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Thread: My Viirgin Inner Circle SIM is tied to my IMEI...any way around this?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Feedback Score

    My Viirgin Inner Circle SIM is tied to my IMEI...any way around this?

    I have a factory unlocked iPhone SE from the states that I recently signed up - transferring my service from T-Mobile to Virgin. However I dropped my phone in Canada a week ago and they swapped me out another factory unlocked iPhone SE. but despite it being unlocked, virgin doesn’t recognize the IMEI as valid and I can no longer use the SIM when I’m in the states. They won’t send me a new sim with my new IMEI number either as it’s invalid in their system. It is unlocked though - my husband’s T-Mobile SIM card works just fine. Anything I can do, or just cancel virgin and move on?
    I am the Doctor...and this is my spoon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Feedback Score
    Unfortunately, the problem you have is a known issue with Sprint MVNOs.

    There are two separate elements here. The first is that sims are not hot swappable on the Sprint network and IMEI and ICCID must be activated and deactivated together. Getting a new sim is easy--the Apple Store provides them free of charge.

    The second problem is that with replacement models (typically starting with "N" rather than "M") is that while they inherit the original Apple activation policy, the IMEI is not necessarily whitelisted at the level of the Sprint MVNO, in this case Virgin Mobile.

    It would be possible for Virgin Mobile to do this, but reports from their forum suggests that it is a hit or miss situation depending on which agent one encounters.

    You can certainly try contacting one of their agents on their forum and hope for a good outcome.

    In my case and in a few others I know of, IMEI that were originally ineligible did become whitelisted. However, it really does not seem to follow any obvious pattern.

    What you might do is check on the Tello website and see if the IMEI is eligible for activation.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    New York
    VZW - Work / T-Mobile (iPhone)
    Feedback Score
    Just to clarify, you found that the IMEI is ineligible by logging into your account, and then going to the SWAP MY DEVICE in the lower right corner? If so, then perhaps because it's a Canadian model you got it's not in their whitelist. While it might have the same Apple model #, I don't know if the Sprint Whitelist has an IMEI range that somehow covers only the phones distributed in the USA.

    Presumably you got the replacement under AppleCare, in which case I would take it into an Apple Store in the USA and explain the situation to them. If your original phone was a USA unlocked SE, then they should give you a US model iPhone SE -- the goal is "Like for Like". Apple is pretty good about situations like this if it was a warranty claim (including AppleCare) -- and you had no idea that getting the replacement in Canada would have resulted in an incompatible replacement device.

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