How to Change Your Cell Phone Carrier
Changing cell phone carriers can seem like a daunting task, especially when it comes to dealing with contracts and making sure you keep your old number. Thankfully, the process has been streamlined over the years, and now it’s possible to keep your old number in almost every case. Follow this guide to see how.
- 1Shop around for the right deal. Cell phone carriers are constantly changing plans and rates, and often run all kinds of promotions. Look for a promotion that includes a phone that you want for cheap or free. Make sure that you read as much fine print as possible, so that you’ll know when to expect rate hikes or other fees.
- Pay attention to the details of the plan. If you barely ever send text messages, then you probably don’t need a plan that includes unlimited texts. Make sure that you are signing up for the plan that is most useful for you.
- Check the coverage area. Each network has different coverage areas. Find out what the coverage is like in your area by talking to friends that use that network, or by asking around online. Most companies will say that your city is covered, but service may still be spotty.
- 2Check your current contract. Most cell phone carriers make you sign a contract when you join their service. This contract typically includes an early-termination fee. This fee is designed to cover the cost of the phone that they gave you when you joined. Most contracts last for 2 years.
- If you are cancelling because of service issues, you may be able to argue against an early-termination fee. When you are on the phone with your old carrier arguing your fees, be sure to ask to speak to a supervisor, and have any documentation about your service issues.
- Do not start the account termination process until your new account has been setup and your phone is activated.
- 4Contact the company you want to switch to. Make sure to have your phone number, old account number, and any passwords you might need to access your account information. The service representatives for the new provider will need these in order to transfer your phone number to your new account.
- You can also visit various vendors or company stores, though this usually will involve purchasing a new phone as well.
- You may be required to buy a new phone regardless of whether or not you want one. Different carriers use different networks, and not all phones are compatible with other networks.
- You may be able to keep your old phone if it is unlocked. The unlock process varies depending on the phone, and it is not always guaranteed to work. Some phones come unlocked.
- 5Verify that your new service is working. Make a few calls and send some texts to ensure that your new service has been activated. Transfer your contacts back to your new phone if you switched.
- 6Cancel your old plan. Once you have verified that your phone works on your new service plan, you can cancel your old contract. Be firm while cancelling, and argue any fees that weren’t explained or written out when you signed the contract. If you are cancelling early, you will most likely be obligated to pay the early termination fee.