My elderly father has received an unsolicited new SIM from VMob. As reported by numerous other Posts, inserting it in his (equally aged) Nokia 3410 results in the 'SIM not valid' message.
Before I try to convince him to buy a newer (non-smartphone) handset, I have a query about this new SIM... His current PAYG SIM actually lets HIM decide when to top up - be that monthly, every 3/6/12 months, i.e. when he has actually USED his credit! Will this new SIM operate in the same way or, as my experience tells me, will he have to top up monthly (despite it being described as a PAYG SIM) whether or not the credit is used???
Second question - Unfortunately, just before receiving this new SIM he inexplicably topped up the old phone with quite a large amount. If we manage to get a phone that does work with the new SIM, will he be able to transfer the credit? The letter that came with the new SIM says his number won't change so maybe this won't be an issue, but I'm not convinced! TIA.
I spent a lot of time researching this (as I have a Nokia) and the problem is that most of the old Nokia phones have a software lock (meaning the software in the phone's processor chip) and this cannot be unlocked using a remote unlocking code. The only way to unlock affected Nokias is by downloading new software into the processor - basically reprogramming the phone. It means the new SIMs aren't compatible with the network locking method used by these older Nokias. Unfortunately if you have an affected Nokia, you won't be able to unlock it by typing a code into the handset.
This isn't a problem with Virgin's SIM set up, it is how Nokia set up their phones to hard-lock them to a network (VM used to use the EE network so that is what the phones got locked to). There is software out there on the internet, but it means connecting the phone (by cable) to a computer so you can download new processor software into it (there's also no guarantee it will work properly).
After holding for an hour, the Advisor who eventually answered kept asking for various characters from my Father's password. The only password he has ever knowingly had was for his VirginMedia (TV/broadband) account, which apparently didn't match the password for Virgin Mobile - I'm not sure if he has ever spoken to anyone about his Virgin Mobile PAYG account before.
After getting absolutely nowhere for over an hour trying to find out the remaining credit on his mobile, the battery died! He will just have to use the 'new' SIM until his credit runs out, or expires - then I advised him to pick up a new SIM from a different network operator...!
As far as calls and texts go, the new SIM is working in the replacement handset I gave my Father. The only issue is, when calling '789' from the handset the message says (something like) "the balance is not available, please try later...".
As we know there was over £30 credit when the SIM was switched, I advised my Father to keep using it until either he gets a message telling him his credit is low or until the phone stops working, then to pick up a replacement SIM. As he uses the phone very little, this could be some time!
The only time he received an error message was when putting the new SIM in his old phone (see earlier Posts) which is why we tried a different handset...