I was having a problem with Virgin Mobile's 3G network not working on an iPhone 4s (https://discussions.apple.com/message/19229251#19229251). Eventually Virgin decided the phone was probably defective and that I needed a new one.
On Sunday I got a replacement at an Apple Store. But Virgin wasn't able to activate it. They can't find the MEID in their system, so they say there's basically nothing they can do. They said I'd have to go get another new phone to replace this one.
On Tuesday I got another replacement at an Apple Store. Virgin Mobile can't activate this one either, for exactly the same reason. I was on the phone with Virgin for an hour and 45 minutes and it was a complete waste of time. They want me to go back to Apple for a third replacement phone.
I could probably do that but I don't know why it would work this time when it's failed twice this week already.
Virgin just keeps telling me that they're doing something or other and that I'll have to wait 1-3 days for any news. I've already been without phone service for four days.
Is anyone else having problems where Virgin Mobile just can't activate an iPhone? If so, did you ever get it resolved? They sell these phones and advertise them, but they don't seem to be able to actually make them work.
They finally got it working after five days with no service.
If this happens to you: That is, you try to activate a Virgin Mobile phone and they say they can't find the phone's MEID and that you need to replace the phone: Prepare for some frustration, but the following steps may help.
- When calling Virgin's customer support, just ask for technical support immediately. Don't try to deal with their front-line customer support for this.
- When you get to tech support, if they can't actviate the phone immediately, ask them to escalate the case. In my case I was escalated to tier 3 tech support and then from Virgin Mobile to Sprint (Virgin's parent company in the USA). At that point, things got fixed.
- Don't take the phone back to Apple for a replacement unless you have some unrelated reason (e.g. if the phone is clearly defective somehow). Virgin Mobile won't be able to activate the replacement either, so it's a waste of time.
- Keep after Virgin for updates on your case. They'll tell you over and over that it will be 24-72 hours before you get news, but don't hesitate to ask as often as you have time for. They told me 24-72 hours every day for a week. You can do this by email if you prefer-- send email to email@example.com.
Good luck! You'll need it.