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Pay as you go

Retrieving an old mobile number, how to go about it?

2: Seeker

Hello to all,

 

I'm looking for a little help, or should I say information on retrieving an old mobile number that I once had with Vodafone. However, I had this number in questions most probably touching just over 10 years ago!

 

I do remember the number very well and after a search to find out who the owner/carrier is, it does indeed come back as Vodafone. I've even tried calling the number and it's currently not in use.

 

Initial thoughts and comments I'm sure will be that there's no chance, and indeed it may have even been used by somebody else after me. However, surely there must be some way to retrieve an old number, not in use. I used to work for a telecommunications company and providing that the number was not use and was not in a quarantine pool, we could reassign all numbers that originated within our company. In fact, some time ago you could even buy the number and we could hold it.

 

I know every company is different but I have a feel it's more of a case of we can't really be bothered, or don't bother us with stupid requests, just take a god damn new number and let me get back to chomping on my pen.

 

Having spoken with customer services PayAsYouGo, I found them very unhelpful, as expected in all honesty. They simply searched the number and said I can't find it. Now, however, I'm looking for a serious answer with some possible positive outcome.

 

How can I retrieve this number? even if it means paying to Vodafone for it? I don't even mind being on the Vodafone network in order just to have it. And more so, who in Vodafone will be most likely to help and point me in the right direction.

 

Thank you to all in advance.

 

Mark

 

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53 REPLIES 53
Community Champion (Retired)

@markc89

There used to be a Gold Number scheme - I wasn't sure it still existed, but someone has reported on a fairly recent thread that it does! From that thread, it looks as though the Forum Team should pick up your enquiry if you hold on here. If your number was an attractive one, it might be on the list.

The problem comes if the number has been assigned to a SIM which is sitting in a Vodafone store, or some other supermarket phone section. Those numbers remain assigned to that SIM until either they are brought into use or the SIM expires - which I think is a year from date of issue - and clearly can't be recalled while the SIM is "out there", or someone could find that they've bought an invalid SIM.

If it seems that the latter is the case, it might be worth ringing the number every couple of weeks, to see if it has come into use - you'd need to catch a new user before they've become too attached to the number, and see if you could negotiate a deal!

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2: Seeker

Thanks for your swift reply @Annie_N

I'll take your advice and hold on for one of the Forum Team to come along and hopefully shed some light.

The number could be considered quite attractive, it was all doubles apart from 2 consecutive numbers in the middle. I don't know why but this number always stuck in my head, and I always kicked myself for giving it up, and now I'm in the need of a number again I would like to do my utmost to retrieve this one in particular.

 

However, I do feel that the latter may be the case and that the number is most likely sitting in Vodafone store or supermarket somewhere. Although, if this wasn't the case can Vodafone actually see what the status of the number is so they can at least inform you? For example, they can see it's still in quarantine, or they can see that the number was reused and is sitting somewhere on a fresh new sim card waiting to eventually be purchased (although I appreciate they won't have the foggiest where that will be) 

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Moderator (Retired)

@markc89

 

I'm not sure if this is possible but we'll be happy to look into this for you.

 

I've sent you a private message with details on how to get in touch.

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2: Seeker

Thank you, Sukhi.

 

Having eventually got through to skebody helpful enough to check the status offline the number, I'm a step closer to understanding where the number is but, not a step closer into retrieving it.

 

The agent advised me that the number is now with Amazon Post-Paid COM1 (not sure of the COM1 relevance. He advised me that the number is on a SIM card with them. He could even see the sim serial number etc. But of course, couldn't give it to me, not sure that would help anyway.

he also advised me he's not sure if this amazon mobile is in anyways related to amazon.com.

 

I thought ok I'll give amazon a shot but, after a long searching session I can't find anything. No indication of a mobile provider such as amazon.

 

Does anyone have any idea who this provider is?

 

Thank you in advance.

 

Mark

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Community Champion (Retired)

@markc89

How very confusing!

amazon.com is the US store, and, although they advertise various Vodafone UK SIMs, as far as I can see they are supplied by marketplace members rather than by amazon.com themselves.

Searching amazon.co.uk for Vodafone UK SIMs produces a similar result - none apparently supplied by amazon themselves. The only possibility that I can see is that it might be included in the box along with one of the Vodafone-brand Vodafone-locked PAYG phones that are stocked by Amazon themselves. As far as I'm aware, all such phones come with an appropriate SIM in the box, but amazon.co.uk seems to be unaware of this, as they offer to sell a Vodafone SIM as an extra.

I bought a Vodafone Smart 4 Mini from Amazon about 3 years ago, and I'm reasonably sure that there was a SIM in the box, but, if I retained the box label as a record of the IMEI, I can't now locate it, to discover whether the SIM serial number also made it onto the label. All in all, I suspect that, if it is in a box with a phone in an Amazon warehouse, they won't be able to locate it.

However, that theory doesn't make much sense in the context of "Post-Paid", as that's an alternative term for a Pay Monthly contract, which I don't believe you can enter into via Amazon.

So nothing that I've said may be at all relevant, but I offer it in the hopes that it may set someone else thinking along more productive lines.

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2: Seeker

@Annie_N

 

Yes, it is indeed very confusing. More so because they said that amazon is the service provider of that number although, they may have just explained it wrong, more likely meaning it's a sim that has been provided to Amazon. In general, I can't complain as he was the most helpful person I've spoken too.

 

I've been scratching my head with all possibilities. I thought maybe he was trying to tell me that was the last owner of the number, some company who had called them self amazon something something etc. Either way, strange. There is no mobile provider service that is Amazon, and he explained that amazon post-paid services was now the owner of that number.

 

I think I will try to call them again and get a clearer answer. It would be great if I could get through to a representative in the UK. I'm not at all biased but I think a UK representative might have a clearer understanding of the situation and be able to give a better explanation.

 

Do the employees that check the forum now have access to this type of information?

 

Thanks for your continued help

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Highlighted
2: Seeker

@Annie_N

 

I've actually just spoken to them again. They told me exactly the same as the previous agent, that the number is in fact with a service provider (Amazon Post-Paid) and they are unable to allocate that number to me. On the plus side, however, they said if the number was available that they could quite easily allocate it to me.

The lady who I have to say was very helpful as I grilled her with one million questions, informed me that she can't tell the status of the number with Amazon, as she even tried to locate the sim via the serial number of the SIM that it is linked too but was unable to determine this.

She said that if she could locate the SIM and number by searching the serial number she would be able to see the current status and find out the possibility of relocating it.

I'm thinking it's also likely that number may have been with this 'evasive' Amazon post-paid service and after a while of disconnection, it may come back to Vodafone.

I shall continue to search for a solution.

 

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2: Seeker

For anybody who is interested, or for those who experience a similar issue in the future, the case was as Annie explained. The SIM is with Amazon 'Somewhere'.

 

I ended up calling through to Vodafone Business, as they know they are UK based and may be able to give a definitive answer. They confirmed that the number is with Vodafone, but it is with Amazon for 'Pre-Paid' use. Basically, one of the SIM's amazon either give away with phones or sell.

 

I did eventually call to Amazon but they have no way of tracking it, however, they were very helpful.

 

So there you go!

Thank you very much for your help Annie.

 

 

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1: Seeker

@Sukhi I have the same issue

i lost it long time ago 

my old number isn’t in use

i have all receipts of 10 years ago that I purchased it

 

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Moderator

@malilom As @Sukhi mentioned - I'm unsure if this is possible, but we'll be more than happy to take a closer look.
I've sent you a private message with instructions on how you can get in touch.

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2: Seeker

I've got the very same issue like Mark. I had my number for almost 10 years until it got deactivtaed a few weeks/months ago. Is there any chance to retrieve it somehow? I'm happy to pay any extra cost. 

 

Many thanks for your help.

Ondrej

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Administrator

@oslacik We're unable to guarantee getting your number back, however we're more than happy to look into this further with you 🙂

Please contact our team directly using the link in my private message

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2: Seeker

Hi I have an old number that was originally Vodaphone and then migrated to O2. I’m trying to find ouT if I can retrieve the number, which operator would hold it still? 

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17: Community Champion

@Apskaps wrote:

Hi I have an old number that was originally Vodaphone and then migrated to O2. I’m trying to find ouT if I can retrieve the number, which operator would hold it still? 


If the number was migrated to an alternative network and cancelled, the number would have been returned to the originating network for recycling and reissue.

 

It would be unlikely Vodafone would be able to find the number, it will be lost and may even be in use.

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2: Seeker

Its not in use, I checked that by calling it! Also O2 my last provider says its not in use. Can you help me find the number, i'd like it back if possible. My husband has the series number for it and I should not have given it up in the first place. 

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17: Community Champion

Hi @Apskaps

 

Depending on how long the number was last used on PAYG with O2, it may still be on O2's system, try them first.  However, if it has gone past the usual cut PAYG disconnection period, the same for all networks with it being an Ofcom ruling that all PAYG SIM's have to be in use, the number will have been returned to Vodafone.

 

However, it could be anyway in the system and would be impossible to locate.  If the number was important to you, all the more reason to have kept the SIM active and in use.

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2: Seeker

Funny, actually, as I've just received updates of activity within my post again. Just the other day I was calling again to see if there had been a release on the number or if there was any other solution to retrieve this.

 

I have to say the confusing factor here is what eventually happens to numbers. Even though they, in theory, do belong to a provider, is there a point where they will just never use them again? As I got the same story the other day on the phone but he used a different description of what had happened to the number. He mentioned something like it's been wiped off our system our something - 'that's not what he actually said but it was something like that'.

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3: Seeker

Alex,

 

This is an unusual ask, and I'm hoping you might be able to help.  I need to locate (and hopefully retrieve) a number I'm sure was originally with you guys.  My father had a stroke a while back and his number disappeared into the ether through inactivity, and it's the only one he can remember easily... If you guys can help me locate it and get it back if it's on your system, I will be eternally grateful.

 

Thanks,

Tom

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Administrator

@Tpaffett Mobile numbers can be recycled depending on how long they've been unused. We could potentially get this back however it'd depend if your father was the last person to use it on our network. 

So we can have a closer look into this for you, please contact our team using the link in my private message 🙂

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