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Requesting a specific number back after account deactivation

Level 1: Joiner
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TLDR- I need my specific number back because I use it for my work and personal 2FA accounts. O2 has sent me and my family around in circles trying to get it back only to give up and say it isn't possible for them to assign my old number to my new sim despite it not being redistributed to someone new yet. Many tears have been shed from the stress of all of this.


So, for my whole digital life my father has paid for my phone bill (this started when I was a young teenager). On the 14th February I was informed by him that his account with O2 would be closing because he is switching providers- meaning, when his account closes my sim will become redundant. 


I requested a PAC code that same day because I didn't want to lose my number when his account inevitably closes and I set up my own account. I texted PAC to 65075 and promptly received a text back saying that the request had failed and I never received a code. This lead me to believe that the PAC request had not properly gone through and I decided I'd address sorting out my phone sim later in the month when I can properly sit down and focus on organising it.


At the end of February I created my own account with O2 and ordered a sim only contract. This prompted my father to contact O2 202 and get them to transfer the number from his soon-to-be-closing account, onto the sim under my new account.

They told us that this can be done but only when my PAC code (the one I never received because the request failed) runs out on the 14th March so call back then. 


The 14th March comes and he calls 202 again to explain the situation with the nullifying PAC code and wanting to transfer the numbers from his account to mine. We sit on the phone for an hour and they eventually tell use the PAC code hasn't expired yet so we should call back tomorrow on the 15th and then they can do it. This starts to make us anxious as my father's account is due to close on the 16th but the o2 representative is confident that this can get sorted easily.


The 15th March comes and he calls 202 again to explain everything again. This time we get put through to a representative who doesn't understand what we are explaining at all. They didn't listen to us and started trying to perform a credit check on me despite the fact I wasn't trying to take out a new contract or do anything that required a credit check. The entire experience was very frustrating and we were on the phone to them for hours going around in circles.


She eventually listens to what we actually want to do after hours of trying to explain, but then comes back with the same conclusion as before- the PAC code still hasn't expired so the number can't be transferred yet. We were informed to call back tomorrow, the 16th March. We explained that the 16th won't work because the account is due to close that day. The O2 phone representative confidently told us that the account closure doesn't matter and they will be able to grab the phone number for me. Just call back tomorrow.

All while my father is having to take off his mornings from work in order to do these phone calls because every time we call it takes hours to get through and we are told a new date to call back.


Midnight, Friday 15th March my sim stops working. The account is now closed.


The 16th March comes and he calls 202 yet again. Things are now beyond frustrating. We get through all the explanation and the verification processes for the 4th time. The representative informs us that the phone number is deactivated because the account has closed, and it can't be transferred. We argued this and informed them that the day prior we were told it was entirely possible and should be a by-the-book procedure to transfer the number (connected to an account or not) to my new sim. After being put on hold for another hour or so my father was told that O2 would get back in contact him within 24 hours to do the transfer for him. 


Within that time I was away from my phone at an event and had missed 2 calls because we were both unaware and not informed that they would try to contact me, rather than my father's number-the one which we had used to make all these 202 calls since the beginning. I didn't notice the missed calls until the morning of the 17th March.


We don't call 202 on the 17th March because it is a Sunday and we were busy.


The 18th March comes. He calls 202 for a final time. The representative was very understanding and confident we can retrieve the number if we reactive my father's account for 30 days in order to facilitate the number transfer. He puts the request in for the account to be reactivated and informs my father that he will receive a call from O2 between 8am-12pm on the 19th March to perform the transfer. 


Today, the 19th March comes and he received no phone call. He is busy at work today and can't call so I call 202 myself. I explain everything that we have been trying to do and the O2 representative looks into the case for me. He informs me that the request to reactivate the account was denied on the backend and there was nothing that can be done to retrieve or reactivate the number anymore. 


I can't begin to explain the wave of nausea those words caused to come over me after spending so many hours just trying to do this day after day. My father losing hours of his time in order to catch up on the work he missed out on just to make these phone calls daily. Me losing my bosses trust because I was having to take hours out of the office to attend these phone calls- and all for it to end nowhere.


What can I do? I can't be mad, there must be a way to request this specific number back. Any help would be massively appreciated. 


Please 😞

Message 1 of 3

Level 85: Esteemed
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@Darcy__J We are all customers and cannot access any account information. There's nothing anyone here can do to help.

It seems that the first mistake you made was requesting the PAC yourself, as the account wasn't in your name. 

You'll have to persist with customer service, but from your description of events it doesn't seem likely that there will be a happy ending to this.


Message 2 of 3

Level 76: Forum Legend
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I am in agreement with @Bambino  this is not going to end well. As to be honest your problem is going to be that with multiple lines on the account only the account holder can get the PAC codes and it is done over the phone. 


I think your number is gone, to be honest as the account holder has cancelled the account.. And whilst active they could have done a migration, so no need for a PAC code at all.. And if they are going to reactivate the account then that means your dad would possibly be billed for another month of service... 


Customer Services will always call the number that has the issue, as that is the number on the account.. 


I would just contact anyone who needs the new phone number for 2FA and use that... 

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Message 3 of 3