Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Apple Watch calls out on cellular with someone else's number!

Level 1: Joiner
  • 4 Posts
  • 1 Topics
  • 0 Solutions

Strange things with my (second hand) Apple Watch 6 GPS + Cellular...


I just took out a new 24 months airtime contract for an iPhone 13 mini with O2, separately bought an Apple Watch 6 GPS + Cellular from Music Magpie, which turned on fine, asking to be paired.


Paired the Watch with my iPhone using my own Apple ID without any issue. Watch set up fine, works well with my iPhone.


I then use the Watch app on my iPhone to set up cellular airtime, an O2 screen popped up, logged into O2, and successfully signed up to the Watch AirTime for £5 a month.


The watch was activated within 30 minutes, now under Cellular it shows O2 with an orange i on my iPhone, in cellular page on the Watch showed network as O2 and status is connected.


Tested it with the paired iPhone nearby, calling out from the Watch showed my O2 number fine. If I call my O2 number then both the iPhone and Watch would ring, so far so good.


To test the cellular functions on the Watch, I switched my paired iPhone off, turned off WiFi on the Watch, and made a call from the Watch to my other phone on 3 network, my 3 phone rings, but showed a DIFFERENT number from my paired iPhone!


I then used my 3 phone to call back to this strange number, the line was ringing but my Apple Watch did not ring, then someone else picked up the call!


I web-chatted with O2 and they suggested that my Apple Watch may still be connected to previous owner, and advised that I try to reset the Watch or contact the previous owner.


I removed the O2 airtime from the Watch and then unpaired the Watch from my iPhone, paired again as a new Watch, typed in my Apple ID and password, which it accepted and all good. Went on to set up cellular and it recognised the Watch was reset, asked if I want to reload the Watch AirTime, to which I agreed.


Despite the reset, when I made calls from the Watch on cellular without the iPhone, the number showed still not my number, a different number that belongs to someone else (same number as before the reset).


Further, when I logged into MyO2 on my computer, I could not find the Watch Airtime anywhere on my bill, new charges or bolt-on.


Please note:

1. The Watch appeared to be dissociated from its previous owner as I am able to pair it to my iPhone using my own Apple ID.

2. I can use data and make calls from the Watch without the paired iPhone, so cellular is working, just calls out in a different number which is actually still in use by someone else.

3. The Watch Airtime was taken out on Friday 28/1/22 just before 5pm, and the Watch activation went through, but the Watch Airtime still does not show anywhere on MyO2 for over 24 hours on Saturday evening 29/1/22.

4. Whilst on web-chat to O2, I also asked for a Spend Cap on my tariff on Saturday 29/1/22 lunchtime, which appears on MyO2 as expected when I check on the same evening.


Anyone can help to explain what is happening before I make the awkward contact with the person whose number my Watch uses to dial out?


Thanks in advance

Message 1 of 5

Level 94: Supreme
  • 145866 Posts
  • 635 Topics
  • 28021 Solutions


Mt watch isn't cellular so I'm only guessing, but is there a setting in the watch app anywhere for a number associated with the watch?

Similar to Settings >Phone >My Number in the phone settings?

I have no affiliation whatsoever with O2 or any subsidiary companies. Comments posted are entirely of my own opinion. This is not Customer Service so we are unable to help with account specific issues.

Currently using:
Pixel 7a (O2 & Lyca), One Plus 6 (Sfr), iPhone 12 Pro Max (Vodafone)
Message 2 of 5

Former Staff
  • 921 Posts
  • 89 Topics
  • 1 Solutions

Hi, @FIPC. Make sure to answer MI5's question above, so they know if the advice was correct or not. Plus, other members may come across this topic in the future and may find it helpful too 😁.

Community Manager for the O2 Community 🙂
Message 3 of 5

Level 1: Joiner
  • 4 Posts
  • 1 Topics
  • 0 Solutions

Thanks MI5, there isn't any setting on the Watch to shown the number, however, I finally got to the bottom of the issue.

Having spent a few sessions with O2 support to no avail, I called the number my Watch is dialing from.


Turns out that owner of the number sold her Watch to MusicMagpie without realising that she bought the Watch from O2 on 24 months contract a year ago, and the Watch is still "sim-locked" to her Watch Device and AirTime despite un-pairing the Watch from her iPhone and Apple ID, and subsequently allowed me to pair the Watch with my iPhone using my own Apple ID.


So in short, be cautious when buying and selling a used Apple Watch, even if you unpair the Watch, if the Watch was on a device and/or Airtime contract that has not expired, the Watch will re-link to its original contract number when the new owner takes out an Watch Airtime. 

Message 4 of 5

Level 1: Joiner
  • 4 Posts
  • 1 Topics
  • 0 Solutions

just to update, I called MusicMagpie and initiated the return.

Bought another Apple Watch 6 cellular, new this time. Paired the Watch with my iPhone, when setting up cellular, it said cannot connect to server!


After a few attempts, I decided to unpair the new Watch from my iPhone and paired it to my daughter's iPhone with my O2 sim. This time it connects to O2 and said I already have a Watch Airtime (which I don't technically) and asked if I wanted to use it or set up a new one.


Fearing the same issue may persist, I said no and took out a new Watch AirTime, it went through fine and activated the cellular on the new Watch.


I then unpaired the Watch from my daughter's iPhone but kept the cellular plan on the watch. Then re-paired it with my own iPhone. This time it picks up my cellular plan during set up.


Tested a few times now, all working fine on cellular without my iPhone nearby, more importantly, the Watch calls out from my own number!!


So the moral of the story... don't buy used Apple Watch, particularly if you cannot return it,considering the risks of in-contract devices and uncertainties.  


My O2 web account now shows 1 associated device but won't show details, I will wait for a few days/week to check what associated device it is and how many Watch Airtime I have!

Message 5 of 5