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Recovering a deactivated number

abnewman
2: Seeker
2: Seeker

Hi there, 

 

I was directed here by Vodafone support, who said I needed to speak to someone from the Gold Number team, so hoping someone can help me out. My PAYG number, which I've had for 15+ years, was deactivated by Vodafone due to inactivity (when I moved abroad). I need to recover it. When I switched from pay monthly to PAYG, no one told me the number would be deactivated if not used for 90+ days.

 

The number is still associated with me in Vodafone's system but is "greyed out" I'm told, and cannot be reactivated, which I simply cannot understand. How can I recover the number, which I know hasn't been recycled or resold? There must be a technical workaround. I'm happy to pay for recovery. 

 

Thanks for any assistance. 

12 REPLIES 12

HelpfulBadger
11: Established
11: Established

There is a lot of nuance in recovering a phone number, I'm quite interested in how you come to claim you know the number "hasn't been recycled or resold", so I'll give a few reasons this may not be the case:

  • The number has clearly been out of use for more than 180 days, and if it's been more than around 90 days since it was deactivated it may have been returned to the original network (if the number has ever been ported in the past) - This would mean Vodafone can no longer offer the number for sale or retrieve it for you.
  • You may not be able to call the number, however it may have already been re-issued and awaiting activation, either in another PAYG sim or for a contract phone that just hasn't been delivered yet.
  • Depending how long it's been since the number has been deactivated, it may well have been used for another customer, and they've decided to cancel the service meaning it's in quarantine again, just not for you.

Unfortunately there's really not a lot Vodafone (or any provider) can likely do (although it's worth a try), as the fact they have to deactivate unused PAYG numbers and reuse them is a legal/regulatory obligation, not just a policy the industry has made up.

Thanks for your reply @HelpfulBadger. 

 

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but when I call the number, I'm told I've "dialed an incorrect number" / that "the number doesn't exist, please check it and try again". If it's not in use by another person, I don't understand why I can't have the number (which was mine for 15+ years) reassigned to me. I was told by Vodafone support that there is/was a team called the "Gold Number" team, dedicated to assigning people with the phone number they wanted and that they might be able to help. Is there a way of knowing for sure whether the number has been re-assigned or not? It all feels like a "computer says no" situation. 

The number was never ported, to my knowledge. It originated with Vodafone when I started my contract, originally a Pay Monthly contract, before I switched it to PAYG after moving abroad. 

 

All of the responses I've had from support have said it's "unlikely" I'll get the number back, so I'm simply trying everything I can to recover a number that was mine for so long, before accepting the fact and giving up. I would buy the number back if I could. 

 

 

Mark
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hey @abnewman, I'm  afraid the information provided by @HelpfulBadger is correct and if the numbers been unused and disconnected for 90 days, we won't be able to get this back for you for the reasons advised. This isn't something our Gold number team would deal with either, apologies for the misinformation provided regarding this. If you'd like us to take a look and be sure we're unable to reconnect it for you, pop our social media team a message and we'll be happy to check this for you.

simax
14: Advanced member
14: Advanced member

Surely there is a contradiction in the argument here? If the whole point of deactivating PAYG numbers is due to inactivity and needing to recycle the number… then surely unless the number has been allocated to another sim/customer then it can indeed by recycled and reissued to the same customer?! 

All Vodafone need to do in this instance is look on their backend system and check the status of the number - they’ll see if it’s quarantined (and should be able to see when it’s out of quarantine), or allocated to another sim etc etc … if it is indeed in quarantine then Vodafone can work with the customer for them to get the number back once it’s out of quarantine??

@simax Yes, exactly. If the number hasn't yet been re-assigned to someone else, why can't I have it reassigned to me once it becomes available again? 

Amanda
Community Manager
Community Manager

@abnewman  @simax  if we're unable to reconnect a disconnected number, it's because it's been moved to a recycling pool to be cleansed (this process can take any where between 6 and 12 months) - once it's in there, we're not able to retrieve it. 

 

simax
14: Advanced member
14: Advanced member

…. but what I’m saying is once it’s come out of the “cleanse”/quarantine then the OP can have their number back, yes?

Amanda
Community Manager
Community Manager

@simax - in theory yes, but we have no way of knowing how long it would be in this quarantine/recycling pool and it could easily be auto-assigned to someone else at any time. 

merimarzi
2: Seeker
2: Seeker

Very same thing happened with me coincidentally 15 years as well. I had my friend reach out to VI store within 2 days and they were able to get new sim after proper verification. You will have to use the new sim card with same number.