Thanks for all the replies folks but after going back to Walmart, it turns out it was a bad sim and after going through 2 more cards, she found 1 that was good and did the setup right there in the store. It appears there is a bad batch of sim cards here in sylvan lake. Happy new year to everyone.
@nigelhorvath Thanks for the update...bad Sims are a rarity. You probably saved a whole batch of botched activations by being unlucky enough to get (hopefully) the first one of the bad apples in the bunch. You can count yourself as special! Oh and welcome to public mobile!