@Mindless There are some stores that still sell older phones, but you would have to ether try SIM card in them to see if they work OR you have to write down model number and check theirs supporting frequencies online before buying.
I wish I could just get a Nokia 8210 or something of the like!
Any suggestions on compatible phones tha tmight fit the bill?
Nokia 8210 does not support 3G.
There are newer basic phones that would work, like Nokia 207 and Nokia 208.
So when I'm searching for a new phone, what types of things do I need to be aware of for compatability? Just that it's 3g capable and unlocked?
As it's only for voice - we don't need anything fancy.
If you search for the phone you like on site GSMArena_com, you will see phone-supporting frequency like on this screenshot:
The Samsung S366 will never work on Public Mobile even if it is unlocked. It is a GSM only phone and is not compatible with Public Mobile (nor Bell, Telus, Freedom, Virgin, Koodo).
Thank you all for your responses and taking the time to help me troubleshoot my issue. Just wanted to give an update as I've resolved to just get a new phone. As a few of you previously mentioned, the phone I had previously was not going to work on the network... So I ended up grabbing a Telus Pre-Paid Alcatel Go Flip which meets all of our requirements (and more!). Plugged the sim card in (nano-sim) to the slot and it worked with no issues It's got big buttons, a large enough screen and basic functionality fitting for any senior or technologically challenged users!
You guys have been great!! Thanks again
@Mindless glad we could help. Thanks for the update. And thanks for an informitive first post. Many people post minimal info or just my phone doesn't work which asked it hard to give proper advice.
Try cleaning the exposed electrical contacts. On the SIM card. In the phone SIM card slot - it's old, could have years of nearly-invisible oxidation gunk on/in it.
You can use an electrical contact cleaner like DeoxIT or Stabilant-22, though they're overkill. Isopropyl alcohol will work fine, though it's a weak solvent so you may need to do some "real" scrubbing with a toothbrush or q-tips or lint-free cloth wrapped around a wooden toothpick - electrical grade anhydrous (>99.9% pure) isopropyl would be ideal, but any drugstore 70% stuff will work fine as long as it doesn't have perfumes or other additives which might leave a conductive residue.
It goes without saying that electronics should be unplugged, unpowered, unbatteried when exposed to liquids, lol, and that they should be given time to fully dry out afterwards.
Just buy this $60 pre-paid Koodo flip phone: https://www.koodomobile.com/phones/alcatel-go-flip-0
It will work on Public Mobile without unlocking, and it will be compatible with PM's network since they are the same.