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Pay as you go

Pay as you go sim (roaming), cant receive calls and messages

3: Seeker

Urgent help required


i have a vodafone pay as you card sim card, the simcard has never been used on the UK network system, and m currently roamin ootside tee UK, ,  well the prob is that though i can make calls or send sms messages tae mobile fones,  cant receive any calls or sms messages (except those notification messages that are sent to me by vodafone) i have tried chatting on line wae several technicians,  by whom a have been telt that the sim card looks activated and the bars on the system that may prevent me from receiving calls are off,  they recommended me to top up more credit than 10 gbp and made calls,  well would any of you friends techinicans,out there be so good as tae put me in the richt direction as to what i should do ? i really need get this problem sorted oot , for i need this number to keep in touch with friends and relatives back hame,  one mair thing,  i dinna see any names of any gsm operators on ma fone screen, what i see is just this number 52004 (which i havent the faintest idea aboot)  with the roaming bar icon next tae't 


thanks in advance



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17: Community Champion

Hi @albannach


You've carried out the first things to try which is to ensure no roaming bars are activated on your account.

I see you mention the Vodafone UK Payg Sim Card has never been used in the UK on the Vodafone Network.

May I assume you had someone post one to you from the UK.

This may have something to do with the issues your encountering now. I say may

Vodafone asking you to top up helps to activate the sim card. 

That said I see you can make calls and send texts. 

Is this to all contacts or some contacts as I'm wondering if you've accidentally blocked them or them you !

Are you able to try the sim card in another phone as a process of elimination to rule out the phone. 

Also sometimes manually choosing another network in the phone settings can help. 

The code your seeing is most probably for the network your latched to itself. 

To mention as Vodafone uk have no access to foreign networks they cannot guarantee that everything will work abroad. Roaming is for short periods only and thus Vodafone can stop a sim being used long term. 

I know you've spoken to Vodafone already but it may just be worth speaking to them again by phone or Live Chat just to double check. 

I wish you all the best with this situation. 

Current Phone > Samsung Note 10+ 5G _256Gb > Model: SM-N976B.

Samsung One Ui  / Pie.


Samsung Gear s3 Frontier Watch.

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17: Community Champion

Hi @albannach


The number you are seeing is probably an error code, you should see the name of the roaming network. 


If the SIM was not used on the UK network before you left the UK, the chances are it won't have activated correctly and this will be the reason for you being unable to receive calls or texts.  Where a PAYG SIM is concerned, it needs to connect to the local network for the first use.  PAYG SIM cards should already be enabled for roaming by default and you should immediately be able to connect to the roaming network.


You can try calling 17298 or texting to 9770 but with you not being on the UK network the short codes may not work.


There is also your voicemail, in order to receive voicemail messages overseas, you need to set up a PIN and this needs to be set up in the UK, it can't be done when you are on a roaming network.  If you get your incoming working this would be worth turning off by dialling 1210.


If problems persists and the phone is unlocked you may need consider a local SIM card or send the SIM back to someone you know in the UK to make a chargeable connection on the network and return to you.  It may also be worth mentioning roaming is only intented for short periods of travel and not for long term roaming.



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3: Seeker

well, furst aff very many thanks fer the replies,


aye the sim card has been mailed aff tae me by my parents, if i haed known aboot this, i would have asked them tae get it activated furst, ahm afraid ma phone is not unlucked,  which means thon its not compatible with any ither local simcards, by the way, one of the problems i was having appears tae have ben solved, a can now receive sms messages sent fae other numbers, the only prob now is that i canny receive any calls,  well looks like i will have tae send the card off back tae my parents, asking them tae get itt activated on the uk network


thanks again

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17: Community Champion

Hi @albannach


Unless the number is important to you, it would be a lot quicker just to ask your parents to send a new SIM topped up and activated on the UK network.  For you to receive voicemail, also ask them to set this up with a PIN, at least then you will be able to access any voicemail messages.


You don't mention the country your are in but you won't be able to roam for an extended period, it's only really intended for periods of short holiday stay.  If you are going to be out of the UK for a long time, you will definitely need to invest in an unlocked phone with a local SIM card.

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3: Seeker

Hi annS


verra many thanks fer your usefull suggestions that have really been o great assistance

ahm in Thailand, settling here,  well you mean tae say that a may nae be able tae use my pay as you go sim card  (for good) efter a period of time ?


aye aye  i am planning tae buy a new unlocked mobile phone and a local sim card.



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