atwoodbw's profile

Fri, Nov 12, 2021 6:34 PM

Virgin Mobile SIM Card (Sprint) Must Now be Activated -- by Who?

In 2018 I purchased my Samsung S9 from Virgin Mobile.  Of course, it came with a SIM card.  I activated the phone; it worked -- and has worked fine ever since.

Recently I became aware that in order to keep things working fine, I  would need to either upgrade my phone or switch to a new SIM card before the tower shutdown in April 2022.  I logged into my Virgin Mobile account -- it auto routed me to the Boost webpage for login (that's how infrequently I log-in to my cell phone provider).  Once my account loaded, it told me to find a brick-n-mortar store in the area and a Boost mobile person there would swap out my SIM card.

When I arrived, he looked up my account, verified I needed to have the SIM swapped; popped-out my SIM card; slid the new one in.  He pointed the phone at me so I could unlock it and immediately a message popped-up saying to contact SPRINT to activate my device. 

Seeing this the Boost person popped-out the SIM card he just put in and slid my old original SIM card back in, handed me my phone and told me I need to call Sprint and have them unlock the SIM card. 

This was a total surprise.  I told him I've never had a Sprint account so why would they even talk to me?  He said to just look up their customer service number and tell them you have a Boost phone with a Sprint SIM and you need it unlocked.  After expressing my doubts and asking him to call Sprint, etc... I finally left the store.

When I got home I started the process.  I called Sprint; they want my phone number (so they can look it up in their system obviously) and when a person eventually came on the line he told me he could not locate my account.  I told him that's true; what the Boost person told me; and asked him to unlock things for me.  He repeated to me that I do not have a Sprint account and that he would transfer my call over to Boost -- they can unlock your phone. 

I reminded him that my phone is NOT locked; it works fine... he of course did not care.

After being transferred, the Boost person (long-story-short) was unable to help me -- I'm not sure even understood the problem.

And the problem, of course, is that Virgin Mobile put a Sprint SIM card in my Virgin Mobile phone and now, with the replacement SIM, the device appears to be locked by Sprint.

SO... my question to ya'll is, what do I make sure my phone will work after the tower shutdown in April 2022?

22 Messages

20 d ago

Your phone is locked to your current Sprint SIM.  You need to contact boost mobile customer service and request a "UICC Unlock".  Make sure they unlock both DOMESTICALLY and INTERNATIONALLY.  After your phone is unlocked, the new SIM should work on your phone.  With the new SIM, your phone should still work after the Sprint tower shutdown.

2 Messages

@BellasMomToo ,

Thanks for the reply and advice.  When I called customer service, she said she was unable to do a UICC Unlock.  Seemed like she was under the impression I was trying to change carriers.  So I explained (again) that my phone came from Virgin Mobile, came with the Sprint SIM, and works fine.  She asked me to read the exact message I had received on the phone.  At some point the light went off and she said in order to get on their new "5G" network I would need their new SIM. 

So Boost will be sending me one and when I receive it they will need the numbers off the old SIM in order to get the new one active.  She verified my home address and then put me on hold to expedite the SIM card delivery... then told me the new SIM is on its way. 

Also, because of "Ojay76's" comment here on the community, I asked if my Samsung S9 would be a problem -- if it's compatible or not.  She said the phones fine, it just needs the new "5G" Boost SIM card.

Once the card arrives and we see if what she told me is all true, I'll reply back and let you know... and also, I'll reply to the other person's comment, "You will have to upgrade the phone to continue service."

Boost Care


905 Messages

@atwoodbw I apologize for the misinformation, the S9 is not compatible with the new network. The agent was under the impression you were going to another carrier because that is the only reason we unlock phones. Also, we don't unlock for our phones international use, they can only be used domestically. If you put the new sim card in your phone it will stop working and there is nothing we can do to get it working again.

Boost Care


905 Messages

17 d ago

Hello @atwoodbw! We appreciate you reaching out. We understand this has been frustrating. Your phone service is with Boost. The phone is getting that message because it is not compatible with the new sim card. You will have to upgrade the phone to continue service. You can find available phone here: