will effect thousands of expats.
There have to be workarounds! 

You cannot ask people to send activated sims around the world in the mail!

Many thanks
Ian Cohen




 

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Serena_C
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Message 7 of 28
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Re: Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

Hi @iancohen

 

Welcome to our Community Help Forum.

 

Thank you for your post regarding the issue you are experiencing with the update not working on your SIM. I'm really sorry for any frustration caused by this.

 

As advised by @DJ_Shadow1966, unfortunately the update will only work when you are in the UK connected to the home network.

 

Thank you for your feedback and concerns regarding this process, I understand it may not be ideal for you to have your father activate the SIM. To activate the new SIM that will be sent, your father can follow the steps outlined here.

 

Regarding your security concerns, I would recommend posting the SIM via tracked Royal Mail Special Delivery as this is a fully tracked, secure service.

 

Unfortunately we are unable to extend the date or post SIMs abroad. Apologies for the inconvenience,

Serena

 

enlli
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Message 8 of 28
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Re: Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

As this requires a reprogramming of the SIM it can't be done as you suggest. Apart from some SIM memory put aside for a limited number of contacts and text messages the phone sees everything else as Read Only. This is done for a variety of reasons, security being just one. 

However, SIM cards can be reprogramed Over The Air, but again only when it is connected and authenticated on the home network.

This is not just a Virgin thing but part of the GSM standards to which all networks adhere.

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iancohen
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Message 9 of 28
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Re: Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

Thank you for your reply, and technical explanation.
However, in my opinion, there simply has to be a better solution for people living abroad, For example, Virgin Mobile could give the option of allowing them to activate the sim , installing it in a phone and connecting it to their network - and then they could post it abroad - even by registered mail. I would happily pay for this service!
There must be so many people frustrated with this change, especially when international travel back to the UK is so difficult, and also given that sims were switched around 2 years ago.

I would recommend that people currently living abroad be given an extension, and an option to pay for the solution above. The sim would arrive totally activated by registered mail.

Thanks for listening!
Ian

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Salty1
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Message 10 of 28
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Re: Roaming New SIM - Unable due to travel restrictions and work commitments

Totally unacceptable situation.  There must be thousands of Virgin customers in this self same situation as I am.  Not being able to receive texts and calls and the inability to use mobile data for banking apps, etc. will create serious problems as the OP had stated, especially with double authentication which require recieving security texts. 

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