S20 Only has 3G - No LTE, No 5G?

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S20 Only has 3G - No LTE, No 5G?

Former Virgin customer, for almost as long as they existed, only once had a minor problem, solved with a 10 minute phone call. Just getting my new S20 ordered from Boost was a nightmare.

Regardless, finally have it, activated for about 24 hours now - and it won't connect to 4G LTE, let alone 5G. Coverage maps show I should have both. Had no problem getting LTE at workplace with my previous phone (J7 Perx).

Paid for an S10 for my gf on Boost a couple days prior, works fine-tune on 3G at best, which cycles on and off, while showing 4 bars - I can literally sit next to her while she has LTE, and I'm stuck with 3G that cuts out every couple minutes.

I've dealt with chat several times between buying the phone, and now about connection issue - last told "they're doing work on the network in your area, wait 48 hours." I call BS - works fine on the S10, won't connect to 4G or 5G for me, and I drove around my whole (admittedly small) city after work searching.
27 REPLIES 27
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Edit: should have said "her S10 works fine with 4G LTE, mine runs 3G at best, which cycles on and off, while showing 4 bars"

Also: I'm not going to keep playing the "wait 48 hours" game while my return window closes. Either help, tell me when it will work (aka acknowledge the well documented, across multiple forums, problem), or issue a return authorization and I'll be on my way to another carrier...
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Agent

Hello, @Bristol. We apologize for this experience. Definitely want to take a look into this for you. Please send us a Private Message with your phone number and PIN. To send a Private Message you can go to your profile and click on the icon with an envelope. Then you enter the username of the person you want to send a message to and the subject. Or you can go to the user profile by clicking on the username and click on "Send this user a Private Message".

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Still no change on my end. Phone only gets 3G coverage, that drops out continuously, all across the state. I probably should have returned the phone, and switched carriers, while I had the chance...
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Agent

Hello, Bristol! Sorry to hear that you’ve been experiencing this issue. We have received your private message and we will continue to assist you there.

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An update: I do not currently have my S20 5G, purchased directly from Boost online, in my possession - Samsung is shipping it back to me now...

You might wonder how I got here, so, the backstory: I went back and forth with Boost; phone calls, chat, in-store (they had no idea **** I was talking about, apparently had never sold or activated an S20 without a huge hassle, but I'll elaborate on that a bit later), and was told to send PM's here that were either ignored or brushed off ("tower down in your area, just wait 24-48 more hours!" Which is weird, because the GF's S10, also with a Sprint SIM, was getting consistent 3G at worst, and 4G LTE in most cases - Sprint 516tq SIM in each should = same network, just saying...)

Last Sunday, spent a couple hours on the phone with them, and finally was transferred to tech support. Was told the phone wasn't compatible with my current plan, so we switched to the $50 plan - I had been on a grandfathered Virgin plan. I had asked if I needed to change my plan at least a half dozen times by this point, and was continuously told I did not. Then I was told to put the Expanded Network Sim (Boost, orange card, in the envelope included with the phone) into the phone. In the process, the call dropped - I was calling from my gf's Boost S10.

Called back, rep refused to transfer me back to tech support, insisted I had put the SIM card in wrong, and that the 2 phones were on different networks, with different coverage - after 20 minutes of being treated like a child, I said I would call back and just have someone else transfer me back to tech support. I was told "go ahead, they'll tell you the same thing." To be fair, this was the only rep that I felt was outright inappropriate in their handling of my situation, as far as Boost online chat and phone reps are concerned.

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Called back again, briefly explained that I was on a call to tech and it dropped, the rep took some basic info and transfered me to tech support... And I'd love nothing more than to say that it all worked out from there...

With the Expanded Network SIM in the phone (gentle reminder that on the Boost site listing the S20, it says it runs on the Expanded Network and that not all plans are compatible) the tech rep did whatever magic they do in the background.

Was told to wait an hour or two, let the network/phone learn to play nice. So I waited, and nothing. No service of any kind. Tried calling back - too late, call again tomorrow. In the meantime, reset network settings. Now I could make and receive calls and texts, but no mobile data whatsoever. So, worse off than how I started the day, but maybe I was getting somewhere finally?

Monday morning, I attempted to deal with it. Called and talked to a couple reps. Got nowhere - or, bluntly, went even further backwards. At this point, whatever "magic" was being worked in the background left my phone saying "No SIM; Please insert SIM card." It also wouldn't recognize a carrier, just saying "Emergency Calls Only" or "No Network," instead of saying Virgin Mobile.

I went from a phone that could, at the very least: dial out, receive calls, send and receive texts, and had (spotty, intermittent, crappy at best) 3G mobile data, to a phone that just didn't have mobile data at all, to a phone that could do none of the above. Without WiFi, I was holding a very fancy, expensive paperweight.

At this point I was, umm, livid.
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Against my better judgement, went back to my local Boost store. They said their parent store had been having problems with getting the S20's activated. Store rep called and tried to get it straightened out - after 15 minutes on hold (the stores have a special support # to call) is immediately put on hold again, then rep picks up and immediately hangs up. Store rep calls back. Another 20 minutes on hold, then store rep gets told (on speaker phone) that they don't know what they're doing, phone/corporate rep argues that we're using the wrong plan/SIM card, gets frustrated and HANGS UP on the store rep. I mean, if that's how corporate reps treat the store reps, you can imagine how much regard they have for their customers...

Rewind: Now, I said in my OP that buying the phone was a nightmare - I ordered my gf's S10 over the phone; called the "Need help with your order?" number listed in the cart, because it wouldn't let me order the S10 (paid in full) and the S20 (Boost Up) at the same time online. So, I called and ordered the S10, paid in full, using the 20% off promo. Was told I'd be transferred to a different operator to order the S20, as they couldn't process a Boost Up order. Never got to that operator. Calling and getting anyone on the line is it's own problem. Never figured out how to order the S20, using my account, online or over the phone using Boost Up.

I decided to just go down to my local Boost store - they didn't have an S20, but the parent store did, and they'll match the online Boost Up pricing (same company, ACES Mobile, owns all the Boost stores in the Hartford CT area, apparently.) So I drive to Hartford, where I'm told that they'll sell me the S20, with a $35 activation fee, plus the $200 down, plus taxes, PLUS another $100 - because "it's my last one." I tried to explain how patently ridiculous that was, and that I could order the phone online and not pay a $100 (just because?) fee, nor any activation fee, and was told "that's the way it goes." So I pointed at the door, and said "well then that's the way I go" and I walked out. Absurd. I understand they're separate from Boost Mobile (franchisee?) but I had sworn I'd never do business with them again.

I ended up having my GF order my S20 through her account, online, using Boost Up. *End Rewind/Rant*
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So, this past Monday afternoon I left work early (I'm on 2nd shift for now, thanks COVID) and spent another couple hours on chat. Was told the S20 is not compatible with the Expanded Network ("we know it says it online, so sorry about the confusion.") Was told to switch back to the original Sprint SIM.

Switched SIMs again, now it says Virgin Mobile, but still won't do anything. I'm told I need to call and ask for the "Specialty Team," which I do. Give info, get transferred, give info, transfered again, attempt to give info, rep has no idea what I'm talking about - wait, what? - Boost transferred my call to SAMSUNG SUPPORT, without the basic courtesy of telling me that's what was happening. Cool, cool... Except not.

Samsung rep was super cool, professional, patient, knowledgeable - wasn't condescending, which is nice - decided within a couple minutes that I'd already gone through the basic troubleshooting steps with Boost, and asks if I can do a factory reset. No problem, he waits patiently while I email myself a picture (that the Boost store rep took of their system screen showing I was still eligible for a return request, which has otherwise been denied by Boost corporate, obviously.)

Still doesn't work, asks if I can take it into my local UBreakIFix store - sure, no problem, I'll be there at 10 AM when they open. Drop the phone off Tuesday morning with the Samsung provided ticket number and a basic explanation of the problem. They call back in an hour and tell me to make my way back to pick up the phone.

UBreakIFix rep says after 10 years selling phones, and 10 more fixing them, has never seen a problem like this - phone will no longer read *ANY* SIM card other than the Sprint SIM that was originally in it, that it was originally activated with. Doesn't say "Invalid SIM," or anything like that - any other SIM card just comes up as "No SIM; Please Insert SIM card."

Says Samsung has requested that I send the phone to them - ok. I go back home to box it up, and call Samsung Support (different rep, but same 5 star experience) to get new ticket info and a shipping label emailed to me. Then bolt to the local UPS Store to ship it. Samsung is paying for Next Day Air both ways.

And that's where I am right now - Samsung and UBreakIFix have been adamant that Boost screwed this up, and from my perspective, it's difficult to see it otherwise.
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However, I still need to get this phone activated correctly. Samsung has insisted that they will handle it, but assuming I don't have a fully functional phone, activated correctly on Boost Mobile, at my door by Monday morning, then what?

So, Boost, find a rep that has successfully activated an S20, in my area, correctly, and give them my info. I'm not here just to bash on the carrier, however, the ball is in your court, for the last time. If this isn't resolved this time, this will end up in a totally different court, because I absolutely will not send you $700 plus $50 a month for a phone that doesn't work on your service.

TL;DR: All the horror stories you've heard about Boost are likely true, but if they can take care of this mess, I absolutely will post back to explain everything - from what SIM card and plan works, to how to get LTE and/or 5G working on the S20 5G they sell.