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Frustration as Virgin Media UK Issue Invalid Mobile SIMs Again

Friday, September 4th, 2020 (8:43 am) - Score 28,227

Some of broadband ISP Virgin Media’s UK mobile customers are complaining after they were suddenly issued with a replacement SIM card that doesn’t work in their handsets, instead resulting in a “SIM not valid” message on the screen. The problem is mostly affecting those with older phones, many of which are elderly users.

Funnily enough it’s now been almost exactly a year since Virgin Media last got into trouble with customers for issuing a batch of faulty SIM cards (here), although the situation this time is a bit different but they’re both connected to the operator’s long-running SIM swap programme.

NOTE: Currently Virgin Mobile has a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement to use EE (BT) and, prior to the recent O2 deal, they were due to switch to Vodafone at the end of 2021 (here).

The latest situation appears to have started gradually a few weeks ago and is now becoming much more noticeable as the volume of complaints rise. All of those affected recently received a replacement SIM (this was not requested by all customers, while others got it after an upgrade) and promptly attempted to install it into their existing handsets, which previously worked fine on Virgin Media’s mobile service.

At this point the dreaded “SIM not valid” message pops-up, while those who then attempt to seek support are often struggling to get a response (partly due to the impact from COVID-19). One notable commonality between most, but not all, of these complaints is that the customers are often from the older generation, or more vulnerable users, and thus tend to have older handsets that they may have used for several years.

Various complaints can be found littered across social media about this issue, as well as via Virgin’s own Community Forum (recent examples here, here and here). Some of Virgin’s letters also included an 8 digit unlocking code for the handset in case that was required, but for many people it doesn’t seem to work.

Sample Complaint 1 (Carole)

“I have no idea why I was issued with a new sim. If you go on the website it appears that many people, if not all customers/subscribers were. My handset is a very old one but I was given no warning of the problems I would have (Samsung GT S3100). My phone is now permanently ‘locked’ and I have lost all contact details.

It appears to me and other customers that it is old phones (and so older people) that have the worst problems. I have been given (if it ever arrives) a new free very cheap phone, but as I say have lost all my contacts. While this has been going on I have been unable to receive calls or make them. Not being able to receive calls is a big issue. I am 74 and have various hospital appointments and am concerned I am missing important messages.

Also to do this during this pandemic, knowing, as I believe Virgin did, it would cause big problems is … beyond words.”

Sample Complaint 1 (CRBrett)

“I see from these boards that many customers are being left stranded by Virgin. My parents, both in their eighties, have a basic Nokia mobile phone that fulfils their needs. They have just been told to install a new SIM card which, when it arrived, only produces a “SIM not valid” message on the screen. They have tried several times to speak to a human being to find out how to solve this problem, but have not succeeded in getting through. The help on the Virgin web pages gives no help, and the chat function is non-existent (I can’t find it if it does still exist). They have taken a bus into the local city where two Virgin shops are advertised, but both these have closed.”

Sample Complaint 1 (ter75)

“I have received a new sim for my old nokia model 1100 for a stated upgraded service This sim when installed gives the message ‘sim not valid’ . The help page says device not recognised. The old sim has been replaced in the phone where it works perfectly. What needs to be done to get the new sim working before Virgin disconnect the old sim as they have threatened.”

We raised this issue with Virgin Media and were informed that, prior to beginning their SIM swap programme, they had conducted several checks to help mitigate problems but may have been unable to determine whether or not some older handsets would actually be compatible (e.g. if the phone didn’t originally come directly from Virgin and the device is more than 10 years old).

In order to get around such problems the operator is offering a replacement handset (i.e. the closest equivalent to their existing device). Virgin Media also pointed out that they’ve been writing to inform their mobile customers about the new SIMs since the end of 2017 and expect to reach the end of that programme this year.

A Virgin Media Spokesperson said:

“As part of our journey to become a full MVNO we’re asking some of our customers to swap their SIM card. This update will enable them to access emerging features and technologies as we transition networks and will ensure they can continue to get the most from their mobile services. As always, our priority is to provide our customers with the best service possible.”

Suffice to say it’ll be interesting to see how they transition now that the operator has reached a multi-billion pound agreement to merge with mobile operator O2 (here), which should eventually enable them to become a full (instead of virtual) network operator. Historically major platform migrations between different networks have been fraught with difficulties (just ask TalkTalk).

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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75 Responses
  1. David says:

    I had the ultimate bundle when it first came out. I ran my year and moved to FTTP. My sim is still going to this day and despite 4 times me asking them to cut it off its still running. It’s a real shame they are going to o2 as at home it’s junk. So when they leave EE I will just go to EE instead.

    1. David says:

      I also had an invalid sim when I first started. They don’t have a clue sometimes

  2. AndyC says:

    Are these sims still made “inhouse” like the purple sims they sent out when 4g started?

    I went through 6 sims in the end till they got me one that didnt think i was “roaming” in the uk.

  3. Michael V says:

    I understand that a lot of users would like to keep their phone for as long as one can. But if I was in that position, I wouldn’t be surprised if I had issues with a phone as old as 10 years, or even 6.
    At least the Operator is assisting them in upgrading.
    As with Three, O2, Voda, EE… Most phones need to be bought directly from them in order for it to support all their networks – e.g. 4G voice/VoLTE, VoWiFi. + other features.
    Unfortunately the Operators don’t communicate this fully to the customers.
    Seems Virgin did a bad job at letting everyone know. But then how many people really read emails or letters from their Network Operator.

    1. Barbara J McCabe says:

      My husbands phone is a brand new doro yes its basic but it is new..and the new sim still does n’t work.

  4. CJ says:

    Presumably this is the same problem as before, the phones are locked to T-Mobile/EE and work with the old Virgin sims which were coded with that network but those can’t be switched to a different network. The new sims have a Virgin network code which won’t work in phones that are locked to T-Mobile/EE.

    If Virgin originally provided the locked phone they really should be able to unlock it, but this is a problem for older customers using an EE-locked phone given to them by a family member. Virgin may not be able to generate a valid unlock code for a phone they didn’t lock in the first place.

    For the phone that is ‘locked’ it’s probably worth trying a 99p EE pay as you go sim, which may get past the network lock.

    As for contacts, if they were stored on the old sim not the phone it should be technically possible to transfer them to a new phone but many people won’t know how to do that and it doesn’t sound like Virgin are doing enough to help.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      I suspect you’re correct on this one.

    2. Stephen Wakeman says:

      What a good case against handset locking this is then. A standard industry practice for decades which is almost entirely unnecessary and highly anti consumer.

      And when it causes problems I’m not sure I or any customer should be sympathetic with the operator because they never had to lock the handsets. But they did and now there are problems.

      So it’s the least they ought to be doing to sort it out for customers with older devices who have remained their customers, seemingly for the entire period of time.

    3. Tom says:

      If you give virgin mobile a call all they need to do is trigger a network switch going from EE hosted to VM hosted if you have received the SIM card and it does not work

  5. David Chambers says:

    The main problem is these phones are network locked to what became EE. The new cards report a different network, hence the problem. Giving people unlocking codes is one thing but there is then the question of how they should be entered and there is no help there.
    I frequent the forum and I can say 15 to 20 year old phones is common.
    Virgin originally planned to dump PAYG but relented. Bet they regret that decision!

  6. Sandra Williams says:

    It’s really difficult now as there is no one to speak to and get help with Virgin as they are not opening any of their shop’s anymore. I used to go in if I had a problem and they were very helpful but now it is a big headache.

    1. MRS SARAH R L BOLTON says:

      I have a nokia text and ring 1616 phoen but Virgin have sent a replacement sim an d it doesn’t work in my 1616.They said I have to have the sim or I will get cut off an d blocked tomorrow.They sent the sim weeks ago.I trie d it today and it wont work with the new virgin sim they sent me .It says insert sim even tho I have.They want to send me a nokia 105 but I like my nokia 1616.What can I do pls as they will block my old sim tomorrow even tho it works fine.Thanks

  7. James Lafferty says:

    Thought Virgin were leaving EE and going to use Vodafone 02 network in my area isn’t very good

    1. CJ says:

      They planned to switch to Vodafone from late 2021, but that may change if the merger with O2 UK goes ahead. It probably depends how much compensation they’d have to pay Vodafone to break the contract.

  8. Jack says:

    The mention of Virgin Mobile makes me repulsed. Use to be with them since 2002 when they actually had innovation in the market since 2013 its gone downhill so I left in 2016, what a faff! The people who work for them are awful. Rubbish data cost then they brought out them market busting packages a few years ago bit there are so many restrictions to stop you getting what you pay for. Im now with Smarty and I admit there signal is terrible and voice quality could be better but the amount im getting now is more than enough.

  9. MIA Jones says:

    I managed to get through to customer services after much difficulty only for them to hang up when I told them the problem. I rang back and got the same response from a different person.

    I tried the sim in two different phones and got the same invalid message that’s why I contacted them.

    I have decided the easiest option now is to by a new phone on a different network

  10. Nicholas says:

    I have the same problem trying to change my media package. Three times I got through and after explaining I am transferred with a long delay and then cut off. You have to get through to cancel so having had 20,000 in the last quarter they won’t let anymore cancel.

  11. Patrick Mcgeachie says:

    Ditch virgin mobile simple.. it’s easy to change service provider now..

  12. CHARLES CHEGE says:

    Virgin installed my broadband in Marsh this year and was promised that a seem card will be posted to me later. It is now past six months and no seam has been sent to me despite making several calls and speaking to different people who read from a different script. I have no word to Express my frustration.

  13. Jackie Aiton says:

    Husband has been with Virgin pay as you go for many years, however over the last few months has had a message to insert a new sim that would be in the post. This was never received, after many attempts to contact them he then received messages to change his sim as he would lose service if he doesnt within the next few days. Eventually after an hours wait he got to speak to someone who said he didnt pass the security questions and hung up on him. He has now lost his service and the money that was topped up on it. Disgusting service and will never use again.

  14. Jackie Baddams says:

    I thought I was going mad trying to get this new sim set up for my brother. He has a really old Samsung flip phone which he only uses for phone calls. It works perfectly with his old virgin sim but this new one comes up with a network lock message and can’t be used despite inserting the codes provided by virgin. I’ve tried texting them, ringing them and their website to no avail. I just want to speak to someone who can tell me what to do. Their letter makes it seem so simple and it really isn’t.

  15. Carole Read says:

    I object to the person who said basically ‘What do people expect if they have an old phone?’. Some of us use their phone mainly for calls, texts. The company gave absolutely no warning that there might be a problem with old phones. A responsible company would have warned customers so that we could at least keep info about our contacts and if necessary change our phone.
    But it is obvious from Virgin’s behaviour that the customer is least important. I can’t think of any other industry where a company could be either so incompetent, or so uncaring about its customers, to behave like this.
    I am left with a phone which is locked and have lost all my contact numbers and of course people cannot phone and people cannot phone me. Virgin promised to send a new phone, which, of course, has not arrived and no indication of when it will arrive.
    For various health reasons I need a working mobile to make and receive messages. I would have willingly got another phone if I had had any warning. Virgin should be stopped from trading given the complete immorality of their actions.

  16. Mrs Hammond says:

    Tom says “If you give Virgin mobile a call…” has he ever tried giving Virgin a call, impossible.
    I received a useless sim card too, it told me it was an invalid sim, I went on line and it asked me to register my mobile number then told me it was not covered.
    It seems strange that it was covered when it was taking my money, after that it shut me down, lost everything including just over £8 that I had on.
    Im well over 70 and my husbands well over 80 and I need this phone for obvious reasons.
    All I can say is that Virgin are incompetent theives, this should not be allowed.

  17. Charlie says:

    Although I realise Virgin Mobile were/are an MVNO on EE, if these old phones are locked to EE and no longer work now that VM has issued new SIMs with a different network code can’t EE help to unlock these EE-locked phones?

  18. Faith Caley says:

    I inserted the new sim in my old phone today it said sim was not inserted how silly where di I go from that next?

  19. Tim Bain says:

    I’m not keen on messing my phone up with the new SIM I didn’t want on one phone, but a good option I did on my other phone was just a new SIM from Smarty mobile, their plans are good, the swap is simple, and if like me you use little or no data it’s a fiver a month for plenty of texts and calls. I used to install for Virgin, they are cowboys who could care less about customers.

    1. MRS SARAH R L BOLTON says:

      Could u kep the sam e number when u change d to smarty pls?Is smarty for smart phones ls?Thanks

  20. Catherine Williams says:

    I have been recieving texts telling me to text my postcode so they can send me a new SIM, i now have only 10 days before they cut off the old one. My phone stopped sending texts a couple of years ago but i can still recieve them, i bought a new phone but still can’t send texts so the problem must be the SIM! I have tried phoning all the numbers they say to phone but get the same damn message sending me around in circles.I tried to do the online form to send them my postcode, i typed in my details the phone number and the other number they asked for, checked everything carefully to make sure there were no mistakes, but it wouldn’t accept it, i kept getting the message the second number they asked for was not recognised, well it’s on the bloody card they printed, i’m bloody furious!!! I eventually got their damn online live chat, wrong dept so was put through to the correct one, they insisted they couldn’t do it from there i would have to do it on line i already explained i’d tried that three times and it wouldn’t accept the form!!! I only have the damn phone for emergencies as i am caring for my elderly stepdad, i have more important things to do than go chasing after Virgin for a bloody SIM i never asked for, it’s change for the sake of change, nothing more!!!

  21. Elizabeth low says:

    I’m in the same position as everyone else help!!!!!

    1. MRS SARAH R L BOLTON says:

      I have a nokia text and ring 1616 phoen but Virgin have sent a replacement sim an d it doesn’t work in my 1616.They said I have to have the sim or I will get cut off an d blocked tomorrow.They sent the sim weeks ago.I trie d it today and it wont work with the new virgin sim they sent me .It says insert sim even tho I have.They want to send me a nokia 105 but I like my nokia 1616.What can I do pls as they will block my old sim tomorrow even tho it works fine.Thanks

  22. Tom Winchester says:

    They can’t cut you off just because your not your not using the new sim,(which they haven’t sent..lol)
    It’s illegal.

    1. Mrs Hammond says:

      Illegal or not they do it.

    2. Suzie Marshall-Keld says:

      They’ve done it to me and kept my £12 credit saying unrefundable!!!

    3. Math says:

      I did not received the new sim card and now my phone can’t be used. I could not managed to get in touch with sbdy that could help me and online help did not help at all. What can I do?

  23. Peter says:

    BINGO I had the same issue with 7 days to go and after reading this item I had all but given up.I decided to put the new sim in an unlocked phone. I instantly got a reply ‘your new sim has been activated’. It now shows as Tmobile. I guessed this must mean the unlock codes from virgin must be for the phone but needless to say did not work. I searched the internet and found a free code for the old phone and with nothing to lose put it in. Success I now have the new sim in its original Nokia 1100. {Unlock code from unlocks.co.uk)

    1. Susan Backshell says:

      I have just successfully unlocked my mobile phone and inserted the SIM card that Virgin sent to me. Thank you for telling me about unlocks.co.uk AND it didn’t cost me a penny!

    2. Noel says:

      HI there yes unlocks seems to be working for me too thanks. I had a Nokia 1101 with the invalid sim msg

    3. David says:

      Thanks for that.

      This 78yr old partially sighted guy managed to unlock his wife’s Nokia 1101 in 20 minutes using a code from that website.


      Spread the word.

  24. John Lovesey says:

    Can no one offer help to resolve this ridiculous situation?

  25. Joanna Richardson says:

    Ive had this problem changing sims in old phones used by vulnerable people, they have to be kept simple and I cant start a contract. Eventually I had to buy them slightly newer basic phones that took the new sims only now without any warning they are on a weird tarriff that charges £2 for the first text each day .. rendering them unviable financially

    1. MRS SARAH R L BOLTON says:

      I have a nokia text and ring 1616 phoen but Virgin have sent a replacement sim an d it doesn’t work in my 1616.They said I have to have the sim or I will get cut off an d blocked tomorrow.They sent the sim weeks ago.I trie d it today and it wont work with the new virgin sim they sent me .It says insert sim even tho I have.They want to send me a nokia 105 but I like my nokia 1616.What can I do pls as they will block my old sim tomorrow even tho it works fine.Thanks

  26. david wimpress says:

    Ihave nokia 1112put the new virgin sim in and get the message sim not valid.what do i do now

    1. Peter says:

      As I indicated above, if you can get an unlock code for your phone from elsewhere that works. You will then have an unlocked phone and I believe the sim will work in that phone. Or get another unlocked phone from Ebay. That model will be cheap as chips. It worked for me.

  27. Jane Mutter says:

    Well I have had this issue going on for ages. Thought it was hackers it was so inefficient. I did not put the new SIM card in. I had a warning of being cut off for three days with everything to be restored after that time. It started two days ago ‘no network connection’ coming up. I was told I would still have 999, but I don’t. I have a landline phone and internet with Facebook to keep in touch so don’t need data. Nothing ‘better’about this!

  28. Jan Green says:

    I am unable to access my mobile account to see what my usage ir or even what I CAN use. Tried numerous times to resolve online virgin will not recognise their own number! It manages to take the money from direct debit if we go over our usage ( which we do not know)
    If only we had a crystal ball! They are consistently using the Covid excuse, the next one will be Brexit, or have they already used that one? I have not had the Sim problem got that to come!

  29. Michael Howard Sleight says:

    Virgin Mobile have made my wife housebound. She is in her 70’s and suffers from Mixed Dementia. 

    When she goes shopping she always takes her phone with her. She can phone me, in an emergency, if she gets confused/worried. She will not leave home without it.

    Her phone will not work with the new SIM. The Virgin website says ‘sorry your device isn’t supported’.

    I have asked them, via the forum, to confirm IMEI = 353003016388065 (Motorola) is not supported.

    The Help desk are useless. They offer to send me a text to a phone I keep telling them is not working!

  30. Michael Howard Sleight says:

    Virgin Mobile have made my wife housebound. She is in her 70’s and suffers from Mixed Dementia. When she goes shopping she always takes her phone with her. She can phone me, in an emergency, if she gets confused/worried. She will not leave home without it.

    Her phone will not work with the new SIM. The Virgin website says ‘sorry your device isn’t supported’.

    I have asked them, via the forum, to confirm IMEI = 353003016388065 (Motorola) is not supported.

    The Help desk are useless. They offer to send me a text to a phone I keep telling them is not working!

  31. Hazel Johnson says:

    Since I received my new sim card from virgin which I didn’t ask for, I now seem to be on T mobile, now I can’t access by account on virgin to top up my pay as you ago or check how much money I have in my account and T mobile doesn’t recognise my mobile number an nor does virgin. Any help would be appreciated

  32. John Bartlett says:

    I have a VM ‘phone, model unknown. I discovered the SIM swap problem a couple of weeks ago when the phone displayed ‘Invalid SIM’. Support told me it was because I had not made or received calls for a long period of time. This was of course rubbish. I was completely unaware of the SIM swap – no communication at all from VM. I’ve now ditched VM for somebody more in tune with customer needs. The hassle involved in trying to get VM to sort problems out, demonstrated by these posts, is something I do not want to experience.

  33. MRS SARAH R L BOLTON says:

    I have a nokia text and ring 1616 phoen but Virgin have sent a replacement sim an d it doesn’t work in my 1616.They said I have to have the sim or I will get cut off an d blocked tomorrow.They sent the sim weeks ago.I trie d it today and it wont work with the new virgin sim they sent me .It says insert sim even tho I have.They want to send me a nokia 105 but I like my nokia 1616.What can I do pls as they will block my old sim tomorrow even tho it works fine.Thanks

  34. paul says:

    The only thing that will get these people moving is bad publicity. Try making a complaint to the Ombudsman.


    Raise the issue at Martyn Lewis forum https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/?_ga=2.256246530.822206319.1602518821-1269673287.1599725680

    1. paul says:

      Sorry you might need this site.

  35. Carol Falconer says:

    I have a 10 year old Doro 612 mobile. The SIM card is older. On 12th October I received a warning text that I should insert the new SIM card sent to me otherwise calls, texts and data would be barred from my number as from 13th. I have never received a new SIM card. I contacted Virgin help messaging service. I spent about six hours answering their “security” questions (often repeated) but they could not send me a new card without my address. They would not take my address until I gave my password. I have no password and could not get on line in order to get/change it. I am now without my mobile as it has an INVALID SIM. I am 74 and having had a stroke really need it with my old number which is known by the surgery etc. Please help!

  36. Dave Appleford says:

    Now my phone won’t work with the new or old SIM card. Virgin say they have sent instructions to my phone so I can sort it. How stupid is that? I wrote to them at Swansea weeks ago, with no repsonse. I have a useless phone, and they have my money.

  37. Gordon Williams says:

    I have an old Nokia 1110 phone, probably has under £10 credit- pay-as-you-go -and hadn’t used the phone for quite a while. Switching on today, the display looked a bit unfamiliar, soon a message appeared ” SIM card registration failed ” , with a further word ” Quit ” at the bottom right of the screen,
    The network intensity indicator was not showing n txt to the network sign itself. I can read old text messages, but can’t make calls. I tried phoning the phone from my landline and got a message saying the recipient was unavailable and to leave a message
    I can’t get the back off the phone either !

  38. Raymond Simms says:

    my new sim does not work.I have tried to contact Virgin but have had no luck.It is time that c to them c and ompanies such as Virgin were bought to task by the government and made to give access and answer customer queries directly.Vow Virgin how about looking into my problem?

  39. Gordon Williams says:

    How does one come to receive a new SIM card ? Is there an address/ phone contact to report problems to ?
    Any info on how to remove the back panel of my 1110 Nokia phone – it resolutely refuses to budge !
    Perhaps submitting details to one of the newspaper trouble-shooter people will produce results – the Daily Telegraph has a ‘Wonder Woman ‘ , but she probably would find this type of complaint too banal to be interested.

  40. Joyce Clark says:

    I have a pay as you go phone as I am disabled and need to have it in the car. I have a virgin landline which I usually use. My phone said invalid sim until.i put the new sim in it and now it says emergency only. I wouldn’t even trust it to do that. What really annoys me is when you ring up to say you can’t use your mobile and they advise you to contact them on the mobile you can’t use. It reminds me of the song ‘There’s a hole in my bucket’

  41. Stu1 says:

    I received a new Virgin sim and the letter and text to insert it or my phone would be deactivated. The sim however was the wrong size and did not work so I reported this to Virgin. I was told I’d receive a new sim.

    With the deactivation date fast approaching I got in touch again. After spending a long time answering security questions and confirming details I was told a new sim would be on the way. After a week with no phone service and no sim (and now I can’t ring them as the phone is deactivated). I messaged them online.

    I explained the problem again and once again went through all security details and was told a new sim was on the way possibly in 24 hours but within 3-5 working days. After a week! I got the new SIM.

    I followed the instructions but it still didn’t work! So that is twice I contacted Virgin for them to resolve their original mistake and they still ****** it up! So because like a fool I listened to their assurances as to how the problem would be resolved I was patiently waiting with no phone for a fortnite. I even have the online conversation saved where they ‘guaranteed this SIM would work’. It still does not work and this has been going on for weeks!

    Don’t bother expecting them to sort this. I first contacted them over 3 weeks ago and have been in contact several times since and they have offered me courtesy credit due to the problems (that’s not very helpful when the SIM doesn’t work!).

    I’m glad I’m not the only one experiencing this issue and have simply decided to buy a new phone as I have spent hours on the phone to Virgin and even more time online and they seem incapable of resolving this issue. It’s disgusting they are leaving people without a phone service in the present climate and they’ll pocket the credit I had on that phone which I will never use now!

    I’ve been to the ombudsman website. You have to give the company 28 days to resolve the issue and then submit a letter to the company. As I’ve reported the issue to Virgin again I’m going to see if they CAN resolve it in 28 days then go through with that because the standard of customer service I don’t think they could resolve it in 28 years at this rate!

    1. Sue C says:

      How do we make virgin media face up to their major incompetance and have to compensate everyone They know if PAyG phones sent used for three months they fall off the network anyway and they picket the credit on the phones They should also have to pay for rendering phones useless with non working unlock codes Any ideas foljd

  42. JohnE says:

    My 83 year old father has the same issue, having been talked into porting from EE to Virgin Mobile by a cold caller some time ago.

    They have sent him a new SIM (supposedly for new, improved services according to the covering letter, but as we know probably just to save them some money through their switch to Vodafone).

    The new SIM gives a “no SIM card inserted” message in his unlocked iPhone 6 (not just “no service”, it actually doesn’t recognise it as a SIM card). He spoke to their technical support who suggested he had put the SIM card in the wrong way round (which he hadn’t, and I don’t think is possible anyway with the Apple SIM tray) and they deactivated his old SIM so he is now without any service.

    The new SIM card does work in my newer iPhone, and my EE SIM card works fine in his iPhone 6. For some reason this new Virgin SIM card is not compatible with the older iPhone 6.

    It’s definitely not due to the phone being locked, it was purchased SIM free directly from Apple and has worked fine on various networks.

    Appalling service from Virgin, from the unexpected new SIM card with the misleading covering letter, to blaming the customer for their SIM being faulty, to leaving a single 83 year old with no phone service. No solution as of yet, suspect the only realistic solution is to port away from Virgin Mobile.

  43. JohnE says:

    PS the covering letter from Virgin and the plastic SIM carrier both say there’s a default PIN set on the new SIM card. There isn’t, it just registered with the network and started receiving SMS messages in my newer iPhone without requiring any PIN. Incompetent doesn’t really cover it…

  44. Joyce Clark says:

    I have just managed to get through to virgin. Apparently the Alcatel phone which I have been using and which was purchased from Virgin themselves will no longer be usable. The phone is 3G and their new network requires G4. Who knew? How soon before they go over to something else and render all the phones useless again. Getting a refund is also nearly impossible. I suggest the best thing to do is to ditch Virgin completely.

    1. Sue C says:

      Fully empathise Virgin shouldn’t be allowed to get away with what they are doing

  45. Grant Scott says:

    Slightly off topic but could virgin lock a previously unlocked phone to there network when you enter their sim? Had a Tesco phone that was unlocked and had used a BT sim no problem then had virgin sim for
    a week and had atrocious signal in the house so ditched them and went with O2 (Tesco parent provider)but the phone won’t accept sim???

  46. Miss M J Dewsnap says:

    I no longer can use my Mobile Phone it’s a NOKIA the New Sim you sent me won’t work due to my Mobile being so old I am upset being without my phone I’m a Pensioner

  47. p wright says:

    i have a newish nokia phone just basic one it does what i want a phone to do i tried the new sim in it and could not recieve phone calls or text but i could send text but not send a phone call cannot talk to anyone at virgin but on old sim everything back to normal why new sim esp if cant talk to anyone its a joke

  48. Sue C says:

    Virgin SIM saga continues.Four PAYG phones non work on new Sims Unlock codes don’t seem to work despite trying to sort out via virgin media forum .They are trying to help but don’t seem to be able to Now have four useless phones.Suppose I’ll have to cut my losses but Virgin shouldn’t get away with this without an investigation but ofcom don’t seem to be interested

  49. Vincent Le Virgin says:

    A similar story. Text messages. Letter. New SIM. NO SERVICE.

    I have had the Virgin number for 20 years. Now, it is seemingly gone forever. I received the new SIM — there were no prompts to enter anything i.e. PIN or unlock code. I have tried them in 4 different (unlocked) phones, one of them is a Galaxy S20 and another one iPhone SE2. There is no help forthcoming from Virgin Mobile, whatsoever! The number is registered for medical, financial and other emergency contacts. I have asked for help on their forum, but they are avoiding answering any questions.

    This is all scammy af, however, they can keep the credit. I just want my number back!

  50. Roy Warrender says:

    Hi folks. Same results here finally got virgin to send me the new sim for my old Nokia with usual result sim not accepted
    Virginia then sent me a new phone free of charge nice but no good to me as it has predictive texting being visually impaired that’s no good. Local phone shop could not find a way to turn it off oh well back to the drawing board

  51. Christopher Martin says:

    My mum is 88 and lives alone after my dad died in 2016. She has a monthly contract with Virgin Mobile. During lockdown1 she was sent info on having to request a new SIM, phoned to say she had no idea how to open the phone, swap SIM etc so they told her not to worry, the old SIM would keep working and it could be resolved when the pandemic was over. Last week she received text messages to say she would be cut off in 7 days if she did not swap SIM. Needless to say she could not get through to them again to anyone who could help, and she has now lost service. Although I have power of attorney, Virgin Media have lost the details and will not deal with me. The way that Virgin Mobile conduct business is outrageous; mum is now distressed, cannot contact Virgin Mobile and they won’t even send out a new SIM to her address…. she’s never used a computer in her life so cannot go online to try to get the matter resolved

  52. timothy nightingale says:

    requirenew simcard gotanew phone 07914277127

  53. Kenneth Ackland says:

    My Nokia 5200 bought from Virgin years ago has ceased to function . I put a Giffgaff sim card in and it said “phone restricted” The original Virgin Sim Card came with a 8 digit unlocking key but that does not unlock it. Would a new Virgin Sim card unlock it?

  54. jackie says:

    I’ve had similar situation with the new sim and ‘sim not valid’ message. Luckily it’s an old phone just used for spare so I decided to manage without it and phoned to ask for my remaining credit to be refunded. Was told emphatically that refunds are not allowed even though their actions have rendered my account useless. The assistant said I could use the sim in a different phone but as all my main phone is older I doubted this would work either. Then she asked for the phone reference number to try to find an unlock code. I suggested this would be useless as I wasn’t being asked for such a code and had no way to enter a code. I struggled a bit getting the phone ref as the print was so small to which she ‘helpfully’ askd have you got a magnifying glass?’ Finally she asked for the number on the sim to check I’m using the correct sim (which she confirmed I was and I knew that anyway as it was what they sent me!) Luckily I am not old or dependant on this phone. Disappointing that Virgin are so disregarding of longstanding customers.

  55. Barbara B says:

    After I put my new SIM in I have found when I send texts they take ages to go through if they go at all .also we had a contract for life of not paying for texts but since we had the new SIM they now charge for them after ages trying to get in touch with virgin I have given up

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