Used Apple Watch Can't Activate on Verizon

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by renzska, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    You don't have to buy a new watch. You just need to get in touch with someone at Verizon that knows what they are doing.
  2. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    Was in Apple yesterday, a Verizon customer comes in and asked the Apple person for a new sim for their watch. An att CSR delivered the same line to me.

    Another att csr to me the watch was set up.
    It was set up as a Samsung wearable
  3. jamezr macrumors G4


    Aug 7, 2011
    I have been to the store and had the rep work on it. I have called twice and spoke with a tier 2 rep. I asked her about the process to add the model number and IMEI and serial to be added to their provision database. She took the information from my AW and tried to look it up to add it to the database and said it failed. Gave her the info again and failed a second time. She spoke with her supervisor and they said they could not be done. They both said only a Verizon AW work on their network.
  4. imola.zhp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    Mud Island (Memphis), TN
    Same "hell" here.

    Bought a watch that had never been activated on ANY network actually, but Verizon says it is "locked." The watch was sealed brand new in box, the seller said it came from an Apple Store. Both the seller and myself have called several times and have been told they will add the watch to their system and to wait 48 hours.

    Still not working. I don't want to have to do an eBay return on this seller, doesn't seem like its his fault I'm with Verizon but if he had sold it to any other Verizon user they would be going through the same thing. Now the watch is clearly used, what a mess.

    Checked on several sites, not blacklisted or locked as far as I can tell.

    The seller wants to talk to me on the phone this evening. Not sure how that is going to go. I asked for proof of purchase so I can visit the apple store with the device, he has not provided said proof yet.
  5. james2538 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    You don't need proof of purchase to go to the Apple Store. It has been less than a year since Series 3 devices came out and they should all be under warranty. You can double check by typing the serial number in to

    Get in contact with Apple Support. At the very least they need to know that all these people are having trouble activating the cellular portion almost a year after the LTE watch came out. Do a three-way call with Apple to the Verizon tech support, they need to record that Verizon is being completely uncooperative and telling customers entirely incorrect information.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 5, 2018 ---
    When I was on the phone with them it was explained to me that to actually add an IMEI to the database requires they submit some sort of internal petition which takes 2-3 days. Every time they just did a database lookup it obviously failed.
  6. BrianFlyGuy, Jul 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018

    BrianFlyGuy macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2018
    Ok everyone... had the same issue with Verizon... I transferred Fromm T-Mobile to Verizon and was told by Verizon everything would go smooth... once I transferred and tried to activate my series 3 watch I kept getting errors... I talked to Verizon who told me T-Mobile must have locked the Sim & IMEI... after getting off the phone with T-Mobile they gave me a website to check and clearly it was not locked... I then called Apple Care (I don’t have apple care on the watch as I got it from T-Mobile) and they themselves called Verizon and was told by Verizon that they will not activate and can not activate anyone Apple Watch from another carrier then can only if you get right from Apple or Verizon themselves... tech rep from Verizon told Apple care Rep that there is even a memo stating this and that they have no work around... Apple rep was confused as he told them they should have a way to update the internal sim and be able to do it... Apple Rep was not pleased... after no resolution from Verizon the Apple Rep opened a ticket to the highest level of tech support for the watch and after 5 days there was no resolution or work around... my Apple care rep was amazing and offered a one time swap right from Apple themselves (even though I don’t have apple care).... today I went right to the store where they swapped it out for me... I suggest that if you do have the series 3 and want to get it working on Verizon call Apple care directly because my outcome was great
  7. dave006 Contributor


    Jul 3, 2008
    Just West of East
    Just to clarify there is no need to have AppleCare, the Series 3 LTE only began shipping last September 25th so all watches should be covered by a 1 yr warranty.

    Apple and Verizon need to work together or Apple needs to replace the watch under warranty at least until the 1yr warranty period has expired.

  8. imola.zhp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    Mud Island (Memphis), TN
    After a very busy end of summer I finally had some time to go to the Apple Store. Sure, eBay and PayPal would have stood behind me due to this watch not working as advertised but as a eBay seller (not a business, just sell my old junk on eBay) I felt this was not fair to the seller that sold us the watch. He sold it as new, it arrived as new and I did not feel it was his fault we could not get the watch on Verizon. I even spoke to him on the phone about it back in July.

    Before being able to replace it the Apple Store employee said they needed me to try a full reset and start over as if the watch was brand new, not restore from a previous backup. Ok, I can do that, but I went to the store with the watch and not the phone it is typically paired to. I was able to call and have the watch un-paired successfully but I would have to attempt the rest at home and make a return trip if it didn't work.

    I left the store and called Verizon on the way home to attempt, again, to get the watch added. The customer service rep had me on the phone for quite some time, on hold off and on, trying to figure it out. This time she was saying it wasn't that they thought the watch was locked to another provider but rather that every time they tried to add the device they got an error. This made me feel a bit less bad about trying to get the watch replaced through Apple, maybe there really was something wrong with the watch.

    Got home, late to a pool party for the afternoon/evening, didn't think much about the situation. Got home from being out, went to re-pair the watch as a new device, not restoring from a backup, and the watch paired and added itself to our Verizon account with no problems. Total WTF moment afterwards...

    So if you are finding this topic and message in particular, if you are upgrading from a non-LTE watch to an LTE watch and cannot seem to add it to your Verizon account (or possibly other providers) try un-pairing the watch and setting it up as a new watch. This 3 month old birthday present now has its full intended functionality for a user that frequently forgets their phone.
  9. shellzj, Jan 10, 2019 at 11:51 AM
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019 at 12:02 PM

    shellzj macrumors newbie

    I'm having the exact same issue with my Apple Watch Series 4. I bought it from T-Mobile at launch but switched to Verizon over the holiday. I keep getting the "this device is not compatible" error on my iPhone at cellular setup.

    (The reason I bought the watch from T-Mobile at launch, is because they had it in stock whereas Costco and Apple didn't. If I could do it all over again, I would've waited to get it from Costco so I could've just returned it).

    The Verizon rep in-store said he thought the watch was locked to T-Mobile. I've called T-Mobile 4 times, and they assured me it's not locked (I own it outright). The Verizon phone support ultimately said that they won't activate Apple watches not purchased from Apple or Verizon and then transferred me to telesales.

    I spent 4 hours on the phone with Apple tech support only to have a senior advisor "take ownership of my issue" then politely say "f-off, cellular activation is not Apple's problem."

    I took it to the Apple store, tech confirmed it wouldn't connect to Verizon and mailed it in to a repair center. The repair center mailed it back saying they "couldn't replicate the issue."

    I switched to Verizon at Costco when a regional Verizon rep was there (threw in an extra $100 per line for switching). So my next step is to reach out to that regional rep and see if he can't reach these "database management technicians" that a previous poster suggested.

    If really Apple hardware has nothing to do with this issue, I don't understand why Verizon is making it so hard for me to give them another $30 in activation fees plus $10/mo in perpetuity.

    But wow, I'm seriously pissed/ disappointed in Apple on this issue.
  10. Caesars macrumors regular

    May 16, 2013

    Do you know if the line is active on the original carrier?
  11. shellzj macrumors newbie

    Hey Caesars, thanks for your reply. Yes, I've confirmed 4 times with T-Mobile that the watch is neither active nor locked to their network. I also already got my final bill from them showing no activity.

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