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AT&T sends me a phone

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Trom, Aug 20, 2021.

  1. Trom

    Trom Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    So the other day I get a new (I assume refurbished, it's a galaxy 9) phone in the mail from AT&T, with a note advising me that they're turning off 3g service, and here's a new phone that does 5g, and they sent a new 5g sim. Note says that they'll activate the phone in thirty days if I don't do it myself. Apparently, they think I'm still using the flip phone I scored years ago

    History: for the last many years, I've purchased unlocked phones outside of AT&T, and I have a 4g sim that AT&T provided for me years ago, their database admin sucks, apparently.

    So I have a couple of questions for anyone in the know. When they "activate" this new phone, will that render my current 4g sim chip inactive? Will I need to go into the AT&T store and punch a kid in the face?

    I don't mind having a spare phone, I assume it's low end, doesn't say on the box what the specs are, but I don't want it to effect my real phone. Thoughts?

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  2. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...

    Probably since you are using unlocked phones the last phone in their DB is the old 3G one. My guess is that they will deactivate the current sim you are using. I'd ask ahead of time and if that is the case, just activate the new sim. It should work in the current phone you are using and be future proof for the next phone you buy that may be 5g capable.
    Davdi, kate, Dannydet and 3 others like this.
  3. Trom

    Trom Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for that, and I'll end up just putting their new sim chip in my phone I guess and seeing what happens when I "activate" .. My problem is that I can't really afford to be out of touch with my customers for even a little bit, I write database front ends and there's always someone with a problem when their gl doesn't jibe or whatever. My fear was that, if I put the new chip in my real phone, or activated it in the new phone that AT&T sent, it would supercede the old chip, but wouldn't work because my real phone is not 5g capable. I'm just not up on this stuff.
    kate, Unforgiven and ocnbrze like this.
  4. kate

    kate Dreaming of Bugdroid.

    This is a list of unlocked phones that will work with AT&T when they switch to VoLTE only:

    I would verify your phone is on it. :thumbsupdroid:

    AT&T might think you're still using an old 3G phone, but it's possible they know what phone you have and it's not compatible. Not every 4G phone supports VoLTE, if yours doesn't that phone they sent may come in handy.
  5. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    A Galaxy S9 isn't so much a 'low end' phone but a rather a slightly dated model that's still quite usable. Back in 2018, it was one of Samsung's flagship models for that year so hardly low end.

    As for punching a kid in the face because you find AT&T to be such a problem, I'd suggest you focus your animosity towards AT&T management instead. That kid working the counter at some AT&T store is probably just there to have a job, so verbally and/or physically abusing him/her isn't going to accomplish much at all. Staff working those service centers don't determine customer service policy, good or bad. That's something that comes from the bureaucratic office talking heads.
    Dannydet and Unforgiven like this.
  6. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    They certainly do know what phone you have: when your phone signs in to the network they will see its IMEI. That tells them exactly what model it is (it's also how they can block phones that have been blacklisted).

    It's 20 years since I last bought a phone through my service provider, and I have never registered a phone with them, I just change SIMs. But if I log into my account I can see my current handset model listed next to my number. ATT use the same network technology, so you can be sure they can also tell what model you are using.
    Madd61 and kate like this.
  7. Trom

    Trom Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    I don't believe I've ever been to the AT&T store when the person there hasn't been a presumptions a*****e that treats me like I need a cricket phone.
  8. Trom

    Trom Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    Somewhere, some machine knows what I'm using, but whatever databases these people are looking at can vary wildly. About two years ago, I was at the AT&T store to get my wife a new phone, and the kid says, "and how about you, would you like to upgrade from your Note 5?", which was, at the time, two phones ago.
  9. puppykickr

    puppykickr Android Expert

    Ok, so I have been a loyal AT&T customer for years.

    I have a cheap plan for an emergency phone in the car, because it is nice to be able to use a different carrier if the Verizon network is non-working in any given area.

    AT&T bought up a bunch of smaller cellular companies years ago, and so often AT&T will work where Verizon and T-Mobile will not.

    Anyway, whenever their technology changes, they send newish phones out to customers that have devices that are no longer going to be compatible.

    This is exactly how I got my first smartphone.

    So the other day, I smashed the digital turd that was my assistance provided device (that's in another recent post) and finally gave in and bought the cheapest unlocked phone at Wal-Mart, figuring that if it is unlocked I csn use either my AT&T SIM card or my T-Mobile SIM card as needed.

    An immediate glitch in my idea came about as soon as I got to thecar and attempted to put the SIM from my 3G AT&T phone into my new Moto e- the SIM card will not fit.

    So, I went to the AT&T store and the guy there told me that a new device would be coming my way and that as soon as I got it up and running, the old 3G device would no longer work and would be shut off via IMEI number.

    So, I did not bother trying to get a new SIM from them, asa new device would be prefered because then it could stay in the car as the old one did.

    I would give them the least amount of info possible, and wait to see what happens with your SIM.

    Most likely, it could get turned off, but you still have service on the other device.
    The old device can become a Wi-Fi only device, as a SIM is not even required.

    As data on my AT&T Go plan is so expensive, and data with T-Mobile is basically non-existant, I use Wi-Fi almost constantly.
    Hell, T-Mobile CELLULAR SERVICE is basically non-existant, let alone trying to get any internet connection.
  10. Madd61

    Madd61 Well-Known Member

    Please punch one for me.I know it was tongue in cheek but mention it's also on my behalf if you get carried away.

    I have had an initial dot surname @yahoo.com address for 22 years.

    AT&T have been sending me someone else's account emails for 6 years, same initial.
    Yahoo's fault but no joy there.

    I got through to AT&T eventually from here with help via Chat in 2016 - was thanked and told all would now be amended.

    I then started receiving further payment received /overdue emails stating don't read if not for you, or very similar wording

    Still get some for him, but less.

    So yeah, not great but then that pales with my experiences on three of the major networks here, and most customers have a story to tell.

    (I'm in London, England just outside AT&T coverage, although they had offices here in the 90"s)

    I agree with Unforgiven if that works for you.

    I wonder if both sims show your real number in Settings without connecting.
  11. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    It would depend on how ATT work. Most service providers don't like having 2 IMSIs associated to the same phone number, so when I get a new SIM it arrives with some other number assigned to it and that is updated (and the old one disassociated and disabled) when I first connect it to the network. It usually only takes a few minutes.

    Of course you could imaging other ways of working, and maybe some carriers do it differently. But this one is fine with me as it means there's no risk of my current SIM being cut off before I have the new one installed (though as about 50% of my SIM swaps in the last couple of decades have been because my old SIM died that's not really mattered half of the time!).
    Madd61 and puppykickr like this.
  12. Madd61

    Madd61 Well-Known Member

    This has been a mild annoyance for me in recent years. They used to update for me. Now I change sim plan but the default number on the new sim remains in Settings, or in the past shows as Unknown. There was a reason it was better not to have the original number showing, but I can't remember why.
    Used to be I could walk in to a Three store and they would generate a new sim showing my number for around a fiver.
    Now I've been with EE, stores don't know what the hell I'm talking about.

    Who is this Tron guy.?Why doesn't he stay out of our thread :thinking: :mad:

    Sorry OP :D
  13. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Have you tried rebooting the phone? The number in the menu should update, but it sometimes needs a kick.

    Mind you, since no network in the UK has official plans to shut down their 3G service (or even 2G for the 3 networks that have that) Tron's particular problem doesn't arise here. I was impressed that they would send out a new phone when your old one was going to stop functioning though: I'm pretty sure the UK carriers would just send you a text saying that you had a few weeks to buy a new handset...
    Madd61 likes this.

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