My sellotape bodge worked for a couple of days, but yesterday I got the 'no SIM installed' message, and I think it's here to stay. I tried doubling the thickness of sellotape, but that didn't work. Taking the SIM card out and replacing it occasionally worked for about 10 seconds, but then the message reappeared.
Cartoon Whorehouse suggested that I did an update to the latest software version. This produced an 'Error (37)' and the instruction that the phone would need to be 'restored'. Clicking the appropriate button put me in a loop with the same messages coming up over and over again. Finally, the phone went dead and wouldn't turn on at all. Just a blank, black screen.
So I phone Orange, using Anna's phone. The signal strength of an iPhone in this house is very poor, and noticeably worse than with other phones, and of course the call dropped off after 20 minutes in a queue and a lengthy explanation to the agent at the other end. I called back, and the next agent took my landline number and called me on that so we could have an uninterrupted call. (And when I got my SIM in another phone later, the first agent had tried to call me back, so full marks to Orange for making the effort.) He went through a lot of diagnostics and then gave up and transferred me to an Apple helpline.
I spoke to a delightful lady called Maria in Portugal, who got me to create a new user account on my PC and use that to restore the phone. This took a long time (it's a slow laptop) and then the phone began to update. The progress bar warned me that this would take about 40 minutes. We chatted aimlessly for a while, but the silences were getting longer, and it was at this point I made my BIG mistake. I asked her if it would be more convenient for her to take my landline number and call me back in half an hour or so. I have worked in a call centre and I know how this waiting was a waste of her and my time, and a bit awkward for both of us, but I SHOULDN'T HAVE LET HER GO. I waited for the half hour to be up, and then another hour, and then I went to bed. She still hasn't called. If she's on lates, then she'll be in work this evening, so I will give her 24 hours before calling them again.
No rush. The SIM card is now in my old Nokia 6310i and working fine. I get a strong signal anywhere in the house and I can go two weeks without a recharge. I kinda like it.
And I'm kinda going off the iPhone.