Apologies in advance for the essay, this is a bit of a complex issue that began over three months ago. I'm hoping someone from 2degrees will be able to respond - for anyone else it's probably nothing more than a long read. Here's my story...

I have a Samsung Galaxy SIII (2degrees firmware, purchased from Dick Smith) which I bought earlier this year because it supports NFC. I live in Auckland, the Auckland buses I catch are using a Snapper-based system for fares, and I'd heard of the 2degrees/Snapper Touch2Pay venture in Wellington. Being keen to try mobile payments, I was excited when I found out in late August that you could buy a Touch2Pay sim card from the 2degrees online store and have it shipped to Auckland.

So I purchased said sim card, got it delivered, and called 2degrees when it arrived to have my existing number transferred to the Touch2Pay sim. Ran into a slight problem when the operator informed me that, given the sim wasn't blank, the normal transfer process for a sim swap couldn't be done - I didn't think to check before purchasing the Touch2Pay sim whether it was blank or not, as I didn't know this would be a problem. However, the operator said they could have someone look into transferring my number 'manually', and being so keen to pay my bus fares with my mobile phone, I agreed to this.

The manual transfer was done; had some minor hiccups when I discovered my online account and credit were tied to the sim card and not the phone number, but that was no biggie - I registered for a new online account. Or tried to. This was a few months ago now so forgive my memory, but I think the system told me my number was already registered. I called 2degrees up again, asked for a password reset, and they said it'd arrive in a text. But it never arrived, so I asked for another to be sent - they advised to allow a day or so. I was going overseas so wasn't too concerned about not being able to login to my online account so long as I had credit on my phone.

Initially my phone worked overseas perfectly. I could send and receive texts, and got texts from 2degrees in a few countries to let me know what roaming rates would apply. Approximately a month after the manual transfer was done though, my phone no longer connected to any mobile network and alternated between one of two messages: 'emergency calls only' and 'no service'. I thought this would be due to a roaming problem in some countries, so didn't think much of it. I purchased a local sim in the UK, and assumed my Touch2Pay sim would work normally once I was back in NZ.

This wasn't the case. Back in NZ, the phone still wouldn't pick up any network. I called 2degrees and tried changing between network modes (GSM/WCDMA/auto) as well as manually choosing the 2degrees network instead of having the phone choose automatically. It would find the 2degrees network in a scan, but wouldn't register on the network. A test sim in my local 2degrees store confirmed the phone itself wasn't the problem (I knew this from using the UK sim), and a 2degrees operator informed me it was likely the Touch2Pay sim was faulty - supposedly this happens from time to time. Funny thing is the Snapper function still worked perfectly.

After unsuccessfully trying to go down the path of getting a Wellington 2degrees store or the call centre to arrange a blank Touch2Pay sim be sent to me in Auckland, and multiple calls to 2degrees (in which I've at times been told my case was so escalated that senior managers and even someone from HR were looking into it), I came to an arrangement to purchase a new Touch2Pay sim off the website. I was told that another manual transfer wasn't the preferred option, because the technical specialists weren't sure if the issues were with the sim or something else. I hoped for the former and had another manual transfer done.

Now the new Touch2Pay sim is in my phone, my existing number is working on it, and I'm enjoying tagging on and off the bus using my phone. But I still have technical issues. I still can't register for a 2degrees online account. This time it didn't tell me my number was already registered, but after attempting a new signup I didn't receive the initial text, and I still don't receive the password reset text. I've actually been told that no password shows at all, where it normally would, when the operators try to tell me a password instead of having it sent by text. It also seems I don't receive texts from certain special numbers. I didn't get any confirmation to tell me I had successfully purchased a $19 text combo, but my balance was debited and I do have the data, minutes, and texts. I tried to arrange a Snapper token to collect credit from my now old Touch2Pay Snapper balance, but I didn't get the token number that Snapper sent to me via text and had to call Snapper back after a couple of hours to have it emailed instead.

I'm left with a lingering worry that in a few weeks, when it's been a month since the second manual transfer, something will again go wrong and my sim won't be able to register on the network. If this happens, I guess it means there's a problem with my number being manually transferred in 2degrees' systems. For all the investigating that I've been told has gone on, with senior managers and all, I don't feel that I've been kept fully informed or updated. I have no issue with the people I have spoken to or their service, but I'd appreciate being able to talk to someone face to face and find out, from 2degrees' perspective, what they think has gone wrong. And given all the hours of investigation that seem to have gone on, I was surprised that sending me a blank Touch2Pay sim (readily available from Wellington stores, apparently) was not an option - I'm certain it would have been the cheaper option for 2degrees.

After writing all that, hopefully someone from 2degrees will be able to shed some light on these problems and give me more details on what is going wrong.