Knowledge Base

Unactivated SIMs expiry?

Started by: bertiebat
On: 12/04/2013 | 20:27
Replies: 40

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by: turqgriff
on: 16/01/2017 | 12:03

Sorry to wake up an old thread but I have a problem which seems to prove your theory wrong.


bertiebat wrote:

 Boys and Girls, Let me kick the confusion out of this thread.


  1. To confirm, the SIMs never expire, unless they have already been activated, or they are really old pre 2G era SIMs (which if you find one, please post it to me for my collection Cat Wink).
  3. What we are doing as part of MSISDN Reuse Project is to disassociate the MSISDN from preactivated SIMs older than a certain period. It wouldn't stop you to activate those SIMs, as a new MSISDN will get dynamically allotted to it. The only downside to this process is that it would take comparatively longer for a dynamic activation to go through. Our tests have shown that the dynamic activatiion takes on an average 2 hours.
  5. So the moral of the story, we are trying to recycle the MSISDN to control the costs and to be Green. But please dont throw away older SIMs, as they won't expire.  (4G may eventually expire them, just as 3G expired 2G SIMs)

I am trying to activate an old SIM which is less than 30 months old and is a 4G SIM.

I log in to my account for this particular sim and get taken to the Activate/Order New SIM page.

I select Activate and carefully enter the serial code on the SIM, hit Continue and the page refreshes and I see the following message:
"Sorry, that SIM has already been activated. You can either ask an agent for help or just order another SIM."


If anyone has a clue why my SIM would show correctly as not activated but then be blocked by GiffGaff claiming that it is already active that would be great. Smiley Happy


If anyone can explain to me how to fix this that would be awesome. Smiley Very Happy


Message 31 of 41
by: harrrrrry
on: 16/01/2017 | 12:10



Did you try repeating the activation using the full code on the sim ?

Get a free giffgaff Sim

Message 32 of 41
by: navvy
on: 16/01/2017 | 12:12



Have you tried the SIM in a phone?  


Even if unactivated, it should connect to the giffgaff network and show signal bars.  Try dialling *100# and it should show "not active" and not any other error message.


Sometimes I think people mis-type an activation code and accidentally get a code that refers to someone else's SIM.  If they got your SIM, they may have activated it at some time in the past and then corrected their problem by doing a SIM Swap which permanently disables your SIM and connects their account to their correct SIM.


If this has happened, when you try to activate your SIM, the database will report that it has already been activated.


Are you getting the same message when you use the 6-character activation code as when you use the 13-digit serial number?


Message 33 of 41
by: turqgriff
on: 16/01/2017 | 12:28 edited: 16/01/2017 | 12:37



Yes have tried it 3 times, always double checking the numbers I enter. Get the same result every time

Message 34 of 41
by: turqgriff
on: 16/01/2017 | 12:36 edited: 16/01/2017 | 12:38


Have tried it more than once but not in a phone. Always double checked the numbers I entered as I have a ridiculously long 19 digit serial number and have lost the 6 digit code a long time ago.

Guess it's time to move on and wait for a new one.


Message 35 of 41
by: navvy
on: 16/01/2017 | 12:51



Are you sure this is a SIM that has never been activated?  If you've already broken it out of the card that had the activation code printed on it, it is likely to have already been used.


This thread was about unactivated SIMs not expiring.  If you activate a SIM and then leave it unused for over 6 months, it will expire and be permanently disabled.


You mentioned the account for this SIM, which made me wonder - SIMs don't have an account until they have been activated.  


Expiry will permanently delete the phone number, which will then go into recycling.  6 months after expiry it may be issued to someone else.  Credit is also deleted.  For details of how to avoid expiry, look at section 13.3 of the T&C.


Message 36 of 41
by: turqgriff
on: 16/01/2017 | 13:08 edited: 16/01/2017 | 13:09



Yes, has been used but not in a long time. Thought that if a SIM is unused for 6 months or more it became deactivated so basics an in/unactive SIM. My miss understanding, appreciate the clarification, thanks.

Message 37 of 41
by: navvy
on: 16/01/2017 | 13:16



You will need to order a new SIM.  If you want to reuse the same account, the SIM must NOT be ordered through that expired account.  Log out, and order as though you are not a member.


If you are happy to create a new account, order a SIM through the banner on another member's message.  You may not get the activation bonus £5 if you are recognised as a returning member.

Message 38 of 41
by: turqgriff
on: 17/01/2017 | 16:49
Yes, I should have that would have been a good plan... Oh well, no fiver for me. I'll kick myself when my life calms down a bit.
Thanks 🙂
Message 39 of 41
by: pettsey
on: 18/01/2017 | 09:20

i thought they expiry after 6 months

Message 40 of 41