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AndyT8
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New purple SIM not working properly in my old phones. Their forced Sim Swap program.

I have just been selected for the Virgin Sim Swap and it is causing me grief.

I followed all the instructions on the letter.  Using my old Samsung M110 simple old phone and all works EXCEPT the new SIM does not put its correct voicemail service centre number into the phone settings. The Samsung does not allow me to edit the voicemail number - not allowed.  So when I get a voicemail message alert and accept it the phone dials the wrong number and it wont work. 

The same happens if I press the "1" key - it fails.   I have waited 24hrs for the system to update as told by their helpline staff.  Still the same.

Even worse if I put the new SIM into an older Nokia 3330 phone it will not even make a phone call. 

However, simply swap out this new purple SIM for an old red one (not yet updated of course) and both phones work perfectly. Yes PERFECTLY..  So it is this updated SIM that is causing me all the grief.  I have also tried SIMs from O2 and Vodafone and they both work in my old phones no trouble.

So why have Virgin Mobile gone issuing an incompatible sim without testing on older phones or informing us that we will have to move network or get a new phone..

The other networks have not had to do this - just Virgin.  I chose to test Vodafone out as that is the network Virgin have announced they are moving to and the reason the new sims were issued. Vodafone's sims work fine..  

Over an hour on their help line and no fix.  Appalling.

 

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AndyT8
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Re: Help been sent incompatible new sim card

I have experienced EXACTLY the same problem.  Virgin Mobile is sending out the new PURPLE sims as part of their massive sim swap in preparation for a move to a new network and they are NOT COMPATIBLE WITH OLD PHONES.

I have spent over an hour talking to three of their customer service representative (as they call them) and they could not fix it and told me to wait 24hrs for the network to "FULLY UPDATE ITSELF". Or words to that effect.

The new sim works mostly okay in my old SAMSUNG M110 phone (old 2007 vintage phone) but it does not set up the voicemail service number into the phone - so answering the voicemail alert does not work and neither does the long press on the "1" key.  In fact it dials the original default voicemail number the phone was made with.  All other modern sims (I have just tried a new 2020 Vodafone sim) work with it just fine.

Even worse was when I came to try out a Nokia 3330 phone with this new purple sim.  It starts up and recognises it has a sim in it (otherwise it tells you to insert one) but it does not connect to the mobile network (not authorised I would assume) so you can't make any calls (excepting emergency of course). Put back an earlier Virgin sim (that has not yet been upgraded as they call it) and the phone works fine, makes calls, connects to the voicemail etc etc,

So I feel your pain with the problems Virgin Mobile are causing you and your father.  Personally I very much doubt you will ever get anyone at Virgin Media to even understand the problem let alone fix it (my 1.5hrs on the phone already).  They won't bother about people with old phones - they just want to sell new ones to everyone.

A solution open to you, and me is of course, is to change network and port your number over to the new one with a PAC authorisation.  That way your father can keep the phone and the number he is used to.   If you have good network coverage then just compare the tariffs before choosing, then get a payg sim and try the new network out for real at your fathers with his phone, then port the number over if you  are happy.  I have some very recent O2, Vodafone, Tesco, and Asda sims that all work in my old Nokia 3330 phone and the M110 no trouble.  Asda runs over the same EE network as Virgin use so coverage the same . The 3 network may not won't work with an old Nokia as it needs at least a 3G phone. Google for Kens Tech Tips for lots of helpful and well explained info on mobile phone networks.

Hope this gives you some ideas to help your father. I am back onto customer services once more to see if I can get the problem escalated to someone who understands the technical background to why their new sims can't work with all old phones.

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Martin_N
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Re: Help been sent incompatible new sim card

Hi AndyT8,

 

Thank you for your post. I'm sorry to hear about what has happened with the SIM card. 

 

When did you receive the new SIM card? And when was the new SIM card activated?

 

Have you been able to try the SIM in another handset at all?

 

^Martin

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AndyT8
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Re: Help been sent incompatible new sim card

In answer to Martin. 

Received Sat 7th March. Activated 14:57 same day. Tried new sim in other handsets and works in some and not in others.  Seems Virgin are issuing new SIMS that DONT WORK in old handsets and they did not tell us that BEFORE asking us to put the new sim in to activate it which OF COURSE DEACTIVATES THE OLD SIM AND NO ONE SEEMS TO BE ABLE TO RE-ACTIVATE THE OLD SIM TO KEEP ME CONNECTED if only till I can get a net network that works with old phones.

Disgusting service destroying the old working sim before the new one works.

AndyT8
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Message 5 of 13
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Re: Help been sent incompatible new sim card

Martin,

Far Far Worse was to come.  Some time after reading and replying to your post I went to my phone.  It was showing "Emergency Calls Only" message which at first did not worry me too much as I am used to seeing that in our rural area.  However, moving to the window and even switching off and on again the phone would find a network signal okay but not register on Virgin Mobile anymore.  Again moved sim to yet another phone and same happened.

So after borrowing another Virgin Mobile phone from my misses I was back on to the help centre to report that the 24hr wait for a fix has turned into a 24hr wait for an update that bricked my new SIM.  Plus of course the old sim that was working perfectly had been disabled by Virgin as my new one had managed to register yesterday.

I explained that I now had effectively lost all communication via my mobile number as I could not make any outgoing calls and my incoming calls were going straight to voicemail (as if the phone was switched off). We went once more through the now familiar rounds of questions and simple fixes until Angel (as she was called) agreed the sim was bricked.  I complained heartily that due to this "sim upgrade" forced upon me by Virgin not being compatible with old models of mobile phone I was going to miss all the people that called me next week until yet another replacement sim arrived and hopefully worked better. Would they please at least forward my calls to another Virgin mobile number rather than my answerphone.  Was told that could not be done. Nothing could be done but wait till the new one arrives in the post.  Then the battery on my borrowed phone went dead.

I waited for a bit of charge to get back in  and phoned back again.  Explained it all again with today's recent update.  Much to my surprise and further annoyance I was told by a most helpful customer support agent called Vee that now that the previous agent has put in request for a replacement sim when she went to alter the call forwarding to voicemail settings she was blocked from doing so.  So now they tell me that my "lost" number could have been forwarded to my PAYG virgin phone that I keep in the car BUT ONLY if it was done before a replacement sim was requested.  What a stupid system - it's probably just a database flag that now stops them altering the voicemail forwarding to something sensible so that I can still receive my calls next week. PLUS it could have apparently been done earlier if the previous agent had tried before she requested a new sim.

It got escalated up to a supervisor who also did not have permissions to alter the voicemail forwarding.  I can see no reason why having passed security checking many times and they could see my other phone on my account they should not be able to forward calls on to it - especially as its all their doing that my phone account is unavailable due to a bricked sim.

It was very very lucky that on first setting up my new sims voicemail on Saturday (as the accompanying letter told me to) I just happened to set a PIN for remote access - something I don't think I have ever ever used as I keep my mobile on my belt and if there is no signal, I just move to somewhere where there is a signal.   

Vee helpfully agreed to putting some credit on my PAYG so I could at least change my voicemail message (remotely you see) to tell people of the mess up Virgin has made with my account and sim and offer an alternative number to call.

So colleagues and friends will have to ring, listen, remember my new number, ring again to get me.  Well it will stop cold callers I suppose !!!!

Just hope the Royal Mail deliver my sim early.  I now see how important it is to read the reviews of customer service and not just the cost per month before choosing a provider. I also question why as a network operator Virgin can't simply re-enable my previous happily working sim.  Can't they put it on "standby" during a sim upgrade rather then bricking under the assumption that the upgrade will go without a hitch ??

Questions questions - now awaiting answers.  Oh yes they promise to ring me tomorrow (Monday) morning between 11 - 12 with some answers hopefully.

 

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enlli
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Message 6 of 13
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Re: Help been sent incompatible new sim card

Virgin is a bit unique in the UK being what's called a "Thick MNVO". Without going into technical details this entails their SIM cards being programmed in a slightly different way.

There is no way they could check compatibility with every phone on the market, particularly those that are 10 years plus old.

Your choices are either update your phone or change networks.

If you think this is bad wait till all those with 3G phones find they don't work in a couple of years when 3G is turned off.

 

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AndyT8
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Re: Help been sent incompatible new sim card

Thanks for explaining about the "Thick MNVO" status of Virgin. I did read something about Virgin starting to use their own back haul network or similar and just EE for the masts and radio part. I believe they intend to move from EE and go to Vodafone in 2021 - so all part of a big change.

I agree the phone is old - but Virgin are the first to give trouble. For instance as part of my testing I tried out PAYG sims from the four main players and they all worked just fine. I also dug out a couple of old Nokia phones Original 3330 and 6210 and they behave even worse and they were a most popular phone so if Virgin did care about there long time customers they could have tested some of the most popular old phones and at least given us a "heads up" about the problems rather than let us just jump into the deep end and loose our mobile.

Yes I am planning on moving networks - as EE coverage indoors at my home is now way below O2 or Vodafone. Yes 3 is not good either. Plus I could get a sure signal for Vodafone (yes 3G I know).

Thanks for taking time to reply.
Hmmm "THICK MNVO" has another meaning for me !! 🙂
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MontyShaft
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Message 8 of 13
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Re: New purple SIM not working properly in my old phones. Their forced Sim Swap program.

I have an old (about 15 years) Nokia and have been sent a new purple SIM as part of the forced swap program, but when I put it in, all I get is a message saying 'SIM not valid'. Does this mean there's something wrong with the SIM? Or does it mean that the new SIMs are incompatible with my phone?

AndyT8
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Re: New purple SIM not working properly in my old phones. Their forced Sim Swap program.

Monty

I think they are incompatible. You will find that getting another replacement purple sim won't improve matters as they don't work properly with phones older than about 10yrs. The older the phone the more problems.   In fact II have tried both a Nokia 6210 and a Nokia 3330 and they both fail to work.  (Before you ask yes I have some even older Orange and One2One branded PCN phones that take the original full size credit card size sim card which you would put in and out of the phone via a slot in the end of a phone. One2One used to market the idea of your friends sharing your expensive mobile phone but getting their own sim so they paid for their own equally expensive calls).

So I think it is time to port your number to another network if you want to keep using your old phone.  My Motorola M110 phones work 90% with the purple sim but occasionally hang up with "Refreshing SIM" message in the display. Either takes ages for this to go away or power off and on again.  Also the phone does not pick up the voicemail number from the sim so if you were lucky you can input it manually but in the M110 case it wont allow that so I have to set the voicemail into another speed dial key setting for ease of use.

So its either new network or new phone.  If you are looking for PAYG sims and your phone is unlocked then you can still get some 3p 2p 1p sims on flea bay even though the major network stopped selling these direct a few months back.  My old Nokia's work fine with the O 2 version as a spare emergency phone I keep in the car's glove compartment. 

 

enlli
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Message 10 of 13
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Re: New purple SIM not working properly in my old phones. Their forced Sim Swap program.

The problem is not old phones in general it is the fact that those bought a number of years ago came network locked and require unlocking .

I have just put a Sim in an unlocked 17 year old Nokia and it works perfectly 

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