A few things I learned when I “lost” my mobile phone

This content is 13 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

A few weeks ago, I lost my mobile phone. Well, not so much “lost” (I was pretty sure I’d left it in the office) but I realised that I had “misplaced” it. I’m on a SIM-only 30-day contract and my handset is an-aging-Nokia-thing-running-some-awful-Symbian-operating-system so I wasn’t that concerned but the 72 hours it would take me to be reunited with it was too long to risk if someone had taken it as their own, so I called the mobile operator (O2) and put a block on the SIM.

In sixteen years of mobile phone ownership, this was my first experience of this process, and I learned a few things along the way – hence this blog post.

O2 sent me a new SIM (to use in a spare handset, or in mine, should I find it again) but there were no details in the envelope that told me where/how to activate the SIM. It turns out that I could do that on the My New SIM section of the O2 website.

As it happens, my phone was handed in at work, and I got it back in a few days. I can’t have two SIMs active at the same time, but I could keep one of them as a “spare” for future use.

I spoke to an O2 representative, who lifted the bar on my original SIM. O2 advised me that this could take up to 24 hours although, in practice, it was a much shorter time (about 30 minutes) but my calls were still on permanent divert to voicemail. What they hadn’t told me was that they had also barred the last handset that my SIM had been used in (based on the IMEI) and that could take up to 72 hours to lift. Again, it didn’t take that long in practice and, after a few hours, and a couple of phone resets (to force the network to recognise it), my full mobile service was restored.

One thought on “A few things I learned when I “lost” my mobile phone

  1. Also intresting to note, that anyone can report a phone lost/stolen as the networks primary concern is stopping it being used – could be abused with malicious intent!

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