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Thread: iPhone 4S activation issues on Virgin Mobile USA

  1. #1
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    iPhone 4S activation issues on Virgin Mobile USA

    My new iPhone 4S won't activate! I'm posting this in hopes that someone else has experienced this issue and gotten it resolved. (Long time lurker, first time poster, yada yada.)

    A handful of folks posting on the Virgin Mobile Facebook page are having the same issue. Some have been able to fix it by restarting their phone repeatedly, so that's what I've been doing all morning at work. And all evening at home last night. It's not pleasant.

    Anyone else in the same boat?

    My experience from the beginning:

    FedEx delivered the package, and inside the box was a "Read this to ensure an easy activation experience!" flyer with three steps: 1. Go online and click Activate. 2. Enter your IMEI/MEID. 3. This one is important, so here's a direct quote: "At the end of the online process, we'll provide instructions for programming your number into your new phone. Follow the programming steps closely - This is how your Virgin Mobile phone gets connected to our network."

    Sounds great, right? Except I repeatedly experienced errors while trying to activate online. Each time I tried, Virgin Mobile sent me the following email: "Oops! Looks like something went wrong when you were trying to swap Virgin Mobile phones. Sorry about that. Please give us a call at 1-888-322-1122 and ask for a Live Advisor. We’ll work it out."

    Great! Except it turned into a 42 minute phone call with customer service, and by the end, my phone was still not activated. I have two little bars of coverage and I get an error message saying "iPhone is not Activated: Contact your carrier if this problem continues to occur" with options to Try Again or Dismiss. If I hit Try Again, the message disappears and pops back up again 2 minutes later...without a Try Again option.

    At no point did the customer service rep reference programming my number into my new phone, and when I specifically asked about that step, he was unfamiliar with what I was talking about. My phone currently lists my phone number as Unknown, though it does recognize that VM is the carrier. In the end, he told me to turn the phone off for 30 minutes and then turn it back on - And of course, should it not work, I should call back.

    It didn't work. I called back and spent another hour trying every troubleshooting tactic they threw at me. All three representatives I spoke with said that I was their first iPhone caller... Doesn't inspire confidence. Not that it matters, but I worked in Customer Service for three years, so I'm always sweet as pie, never openly frustrated. I really want to give them the opportunity to make it right, y'know? And they were all nice, but they have no idea how to fix it. AND they repeatedly tried to upsell me on AppleCare for a phone that's not even in service! This is my unimpressed face.

    I've heard good things about the SaveMe/VirginMobileAngels team, so I emailed them and received a response to a post I made on their facebook page - But the response was basically "Are you still having this issue? Yes/No. If Yes, email us again and we'll get back to you." Haven't received an email or call yet, though I admit it's early, but I imagine if they had advice on how to resolve the issue, they'd just post it for all to see.

    So, yeah, that's my story. For those of you who think the iPhone on VM is a mistake, sorry for cluttering up your forum, but I'd really like to be able to use my new gadget. Grr.

  2. #2
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    I don't have the iphone on VM, but hang in there, VM usually botches up activations for new phones during release dates. Plus, they can't tell you to pull out the battery and wait 30 minutes now :-p.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, this is what I get for being an early adopter.

    I checked out the people tweeting VMUcare and one of them was like "You know you're in trouble when the Virgin Mobile customer service rep asks you to pull the battery out of your iPhone." Ruh-roh.

  4. #4
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    Wirelessly posted (lg optimus v,huawei m835: Opera/9.80 (Android; Opera Mini/7.0.29952/28.1914; U; en) Presto/2.8.119 Version/11.10)

    wow you guy have bad luck.we activate virgin/boost/sprint every day in the Philadelphia market and activations are almost instant.data always on instantly. i suggest you look into another carrier if your always having problems. i wouldn't waste my money on a service that didn't work in my city no matter how cheap it is.

  5. #5
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    I think it's the launch specifically that's the issue. Doing activations after a phone model has been on the VM service for a while is a different ballgame than Day 1 of the offering.

    Personally, I've been on Virgin Mobile for over a year, using the Optimus V and Optimus Slider - Both activated instantly, and I've never had signal strength/speed/service complaints with either of those devices, so I'm confident that my iPhone will work fine once it's properly activated.

  6. #6
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    we had a line in front on my store for the evo v release. we activated 14 evo v 4gs and every activation went perfect.thats was a 2 day old phone.if you don't like virgin then why stay?

  7. #7
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    I would add the iPhone to your account online, then back up your iPhone through iTunes, and then reset your iPhone completely to try the activation process again. iPhones aren't usually able to be manually programmed, and the only way I've been able to get one working completely(once the initial activation process is complete) is to reset it completely and try it again.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
    -takehull

  8. #8
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    I too had a problem activating my iPhone yesterday after creating my account. It wouldn't activate The way I resolved it was by doing a full reset under settings.

  9. #9
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    I've reset the poor thing multiple times yesterday afternoon, last night, and this morning, but I guess doing it again can't hurt. I'll try a few more times and report back if it does fix it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rizzrove View Post
    I've reset the poor thing multiple times yesterday afternoon, last night, and this morning, but I guess doing it again can't hurt. I'll try a few more times and report back if it does fix it.
    If you already reset the device multiple times I would just go ahead and contact VM and ask for an exchange. I reseted that 1 time and that was that. Good luck hopefully you'll get to enjoy your iPhone soon.

  11. #11
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    Resetting it again (and power-cycling it post-reset) didn't do the trick. I'm still waiting to hear back from the VM Angels. If it doesn't get resolved by tonight, I'm asking for an RMA and hitting up my local Radioshack. Not gonna leave 'til they get it activated there, either. ...assuming they have any in stock.

  12. #12
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    sorry to tell you but it can take up to 36 hours for your phone to completely work

  13. #13
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    Fixed!

    After not hearing back from the angels, I ended up calling customer service again (third call in two days) and spent an hour on the phone with a nice young lady who had me repeat all the steps we'd already tried.

    I finally got transferred to Jesus in technical support, and after repeating the steps again (which took another 30 minutes), Jesus asked me to shut off the phone while he made an adjustment to my account settings on his end. His explanation was that my account wasn't set up to use the right network. Once he made that change, I turned my phone on and it worked perfectly. Only took 3 hours of my time talking to tech support.

    So...if anyone finds this thread in the future... call VM, ask for technical support (not customer service), and ask them to check that your account is provisioned to use the correct network.

    I sent the angels a request for a credit in consideration of the 3+ hours I spent on the phone with them and the 24 hours I spent without a working cell phone. I hope they come through for me on that much.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rizzrove View Post
    After not hearing back from the angels, I ended up calling customer service again (third call in two days) and spent an hour on the phone with a nice young lady who had me repeat all the steps we'd already tried.

    I finally got transferred to Jesus in technical support, and after repeating the steps again (which took another 30 minutes), Jesus asked me to shut off the phone while he made an adjustment to my account settings on his end. His explanation was that my account wasn't set up to use the right network. Once he made that change, I turned my phone on and it worked perfectly. Only took 3 hours of my time talking to tech support.

    So...if anyone finds this thread in the future... call VM, ask for technical support (not customer service), and ask them to check that your account is provisioned to use the correct network.

    I sent the angels a request for a credit in consideration of the 3+ hours I spent on the phone with them and the 24 hours I spent without a working cell phone. I hope they come through for me on that much.
    Im glad it all worked out for you. It's good to know I'm not the only iPhone user on VM. Lol

  15. #15
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    Virgin Mobile iPhone activation is a joke!

    I have had the same issues! I purchased my phone at Radio Shack. They thought they activated it because Virgin Mobile assured them that it would "reboot" in 30 minutes. Well...about 12 days later, 3 Radio Shack stores, countless hours (around 26) to the morons at Virgin Mobile, and Radio Shack opening 3 different iPhones for me, I found my savior! He worked at one of the Radio Shacks. He figured out a way to download all the missing activation data from the proceedure that is "supposed to work" into the phone. I know he used a Mac, but I am not exactly sure what he did to make it work.

    The worst part of the story is that my daughter dropped the phone in water and it needed to be replaced. Thank God for the ApplePlus program. Now we have another phone that will not activate.

    We are on day 3 of Virgin Mobile assuring me that the phone will work if I turn it off and turn it on and push##837283#. Let me tell you, that doesn't work!! Now Virgin has locked my phone for 24 hours as a theft deterent. I guess if you try to reset the phone more than 3 times in a day, it locks. What the heck? They are the ones messing it up!

    I don't know if this is any help, but I did complain very loudly to a supervisor at Virgin Mobile. Basically told them that they were idiots for rolling our a phone that they did not know how to activate and that they needed to go back and get training so they could tell their a__ from a hole in the ground.

    It is ridiculous that you pay $649 for a phone that you cannot use! I can feel you pain! Good Luck to you! Maybe you can find someone at a Radio Shack that can help you! Virgin Mobile will never be able to do so!

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