Activation Nightmare

So I received my Bionic on Sept 9th and had the issue that many others have dealt with that the phone would not activate. I literally unplugged the sim card and restarted the phone and hit 'Retry' more than 200 times over a 24 hour period. I called tech support through Verizon a total of 5 times and of course I was told to continue to take out the Sim card and reboot the phone, that it could take "20 or more minutes". Hours and hours later, it got old. Nothing worked, I got sick of it and decided to go to a Verizon retail store about 40 minutes from me to just return the phone.

On my way to the store, I notice that the 4G LTE signal showed up on the screen - I thought, hmmm, maybe I should restart and try with the 4G signal. As soon as I turned the phone back on, it activated in less than 10 seconds. I live in a 3G only area, but I was told by many customer service reps that I did not need the 4G signal to activate the sim card. Ironic how I tried for over 24 hours and as soon as I hit the 4G signal, it activates.

Not sure if this has been the case for anyone else, but I'm at a loss trying to understand it.


I had the same nightmare with my Thunderbolt. Took Verizon days to activate it which was ridiculous and very frustrating so I feel your pain!


I'm in a 4g area-smack in the middle. Ordered mine from Verizon website on Friday morning. Paid the $20 for Saturday delivery as my DX has been a little gorky since the last update for the ROM I was using and I couldn't get it back to stock no matter what I tried. So got my Bionic about 1:30 yesterday afternoon. Every piece of paperwork in the FedEx box said to follow the enclosed activation instructions carefully. But there were no activation instructions in the box anywhere. Since this is far from my first rodeo, I just popped out the sim card, put it in the phone, put in the battery, and started charging. The phone was delivered with 50% charge already so I went ahead and turned it on while it was charging. Tried to activate online since the instructions weren't in the box, but that didn't work. Got a screen telling me to call customer service. That was no help. She told me to take the battery and sim card out and start over. After three hours of that nonsense i took it to the local store. At first they told me since I ordered it from Verizon's website I would have to return it and wait for another phone. I told them nope, they needed to make it right and I expcted to leave with functioning Bionic. Think I scared the poor guy. Forty five minutes later, I left with fully functioning Bionic. This is my fifth Motorola product and my third Android device. Not sure why activation is such a hassle on this thing.


Well-Known Member
I did have a similar experience. I'm a little miffed because we just got 4G in our area, so I was all excited to get this phone. I didn't want to activate it at the store, because I wanted to come home and back up my old droid first. So, when it came time to activate, I dialed the *228 as I was told at the store and kept getting errors. I finally called Verizon support and was told the *228 was for 3G phones only. So, he got my SIM card #, entered it into the system and got it activated. We also realized I was only getting 3G at home, and when he checked - lo and behold - 4G cuts off at the road right behind my house.

The good news is since the phone is so fast, even 3G on this thing is an improvement!


talked with my dealer and he said that you can activate the sim in another phone and then place back into the bionic and Walla


Android Enthusiast
I had problems with activation too, however on my way home from Costco that thursday morning (about an hour later) it finally activated. I just kept pressing retry, nothing else.