Vodacom explains iPhone message problems

Numerous Vodacom customers have in recent days complained that they were unable to activate Apple’s popular iMessage and FaceTime services on their iPhones.

MyBroadband was made aware of the issue after a reader said he was unable to activate and link the services to his Vodacom number.

His complaint was supported by several posts from MyBroadband Forum members who were experiencing the issue as well.

In order to enable iMessage and FaceTime on a number used on an iOS device, an iPhone user must first activate the services, which are authenticated in a process during which an SMS is sent to a UK-based phone number.

However, several Vodacom contract customers reported that attempting to do so would return a “failed to activate” message, in addition to an SMS failure notification.

The issue was not only occurring for new activations but also happened whenever an iPhone was restarted and iMessage attempted to re-authenticate the number.

The problem did not appear to impact verification of email accounts, however.

Users also noted that Vodacom was charging R1.50 for every failed attempt to activate the service.

Several users suggested a workaround which was to load airtime on the affected SIM, as this had previously fixed the problem for them.

However, because certain Vodacom contracts do not allow for loading additional airtime, this was not an option for many complaining customers.

Various affected users had contacted both Vodacom and Apple in an attempt to fix the issue but neither were able to assist over the course of several days.

Activation issue resolved

Vodacom told MyBroadband that it was aware of the activation issue, which it said had affected a very small number of its customers.

A spokesperson for the company said the problem was not limited to Vodacom South Africa and had impacted certain customers in the UAE, Portugal, Czech Republic and Ghana as well.

The cause of the issue had been a temporary glitch at one of the suppliers that Vodacom with on the activation service.

“Our technicians engaged with our international partners to identify the problem,” Vodacom said.

“We can now confirm that as of yesterday [Thursday] afternoon, the matter was resolved,” Vodacom stated.

“We apologise for the inconvenience this has caused,” Vodacom added.

The operator did not comment on whether customers who were billed for the failed authentications would be refunded.

Now read: Mobile subscribers compared – MTN vs Vodacom

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Vodacom explains iPhone message problems