So, it seems that the latest security update for Pixel 1 and 2 caused problems for Visible customers using those phones. Something in the update made them lose voice and text on Visible.
After a couple of days of likely frenzied attempts to work out a patch with Google, Visible decided to fix the problem by sending customers with those phones new, and free, Pixel 3a XL phones. Within a couple of days of the problem, phones started turning up on doorsteps.
That's pretty good customer service.
It sounds like the update permanently borked the phones for use on Visible, and those earlier Pixels won't be supported anymore.
Given the many negative posts about Visible's CS, this action by Visible will go a long way toward gaining customer's trust, although Visible likely didn't have any sane alternative to the action it took.
Most of the affected Pixels were BYOD devices. I think most providers would have said sorry, but it's not our problem-- and possibly offered a discount on a new device or one of the free-for-swap phones.
I agree that it was likely done to keep their reputation from being tarnished beyond however much it's already tarnished by general customer-service issues. It should definitely buy them some customer loyalty, and lots of buzz.
I am not a Visible user, and this is just a guess.....
I suspect something with the VoLTE-only scheme. Perhaps the update broke whatever it is that prevents it defaulting back to traditional voice/text?
(You might be right about the SIM card, if the SIM sets the profile for VoLTE only.)
Sending out a few hundred of Pixel phones generated a very loud buzz and a positive image of Visible. Marketing money well spent.
Despite of still poor customer services, many people are taking a gamble and porting into Visible. A lot of Cricket groups are falling apart and moving to Visible when Party Pay started.