I had a little bit of a shock this week when I was trying to get my iPad ready for travel to Lombard, IL, next week for the Tonner doll convention. I tried to sign up for cellular service (through Verizon) and received an error message saying my SIM card was no longer supported.
According to the Apple iPad website:
When you decide to activate data service, you can choose the amount of data per month you want to buy — with no long-term contract. So if you have a business trip or vacation approaching, just sign up for the month you’ll be traveling and cancel when you get back.
What they don’t tell you is, if you cancel your cellular service and don’t sign up again for five months, your SIM card is essentially “burned.” Meaning deactivated. Meaning it ain’t gonna work no more.
So yesterday, I left work early and took myself and my iPad to the local Verizon store here in town to see if they could help me fix the problem. From having researched the problem on Google beforehand, I warned my coworkers I might not be back, as it could take a while.
It took an hour and 45 minutes.
Now, to be fair, the folks at Verizon were some of the nicest people I’ve met in a while. They didn’t try to sell me a phone. They didn’t try to get me to upgrade any services. They were only concerned with my SIM card problem. At one point, I had six Verizon employees trying to figure out how to fix my iPad cellular service.
The problem, it turned out, was they couldn’t just give me a new SIM card without activating it first. But they couldn’t activate it with a prepaid plan. But they tried. They tried for an hour and a half. In the end, I just had to sign up to a monthly plan with a promise that I could cancel it when I got back from my trip. No contracts, no deactivation fee. Not what I wanted, but at least I’ll have cellular service on my trip. And I won’t have to go through all this again next time I travel. I’ll just have to go in and resign up for a monthly plan. A little bit of a hassle, but one I can live with.
I would like to thank the Verizon folks for putting me at ease. My social anxiety was going through the roof for the first half hour, but by the time I left, I felt like I had made new friends.