OK, starting off with a warning:
THOSE WHO CAN’T STAND BRAGGING, OVER-EXCITEMENT, TECHNICAL STUFF OR WHATEVER, DON’T READ THIS POST!
Those who knows me, knows that I hate bragging. I find it quite awkward about it and when I feel excited or proud over something, it’ll happen for a little while and then I think I have to calm down to not annoy the people around me
However, this incident that I’m about to tell you guys is such an accomplishment, while being ironic and stressful (now relieved of course).
When I first came to Singapore, I had some major issues with my phone and getting a number (read: micro SIM). It literally took me days and running across, back and forth in Singapore to try to get it done.
To be able to describe the level of relief and sensation of accomplishment, I have to tell you the technical background of it all (maybe it’ll help you??). Please be warned that this is not official role model stuff…you’ll know what I mean if you continue reading.
I have an iPhone4 (white one, not that it matters..but anyway), I got it when I was in Sweden, through my operator Tele2 (Comviq), cause I’ve had them since I got my first number..Even if you have a contract with your operator for a certain time, once you’ve reached one year, you can ask the operator to unlock your phone for you. That’s what I did when I arrived to Singapore, first of all, to those who wants to do it, do it at least 2 weeks ahead (that’s how long it takes for them to get it done…), but realized that I haven’t had the phone for a year yet. Me and my baby iPhone4 will have our anniversary in April I think. I asked if there’s a way around it, but no. There’s not.
I wasn’t too happy about the news, but hey, I had other things to worry about AND it was only about a few months. I’ll just do it the “foreigner” way; which is to get a cheap phone and get a pre-paid number on that one. I’d just have to carry both phones around with me and check both of them
But then I got suggested by someone about another solution, which requires its own section:
There’s a “crack SIM” (that’s what I named it anyways) which basically comes with its own tray and looks like a normal micro SIM, with the difference that it’s only the metallic part, so much thinner than a normal one. You are suppose to take your chosen micro SIM card and put it on top of this “crack SIM” and somehow, it’ll make your phone accept the new micro SIM even if your phone is locked. One bad thing is that it apparently drains the battery quicker, but so far, I’ve managed to not run out of batteries since I charge it every night, with occasional breaks.
I know I know, it’s always a bit risky when tampering with things like that, cause if something happens, the guarantee won’t help you etc. but I didn’t think the operation was that weird or extreme (just putting it with another SIM), plus, I trusted my source.
So I tried and tried with the SIM card I had already gotten. It was a normal SIM card (prepaid) from SingTel here in Singapore. I cut it to be fit in the iPhone as a micro SIM (yes, you can do that, they even do it in the stores for you, so if your phone is unlocked, you actually don’t have to chase the micro SIM like I did). For some reason, it didn’t work. We tried it over and over again but it just didn’t react. After you insert the SIM card with the “crack SIM”, you’re suppose to get a screen with instructions popping up, but it never popped up. After searching for the error, we came to the conclusion that the “crack SIM” only react with a micro SIM, hence why I particularly had to find a micro SIM. *sigh*
By that time, I had already been at the shopping mall “Vivo City” twice for this matter. First time to check things out, second time I got a number and the SIM card. Now I had to go back, which I did, to Vivo City. I went to SingTel and they told me that they don’t have any micro SIM cards. Also, the funds I had on the current SIM card can only be transferred at their shop in Orchard (their main shopping street in the city). I had no idea where it was, how to get to the shop etc. My phone wasn’t working, I had no map and I had appointments to see accommodations. I literally couldn’t do my time management, cause I had no tools.
Now, not to be dramatic, but when it’s your third day, you’re completely alone, it’s hot and you generally feel lost and kind of sick due to the humidity, heat and the change in general, it didn’t feel that good. I just wanted to get it done, never thought that getting a number would take that much time. I also had a very high priority of getting a number for my accommodation and job hunt. Plus, the iPhone is a great tool in general.
I tried to chill about it, but didn’t manage, so I, silly me. I went to Orchard. I got confused at the MRT already..while I got there, it took me about 2 hours before I finally found my way to the shop by asking strangers for directions. I went in there, all exhausted, sticky and dizzy. Their answer was: “We don’t have micro SIM”. I at that point (as I had written about before) really wanted to lay down and scream. What? It was sold out everywhere..and they had no idea when they’d re-stock..
Same day, same evening, I had been to Bugis to try to find micro SIMs cause the shops kept referring me and I kept following their suggestions..they even told me that the SingTel shop in Bugis should have it, they were pretty sure even. I went there and got the same answer..when I was about to leave, I saw the shop of another operator; Starhub. I previously wanted to stick with SingTel since I had added funds there already, but now I didn’t care anymore. I could check..but my hopes weren’t high. Skipping a bit, they had a micro SIM. I got it there, took my tools and sat down with my “crack SIM” and got into it.
Now, a new problem appeared (of course!); the micro SIM still need to have the top right corner cut off, but this one had their metallic bit very close to the edge, which meant that I couldn’t cut as much as I wanted, which also meant that it didn’t really fit that well into the “crack SIM”tray, which resulted in me having to press it into the tray and tadaa, it went in! After a few tries, I was able to go through with the instructions and my phone was working!
Happy happy me, and since then, my phone has literally been my best friend here. Without it..I don’t know what I’d do..haha
Yesterday when I got home after dinner with a friend, I realized that my 3G icon in the top left corner didn’t show. I thought it was strange, but thought it was a temporary problem with the carrier. My reception was still like normal and next to that icon, it said “STARHUB” like normal.
I went to sleep, woke up this morning and didn’t really think of it since I use WiFi at home. When I left this morning, I noticed the problem was still there. No 3G icon and no access to the internet. I could still make phone calls etc. On my way to my appointment, I called the Starhub Hotline and I was told that my main account had 0 in balance (yeah..apparently you can top up for main account and another one..doesn’t really make a difference..). I double checked with him that if I only had to top up on my main account and he confirmed. As soon as I top up, it should work automatically.
After my appointment, I purchased a top up card for my main account. Topped it up and got my confirmation text. But still..no 3G icon. I tried switching it off and on, nothing. I then tried rebooting the phone, nothing. “Annoying” I thought. So when I got home, I called the hotline again and told them the problem. Like a typical telecom service agent, he didn’t listen to me, told me about stuff that I already knew e.g. “you have to turn off your wireless and turn on 3G”…no kidding?? duuuhh!..anyway, his solution was for me to reset my network settings. I asked him if my network information would get erased. “No, your photos and numbers and other data will still be there..it’s NETWORK reset”. Hahaha, this guy is funny..NOT. “I’m not talking about that data, I know that. I meant the information I entered for all the wireless connections, like the one I have at home. Will it forget the password?” I asked. He didn’t know and needed to check. When he got back, he somehow couldn’t hear me and the conversation was cut.
After that, I noticed that my phone said “No service”.
So now I couldn’t even receive or make calls and send texts. AH! So annoying! I was hoping for it to come back, but didn’t.
I went to Parkway Parade Starhub shop. They wanted to take out the SIM card to check it, but do you think I got it out? No! because the SIM card had “lifted” itself a bit and the edge was keeping it in. Without them being able to check if it was something wrong with the SIM card. They couldn’t do anything.
Ah! Frustration on max! I was now more depending on my phone than ever. All my job applications I’ve sent, especially the ones that are on-going and in current process. What was I suppose to do? Even if I got a new phone, it still wouldn’t matter..my current number is scattered like breadcrumbs to birdies..it’s all over Singapore hahaha!
I got home and was really upset, what to do?
Anyway, I sat down with one of my earring and a pair of tweezers..fixing, tricking etc. POOF! it just came out..that’s after trying for hours earlier!!
I just wanted to take the parts in my hand and run to the stores for them to check the SIM card..but then I thought..what if it’s nothing wrong with it. Should I try again? What if I can’t get it out again? Thinking back and forth..finally I decided to re-shape it a bit, insert it into my phone and followed the instructions..
Poof – the letters “STARHUB” appeared..I had service
So I decided to turn of the wireless and try the 3G..by this time I was happy to just have my phone working again..
Poof – the 3G icon popped up too!!
Ahhh! I had fixed it! no need to worry, things are fine and no need to stress back to the mall. I was so happy!
Thinking, I wasn’t “telefoniansvarig” for nothing at my previous workplace kekeke
I FIXED IT!!
So yeah, that’s it.
Byt the time I’ve written all this, the bragging has evaporated a bit and the only that’s left is feeling very awesome about myself and relived that things are back to normal.