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Thread: Straight Talk are -- unsurprisingly -- full of .... 😠

  1. #1
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    Straight Talk are -- unsurprisingly -- full of .... 😠

    Short version (...):

    A month ago, I buy a brand-new ST AT&T SIM, and activate it in an AT&T HTC One M9 as a brand-new line of service (new phone#). VoLTE worked out of the box.

    I tried this same SIM in other phones that weren't AT&T-branded, and managed to get the same SIM to do VoLTE on them, too. (Long story.) In short, the SIM was provisioned for VoLTE and worked just fine.

    As a test, I also bought a 2nd SIM at the same time (heck, they're only a buck a piece). After I saw that VoLTE was working on the first, I transferred the new line of service I just set up from the 1st SIM to the 2nd. VoLTE still worked on the 2nd SIM, *despite the fact that this SIM wasn't in an AT&T-supported phone during activation/transfer*.

    Fast-forward to last week: I buy a second brand-new ST AT&T SIM. This time, I move a very old ST line/number (which was also on AT&T) over to this SIM. Old SIM had no working VoLTE in any phone, but I didn't expect it to as it was many years old, and 9th and 10th digits of old SIM were 25, not 27 (as both of my recently-acquired SIMs are).

    Well, guess $%#*ing what: no VoLTE after transfer to the new SIM. And do you think anybody at ST can manage to tell me why, or what can be done about it? NOPE.

    I talked to 2 agents in the last 2 days via chat. The first did what sounded like a re-provision of some kind, then had me reboot my phone. After that didn't work, he said he was going to escalate to an engineer who was going to call me "within 15 minutes". LOL. The second told me that she could see my SIM is not "VoLTE-capable", and there was nothing that anybody on their side could do to change that. She offered me no suggestions about how to resolve the issue.

    Two theories:

    1) Dumba** that I am, I figured VoLTE-capable AT&T SIMs that are activated on TF these days just all get provisioned for it. And so this time around, I wasn't careful about which phone I stuck this new SIM in when I activated it, and it wasn't the AT&T-branded M9. I know AT&T has that IMEI scanner thingie they use on postpaid, but I ***-u-med this wasn't the case with MVNOs. I guess I assumed that because of the test I ran where I transferred a number that had working VoLTE from one SIM to another without losing VoLTE, despite the fact that the other SIM was not in an AT&T-whitelisted model.

    2) It wouldn't have mattered which phone I stuck it in, because however the ST AT&T MVNO system is rigged on the back-end, if you do a transfer from one ATT SIM to another, it copies the existing provisioning over whole-hog. In which case I'm probably screwed unless I either give up my existing number, or port it out of ST, and then port back in (...or not).

    Because I am a sadist apparently, I am going to order YET ANOTHER SIM, and try YET ANOTHER TRANSFER, but this time with the SIM in an AT&T-whitelisted phone model during activation. I have no faith that it will work. Surely, though, there are other ST users out there who have managed to get VoLTE working somehow on existing lines. What is the freaking magic incantation I need to say to the CS rep to get them to do the right thing??

    *grumbleGRIPEgrumble*

    -- Nathan
    Last edited by Serial Port; 08-26-2020 at 09:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    Before ordering a new SIM, decided to try a third chat, and just asked them if they wouldn't mind humoring me by doing a complete reprovision.

    They clearly did something, because my account details were looking pretty weird for a while. My phone briefly lost service, and the "nickname" for that line of service changed to what looks like a Straight Talk branded phone's IMEI. Furthermore, when my service was restored, I got a Google RCS "Messenger verification code" texted to me. Almost as if the rep temporarily hijacked my phone # to try using it on a different phone, and see if VoLTE worked on it?

    Don't know. All I know is that it didn't fix the issue. (Oh, and also my voicemail access # changed as well after all of this.)

    So, he said he would schedule a call for me "in 15 minutes". I didn't have faith I would actually get a call this time, but I did. Total time on the phone: 90 minutes. Total people talked to: 6. It was lunacy, getting transferred back and forth to different people (some of whom it was clear were not the original intended receipient of the transfer). One person wanted to try transferring my number from the current SIM to the SIM I had previously had VoLTE working on that I had let expire. I was pretty sure that wasn't going to work, since as far as I know, once an AT&T SIM has been assigned a phone #, it can't be changed or re-used. Sure enough, they couldn't make it work.

    In the end, the conclusion? My brand-new SIM card, with a ICCID that is not far off from the one I had that VoLTE worked perfectly on, is not "compatible" with VoLTE, and I need a new SIM.

    So rather than just sending me a new SIM for my troubles (and especially given that they only charge $0.99 for the thing), they transferred me to the sales department. I nearly hung up and just went to the web site to place the order, but I let them take my information and put the order through.

    I received an e-mail confirmation a few minutes later. They're sending me a T-Mobile SIM.

    ��*♂️

    I...why do I even bother?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanA View Post
    ...why do I even bother?
    I don't know why anyone here at Hofo bothers with TF. Except the literal 3-4 TF EXPERTS here at Hofo. It continually amazes me anyone but 3-4 inviduals here deal with ANY of the TF companies. Gobsmacked more like it.
    If my actions include deeds of philanthropy in charity and acts of loving kindness I am living in my Faith.

    Red Pocket (AT&T) UTT 5GB exp 09.27.20
    Liberty Wireless (T-Mobile) UTT 07.26.21
    T-Mobile Gold Rewards $10yr exp 01.11.21
    Truphone (AT&T) every 180 days by 02.06.21

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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    I don't know why anyone here at Hofo bothers with TF. Except the literal 3-4 TF EXPERTS here at Hofo. It continually amazes me anyone but 3-4 inviduals here deal with ANY of the TF companies. Gobsmacked more like it.
    TF companies have competitive pricing, and just about every prepaid service's customer service is outsourced. Some people also never call customer service. I may once or twice a year. All the while, Total Wireless serves my family's needs perfectly at a fair price.

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    Do you think the tracfone brands are worse than any other MVNO? Their not. I don't use them but have in the past. My Brother has used straight talk for 10 years. I have two niece's on Total. They have absolutely no issues. Their CS is poor but so are other MVNO's.


    Sent from my iPad using HoFo

  6. #6
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    Been with TF for about 15 years started with a c139
    Can't complain about the money I've saved.

  7. #7
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    Final (?) update:

    I went to my local Walmart, picked up a new BYOP activation kit (before my useless T-Mobile SIM had even arrived), moved my number over to yet another ATT SIM a *second* time, and THIS time it ACTUALLY WORKED.

    I now have both VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling on this new SIM.

    I can't say for sure what made the difference this time. By all appearances (the packaging, the SIM serial #, etc.), this second SIM was actually manufactured before the first one that didn't work. So if I had simply tried the transfer to another SIM a second time without having talked to a soul over at TF, would it have worked? Or did something that one of the CS reps do "prepare the way" for a second transfer attempt to actually work? If so, why is a new SIM actually required in the first place? Why can't they just fix whatever the problem is on the back-end?

    This time, I did make sure to have the SIM in a known-supported-by-ATT-for-VoLTE phone (iPhone 8) during activation. But after that, I moved the SIM into other phones, and both VoLTE and VoWiFi continued to work with the SIM outside of the phone I originally activated it in.

    I'll also note that the minor edits that the mods here made to my first post in this thread make it look worse now than it actually was originally...

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