I just bought an unlocked Just5 j509 cell phone for my 88 year-old dad, for use in emergencies only. I thought I could buy a Verizon SIM card to put in it, and sign on to their basic, prepaid, 25¢/minute plan. I was told at one Verizon Wireless store, however, that they won't sell a SIM card alone; that I'd have to buy a phone as well. At another Verizon store, they told me they COULD sell the card alone (for $25), but when they tried to enter the Just5's serial number (or whatever ID number is XXXXX the phone), the computer wouldn't accept it. I've checked WalMart and Radio Shack for SIM cards that I could link to a prepaid plan, but they either seem just baffled or say it can't be done -- that the Verizon network doesn't use or recognize SIM cards.I have an old AT&T SIM card that I could try, but I'm afraid I'd run into similar problems in activating it. (Dad and the phone are a 5-hour drive away, so I can't even try it now.)My question is: When folks buy these unlocked cell phones, where and how are they supposed to get the SIM cards to activate them and sign on with a service provider?
Hello. Welcome to JustAnswer, a paid global support site.There are two types of carriers. GSM and CDMA. GSM carriers (such as AT&T and T-Mobile) use SIM Cards for service. CDMA carriers (such as Verizon Wireless and Sprint) do not use SIM Cards but use a code on the phone itself called an ESN.When you get an "unlocked" cell phones, about 95% of the time, they are GSM cell phones, which mean they will only work on AT&T or T-Mobile (or one of their subsidaires like H2O Wireless or Simple Mobile). The "Verizon SIM Card" is actually a component for their line of smartphones or some of their prepaid phones. These devices still have an ESN and must still be activated on their CDMA network. The SIM Card is just an extra piece, but is much different hardware from the traditional AT&T/T-Mobile SIM Card. You cannot take one of these Verizon SIM Cards and use on an AT&T phone.Verizon service is exclusive to Verizon phones; just as Sprint service is exclusive to Sprint phones. AT&T and T-Mobile are the only to carriers that can go elsewhere.Based on this review of the J509 (http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phones/just5-j509-orange-unlocked/4505-6454_7-34139090.html), this device is a GSM phone, which means, in the United States, you can either use AT&T or T-Mobile with this phone if it is truly unlocked.All you will need to do is get a SIM Card from either AT&T or T-Mobile or take the unlocked phone into their store and they will be able to activate it.Let me know if you need further assistance.