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kostya88

Teacher

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13 Messages

Tue, Dec 11, 2018 4:40 AM

activating eSIM on an existing ATT number

I have an iPhone XS and was very excited to get the eSIM activated with my current number and keep the sim tray empty for when I travel abroad and use those sims cards. I recently went to the store to request the QR code or whatever I'd need to get my number activated on the eSIM. I was told my store staff as well as ATT customer care that the only way I can get the eSIM service activated is to add a whole new line, which doesn't sound right to me at all. Has anyone else run into his issue when requesting the same thing from ATT? any help is appreciated!

Responses

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

Teacher

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4 Messages

a year ago

I did it. This is how. 

Go to a core AT&T store with phone. Ask for QR code for Esim and tell them u just want to transfer the phone number. They will do their thing and once done they will give u a blue card with QR code. Go to settings>cellular>add new plan and scan the code - this was tricky for me. Took a while - place code on table and scan. May be works better that way. Yes yes to all - rename ur lines and good to go. 

raydan178

Mentor

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25 Messages

a year ago

That is true, you must have a line of service inorder for the esim to activate.  Either an old line on the account or a new line of service. You will have to have two separate numbers, one for sim card activate withimei #1, the esim activated with imei #2.  Also if you're wanting to use device with another carrier, device must be unlocked..  More info from apple as well https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209044

kostya88

Teacher

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13 Messages

a year ago

Thank you for your reply! The thing is I DO have an existing line with ATT already and I'm using that number on the iPhone in question. My iPhone is an unlocked version. when I asked the ATT store to activate my existing number on the eSim thats when they told me that its NOT possible and that the only way I can activate that eSim is to activate a whole new number on it.   

dwill05

Master

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3.7K Messages

a year ago

I’d like to find out the answer too.  The question is how to transfer your line and existing physical SIM to the eSIM, so you can have the SIM tray empty for other carriers, not adding a second line.

Tutor

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2 Messages

a year ago

I just did this. Call ATT customer service and have them send you a QR code. When you get it, remove your existing sim and scan the new one. Call ATT Customer Service and they’ll have you read the long numeric IMEI printed on the card w/ the QR. They can then transfer the number. So far, the dual sim w/ esim works pretty well. Only hang up I am having is with visual voicemail. I only seem to be able to access VM on my primary number. My business line (which is my secondary line) I likely have to call in to VM all old school like, which to be honest I would rather have VM for that line vs my primary line. Hopefully another update through Apple fixes this. I’m on iOS 12.1.1. My primary number is on the eSim and my business line is an ATT prepaid voice and data plan on the physical nano sim so when I travel overseas I can simply give that sim to my business partner to put in an old backup iPhone 6 we have and I can purchase a sim where I am traveling to use data. My iPhone isn’t unlocked though, so I’m not sure if ATT will let the phone utilize a sim from another carrier quite yet. I usually just pay for the pass when traveling and try to use WiFi for the most part.

kostya88

Teacher

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13 Messages

a year ago

So, update!!! Just went to the AT&T store and asked for the most knowledgeable rep and knowledgeable and willing rep I did get!!!

 

Here is what you have to do.... 

 

AT&T stores have now received shipments of new eSims (looks just like a normal SIM card holder however instead of a sim it has a QR code on it)

You would go to your phones settings and click: cellular > add cellular plan> scan the QR code (you'll get prompted) now select which line you want to use for what Priority (secondary vs primary)

Next, he took the SIM card number off the QR code card and entered it into his system on his computer/ipad along with finding the digital IMEI (phone serial) in the phone setting.....

Once the eSIM number off the QR code card and the IMEI are in the their system.... BOOM!!!! ACTIVATED with no physical sim!!!

 

I have the unlocked iPhone XS and I can confirm you CAN put your existing number on your primary line and keep the SIM card tray EMPTY or with a different number sim simultaneously

 

DO not fall for the "we need to add a line" nonsense.....

 

I used to work for AT&T thats is why I was so positive that the first answer I was given is incorrect. Stubbornness and thinking outside the box (based on my knowledge) for the WIN!!!!

 

Hope this helps!  

 

New Member

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1 Message

@kostya88

I’ve confirmed that it is indeed possible and after the store rep telling me it’s impossible and then calling customer service, that rep says it’s possible to go back to the store and get a esim qcode. Then call back and activate it. But then I get another rep on the phone who tells me it’s impossible. So eventually we get off the phone after he explains how impossible it is. I found your post and decide to call back again where I find a rep willing to do it and now the phone is running just fine without any sim in the tray.

Contributor

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3 Messages

a year ago

I was told same today, that they can’t activate eSIM on my existing AT&T line, they said they have to add another number... it’s a scam, i had to remove the new number before I left... the was ATT store  E Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL 32803.... horrible experience... would stay away from that store.
I will try different store or company tomorrow.

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

 

 

kostya88

Teacher

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13 Messages

a year ago

That’s very unfortunate, those guys are under so much pressure to add lines to meet their sales goals that they forget to tell the truth!!!  Most of the people at AT&T that know anything know that it doesn’t make any sense what they are telling people, but they just have no choice. Do go to another store,  and if you get any pushback, just ask them to get you the eSim card with the QR code on it, and just leave and activate it over the phone with customer care, as far as I saw it activated just like a regular sim in their system. Let us know if you need anymore help! I can confirm that I am using 2 different numbers in my phone and the main one I’ve had for over 10 years IS an eSim

Tutor

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7 Messages

a year ago

Terrible experience today in Philadelphia...

I visited 3 AT&T stores for an eSim for a new iPhone XR (the reason why I bought this phone is because I need to have a dual sim phone as I'm traveling a lot abroad...)

First store: we don't have eSim, sold out.

Second store: the system is not working, go somewhere else, anyway we can make a good offer on a new wifi plan (?!?)

Third store: we have the eSim (finally) but you need to add a new line, this is the only way to have the eSim.

 

I have no words, I was almost going back to Apple to give back my new telephone and trade it with a iPhone 8... thanks to you guys seems that is possible to transfer an existing number/line to the eSim, thats what I need.

kostya88

Teacher

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13 Messages

a year ago

 Yeah man that really stinks that you’re having this experience!! But yes it is definitely possible!!! My thinking in this situation would be to ask anyone you know that’s willing to visit their local att store for you to get that stupid eSim....  because all you really need is for somebody to send you a picture of that QR code for you to scan with your phone that’s how that SIM card number becomes embedded into your phone!  Then just simply call AT&T and tell them to change the IMEI number on your account to the digital IMEI or even visit one of those 3 useless stores to get help once you get that QR code.  Don’t give up yet, success is near!!!

Tutor

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7 Messages

a year ago

Hi Kostya88,

 

Thanks for your reply.

My problem is that I need to use the eSim as primary provider...AT&T customer service (I called them) told me that the primary provider/line needs to be the physical sim... honestly I' losing my mind, I don't know what else to do.

I need to use my AT&T (primary line) on the eSim and the physical sim when I travel so I can easily change provider/sim anytime I want... this is my whole point to have a dual sim phone.

Seems not possible.

 

Please any suggestions are well accepted

 

thanks again

 

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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72.3K Messages

a year ago

@housemusic

The “new line’ is bull.  Waiting for more information, but you DO NOT have to pay and add a new line.  

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

“Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part” 🆘 Dont expect normal any time soon.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

Tutor

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7 Messages

a year ago

HI Lizdance40,

 

Thanks for the reply....so, what do you suggest yo do?

I need my primary line on the eSim (my AT&T existing number...),  please let me know. Can I just go to the store and ask for eSim and leave? I just did today and they do not allow me to if I do not activate a new line; I call AT&T call center and they told me I do not need to activate a new number but I cannot have the primary line on the eSim but on the physical sim only.

What I'm supposed to do and to think??? For sure that AT&T is not so reliable as they say!

 

 

lizdance40

ACE - Sage

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72.3K Messages

a year ago

@housemusic

Okay, the word from a community manager. and ATT official recommendation is ‘the eSim not be the primary number, that it be reserved for travel’.  Which is ridiculous as ATT and most other carriers do not use eSim for prepaid.  

I disagree of course and think you should go ahead and switch to eSim if you want. This is one case where the customer should get what they ask for without  🐂💩 included.  

The addition of another line is absolutely false.  The reply indicates there is still a gap in the training, which in my opinion should have been given before handing the QR codes out.  🤯🤬.  Unbelievable.   

 

🐾 I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.

“Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part” 🆘 Dont expect normal any time soon.

Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
kostya88

Teacher

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13 Messages

a year ago

I can personally attest that not being able to use an eSim on your primary (existing line) is 100% a false statement! I am using a 10 year old phone number on my eSim. AT&T employees don't get paid much anymore for doing anything other than NEW BUSINESS (add new lines) so therefore they have found this eSim release as a loophole to expand their business by praying on the ones of us that don't ask any extra questions. I worked inside of AT&T stores for 6 years, I speaking from experience.  

 

The statement about the eSim not being reliable is also false, I have actually the THE BEST service ever on my iPhone since switching from physical sim to eSim for existing line. 

 

If you haven't read my lengthy "update" about this issue on the first page of this thread, I recommend you read it as I outline step by step what it took for me to achieve success in this matter.

 

Remember, this IS possible, I am doing it, and many others are as well. So don't get discouraged. 

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