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SIM Swap Causes Annoyance for UK ASDA Mobile Customers

Friday, March 26th, 2021 (2:04 pm) - Score 6,936
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Existing customers with the mobile division of supermarket giant ASDA have been told to request a new SIM card by the 15th September 2021, or risk being unable to use the service. The move follows a decision last year (here) to swap their Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) supplier from EE (BT) to Vodafone.

Major network migrations on MVNO platforms are rarely a smooth and seamless process, which is sadly something that we’ve seen many times before (e.g. most recently with Virgin Mobile). In this case the issue stems from ASDA Mobile’s new 5-year deal to adopt both 4G and ultrafast 5G (mobile broadband) connectivity via Vodafone (more features, such as unlimited data plans and WiFi Calling, are planned to follow).

New customers can be automatically placed on to the new Vodafone based platform, but existing customers will need to swap to a new SIM card in order to continue using the service after September 2021. A special web page has been setup to help handle all of this – https://mobile.asda.com/support/move-network.

What do I need to move to your new network?

If you’re an existing Asda mobile customer, you will need to follow a few simple steps and swap your SIM card to move to our new network.

You will need to make this move to gain access to our brand-new bundles, and exciting new network features which include – 5G enabled, unlimited data deals, a new and improved My Account and much more!

After 15th September, our old network will close and if you haven’t moved across, you will lose signal and any remaining credit.

The FAQ also says that customers may lose their number and active bundles if they don’t swap their SIM. The good news is that ASDA have pledged to give all current customers a free month’s bundle once they move across (MSE), which is partly intended to mitigate the fact that you might lose some of your existing bundle in the move.

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Mark Jackson
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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44 Responses
  1. Avatar JP says:

    Seems to be a better way of migrating people, Virgin customers have been suffering with loss of service and various other issues with migrating customers.

    1. Avatar Carl says:

      Well I went for the switch and on the planned date my old SIM stopped working but the new SIM Asda provided doesn’t work. I’m now without any service and I can’t even ring anyone to complain, Thanks Asda you suck.

    2. Avatar Richard says:

      Like Carl I also migrated to the vodaphone network with ASDA and like Carl the sim ASDA sent does not work and I can now not text or call anyone. Tried ring the 0808 number and was waiting for 1 hour this evening waiting for them to answer and all I got was sorry we are very busy, bloody joke.

    3. Avatar David says:

      I switched yesterday (30th March) and have had no outgoing service. Attempts to contact customer service by Website, Website chat and Twitter have gone unanswered.

    4. Avatar john fergus says:

      totally agree with you

  2. Avatar Carl says:

    Unlimited data deals are available and similar to those of Vodafone with the speed caps:

    https://mobile.asda.com/bundles

  3. Avatar Dan says:

    I don’t see anything in this article that backs up the headline claim that this is causing annoyance to the customers.

    Hardly a big deal, is it – being given the best part of six months to order a replacement SIM and activate it?

    1. Avatar JP says:

      It’s nice of them to let customers know something is going on too, so many people at Virgin confused at why their service has suddenly changed, and not aware of any changes incoming.

    2. Avatar David says:

      Read the comments plenty of annoyance there.

    3. Avatar Dan says:

      @David

      Yes, there is now.. clearly something has gone badly wrong with them moving people over to their new network.

      At the time of my original comment though, and at the time the article was published, there was no evidence of any annoyance caused to customers. A more accurate headline would have been something like ‘Asda Mobile Commences SIM Swap Process for Network Switch’. Ironically, the headline they used for this article would now be suitable if they were to do a follow-up article, now that problems have occurred and annoyance has actually been caused.

  4. Avatar David says:

    I can’t even get a signal at all on Vodafone in my area even though EE has good signal.

    1. Avatar JP says:

      Well EE don’t want MVNO’s using their network anymore it seems, plus EE got to choose between 3x networks worth of mast locations to keep best and get rid of worst!

      EE know they have this upper hand which is why they are comfortable charging a lot for accessing their network and also keeping people locking into 24 month sim only contracts.

  5. Avatar Jack says:

    My Dad has been with ASDA for about 5 years when Virgin decided to increase their traditional PAYG costs to over 40p a minute. ASDA are one of the only decent traditional PAYG networks who let you top up at a PayPoint then use your credit so and please until ready for a recharge. Cheap rate for his needs of 8p a minute has kept him happy over this time.

    Unfortunately, I will now have to help him in a few months move to another network which is really hard finding a PAYG provider who doesn’t let topups expire, has signal in his area (EE and O2), thats cheap and lets you topup at a PayPoint.

    I’ve decided to grab one of the older Classic Pay and Go SIMs from O2 but whats telling how long that plan will last?

    Huge shame as older people like my father don’t want a smartphone or can’t use one due to disability or knowledge and prefer PAYG.

    All I can say is good luck to current ASDA customers as what happened when they left Vodafone and went to EE years ago but looks like they’ve got this one sorted in a way by asking you to get your PAC code from ASDA EE to then put on the ASDA Vodafone site which fingers crossed goes smoothly as I experienced a few issues with my numbers where the new network don’t pull all the configuration files so calls/texts weren’t routing correctly inbound and good luck explaining that to first level customer service who no doubt wouldn’t know what the issue is.

    1. Avatar Dan says:

      You might want to take a look at 1pmobile. They use EE and it’s 1p pay as you go on all rates (1p per text, minute and mb)

    2. Avatar JP says:

      I add that Vodafone and O2 share the same network so if O2’s available, so will Vodafone.

      I’m not sure if this is suitable but O2 do an unlimited minutes and text pay as you go bundle for £5 per month.

      Or 1p mobile do a 1 year credit plan, where top upw last a year.

      Their is also cheap plans available through Lebara mobile of suitable.

    3. Avatar NE555 says:

      1pmobile requires you to top-up £10 every 4 months (or £30 every year). It’s still a decent option for low to moderate volume users.

      There’s a comparison on moneysavingexpert. There is a click-through to get Lebara at £5 per month (reduced to £2.50 for first 4 months) for unlimited mins/text + 3GB data + 100 international mins.

      For those who want to spend less than 10p per day on their mobile: I think it’s understandable why most operators aren’t too interested in providing this any more.

    4. Avatar Summer Is Here says:

      @Jack

      Why are you having to move him away from Asda, are you saying when Asda switch networks from EE to Vodafone he won’t get a signal? or is their another reason?

  6. Avatar Jack says:

    @Dan 1pMobile isn’t that good of a network especially in its early days when I got blocked on their Social Media channels for initially asking why they removed around £9 worth of credit topped up online 2 weeks before which then turned into a no reply by 1pMobile and a block from messaging or replying to their posts. Seems quite a few people had this issue too as seen on Trustpilot which also my review got removed after 1pMobile challenged my review as if I was a customer of theirs or not/ false review. I would never ever reccomend them for this reason!

    @JP We did look into Lebara initially but don’t like their PAYG rates at 25p a minute which is nearly triple ASDA’s offering. He just wants something when the credit runs out you go and top up at the local shop. (We have now found a good supplier for his needs).

    @Summer basically yes, no Vodafone signal where he lives.

    1. Avatar JP says:

      Hmm, pay as you go isn’t something that’s going to exist much longer unfortunately, its a nightmare for networks to manage and not cost effective.

  7. Avatar Jenny Wise says:

    My husband put in his new Asda sim (he was already with Asda) now neither service is available, the old sim won’t work and neither will the new sim, he has two phones (neither one locked to a provider) now he can’t use either.

    He tried to get in touch with customer services all day, he was on a live chat using my phone, made to wait in-between questions for around 30 mins, & still didn’t get anywhere, he then tried to call, was on hold for 40 minutes and didn’t event get to speak to anyone.

    Now I’m terrified for him to go out without a phone as he has a heart condition.

    Well done Asda for creating misery, GET THIS SORTED!

  8. Avatar James Sutcliffe says:

    My new SIM card can get the network but I can’t make or receive calls

    1. Avatar Rob says:

      I had that problem – when I checked the phone book of the phone, the owner number was missing – I input the number and the phone now works – my online account however does not recognise me now

    2. Avatar janet baublys says:

      When you put your new sim card in, you then have to register a new account online, i had this problem

  9. Avatar Rosco62 says:

    New SIM card can get the network but I can’t make or receive calls

  10. Avatar Monty B says:

    So put new Sim card on, asked me sim card.provider(list didnt show ASDA) locked phone! So switched off/on. Phone service started. Rcd SMS to say would send msge ‘shortly’to give more settings. Now SMS notworking in or out. Yep tried contact on 0808 but after 70 minsI hung up. Tried 2732 and flash screen said “call forwarding active” and call cut off. Now trying to find ASDA chairmans email address or at least someone I can complain to.

  11. Avatar Monty B says:

    Further to above now phone service has stopped!!!!

  12. Avatar Alan Ewing says:

    Just like all the other comments, I have no phone service. I was told that I would have service from a maximum of midnight 30 March. I went to an ASDA store and was told they had nothing to do with this. They gave me the wrong number to call and were not apologetic at all. I have not been able to contact anyone on the chat line either, all they do is say an agent will contact you shortly. All I want is a definite time as to when my service will resume. Another very annoyed customer.

  13. Avatar Monty B says:

    Suddenly at 1557 31st March, I had an SMS saying “your account has been activated” All seems to be working (at present!!). Still cant get to reach Customer Services to query about my balance!

    1. Avatar Neil Morgan says:

      You should be able to text bal to 2732 to get your bal
      I can’t as it doesn’t work 🙁 No outgoing calls either

      It would help if ASDA Mobile put some useful FAQs about transfer problems on their web site.
      I get Please note: Incoming calls are being forwarded. Where to? I get incoming calls. It’s outgoing calls and texts that are the problem.

      For the online login problem it didn’t accept my number for login but thankfully I had a note of my login ID which did work

  14. Avatar Irene Irvine says:

    Be patient. Customer service has always been very good and it will soon be sorted. It’s still probably the cheapest network and now calls are only 4p a minute. Everyone was ringing yesterday and so almost impossible to get through.

  15. Avatar Mark Williams says:

    It has been 4 days since i swapped sims and still not got a full service. My 4G is not working and no mobile data unless I dial out and then 4G and data start working for a while then stops.

    I gave up waiting for the customer services to answer on phone or web chat after a couple of hours.

    on Twitter they are saying most problems have been ironed out now but I dont think this is the case.

    1. Avatar JimG says:

      I had exactly the same problem. I found the solution from an agent on the online chat on the Asda Mobile website. He asked me to change the APN parameters – the default ones on the new SIM are not correct it seems. I could not change the params of the APNs on the SIM so I created a new APN with the settings that he gave me. Now works fine

    2. Avatar Neil Morgan says:

      JimG What are the correct APN settings?

  16. Avatar Peter Smith says:

    I have tried numerous times to change to new Asda mobile but when I get to put port-in date I click on date but nothing happens, it just takes me back to choose port-in date. Anyone else had this problem?

    1. Avatar Michael says:

      Make sure the date you pick is weekday – not Saturday or Sunday as no switches take effect on weekends

  17. Avatar Philip says:

    I have been having the problem for over 7 days now. Cannot get a signal. I called Asda mobile and they say it is Vodafone problem and not theirs. They gave another number 0808 006 2732 for Vodafone but you cannot get through on this, There is no other contact to get hold of them. Tried on Asda Mobile twitter but only to say call the centre number gain that does not work. It feels they are not taking this seriously with no consideration to the stress this is causing to all customers who trusted them. Poor weak service from Asda Mobile

  18. Avatar Fred Arrandale says:

    I have been with Asda mobile for a number of years and had good service, when I heard of the changeover I contacted them on 2732 and they sent me a new sim card, the man I spoke to calmly told me how to change over which I wrote down and when the sim came I went through and changed over no problem. I also have a second mobile on pay as you go and decided to change that one so I bought a sim from Asda and rang the new 0808 number, this time it was a person I think of foreign extraction who completely cocked the process up and took my first phone out of service. By this time I was getting annoyed and called them again and spoke to another person of foreign extraction who I could not really understand who kept apologizing, eventually the line came back on however I do not feel safe in their hands now and am considering changing operator.

  19. Avatar Spuriousfish says:

    Just attempted the changeover to Vodaphone and it took two working days to lose teh EE service. Inserted new Sim and now 24 hours on no service on new network. Phone sees Asda Mobile but can’t connect.

    Did an on-line chat with an agent and explained I have no service. First thing he did was send me a text with a passcode 🙁 I had to explain that I’d said I don’t have a service so this wasn’t going to work.

    He got me to do the usual things I’d already done but still no service and have given up for a while since I have a life to lead outside of fixing Asdas problems.

  20. Avatar Martin Green says:

    I have bought an Asda SIM on the new (Vodafone) network.
    A top up card was not supplied in the SIM pack (they used to be), top up cards cannot be ordered online at the moment because of ‘technical issues’, and they have discontinued top up vouchers for the new network.
    I do not have credit/debit cards (never have had, don’t wish to have) so I cannot put money on the new card and use the phone.
    Cannot contact Customer Services by any of the means provided.

  21. Avatar T Kub says:

    Agree with Martin Green’s comment.. If the new top up cards will not be ready before the final date, I will be moving my mum to a new provider. She doe not use debit cards.

  22. Avatar Kevin Tailor says:

    My brother changed over last week he was on a sim only deal it took the day to change over and when he got it up and running they had changed his contract to £30 a month he called them and they said he had asked for it. He’s a pensioner and can’t afford it he’s got to cancel his contract they wasn’t intrested

  23. Avatar T.Kub says:

    The Asda Mobile Top up card is now available to order online, seems the technical issues relating to them has hopefully been sorted.

  24. Avatar Judy says:

    Sorry to all that have had trouble. My migration was pain free. I registered new SIM online, selected port-in date for the following day and was migrated without any issues. This was smoother than any other migration on other networks.
    The only gripe I have is that the signal strength is very low and tops out often, even though my Lebara SIM(also using Vodafone) has full bars most of the time.

  25. Avatar MJL says:

    My phone has two sim cards so during the migration of the first sim at least I was able to make calls on my other number, but the migration took 3 days and several long phone call to Asda and Vodaphone support.

    Now I have a problem with the “My Account” feature. I have one for each sim but the ASDA system uses cookies which keeps directing me back to the last “My Account” I opened.

    I have tried many things but cannot get back to the sign in page to put in the other number.

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