You are probably here because you are experiencing the notorious Vodafone error 38. Well, congratulations, you have come to the right place. The first thing you should note is that this is a common occurrence amongst Vodafone users. What this means is that you have no need to panic!

Vodafone is a big and reputable network service provider and most of its errors are often easy to fix. 

In this article, you will get an in-depth analysis of this problem and we will give you six possible solutions for this. 

What Is the Vodafone Error 38?

The Vodafone Error 38 is an indicator that the network operator(Vodafone) can not send an SMS at that time. It is usually seen in form of a red exclamation mark next to the SMS you tried to send. 

vodafone error 38 sms not sending
Vodafone Error 38

What Causes The Vodafone Error 38?

A comparably large amount of Vodafone users have reported this particular issue. Noting that reports originate from all parts of the world, it is safe to say that it is a general problem that is reoccurring amongst Vodafone service providers worldwide. There are three main causes of this error after investigation. 

Lack of Vodafone Network 

Have you ever picked up your phone and noticed that your service bars are blank? Or maybe your bars are there but you are having a hard time using basic services. Well, that might be the case. Network providers can have connectivity issues from time to time or you might be at a location In your region that does not get Vodafone coverage.

no service on phone

A Problem With Your Network Settings

When there is a conflict between your preset network setting and the settings that are received by your network carrier, such an issue might occur. 

SIM Card issue

It is advisable to check your SIM card slots because your SIM card might have shifted or had other issues. 

How to Fix The Vodafone Error 38 

The best way to solve every problem is by elimination, including the Vodafone Error 38. You would need to rule out the possible issues. This can be done in various ways before delving into the main fixes. These suggestions include:

  • Remove your SIM card and put it in another phone to check if the problem is from your device. 
  • Use the Vodafone status checker status checker to check for the network status of masts around you.
  • Use this help thread that has a template to guide users through network issues. 
  • Check the receiver’s number and make sure it is correct.

If these methods don’t seem to give results, here are other methods.

Restart your phone

Restarting your phone is the most basic fix for most tech issues. It may seem too basic or generic right? Not exactly. For the Vodafone Error 38, a hard start works more times than not. It is extremely easy to restart your phone. You probably know the process but if not, here’s a guide.

  • Press the Power button and hold it down for a few seconds until the boot screen is displayed. 
  • On the boot screen, you’d see a prompt to “restart” or “reboot” your device(depending on which device you have). 
  • Click on or swipe the “restart” or “reboot button.
  • Your device will automatically reboot then you, check to see if the SMS service has been resolved.

Keep reading for more possible solutions.

Select Vodafone Network Manually

There is a settings menu that offers a wide range of methods to look into and troubleshoot connectivity problems. You can manually select it by following these steps: 

  • Go to your “Settings”  on your phone.
  • Look for the “SIM & Network” or “Connections” option and click on it
  • If you have a dual SIM phone, select the Vodafone SIM so that you can toggle the settings of that one. 
  • Scan for the “network operators” option from the list and open.
  • Tap the on/off switch next to “Choose automatically” to turn it off.
  • Hold on while your phone searches for available networks and then tap on Vodafone go set it as the primary network carrier. 

If you use an iPhone, the process is the same. The main difference is that when you go to settings, you click on “mobile data” rather than “SIM & network” or “connections”. 

Update your Messages app

Your messages app might be glitching due to being out of date and cause messages to lag because it can not perform the tasks properly. To use this solution, you need to follow these steps:

  • Open your Play Store or App Store
  • Search for “Messages” to find the application on the store.
  • There will be an icon that either indicates “Open” or “Update”.
  • If it shows ”Update”, this means there is a newer version of the app. If not, it means that the application is not the problem.
the vodafone logo
Photo by Matthew Buchanan on Unsplash

Set The SMSC Manually

Even though this is usually done by your network provider, if you are encountering these issues, you might have to manually set the SMS service center number. The correct SMSC number for your region or location can be accessed by contacting your Vodafone network operator. To reach a network operator, click here. When you get the number from the operator, follow these steps:

  • Open your phone app on your device.
  • Go to dialer and enter *#4636#*
  • Launch Phone Info on a different screen and scroll until you find SMSC on the list.
  • Refresh in order to view the present SMSC number.
  • Erase the old one and input the one your service operator gave you then click “update”.

Reset Network Settings

If none of the preferred solutions work, you will have to simply go back to the basics and reset your network settings. This allows you to clear the settings on WiFi, Bluetooth and Mobile Data. If nothing works against the Vodafone Error 38, this should do the trick.

  • Go to Settings on your phone.
  • Select either “General management” or “System,” depending on your device type
  • Click on “Reset” or “Reset options.”
  • Tap the option that says “Reset network settings.”
  • Confirm

When you do this, your device will reboot itself and when it’s back on, settings will be reset. You can then try again.

Replace your SIM Card

If you have tried the previous steps to no avail, the problem could be a faulty SIM card. As a process of elimination, if you have a spare mobile device, try inserting the SIM card into another phone to see if the error continues.

If you are still facing the error on a new device, this indicates a failing SIM card. You will need to order a new SIM card and swap it with the old one. You can also head to a Vodafone store, and they will assist you with the SIM replacement.

Conclusion

We hope this article was helpful and easy for you to navigate. If this error persists, kindly contact the Vodafone Customer Care Center for more help.

About the Author

Spark Wit

Over 10 years of experience working as a technical support engineer. Highly skilled in fixing any technical issue, including app configuration and account setup, gaming errors, television problems, and any other electronics-related issue.

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