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T-Mobile UK's Twitter support person is very nice, but not so quick on the uptake. After three attempts, I'm now assuming they're just not going to grasp that the whole problem is that I AM IN THE U.S. AND CANNOT RECEIVE TEXTS. If I could, I wouldn't be asking if there's an alternative way to activate my online account.

I wouldn't care, but I won't be back until beyond 90 days after I last used the phone, which means that my existing top-up account will be cancelled and I'll have to get a new one, if not a whole new sim card. If I don't have to get a new sim card, it's not a huge deal. Minutes expire, that's expected, so it's not actually going to cost extra. I was just hoping to avoid some hassle by having an account online and somehow keeping it active that way. It would be nice to keep the same number, too. I'd only have to give the new one to about ten people, but still.

However, since I failed to activate the account online while I was still over there (and next time I procrastinate something like that, SHOOT ME), there appears to be no way to try.

Edit: NEVER MIND! Finally managed to clarify what my actual problem was, and it turns out the guy in the shop was wrong. Accounts are suspended after 180 days inactive, not 90. I'll be back way before then! \o/

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
maiac
May. 3rd, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC)
In my experience, it often takes two calls (or whatever) to Customer Service to get a problem solved. The second time, I get somebody who actually understands the problem. If you haven't reached your frustration limit, you could try calling again, since you'll probably get someone different the second time.
wiliqueen
May. 3rd, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
I'm DMing on Twitter rather than calling, and I think only one person handles the Twitter account. We've now gone back & forth three times. If they check back on me after (like the Verizon one did), I'll repeat that I cannot receive the SMS and see if they go ask a supervisor. If not, I'll deal with it when I'm back over there.

Calling overseas and waiting on hold is sure to cost more than buying a new sim card. :-} It's my own damn fault for not thinking about how they confirm security on accounts; I had just done it a few months before with my new phone here!
bktheirregular
May. 3rd, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC)
One possibility: if you can somehow get access to an unlocked SIM-card-type cell phone, that should be able to activate international roaming, and you'd be able to receive text messages that way. At least my Greek phone worked in the US for that, at least, last Christmas.
wiliqueen
May. 3rd, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
Well, my UK phone has a sim card, and could probably be unlocked, but I wouldn't have the first clue how to go about that. (Also, its battery is dead and I can't charge it because my travel transformer is only US-to-other.)

Very Nice Support Person now grasps that I can't receive texts, but I'm not sure they get that I'm not trying to activate the phone itself, since I've already used it. Just trying to register the account online.
bktheirregular
May. 3rd, 2011 02:22 pm (UTC)
OK, time for me to put on my techie hat.

First, you might not need the travel transformer - a lot of phone chargers will handle 100 to 240 volts, meaning you'd be good with just a universal travel adapter - something which might not be a bad idea in any case, if you're going to do repeated transatlantic hopping as part of the new project. :)

What make/model is the UK phone? Because depending on its model, once you get it charged, it just might pick up a GSM network Stateside on its own hook.
wiliqueen
May. 3rd, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
A travel adapter is actually what I have -- it just only works one way. Plug in US appliances to use anywhere else, but not the reverse. The phone -- which I only use in the UK -- is the only thing I have with a UK plug, so not much point in buying another adapter yet. :-)

BUT! The support person on Twitter now grasps the problem, and has told me that it's not a problem after all. The guy in the shop was wrong. Accounts suspend after 180 days, not 90. I'll be back WAY before then. \o/
bktheirregular
May. 3rd, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, yay! Glad it's going to work out, and hope the next trip is enjoyable!
kjaneway
May. 3rd, 2011 02:25 pm (UTC)
At least buying a SIM in the UK is cheap and easy. (In a city, you can generally pick one up for a quid or so, at any time of the day or night from a 24-hr supermarket, except on Sundays.)

I was rather unimpressed at the cost of the SIM in Canada, last year, and that was before they told me the minimum top-up I had to make to enable it and that all the credit would expire in 30days, anyway.
wiliqueen
May. 3rd, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Not any better down here. They really don't make it easy.

BUT! The good news is that the guy in the shop was wrong, and accounts don't suspend until 180 days, not 90. I'll be back way before then. \o/
kjaneway
May. 3rd, 2011 02:32 pm (UTC)
Cool!

Irritatingly, I'd *had* a Canadian SIM, but it expired (after 2 years!) because they wouldn't let me add credit from the UK.

Of course, they let me go through the whole process of giving them credit card details etc. *before* refusing to do the update!
wiliqueen
May. 3rd, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's REALLY obnoxious. D-: That was exactly what I was hoping to avoid by registering my top-up account online, but of course I didn't get around to it while I was there, and can't complete the process because they text you the password. Which I so should have know.

I don't expect to have more than a six-month gap in the immediate future, so I should be fine anyway.
kjaneway
May. 3rd, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Oh yes.

They never quite came out and said it was because it was a UK card, but I tried multiple times from different browsers and it always failed... which didn't stop them sending me chirpy reminder emails that I should top up before the account expired! *grr!*
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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