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Fuddy Duddy GrandMa Phone

(29 Posts)
ExD Wed 19-Aug-20 18:07:32

I love my laptop and my tablet but I've never got into using a mobile phone, apart from still having a Pay as You Go thing from a supermarket. I'm with Virgin.
As I only use it to send the odd text or to phone someone in an emergency I haven't seen the point in shelling out for a contract when I make so little use of it.
Yesterday I attended the hospital for my routine eye injection, and as I cannot drive after my treatment, when it was all over and I needed DH to come and collect me I found my Virgin network was 'down'.
The hospital receptionist wouldn't let me use the hospital phone (which surprised me) so I was lost and a bit scared - as there was no Pay-Phone (which again surprised me).
A nice Security person allowed me to use his, and I was duly collected, but am properly pi**ed off with Virgin and am not sure how to contact them as my mobile is still not working.
Can anyone help?
I've switched it off then back on again, and I've removed the sim card and replaced it - what next?
And after that, how do I change providers without changing my number? I feel let down that on one of the few times I needed it, it wasn't up to scratch.

SueDonim Wed 19-Aug-20 18:10:46

First of all, I’d check whether the problem with your provider was a temporary blip out of their control, eg bad weather or similar. I wouldn’t change unless it was a regular problem, tbh.

Nowadays you can ‘port’ your current phone number to a new provider, so if you do decide to change, that won’t be a problem.

Chewbacca Wed 19-Aug-20 18:13:25

I know it's a bit of an obvious question but, you have got plenty of credit left on your phone haven't you? If you have and you still aren't able to make calls or send text messages, you'll have to call Virgin Media on 150 and ask them what's going on. But they do have a clause in their PayAsYouGo contract that says, If you're on Virgin Mobile's legacy Pay As You Go service, there's an inactivity period of 180 days. You'll need to make a chargeable phone call or text message at least once during this period.

shysal Wed 19-Aug-20 18:16:56

If you haven't used your phone for a while, there is a chance that it will be disconnected by virgin. If you telephone customer services from another phone they will get you going again. I have a spare old Vodafone with a very long battery life, for emergencies, in my bag packed in case I get rushed to hospital (I am fit and healthy!) On the first of each month I send one text from it to keep it live.
I hope you manage to sort this out.

seacliff Wed 19-Aug-20 18:30:38

Yes Chewbacca, I was also going to ask if the credit had expired.

I had a PAYG old style phone for years and was quite happy with it. Then my son gave (sold) me his almost new smart phone, as it wasn't quite what he wanted. Now I really love it, although I don't often use it for phone calls.

I still have PAYG, I put about £15 max on a year maybe. The actual phone is a Vodafone most basic one, about £110.

I love it for the camera, I take so many pics now, then delete ones I don't want. I also use whatsapp (free) to message chat in a family group, and talk on the phone, including to Australia, all free.

I was sort of forced into having it, but now I find it very useful. Might be worth a thought if yours is really not working properly.

seacliff Wed 19-Aug-20 18:33:29

I meant to say, I kept my old phone number and transferred it over.

ExD Wed 19-Aug-20 19:52:42

You sound IT competent, I'm rubbish.
My head just can't take all this on board at 81 years old - I mean I go back to the days of "Number Please" honestly, so computers and phones leave me floundering.
I didn't know you could use a smart phone without paying a set amount a month on a contract. I don't even know how to use a touch screen.
Looking on the internet I see Virgin were 'down' yesterday, but I don't have any idea how to get them back 'up' again. There isn't even a phone number to ring, someone mentioned phoning 150 but if my phone isn't working that isn't possible. I do have a landline.

seacliff Wed 19-Aug-20 20:13:50

Hi ExD

Here is a Virgin help number to try and ring from your landline 0345 454 1111. I am not sure if they will be there to help you. I searched to see if Virgin Phone Shops were open, and find they are merging with another company so will not open again.

I bought my phone direct from a vodafone shop, although they sent it by post. They are now open, so maybe you could go in and ask for advice. As I say, I bought the phone, and chose PAYG, although of course they always like to sign you up for a monthly contract.

This is what I got

If you buy it from a phoneshop (whatever phone) say you will buy it if they are willing to then help in setting it up for you. Good luck.

Grannynannywanny Wed 19-Aug-20 23:44:17

I read recently that Virgin mobile are making changes to their network which required current PAYG customers to insert a new SIM card to continue using their service. I’ve had a google and copied this from their site. They will provide the replacement sim for free but I think if you don’t do it your mobile will no longer function on their network.

If you’ve received a letter from us you will need to swap the SIM in your phone to continue to use our services. It is essential that you swap ASAP as these SIM cards will be completely deactivated in the future. All you have to do is read through the letter that comes with it, and then put the SIM in your phone. It’s quick and easy, and if you’ve got any questions, you’re in the right place.

ExD Thu 20-Aug-20 09:35:10

Thanks everyone.
They did send a new card which I inserted, and it was fine. Its still not working this morning, and although Virgin was down 2 days ago, according to the net its up and running again now. I haven't been able to find how to check if I have credit. Its not in Settings or Services as far as I can see. Services comes up with 'sim not support'.
I will try the number Seacliff gave me - thank you.
I tried 150 but got the message 'emergency calls only'.

Grannynannywanny Thu 20-Aug-20 09:49:38

ExD if you get through to customer service don’t be put off if recorded message tries to convince you they are exceptionally busy dealing with emergencies etc. Stay on the line and someone will help.
I have Virgin tv and broadband and phoned them recently. I ignored the prompt to end the call and go to their online troubleshooting guide which I’d already tried and failed at the previous day.
I waited a short time and a very helpful young man took my call. He was working from home. He solved the problem I was having and also reduced my monthly package by £5

midgey Thu 20-Aug-20 10:18:30

ExD I was given a smart phone by my son, it’s brilliant. I think you might find it easier than you think!

ExD Thu 20-Aug-20 10:55:52

I use pay-as-you-go because I seldom use it and don't want to pay for a contract. I admit I am a very unsatisfactory customer for any phone company so I can understand them not wanting to help.
Seacliff's phone number was an automated instructions which I followed, but it was just telling me how to insert the sim - which I'd done several times - and the phone still says 'Enter SIM'
I am sure I could manage a smart phone, but I couldn't manage the cost! (hence cheapskate PAYG)

seacliff Thu 20-Aug-20 11:31:47

You CAN still have PAYG, I do. But you have to buy the phone.

ExD Thu 20-Aug-20 12:16:46

Can I? Well you live and learn smile thank you. I might take over my DH's old one.
I have finally found an address to write - just Virgin Media, Sunderland and a postcode, so I've written. I wonder if I'll get a reply (by text to the non working phone) shock no doubt ?
As a matter of interest what is the name of the code I need from them in order to keep my present number if I change suppliers? CAN or something?
I will start a new thread asking for reliable supplier later. smile.

janeainsworth Thu 20-Aug-20 12:21:12

ExD I’ve found a good way to contact companies is via Twitter. I don’t think you have to have a Twitter account to message someone.
I’ve always had a fairly swift response (within a couple of hours).

Grannynannywanny Thu 20-Aug-20 13:07:55

ExD if you have access to your husband’s old phone you should try it. That’s how I started with my son’s old one. I would class myself as an old fuddy duddy when it comes to new technology but I find it so easy to use. If you can use a laptop you’ll manage a smartphone no problem.
I use mine for everything and seldom use the laptop now. I email and use the internet etc on the phone.

I have a monthly rolling contract of £9 with O2 which can be cancelled anytime. Because the phone is connected to WiFi at home I use very little of the 2GB data and also have 1,000 texts and 500 mins of calls. I love it for video calls via WhatsApp with my grandkids and other relatives hundreds of miles away which are all free calls.

HootyMcOwlface Thu 20-Aug-20 13:18:47

I’ve got a smartphone but I’m still on pay as you go as I don’t use it an awful lot, and at home I can connect to WiFi and use that on it. I used to be with virgin but they got too expensive, now I’m with Asda (I changed some years ago ) and I had no problems keeping my number. They will help you with changing over if you ring your new provider’s customer service - I had to get a code off Virgin and tell Asda, not too difficult at all and I think it’s easier now than when I changed mine. My friend is with Tesco Mobile and she likes them.

seacliff Thu 20-Aug-20 14:33:38

If you rarely use your phone away from the house, only for emergencies, then PAYG is probably the cheapest option. I pay about £15 a year. The main thing I use it for away from house is the camera, very handy.

I use the whatsapp to ring my family in Australia free, even can have free video calls, but I do it when in my house using my WiFi, so no cost.

I have turned Mobile Data on my phone off so it does not cost me when away from my house. Very important to do this on PAYG.

I have noticed that people with monthly contracts use their phones more than me when out, googling things, checking their bank, checking their emails, and texting people. I am happy not to do any of that until I get home.

If I am in a restaurant/etc etc they often have free WiFi so I can use my phone there also.

Yes definitely try your husbands phone.

I rarely use it away from my house as I don't want to spend on

seacliff Thu 20-Aug-20 14:39:07

This explains why you should turn off Mobile Data if PAYG

HootyMcOwlface Wed 26-Aug-20 11:36:45

@ExD have you sorted your phone yet? Martin Lewis MoneySavingExpert has written about keeping your number in his newsletter this week - see below I’ve copied the section for you.

Switching to a cheaper deal with another network is easier than ever, as you no longer have to call your current provider to ditch it, so you avoid the hard sell of them trying to make you stay. Here's what to do:

Request a switching code by text. Simply text 'PAC' for free to 65075 on any network and you'll be sent your 'porting authorisation code' (PAC) immediately via text so you can keep your number. To get a new number, text 'STAC' to 75075.

Its text must include important info such as any exit penalties, outstanding handset costs or credit balances.

You need to give the switching code to your new provider within 30 days. You'll then be switched within one working day. You won't need to contact your old provider again.

ExD Wed 26-Aug-20 14:50:26

That is so kind.
I haven't managed to solve the problem yet simply because the darn phone just plain doesn't work.
Well - it does actually 'fire up' and show the start screen, and it does unlock when I swipe across.
But then across the top are the words 'INSERT SIM CARD' which of course I have done.
I can write a text - but I cannot send it because I get the message 'EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY' so I don't know how to get my PAC number.
The virgin shop in town is closed.
Frankly I've left things in abeyance for the moment but am currently trying to find a way to contact or speak to someone (not a robot which is what you get when you phone) to get this magic number.
Thanks for the info, it was nice of you to bother.

MerylStreep Wed 26-Aug-20 15:07:03

A good way to get the attention of companies is to post on Trustpilot. You are more or less guaranteed a response from said company.

Grannynannywanny Wed 26-Aug-20 17:55:45

ExD I wonder if it’s possible you have a faulty sim? Perhaps you could get another one in Tesco or Asda and try it with a small amount of credit on it. It would both let you test if your phone is working and try another network to compare with Virgin.

clydeschu2007 Tue 01-Sep-20 17:38:55

I searched to see if Virgin Phone Shops were open, and find they are merging with another company so will not open again.