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My SIM Swap nightmare with O2

BerkshireBob
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My first post. Apologies if I sound harsh but O2 support has been very poor and I am left devastated and tired working with O2 support staff. Just terrible. Sorry to start like this.

 

Here is my story and ongoing saga with O2.

 

I worked for an employer for decades. Company gave me an O2 mobile which I used in the last 20 years. After leaving employer (resigned 20 days ago) I wanted to keep this O2 number.

 

Employer said : "Here is the PAC code of your mobile number. Go get yourself an O2 PAYG SIM in store (which has a temporary number) or sign a contract and give O2 folks the PAC code and they will sort it for you" The same was also confirmed by the O2 store representative in UK. The store rep said if I sign a contract, he will do the PAC code porting rightaway but with PAYG, he cannot do it but if I call O2 support, they will gladly sort it out. I made a poor decision of getting a PAYG card to try to save a few quid. This turned out to be an absolute nightmare as I will explain below.

 

I had to rush out of the country on emergency. So I left both the SIM cards (the old company SIM) and the new PAYG Temp one with a trusted friend in UK. Left UK 25th. I wont be back till Feb.

 

On 29 Nov I called O2 support for the first time , gave them PAC code, new PAYG temp mobile number and the old mobile number which I wished to keep. They made tall promises that it will be "done in 24 hrs" on 29 Nov. The old number became inactive same day. New PAYG number was ringing. But the so-called "Port" never happened - for a week !!

 

Clearly they had initiated the port or swap or whatever term they use, because
(a) when I rang the old number on 30 Nov it said "invalid number"
(b) My former employer checked on Friday 8 Dec and said : "This number has been ported out of us now."
(c) I tried porting the PAC code of the old mobile to Lyca on Fri 8 Dec and I got Invalid PAC code error.

 

So O2 started the port but could never complete it. Half baked job. When I called them on 5th, 7th, 8th Dec they Went round and round between various departments putting me on hold for 2 hours each time.

In the latest call on Fri 8 Dec, O2 sold me a 1 year contract. They literally forced me to take a 1 year contract and now they are saying they will send me the new SIM in 3 to 5 business days. I succumbed and signed the 1 year contract. They are saying that this new SIM will have a temporary mobile number but They also promised I will be able to keep my old number. They said since I have signed the contract, Once I receive the new SIM, I should TEXT the word SWAP to 20220 and everything will work.

 

But I forgot to ask them : should I text from the new number or from my old number ending in 368 ? My old number is not working : I get "invalid number" - I suspect that when I send TEXT SWAP from the new (temp) number, it will prompt me for old mobile number and then it must send an OTP to the old mobile number. Since my old O2 number has become inactive thanks to O2's half baked porting effort, that SMS will never arrive.

 

My former employer said that the old number will be valid only up to 20 Dec. Is this swap or port or whatever its called likely to work by then ? or am I looking at losing my old number ?

Thanks all

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jonsie
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You won't be able to initiate the swap yourself as the text needs to be sent from the old number

Customer service should have been aware of this if you told them the old number had been disconnected

The new contract sim needs to be in an active phone and O2 need to do the swap for you

We’re just customers like you but it sounds like you’ll need someone to access your account which can’t be done from here. If you message O2 using the links below, they should be able to help you with this
or give them a call on 202  or 0344 809 0202

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BerkshireBob
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Thank you. I dont know who disconnected the old number. After I called O2 on 29th to do the SIM port from old to new, the next day the old number got disconnected. So it is O2 that has done something to disconnect that number. Dont know what they have done.

 

Customer service is really poor. They dont have a clue.

 

Would it help if I fly back to UK and visit the physical store ? Now I have signed the 12 month SIM only contract over the phone. Will the physical store refuse to help since I have not signed the contract in their store ?

 

How long will the old number be valid ? My former employer told me that PAC will be valid only until 21 Dec so I need to port out by then. When I spoke to O2 on Friday, when signing the contract, they said they are getting a new PAC for that old number. But I find it hard to trust them anymore. They can say whatever they want and make up a new story each time.

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Oxonian
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@BerkshireBob 

 

I would be very reluctant to suggest that you fly back to the UK to visit an O2 retail store. I am not sure that they would be able to help you, and even if they can, this is not a good time of year to visit with technical queries as their focus will be on selling to Christmas shoppers. 

 

@jonsie has suggested to you that you should contact customer services with your problem. You can message them on social media :-

 

- on Facebook : https://o2uk.co/O2CFB

 

- on Twitter : https://o2uk.co/O2CTW

 

- on Instagram : https://o2uk.co/O2CIG. 

 

Alternatively, you could telephone on or two O2 retail stores to see if they think that they can help you. Their numbers can be found on :-

 

Store locator | O2 UK | Find Your Nearest O2 Store

https://stores.o2.co.uk/

 

But please don't travel to the UK to visit them speculatively as my instinct is that they will not be able to help you. 

 

 

 

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BerkshireBob
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Thanks for your response.

 

Ok, will avoid flight back to UK and keep calling customer support. I have been unwell and need to rest couple of days.

 

As usual O2 customer support may just say "We will take care of it, check in 48 hours", wash rinse repeat. If nothing happens till say end of Dec then I will just accept the new number, notify my contacts, banks, NHS etc. What else do I do ?

 

I am totally at the mercy of the support staff in O2 phone support.. They are helpful and polite but clueless. Perhaps it is technically extremely challenging to port numbers and what I am asking for is a Herculean task, i.e trying to keep the old number but the call should be routed to the new SIM. Maybe it is rocket science. I am not a telecoms engineer, so I dont know.

 

When I call my old number, it says "Invalid number". This O2 number was provided by my previous employer. It was a monthly contract but we employees were not privy to details. They have confirmed that the number is out of their reach now and it is with O2.

 

I also dont know how long this number will be available. Will O2 assign it to someone else ? My employer told me the PAC code is valid only till 21 Dec.

 

The first time I called O2 support was on 29 Nov, asking to port this old number using PAC to a new O2 PAYG I had purchased in store. They made tall promises that it will be done, never happened. On the very next day my old number gave "invalid number" message. So obviously they had started the port but never completed. On 8 Dec Fri when I called and suggested they cancel it all and just give me a new working PAC code for that old O2 number that I can port to another carrier, they said problem is with PAYG and if I sign a SIM only contract they will take care of it. So I signed a contract (12 month) over the phone and the friendly rep said it will all be automatic and he will port my old number to this new SIM that will arrive by post. My friend in UK will collect this SIM. But as soon as I signed the contract he transferred me to another rep. That man said it will not be automatic and I will need to TEXT SWAP to 20220 once I receive the new SIM. I forgot to ask him whether I should send this TEXT from old number or new number. The old number is no longer working.

 

So again I have to call them and go thru hours of discussion.

 

when I called the O2 retail store last week they said if I physically show up with ID (passport, drivers license), they will do the swap for me. Hence I was considering a visit. That is only if I am desperate to keep the old number. It is not the end of the world if I am forced to have a new number. Have to update in various banks, financial institutions, NHS, Bupa, letting agent etc etc. Tedious but doable. Also concerned about changing primary phone number in Google / whatsapp, but I think that is also straightforward. The fear is Google may lock the account if they suspect anything.

 

I am out of the country but my close friend is in UK and he has my SIM cards.

 

Thanks

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BerkshireBob
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Familiarizing myself with MY O2 page

 

When I login to My O2, I see my new mobile number (say ending with 456) corresponding to the SIM-only contract I have signed last week. I am able to click on it and it gives me an option to SWAP my SIM !!

 

But that is NOT what I want, right ? I would use that option if I wanted to keep this new 456 mobile number and port it to another SIM ?

 

In my case I wish to retain my old O2 mobile (say ending with 123) that I used for last 20 years and I want calls to that 123 number to be routed to this new SIM I have purchased. Idea being I prefer to continue to be reached at the old 123 number and not the new 456 number

 

Obviously the old 123 number does not show up under My O2.  So the SWAP functionality within the app or web page is not useful for my use-case ?

 

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BerkshireBob
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I am going to document my pain here so others know how unacceptable the customer service has become.


To the HEAD OF O2 CUSTOMER SERVICES : Sir/Madam I hope this message reaches you.


Today I called the pay monthly team because they sold me a contract last Fri 8th Dec and promised that they will port my old number to this new SIM. Today they are saying that the old number is on PAYG so they have to reach the PAYG team. That team filled up a form and I was sent away with another promise. Making promise is easy, keeping is tough I guess.


Short history of the saga :
*) I used O2 mobile from employer for 20 years, number ending 123 (example). Left employer 3rd week Nov
*) 24 Nov : Bought PAYG SIM from O2 store in UK (number ending with 456 (example)).
*) 29 Nov : Called O2 support, gave PAC code of old 123 number, old and new number. Got promised it will be done in 48 hrs.
*) 30 Nov : Old number 123 got disconnected. SO they started the port. God knows what they did.
*) After 1 week, my expectation was that when you call 123 number, it should ring in the PAYG SIM. didnt happen
*) 5 Dec : called and they said it was not done correctly. They said they will fix it.
*) 8 Dec : Again no luck. Now when I called, they sold me a 12 month contract (number ending 789 as example) and assured me they will sort it and I can keep old number 123 and will be ported to this new number 789.
*) 8 Dec : The guy who sold the contract was a great salesman - he said everything will be automatic. But he put me thru to another rep who said I would need to Text SWAP to 20220. But my old number 123 is not working.
*) Today I called and the pay monthly team says : the old 123 number is showing up as PAYG so we need to contact PAYG Team. That old number was never PAYG. It was monthly contract with my employer
*) I think O2 has done half baked job of my 29 Nov request. Today they are again saying it will be sorted.
*) every call takes hours. Every time it is a new story.


This is simply unacceptable. Tossing customer between various departments and giving excuses every time. What is a reasonable time frame to sort this mess out ? 3 weeks ?

 

At some point can I just cancel and say no more porting and let me just take the new number ? I dont want these incompetent people to do the porting AFTER I have notified all my contacts banks, NHS etc of the new number. This is the worst customer service I have seen in the UK.

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madasaf1sh
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@BerkshireBob 

 

When you joined o2 you where a PAYG Customer, hence they said you need to speak to the PAYG Team

 

 

O2 wont see it and definetely not the CS Director, you need to follow the complaints process.  

 

https://www.o2.co.uk/how-to-complain

 

They have 8 weeks to reply to you then you can take to the ADR service. 

- Xperia 1V - o2 and Spusu
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jonsie
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BerkshireBob
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Thanks all

 

> When you joined o2 you where a PAYG Customer, hence they said you need to speak to the PAYG Team

 

Not really. My old employer O2 mobile contract was monthly. Thats the number I wish to retain. When I got my PAYG card, I did not "join O2". I initiated a request (29 Nov) to port the old mobile number to this PAYG. This was initiated but never completed.

 

on 8th Dec, the rep I spoke to said if I sign a yearly contract, everything will work fine and I can keep the old number and he would take care of it. And now I am being sent back to PAYG team. Can make a grown man cry.

 

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