I needed a mobile account for a test device today, so I pulled a Speakout SIM out of my GSM drawer. It has been many months since I last used it, so I fully expected there to be no available call balance on the account, and that a new account and phone number would need to be reassigned.
When I tried to activate the SIM on their website, it told me that it had already been activated. Fair enough.
Since they use your phone number as an account number, I tried adding $25 to the account. It happily took my money, but gave me an error that the funds were not added to my account and that I should call service. A little annoying but sure, it has been a while, and this falls outside the realm of "normal" service activation.
When I reached an agent, she explained that once A SIM on an account goes dormant, it cannot be reactivated. You have to buy a new SIM. The old one is garbage. But... huh? It turns out that after your balance expires, you have 45 days to top it up. After 45 days, the SIM cannot be reactivated.
There is no technical reason for this. Heck, I'd pay $5 just for the convenience of being able to use the old one. That's just stupid.
Luckily my drawer also have some fresh SIM cards, so at least I don't need to make a trip to the store just to buy a SIM card.