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Posted Jul 24, 2011
10:53:15 AM
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Activating sim card

Hello, i am going on vacation to the US for some weeks, leaving Norway tomorrow morning. I have tried for several weeks to activate AT&T prepaid SIM card, so that it is ready for use once i arrive the US.

I am typing the card no., IMEI of my iphone4, and zipcode 90001 as i will spend the most of the time in California.

One problem is that on the scheme were you are to type in your e-mail adress it is not possible to type @ in the verification line, and it is not possible to use copy and paste either. I solved this problem by using chrome, and autofill in.

 

Every time i have tried the activation, it starts, and then stops after approx 20-30 seconds with a message stating: 

GP038: The activation has taken longer than normal. Please try again later. 

 

I have sent request for help now to several support departmenents in the AT&T system, but all i get back is that: sorry this is the wrong departement, try this one.......

The last mail i got from AT&T apologized for the inconvinience, and stated that he had now found the right link for me to follow......... right...... it was a broken link..

 

I am surely glad i am not a regular customer of AT&T.

 

For your information, in Norway where i come from all the major network companies has got support centers you can call for free on a 24/7 basis...  Something AT&T customers should demand??

 

If anyone has got an answer to my problems i would highly appreciate it, as i am leaving Norway in just twelve hours...

Hello, i am going on vacation to the US for some weeks, leaving Norway tomorrow morning. I have tried for several weeks to activate AT&T prepaid SIM card, so that it is ready for use once i arrive the US.

I am typing the card no., IMEI of my iphone4, and zipcode 90001 as i will spend the most of the time in California.

One problem is that on the scheme were you are to type in your e-mail adress it is not possible to type @ in the verification line, and it is not possible to use copy and paste either. I solved this problem by using chrome, and autofill in.

 

Every time i have tried the activation, it starts, and then stops after approx 20-30 seconds with a message stating: 

GP038: The activation has taken longer than normal. Please try again later. 

 

I have sent request for help now to several support departmenents in the AT&T system, but all i get back is that: sorry this is the wrong departement, try this one.......

The last mail i got from AT&T apologized for the inconvinience, and stated that he had now found the right link for me to follow......... right...... it was a broken link..

 

I am surely glad i am not a regular customer of AT&T.

 

For your information, in Norway where i come from all the major network companies has got support centers you can call for free on a 24/7 basis...  Something AT&T customers should demand??

 

If anyone has got an answer to my problems i would highly appreciate it, as i am leaving Norway in just twelve hours...

Activating sim card

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Jul 24, 2011 1:54:07 PM
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ACE - Master
I'm guessing that you tried this activation link? https://www.wireless.att.com/activations/ Try it again one or two times and see if you still get the same error. The card should activate no matter where your location would be.

I'm wondering if the SIM is failing to activate because you're trying to activate it with an iPhone 4 IMEI... iPhones are not officially authorized for use on GoPhone plans, but they indeed can work. I wonder what would happen if you tried activating a different phone other than your iPhone, and then seeing what would happen. I'm not telling you that you can't use your iPhone, but that could be the reason why you are getting the SIM activation error.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



I'm guessing that you tried this activation link? https://www.wireless.att.com/activations/ Try it again one or two times and see if you still get the same error. The card should activate no matter where your location would be.

I'm wondering if the SIM is failing to activate because you're trying to activate it with an iPhone 4 IMEI... iPhones are not officially authorized for use on GoPhone plans, but they indeed can work. I wonder what would happen if you tried activating a different phone other than your iPhone, and then seeing what would happen. I'm not telling you that you can't use your iPhone, but that could be the reason why you are getting the SIM activation error.

:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010
*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.

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Jul 24, 2011 3:13:40 PM
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It is correct that i have used that link..
Have tried to activate at least fifty-sixty times over the last ten days, but always get the same error.

Just out of curiosity, why does the phone company nerd an Imei to activate a prepaid card. In Europe one can use a prepaid card in any phone You like, and of course switch it from phone to phone as You like.

Iphone4 not authorized?? It seems that american telecom companies have a long way to go.. In Norway 95% of all citizens above ten years of age owns a cell phone. But we do not have the rigid system that AT&T has with online activation that several people has stater has not been working properly for several months, and we do not have the worlds worst support solution. Support heretter for all major companies are open 24/7 and You actually get to speak to a person that immediately solves Your problem.

Ithank You for Your answer, but i do believe i will have to but a phone and sim card when arriving US tomorrow. I am the owner of a bus company, and need to be able to both make and recieve calls.

Arriving NY, any good ideas on where to get hold of something that actually works?

It is correct that i have used that link..
Have tried to activate at least fifty-sixty times over the last ten days, but always get the same error.

Just out of curiosity, why does the phone company nerd an Imei to activate a prepaid card. In Europe one can use a prepaid card in any phone You like, and of course switch it from phone to phone as You like.

Iphone4 not authorized?? It seems that american telecom companies have a long way to go.. In Norway 95% of all citizens above ten years of age owns a cell phone. But we do not have the rigid system that AT&T has with online activation that several people has stater has not been working properly for several months, and we do not have the worlds worst support solution. Support heretter for all major companies are open 24/7 and You actually get to speak to a person that immediately solves Your problem.

Ithank You for Your answer, but i do believe i will have to but a phone and sim card when arriving US tomorrow. I am the owner of a bus company, and need to be able to both make and recieve calls.

Arriving NY, any good ideas on where to get hold of something that actually works?

Re: Activating sim card

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Jul 24, 2011 5:29:26 PM
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ACE - Master
Wow, fifty-six times? Yikes. Smiley Indifferent

I'm not sure why IMEIs are required to activate the SIM card with. Probably to just show proof that the phone belongs to you because both the SIM and account are in your name. Also, there is a "SIM lock" for up to six months before you can transfer your SIM card activated with the first phone's IMEI number to another phone.

As for getting ahold of something that works, would you mean like a phone and SIM combo that can be activated together? There are cheaper phones to midscale phones that are available for purchase at local Radio Shack stores, Walgreen's, Walmart, etc. Some run as little as $9.99. But the cheaper ones are basic function cell phones - something you're probably not used to very much considering that you use an iPhone 4.


Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



Wow, fifty-six times? Yikes. Smiley Indifferent

I'm not sure why IMEIs are required to activate the SIM card with. Probably to just show proof that the phone belongs to you because both the SIM and account are in your name. Also, there is a "SIM lock" for up to six months before you can transfer your SIM card activated with the first phone's IMEI number to another phone.

As for getting ahold of something that works, would you mean like a phone and SIM combo that can be activated together? There are cheaper phones to midscale phones that are available for purchase at local Radio Shack stores, Walgreen's, Walmart, etc. Some run as little as $9.99. But the cheaper ones are basic function cell phones - something you're probably not used to very much considering that you use an iPhone 4.


:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010
*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.

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Jul 24, 2011 9:24:34 PM
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Edited by ilikewireless on Jul 24, 2011 at 9:30:44 PM

In my area (US), prepaid phones are sold at grocery stores too. Yesterday, they had a good deal on prepaid brand new smartphones at 27% discount. I bought mine from a grocery store at 50% discount.

In my area (US), prepaid phones are sold at grocery stores too. Yesterday, they had a good deal on prepaid brand new smartphones at 27% discount. I bought mine from a grocery store at 50% discount.

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Jul 24, 2011 11:14:12 PM
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Thank You for the tip.....
It actually seems that my problem is that own an iPhone.
For some strange reason owning an iPhone disqualfies You from using AT&T prepaid card ?????

Well of to the US today, and it seems that i will have to buy a cheap phone on arrival...

Thx for all help :-)
Thank You for the tip.....
It actually seems that my problem is that own an iPhone.
For some strange reason owning an iPhone disqualfies You from using AT&T prepaid card ?????

Well of to the US today, and it seems that i will have to buy a cheap phone on arrival...

Thx for all help :-)

Re: Activating sim card

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Jul 25, 2011 8:36:44 AM
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ACE - Master
You're welcome. Smiley Happy

I wouldn't say that owning and intending to use an iPhone would not allow you to use it with a prepaid SIM card. But activating an iPhone with a prepaid SIM would throw the system off, as using prepaid iPhones can be somewhat sneaky and otherwise, like I said, unauthorized.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



You're welcome. Smiley Happy

I wouldn't say that owning and intending to use an iPhone would not allow you to use it with a prepaid SIM card. But activating an iPhone with a prepaid SIM would throw the system off, as using prepaid iPhones can be somewhat sneaky and otherwise, like I said, unauthorized.

:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010
*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.

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Jul 25, 2011 8:54:53 AM
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You're welcome.Smiley Happy

 

Have a good trip.

You're welcome.Smiley Happy

 

Have a good trip.

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Jul 25, 2011 1:29:54 PM
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Edited by OnlytheShadowKnows on Jul 25, 2011 at 1:37:15 PM

I own an iPhone 3G out of contract, locked to AT&T, which is now running happily over the AT&T Pay-as-You-Go prepaid cloud, for voice, text and data plan.  (10cents per-minute for airtime, 20cents per-message for texting, and $15-month for 100MB-month data.)

 

I activated this iPhone using an *unactivated* AT&T 3G 64K card which I bought at eBay for $2.99, with free shipping.  I used www.wireless.att.com/activations to activate the SIM for this iPhone.

 

Easy.  It was a cinch and totally legal, although advanced in here as "'sneaky".

 

Why?  Because I use the iPhone as a smartphone under the AT&T for-smartphone monthly data plan -- I selected the 100MB-month plan for $15 per-month.  This plan APPLIES TO ALL SMARTPHONES supported by AT&T, including the iPhone.  If you do not believe me, read the following snippet off the AT&T prep-paid Terms and Conditions:

 

"**Smartphone users: You may use your smartphone on all GoPhone plans. A data package is required to use any data services on your device. Pay‐per‐use data is not available on smartphones."

 

Crystal clear if you know how to read English.  Right?

 

But there is an unpublished gotcha, which you and I experienced, probably a reemnant of the days when AT&T had exclusive control of the iPhone in the US:

 

The gotcha is that if you specify the iPhone IMEI (the leading digits indicates Apple as the OEM), the activation system gives you that generic error of "... try later".  After two times, of being told "... try later", I got wise and specified, instead, the IMEI of my old Blackberry Pearl 8100, which now lives under T-Mobile as a prepaid of a family phone for emergencies of last-resort.

 

And, then, I got an immediate (and successful) activation.

 

And, yes, the system recognized I was using an iPhone after activation, not a BlackBerry, without any problems with over-the-air provisioning, for voice (including voice mail), text messaging (including the SMS service center), and 3G UMTS Band II data (it is an iPhone after all).

 

The moral of the story:  use a non-iPhone (non-Apple) IMEI during activation.  Some say that you can create a 15-digit virtual IMEI as long as the last digit (the checksum) is properly computed.  (Google on how to do this, but only if you do not have a second non-iPhone IMEI available.)

 

The IMEI makes no difference during actual use.

 

And, I meet AT&T's spirit and letter of their pre-paid terms and conditions, as there is nothing said about the iPhone not being allowed or being "sneaky" as someone else mentioned above.

 

A final note;  You have to receive a "free" SMS text with the four-digit "verification" code during your first login, so obviously you need to have your prepaid phone ready within the 5 minutes of activation.  Or your activation will fail, as you cannot register to pay for the services.

 

Being in a foregn country may create logistical problems for activation as the text message is free, but doubt seriously that it is delivered internationally.  As a matter of fact, probably it is wishful thinking that you can activate properly outside AT&T'spre-paid coverage zones, even within US shores (AT&T coverage for prepaid is been said to be a minor subset of postpaid).  But I have no basis to say either way.

 

Everything I said above if not hearsay.  It is fact, as I have succeeded activating the 3G without any encumbrances -- real or imaginary.  And I am getting five bars consistently, but I do live in Washington, DC *grin*.

 

I own an iPhone 3G out of contract, locked to AT&T, which is now running happily over the AT&T Pay-as-You-Go prepaid cloud, for voice, text and data plan.  (10cents per-minute for airtime, 20cents per-message for texting, and $15-month for 100MB-month data.)

 

I activated this iPhone using an *unactivated* AT&T 3G 64K card which I bought at eBay for $2.99, with free shipping.  I used www.wireless.att.com/activations to activate the SIM for this iPhone.

 

Easy.  It was a cinch and totally legal, although advanced in here as "'sneaky".

 

Why?  Because I use the iPhone as a smartphone under the AT&T for-smartphone monthly data plan -- I selected the 100MB-month plan for $15 per-month.  This plan APPLIES TO ALL SMARTPHONES supported by AT&T, including the iPhone.  If you do not believe me, read the following snippet off the AT&T prep-paid Terms and Conditions:

 

"**Smartphone users: You may use your smartphone on all GoPhone plans. A data package is required to use any data services on your device. Pay‐per‐use data is not available on smartphones."

 

Crystal clear if you know how to read English.  Right?

 

But there is an unpublished gotcha, which you and I experienced, probably a reemnant of the days when AT&T had exclusive control of the iPhone in the US:

 

The gotcha is that if you specify the iPhone IMEI (the leading digits indicates Apple as the OEM), the activation system gives you that generic error of "... try later".  After two times, of being told "... try later", I got wise and specified, instead, the IMEI of my old Blackberry Pearl 8100, which now lives under T-Mobile as a prepaid of a family phone for emergencies of last-resort.

 

And, then, I got an immediate (and successful) activation.

 

And, yes, the system recognized I was using an iPhone after activation, not a BlackBerry, without any problems with over-the-air provisioning, for voice (including voice mail), text messaging (including the SMS service center), and 3G UMTS Band II data (it is an iPhone after all).

 

The moral of the story:  use a non-iPhone (non-Apple) IMEI during activation.  Some say that you can create a 15-digit virtual IMEI as long as the last digit (the checksum) is properly computed.  (Google on how to do this, but only if you do not have a second non-iPhone IMEI available.)

 

The IMEI makes no difference during actual use.

 

And, I meet AT&T's spirit and letter of their pre-paid terms and conditions, as there is nothing said about the iPhone not being allowed or being "sneaky" as someone else mentioned above.

 

A final note;  You have to receive a "free" SMS text with the four-digit "verification" code during your first login, so obviously you need to have your prepaid phone ready within the 5 minutes of activation.  Or your activation will fail, as you cannot register to pay for the services.

 

Being in a foregn country may create logistical problems for activation as the text message is free, but doubt seriously that it is delivered internationally.  As a matter of fact, probably it is wishful thinking that you can activate properly outside AT&T'spre-paid coverage zones, even within US shores (AT&T coverage for prepaid is been said to be a minor subset of postpaid).  But I have no basis to say either way.

 

Everything I said above if not hearsay.  It is fact, as I have succeeded activating the 3G without any encumbrances -- real or imaginary.  And I am getting five bars consistently, but I do live in Washington, DC *grin*.

 

Re: Activating sim card

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Jul 27, 2011 8:17:31 PM
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Edited by mindyourmanners on Jul 27, 2011 at 8:18:58 PM

Thanks for informing American cell phone users what is provided in Norway. I just returned from Europe, and in three countries I traveled through, all receive much better service for better prices than do we. They are not allowed to gouge Europeans like they are allowed to gouge us.

Thanks for informing American cell phone users what is provided in Norway. I just returned from Europe, and in three countries I traveled through, all receive much better service for better prices than do we. They are not allowed to gouge Europeans like they are allowed to gouge us.

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Hey OnlyTheShadowKnows,

 

I have to thank you for all the info you just provided. I too am a traveller and have so many doubts about how to use my phone with data when I get there for a short time. If you don't mind, I'd like you to help me a bit more.

 

Well, I don't own an iPhone, but I do own a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc that is compatible with At&t network, so all good for now. So, my biggest doubt is about the process of purchasing the sim card. I have noticed that they sell these online (http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phone-details/?device=AT%26T+SIM+Card&q_sku=sku9...) Is that the right one for me? 

 

I will be arriving in september... do I need to activate the sim card right away or can I get it now and wait til I'm there to activate it? I'm guessing that activating it means to just activate a new number, but I still wouldn't have any credit at all.

 

How do I get a data package, can I get it online? If so, do I NEED to also buy minutes or texts or can I just buy the data package and use it to go online? That's really all I need. Do I need to do anything regarding the 3G settings in my phone or will they be automatically set?

 

And do you know, by any chance, if when buying a data package online (if it' doable) they require a US credit card or could I buy it with my local Visa?

 

Thanks in advance for all the help.

Hey OnlyTheShadowKnows,

 

I have to thank you for all the info you just provided. I too am a traveller and have so many doubts about how to use my phone with data when I get there for a short time. If you don't mind, I'd like you to help me a bit more.

 

Well, I don't own an iPhone, but I do own a Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc that is compatible with At&t network, so all good for now. So, my biggest doubt is about the process of purchasing the sim card. I have noticed that they sell these online (http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phone-details/?device=AT%26T+SIM+Card&q_sku=sku981990#fbid=eBMm8Wa6gPG?tabModule) Is that the right one for me? 

 

I will be arriving in september... do I need to activate the sim card right away or can I get it now and wait til I'm there to activate it? I'm guessing that activating it means to just activate a new number, but I still wouldn't have any credit at all.

 

How do I get a data package, can I get it online? If so, do I NEED to also buy minutes or texts or can I just buy the data package and use it to go online? That's really all I need. Do I need to do anything regarding the 3G settings in my phone or will they be automatically set?

 

And do you know, by any chance, if when buying a data package online (if it' doable) they require a US credit card or could I buy it with my local Visa?

 

Thanks in advance for all the help.

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Dec 14, 2011 9:12:17 PM
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i've got the same problem too. how can i solve it?

i've got the same problem too. how can i solve it?

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Dec 14, 2011 10:09:21 PM
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Professor
Edited by ilikewireless on Dec 14, 2011 at 10:26:59 PM

Visit an AT&T store at one of the shopping malls in the US. If you buy an AT&T prepaid phone, they should be able to activate your phone with airtime added while you're at the store.

 

It is very difficult to activate a prepaid phone from outside the US.

 

 

 



 

Visit an AT&T store at one of the shopping malls in the US. If you buy an AT&T prepaid phone, they should be able to activate your phone with airtime added while you're at the store.

 

It is very difficult to activate a prepaid phone from outside the US.

 

 

 



 

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Dec 15, 2011 5:45:34 AM
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Ok, so here's what I did in the end:

 

I bought an AT&T GoPhone SIM card from ebay... they're cheap!!

 

As soon as I arrived in the states, I went to this website: Activate Your Phone. Followed the steps... and the SIM card was activated! After that I just called their customer service number (I don't remember it right now, but it must be written on the sim card case) and purchased a data package over the phone (my purpose was to just have a data connection, not minutes). And that was it!

 

It's a lot easier than it looks like. Good luck!

Ok, so here's what I did in the end:

 

I bought an AT&T GoPhone SIM card from ebay... they're cheap!!

 

As soon as I arrived in the states, I went to this website: Activate Your Phone. Followed the steps... and the SIM card was activated! After that I just called their customer service number (I don't remember it right now, but it must be written on the sim card case) and purchased a data package over the phone (my purpose was to just have a data connection, not minutes). And that was it!

 

It's a lot easier than it looks like. Good luck!

Re: Activating sim card

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Dec 15, 2011 4:29:24 PM
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ACE - Master

vigmak wrote:

Ok, so here's what I did in the end:

 

I bought an AT&T GoPhone SIM card from ebay... they're cheap!!

 

As soon as I arrived in the states, I went to this website: Activate Your Phone. Followed the steps... and the SIM card was activated! After that I just called their customer service number (I don't remember it right now, but it must be written on the sim card case) and purchased a data package over the phone (my purpose was to just have a data connection, not minutes). And that was it!

 

It's a lot easier than it looks like. Good luck!


Yup, that's exactly what you needed to do to activate a SIM card. And they are fairly cheap, aren't they? Very good prices, indeed.

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy




vigmak wrote:

Ok, so here's what I did in the end:

 

I bought an AT&T GoPhone SIM card from ebay... they're cheap!!

 

As soon as I arrived in the states, I went to this website: Activate Your Phone. Followed the steps... and the SIM card was activated! After that I just called their customer service number (I don't remember it right now, but it must be written on the sim card case) and purchased a data package over the phone (my purpose was to just have a data connection, not minutes). And that was it!

 

It's a lot easier than it looks like. Good luck!


Yup, that's exactly what you needed to do to activate a SIM card. And they are fairly cheap, aren't they? Very good prices, indeed.

:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010
*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.

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Dec 22, 2011 8:09:34 AM
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apoligise paid 15 dollars for a payasyougocard,can't refill phone.I registered  my online acc.,tryed doing it online and i got this in red letters."We seem to be experiencing system issues,please call 611 from your prepaid phone for further assistance.Now i'm on the prepaid phone,dialed 18003524071 then area code my # then 10 digit # on the back of card ,and your operators response was "We are unable to process your request at the time,we apologize please try again later"I have been trying for the past 4 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

apoligise paid 15 dollars for a payasyougocard,can't refill phone.I registered  my online acc.,tryed doing it online and i got this in red letters."We seem to be experiencing system issues,please call 611 from your prepaid phone for further assistance.Now i'm on the prepaid phone,dialed 18003524071 then area code my # then 10 digit # on the back of card ,and your operators response was "We are unable to process your request at the time,we apologize please try again later"I have been trying for the past 4 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

paid 15 dollars 4 payasyougocard,can't refill phone

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Jan 17, 2012 2:47:39 PM
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I have a question that cannot be found on the at&t website. If I go and buy a cellphone on the at&t website with a new SIM and contract, is there a time span on when I have to activate the SIM card?

I have a question that cannot be found on the at&t website. If I go and buy a cellphone on the at&t website with a new SIM and contract, is there a time span on when I have to activate the SIM card?

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Jan 17, 2012 4:29:48 PM
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ACE - Master
I believe so, yes, although I don't know the exact time allowance. I think you're allowed up to 30 days?

Cat Happy Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 Cat Happy



I believe so, yes, although I don't know the exact time allowance. I think you're allowed up to 30 days?

:cathappy: Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010 :cathappy:



Remember that Wild Banchi... 1993-2010
*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.

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