How to Switch Cell Phone Providers Easily

How to Switch Cell Phone Providers Easily
 
 
 
 

Maybe you’ve moved home and your current provider doesn’t work well in your new place, or maybe you’ve seen a great deal that’s made you consider a change. Whatever your reason, there are things to consider before switching carriers. How well known is your phone number? If you’ve had it for years, you’ll want to keep it. Cell phone carriers don’t want you to leave their service, so they don’t make it easy. You have the right to move to another carrier and take your number with you, so let’s find out how easily you can switch to a new cell phone provider.

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Image: Shutterstock

Phone Number

Thanks to FCC regulations, you can keep your existing number when you change providers. As long as you’re out of contract or willing to pay an early settlement fee, you can leave. The great thing about leaving is that you don’t need to lift a finger to help transfer your number to the new supplier. Your new carrier will do all the work. Make sure you haven’t terminated your existing contract before you take out the new one. If you’re transferring a number from one wireless carrier to another, it will be completed in hours. If you’re transferring a landline number to a cell phone, it can take a few days.

Things to Consider

You might need a new phone. Your old phone might not work with your new carrier’s network. You should also be aware of the limitations you’ll experience with your existing phone while the number’s being transferred. During that time, you’ll be able to call the emergency services, but they might not be able to pinpoint your location or read the number you’re calling from.

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Image: Shutterstock

Early Termination Fees

A contract is supposed to be honored, but if you really have to get a new phone, you can get out of your contract. It’s not easy, but it’s possible. There are a few easy ways out. If you move to a place that’s not covered by your carrier, you can argue that they should waive the early cancellation fee. If that’s not applicable, you can save a part of the cancellation fee if you trade in your device with T-Mobile, Sprint, or Verizon. You’ll pay your final bill as normal including the cancellation fee, but you’ll be eligible for a refund if you submit your ETF to your new carrier within a reasonable amount of time.

Restocking Fee

If you cancel early, you might also face a restocking fee which can be anything from $25 to $75. IT’s typically between 10% and 25% of the purchase price. There’s no standard restocking fee charge, so you might be surprised with a big bill when you try and cancel your phone contract early. As with any written agreement, it pays to read it through and understand your rights before you go ahead and cancel your contract with your current cell phone carrier.

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Trade-in Options

Two of the biggest networks offer a trade-in service when you switch to them. On Verizon, it’s called Big Red. These guys will give you a trade-in amount for your existing phone which covers the full cost of the cancellation fee. If your phone trade-in price isn’t enough to cover the fee, Verizon covers the balance. Sprint has a similar service. Theirs is called Clean Slate. Once you’ve registered and traded in your old phone, Sprint will pay off the cancellation fee through a Visa Prepaid Card.

To Consider Before Your Purchase

You don’t need to jump ship to get a better deal. Why not call your current provider and ask them for a better deal when you’re out of contract?

Our Notes

  • Verizon and Sprint have the best customer service ratings.
  • Verizon has the best nationwide coverage.

What Do They Say on Other Sites

“Went into the new Verizon store on 528 in Rio Rancho…and oh yeah no unnecessary hidden charges to make an extra buck give these guys a chance 5 star rating is justified.” (Ceecee reviewing Verizon on Trustpilot)

“Sprint is the best cell phone company I do recommend them to everyone looking for a cell phone plan choose sprint.” (Mike E Sr Crosby reviewing Sprint on Trustpilot)

Any thoughts? Let us know your comments!

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