Solved "restricted service" message when dialing on new SIM

Discussion in 'Android Support' started by mlouns, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. mlouns

    mlouns New Member

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    My US-bought Samsung phone works with Verizon, but I am having trouble setting it up with a UK SIM card for an upcoming trip.

    When I use the UK SIM card, my phone successfully receives calls, texts, and data at the UK number. I can also successfully text another UK number. But when I try to dial a UK number, I get a recorded American voice telling me "the service you are attempting to use is restricted".

    I don't think it's a problem with the UK phone plan, because UK texting works, and because the error message is American. I'm guessing it's a problem with a pre-existing Samsung or Verizon phone setting blocking me from dialing out of the US.

    Any idea how I can fix this?

    Thanks, Michael
     
  2. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Super Moderator
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    Welcome to DF, mlouns! I'm not sure if I know the answer to your question but hopefully can troubleshoot a bit. It sounds like you are actually doing all of your calling, texting and data via Verizon or maybe off Verizon towers or over WiFi/mobile data. Some phones have dual sims. If yours does, is both the Verizon sim and UK sim in the phone? Are you still in the US trying to use the UK sim? If so, I don't think It is possible that the UK sim can work unless it is able to connect to a UK tower. I'm guessing here. Hopefully someone with more familiarity with using a foreign sim can offer more ideas.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
  3. mlouns

    mlouns New Member

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    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes, normally I am using Verizon exclusively, with the Verizon SIM. My phone is not dual SIM, so I need to swap between SIM cards to get things to work. The UK SIM (from three.co.uk) that I am using has a plan that supposedly lets me text and call free to UK numbers. It does indeed text them, but doesn't dial, as I said.

    I follow your idea about not being able to connect to US towers when dialing a UK number in the US, except that I am able to successfully dial 444 with the UK SIM card, and that connects me to an obviously British number where I can top up the card. So that part does work, though it is toll-free. I think the problem is only with trying to dial what the phone thinks is a toll call out of the country.

    FWIW, I have the same problem trying to use my wife's phone with a different UK SIM card, which is also a Samsung from Verizon.

    Michael
     
    #3 mlouns, Sep 26, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  4. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Super Moderator
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    The one other idea I have is that maybe the phones need to be unlocked. Verizon says their phones are supposed to be unlocked so that they are able to be used with other carriers but that is not always the case. Sometimes they require an unlock code. Call Verizon to get the unlock codes for your specific phones.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
  5. mountainbikermark

    mountainbikermark Super Moderator
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    That's what I was thinking as well. When 4g first came out to use a Verizon phone internationally you called them, they have you some code and where to input it and that unlocked the phone to be fully used for non U.S. usage. Perhaps it's still that way?

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  6. mlouns

    mlouns New Member

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    I called Verizon, and they say that both phones (mine and my wife's) are unlocked. So I don't think that's it? I did mention I was going to use a UK SIM card when I spoke to them.

    Michael
     
  7. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Super Moderator
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    I would call again to ask for the code. I know they say that the phones are unlocked all the time. The fact is that not all of them are. They said the same thing about my Note 2 but once I got the unlock code was able to get it to work for my brother's carrier. It was actually a simple code... something like 123456.

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  8. mlouns

    mlouns New Member

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    I finally worked it out. There were two things going on.

    First, although the phone itself was already unlocked for using a non-Verizon SIM card, I had to also call Verizon to get the phone additionally unlocked for international calls.

    Second, when I was calling from the US using the UK SIM card, I still needed to dial the full international prefix. I had wrongly assumed that I could act as if the phone were already in the UK when calling another UK number, but I also needed to dial the usual 011 44 that I need when calling from an American phone in the US.

    Thanks for the help,
    Michael
     
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  9. leeshor

    leeshor Gold Member

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    Good deal. Marked solved.
     
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  10. TisMyDroid

    TisMyDroid Super Moderator
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    Thanks for the info mlouns! So glad you got the problem solved. And it will also be helpful if someone else has a similar problem.

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