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Can’t activate Apple Watch Series 7 from Costco

TBerg
Novice II

Can’t activate new Apple Watch Series 7 purchased from Costco

I purchased a new Apple Watch series 7 from Costco a couple of days ago. When I try to activate through the Watch app, I get a Verizon page error that says

“Account type issue.

Sorry, NumberShare extensions can't be added to this type of account.

The account owner may call 800.922.0204 for more information.”

The Watch passes Verizon’s IMEI checker fine but the Visible CS keeps saying it’s not compatible and wants me to purchase Through them, of course not at the same Costco price.

In my mind the only difference between my watch that doesn’t work and one that does is that it’s not listed in Visible’s system. It’s technologically the same Watch!

I found some old posts but couldn’t find a solution.

I asked them to provision it and they didn’t even respond to that request.

Thanks in advance from help!

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

TBerg
Novice II

Well, after hours and hours of talking to Verizon and Visible chats and sitting two hours in the Apple Store with an apple genius, we have solved the problem. It turns out that during the activation process in the Apple Watch app, it should be asking you to log into Visible. It was not for me. The solution was the Visible support agent disabled hotspot and then reenabled it. That's all it took and it worked! I hope this helps others down the line. 

 

View solution in original post

10 REPLIES 10

phoneman2021
Superuser Founder
Superuser Founder

My guess is this is locked to Verizon.  if you can return it to Costco and get your money back and just purchase from Visible.

I would guess the same, did you have to give them your provider when purchasing?  Did you get any additional 'Verizon Benefits" from the purchase?  That would be a clear indication of it being locked to Verizon.  Some cell providers lock their devices for a certain number of days, even if you are paying in full.  I have read this is to prevent reselling for profits from deals.

If a post has solved your problem, please mark it as an acceptable solution, it helps others that may have experienced a similar issue get a quick resolution.

No, this device is definitely not locked to Verizon. I called and spoke to a Verizon customer service rep who is way more helpful than any visible customer service. I also spoke to Apple Support management and they checked the device in their system and it is definitely not locked to anything. Further I did The IMEI checker tools for other carriers such as T-Mobile and they indicated I could bring the device to their system today. It is very bizarre and it is very buyer beware with visible service! It seems for some reason that visible is only compatible with IMEI devices that you purchased directly from them. This is just a watch! If you purchased from Apple directly it may not work on Visible either! The only likely way it would work is if you purchased it directly from Visible which means you would have to pay more money and given their behavior so far, you may end up with a device that only works on their systems and none of the other ones. So now I’m in a situation where I can definitely return the device and buy one for more money from Visible and hope that it’s not locked to their systems but I am definitely wary of doing that. This is a post that hopefully others will read before they spend a lot of money on something that should be possible.  I even filed an FCC complaint and spoke with executive relations at Visible, which by the way comes from a Verizon email address and all they said was this IMEI does not work on their system and is not compatible.

 

So I did it a lot of homework and ended up with a very unsatisfying answer from Visible given this same watch will work on any other system. I have a feeling it has to do with the fact that they are a discount carrier.

Bear with me, there's a question coming... because, tbh, I'm completely perplexed.

I read through this and am grateful for all the info people gave.

I have an Apple Watch (Series 1) purchased from Best Buy. I also still have an iPhone 6s Plus I bought from Best Buy before the watch. Both paid for at purchase and the phone was unlocked (as far as I understood then).

I have read about so many problems and I guess I'm lucky because I have never had an issue with any carrier I go to. And I've been with 3 so far, with both, watch and phone. For me, the changes have been seamless. I was literally up and running on Visible service in less than 20 minutes. Probably the fastest change I've made in my entire 23 yrs of cell service. (And, my watch works perfectly.) 

Now, with that being said, I realize eventually (probably sooner than later, I'm keeping an eye on prices for now) I will have to get another phone. The one I have updates and runs fine right now. I'll probably squeeze every last breath from it. In fact, my spouse did the same exact thing. We've obviously had these phones a long time in the realm of 'cell phones'. Neither of us has had any issues moving around. (I'm slightly nervous I'm jinxing myself but I'm curious to read any info offered.)

So, here's what I'm wondering. What has changed over the years? I bought my phone/watch (paid in full) from Best Buy (unlocked) and fully intend on buying another phone unlocked. I will never, ever buy a phone from any carrier anymore because these days, there's really no need. I get there are deals and such but it doesn't pull me in. 

I guess, I absolutely do not understand why the Costco watch didn't work. I don't get it. What am I missing? Do I need to know something special when I do decide to purchase a new phone and/or possibly a watch?

I absolutely want to purchase my phones 100% unlocked as I did before. And, the Costco watch... well, it never would have crossed my mind that it wouldn't work with any carrier because basically, you did the same as I. Help me understand because I don't get it at all.  Thank you in advance. 

Apple Watch Cellular Not Working? How to fix the problem 

Ok... I skimmed through this and I now realize we are talking about 2 different kinds of watches. (GPS-only vs. GPS+cellular) Wow, yeah, what a pain.

Apparently, I've been out of the loop a while.

Anyway, feel free to still add any input. I learn a lot from these threads. 

tekgawd
Novice II

I would suggest that you exchange this Watch for another one from Costco, even if it is the same size, model color and so forth. Make sure that you set up the device through the Watch app on your iPhone and it will give you the option to add a cellular plan. This should allow you to sign into Visible using your account credentials and will register the device and allow you to pay for your additional watch line at a pro rated rate depending on when your billing cycle ends. Then it will say something to the effect of "adding device to your account, this could take a few minutes". Let it sit until it progresses on its own and it should complete. Reboot your watch at that point and enjoy.

 

TL;DR - Just exchange it so you have a different one with a different IMEI and eSIM ICCID and retry through the Watch app. You should be fine as Apple Watches do not have carrier locks on them, only region specific requirements.

Airwolf
Superuser Founder
Superuser Founder

Nice having someone respond that seems to have more technical knowledge.  Appreciate your efforts!

If a post has solved your problem, please mark it as an acceptable solution, it helps others that may have experienced a similar issue get a quick resolution.

Thanks for the reply. Respectfully, that is a terrible idea for a couple of reasons. First, without any understanding as to the rhyme or reason why some IMEI's work and some don't, this would be a random walk in the dark trying watches on Visible until you found one that worked. The chances that I just happened to get the one watch that didn't work on Visible are probably close to 0. My guess would be most, if not all watches from Costco would not work on Visible. Costco probably purchased a bunch of watches from Apple in a certain IMEI "block," just as Visible intimated they did themselves. My recommendations would be:

  1. Keep the watch, leave Visible and try another carrier. 
  2. Return the watch, stay with Visible and purchase a watch directly from Visible.
  3. Buy a watch from Apple directly and it should work based on what I heard.

Why would you do 3 over 2? Well, I would be worried purchasing directly from Visible because you may end up with a watch that won't work on any other carrier despite assurances they are carrier unlocked. If a reader does end up choosing option 2, I would use an IMEI checking tool on a couple of providers like Verizon and T-Mobile as soon as you received the watch to insure it is indeed fully unlocked, before even opening the package. 

 

Over the weekend, I did return the watch to Costco in warehouse (originally purchased from their website). Thankfully, their customer service was great, as usual, and they didn't charge a restocking fee or some other such nonsense. 

 

Thanks also for the instructions on how to activate. I'm sure other readers will find that helpful. It's exactly the process I used and where it failed (see my original post above). 

 

I appreciate everyone taking time to contribute to this thread. Have a great day! 

TBerg
Novice II

Well, after hours and hours of talking to Verizon and Visible chats and sitting two hours in the Apple Store with an apple genius, we have solved the problem. It turns out that during the activation process in the Apple Watch app, it should be asking you to log into Visible. It was not for me. The solution was the Visible support agent disabled hotspot and then reenabled it. That's all it took and it worked! I hope this helps others down the line. 

 

jimjrfl
Novice III

Wife had an iPhone 11 and a cellular apple watch SE. Both on AT&T. Switch to Visible was easy peasy. No hiccups at all. Weird.