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Back in November of last year, T-Mobile made a change to self-service SIM card changes to combat phone number takeover. ‘SIM swapping’ is a practice where someone takes over a phone number by changing the SIM card associated with it. That user can then put the new SIM card in any device and the number is theirs to use.

With increased use of 2-factor authentication in everyday life, plus every other way a phone number is tied to our identities, having your phone number hijacked can be potentially devastating. T-Mobile implemented account takeover protection to combat this, a great move to keep consumers in control of their number. They also temporarily disabled self-service SIM card changes, stating it was only to implement security changes and would return soon. With the rise in eSIM, especially in the iPhone 14 and upcoming iPhone 15, it made sense to revisit the process. But how long is too long?

Nearly A Year Later, Self-Service SIM Card Changes Are Still MIA

T-Mobile did not set a timeline with the announcement to remove self-service SIM Card changes. Employees were told the measure was ‘temporary’, which implies an eventual return. It is hard to believe a single security update announced nearly a year ago is still in the works.

We here at The Mobile Report reached out to T-Mobile for comment on this, and we were told there are no updates known right now. T-Mobile’s PR also suggested customers simply visit a retail store or call Customer Care for SIM card changes.

Verizon and AT&T both offer self-service options for SIM card changing. Even with the state of the industry and the vulnerability a SIM card has in 2023, the other two major carriers do not prevent customers from doing this on their own.

AT&T offers step-by-step instructions on their site for anyone changing a SIM Card. Verizon also has a dedicated page for SIM information, outlining a dedicated support page titled “Activate or Switch Device” in My Verizon. Even factoring in new eSIM technology becoming more common, it shouldn’t take T-Mobile this long to implement these “security changes”.

Customers change phones often. T-Mobile’s own sales pitch for their latest plan is that customers like to change phones every year. Plus, some people enjoy going back and forth between two or more phones that they own every now and then.

That’s a lot of SIM changes. Surely T-Mobile would be better off allowing customers to make these changes instead of adding this responsibility onto their already busy support staff.

We can only hope that T-Mobile decides to re-enable this useful tool for customers soon.

What’s your take on T-Mobile’s silence regarding a key self-service feature? Have you gone to change your line to a new physical SIM or eSIM, only to be met with the realization you’ll have to contact support to do it? Let us know below.

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