back to article The purple SIM of fail: Virgin Mobile punters left in the dark with batch of borked cards

Virgin Mobile customers are struggling to get new SIM cards to work or be recognised by the network, leaving them unable to make or receive calls or use data services. The company is telling affected customers that replacement SIM cards are from a faulty batch, according to sources. A Reg reader contacted us having tried and …

  1. a pressbutton

    I see they are re-aligning their mobile service so it has the same qualities as vm broadband.

    If so it is a dns failure / cabinet failure / leaves on the line / the fibres are fraying.

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Trollface

      What about someone crashed into the green box down the street, oh wait sorry fibres are fraying or leaves in the box.

  2. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    So, punters are unable to even SMS for a PAC to switch to a working service. Nice move Virgin.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      I guess... the hopeful in me hopes these are so broken the PAC from the old provider has not migrated/been accepted and customers can use it to go elsewhere.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Always some

    Notice how all failures are reported as "some" ! Can anyone put a real figure and the scale of the snafu ?

    Taktalk hack (thrice in a year) was also reported as "some of our customers"

    IT IS ALWAYS SOME. Never a true or LARGE figure comes out. Liars, all.

  4. Munkstar

    Yeah but ...

    Stuff happens. Consistent stuff is the issue.

  5. dca1

    Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

    Use them for mobile, £8 a month for 8GB data + calls, texts. Always works. Still on red sim card though.

    Use them for broadband, no downtime despite others in my area saying they have it. Granted I use my own router.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

      Broken clock, twice a day, etc.

      Sometimes, if you are savvy, have a specific meetable consumer need, are able to "game" the system, going with the worse/cheapest provider can work out. I've done it to use/test companies "guaranteed" services, that we all know will fail, and thus get free service until you pull your hair out and have to go.

      Not been with Virgin though.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

      Mine's always been fine. Their router, too.

      I dunno.

      I can get full 200mb, always.

    3. xpz393

      Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

      No, you're not...

      I'm into my 11th year with Virgin Media as my cable broadband provider (well, technically NTL in the first year or two) at three different addresses as I've moved around the county.

      Speedtest.net has always reported at or above my advertised speeds, and the small number of outages have been fixed quickly and without fuss.

      I've certainly never experienced the horror stories that BT/Openreach friends and associates have experienced, such as long lead times for connection, randomly disconnected services which aren't fixed for days/weeks, or fluctuating speeds.

    4. FatGerman

      Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

      I've been with them for broadband for more than 12 years. Only problem I've had in that time is a two week downtime which, IIRC, *was* due to incompetence. But compared to the regular horror stories I hear about other providers, I'm happy. Can get broadband without having to pay extra for a landline which I'll never use, so it's a win.

    5. Wilseus

      Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

      I had no end of problems with NTL then VM in the few years I was with them:

      - No end of billing irregularities.

      - The TV red button services hardly ever worked.

      - Couldn't receive all TV channels, including Sky 1 (before they withdrew it)

      - TV picture used to drop out for a few seconds at midnight every day.

      - Broadband was always dropping out, so much so that YouTube rarely worked reliably.

      - The phone line got wired up incorrectly in the green box so that I was connected to someone else's line, so they presumably got billed for my calls.

      I think that's it. Problems I've had with the much-maligned Sky:

      - None.

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

        - TV picture used to drop out for a few seconds at midnight every day.

        A mate had the same problem which drove him mad. He dropped the TV when he could because of that and other problems

    6. Martin-R

      Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

      Broadband is usually very good, but daughter's phone and data signal has been getting worse and worse lately. Suspected SIM so requested a new one, you can guess how that worked out :-( She needs a reliable phone, now with EE!

    7. Alex Brett

      Re: Am I the only person i nthe world who doesn't have problems with Virgin services?

      I have had a remarkably long run without problem with broadband from them - current issue is not their fault (Cityfibre apparently went through their cable when digging up the pavement to put their ducts in), but their response is a bit disappointing - first available date for a 'repull' is a full 23 days after the fault occurred. I can only assume this has been happening a lot and thus the team that do the pulls is really busy.

      Fortunately not a disaster for me as I have an FTTC link as well for redundancy, and on the bright side I think I get £8/day compensation...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad voltage

    Rumor has it that they used the wrong chips. These are all 5V.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they only work in sunny offshore tax havens

  8. Terry 6 Silver badge
    Flame

    Stufff happens

    Stuff happens, how they respond to it is the issue.

    After numerous back-and-forths with Virgin support he has now given up and found a new network provider....... suggested his phone was to blame

    And I am so sick to death of tech companies denying the cause of an issue and employing "switch it off and on again"/reset your device statements when they know full well they have an issue.

    Sometimes they don't even tell their frontlline staff (VM are notorious for this).

    WHY THE FUCK DO THEY DO THIS-IT WON'T GET BETTER BY MAGIC!!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stufff happens

      Not the first time they've done this. I was sent a new SIM several months ago and was reluctant to use it. I then read interweb chatter that the SIMs would brick any iPhone handset unless it had been supplied by Virgin.

      They flat out denied this. I refused to install the new SIM. Eventually they sent me a replacement, but still refused to acknowledge a problem.

      TERRIBLE Customer Service all round

  9. Fursty Ferret

    Bit of perspective needed here I think.

    If you were a customer service rep and you had someone on the line complaining that their SIM card doesn't work, and you send them a replacement SIM and it *still* doesn't work, where would you assume the problem lies?

    Interesting that something like this slipped testing, but SIM cards are usually pretty reliable and the true test of VM is how they sort things out going forward.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "If you were a customer service rep and you had someone on the line complaining that their SIM card doesn't work, and you send them a replacement SIM and it *still* doesn't work, where would you assume the problem lies?"

      Yes, I would guess it was customer equipment. OTOH, if I were a CS supervisor and starting seeing a big trend and one where lots of new handsets weren't working as well with new SIM cards, I'd suspect something else.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Or indeed, if you were sitting on the help desk phone and start to get a number of similar and unusual calls you might think there was a trend........

  10. mastodon't
    Devil

    Virgin are dead to me

    After nearly 20 years from blueyonder to VM they left us without a service for 3 weeks before we switched to BT.

    A plague on their house, i would like to follow beardie wierdy around with an emp generator for a month to see how he likes the 1980's

    1. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Virgin are dead to me

      " i would like to follow beardie wierdy around with an emp generator for a month to see how he likes the 1980's"

      I quite liked the 80s and I don't have a beard.

      1. mastodon't

        Re: Virgin are dead to me

        I enjoyed the 80's hugely and am also without facial hair. The lack of smart phones and data networks to record the evidence was an added bonus back then. The issue here is that SWIMBO couldn't play farming and LLF's mates laughed at his disconnection from reality (FiFA & GTA mostly).

  11. Timo

    Why are people swapping SIMs?

    Please tell - why are people swapping from their functioning red SIM to the purple ones in the first place? Is it to access a different underlying MNO? The various intricacies of the mobile networks is vast and confusing.

  12. MAF
    Coat

    Could it be that the new sims are just red sims with a case of the blues...?

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