How to Switch Your Cell Phone Number From Verizon Wireless to AT&T Cingular

I hope to blog a bunch about my new Blackberry Curve (8300) phone, but before I do that I want to explain the process for moving your cell phone number from Verizon to AT&T.

I ordered my phone off Amazon, and there weren’t great instructions on how to handle this, so here goes:

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  1. Do NOT cancel your Verizon account. You tell AT&T that you’re moving and they handle it. Be aware that if you cancel your Verizon account yourself, you will probably lose your phone number.
  2. After you recieve the phone, put in the SIM card (which was new to me since Verizon doesn’t use them) turn the phone on. The phone will be live on a new cell phone number. This is temporary and you won’t really be using it at all.
  3. Call AT&T’s sales line. (1-888-333-6651) I did this from a seperate land-line phone so I could have the device in front of me.
  4. Tell the sales person you are a brand new customer switching from Verizon and would like to port your number over. The sales person will hear this and treat you with kid gloves and conference you to someone in AT&T’s “porting department.” Be sure to tell the sales person you are porting a number to replace the number assigned to your new account.
  5. You need to have your Verizon account number handy. Get this off of one of your Verizon billing statements, or sign into your Verizon Wireless online account. From there you can view a PDF of your most recent bill which will have your account number on it. It will be something like: 465879123-00001. The AT&T Porting service representative won’t need the -00001 part, just the first part. The representative may also ask your last 4 social security digits, etc.
  6. The AT&T representative will submit the port request to Verizon. Magically, before your very eyes your your new Blackberry Curve (or other cellular device) will now make calls on your old number that you’re keeping. Meanwhile, your new device will not be able to recieve calls to your old number. Those calls will be routed to your old phone.
  7. Supposedly it can take a few hours to reconcile your old number to recieve and make calls from your new phone. In reality, it took just under eight minutes. When everything is done you’ll recieve a text message saying: “S: Port In or Within Complete Welcome! Your phone is now ready to receive calls. Bienvenido! Su telefono esta listo para recibir llamadas.”
  8. You’re done.

I actually don’t know how Verizon handles the end of your billing with them, I’m assuming it is pro-rated but I can’t say for sure. I’ll update this post once I find out. Finally, the FCC has a page that explains your rights for moving a phone number between carriers. see here for official details about phone number “porting” or saving your old phone number.

62 thoughts on “How to Switch Your Cell Phone Number From Verizon Wireless to AT&T Cingular

  1. I have verizon now and 3 phone nation wide plus canada. and we pay 280 a month, I am sick of this, but my contract doesn’t end until march 1st. That is going to be the happiest day i am going to switch to ATT. My dad has a phone under me and is a truck driver. I looked up the same plan we have now and it’s 60bucks cheaper a month. the only thing that i am worried about it the fact that my dad won’t get great service while driveing in canada near Toronto. I hope ATT holds up and doesn’t make me regret my destion on switching. If any of you know anyone who has brought their phone into canada please let me know what happened.

  2. Hello, just doing some research for a cell phone to home phone post. Lots of information out there. Looking for something else, but good site. Take care.

  3. Hey, I was wondering if anyone could help me which this question, I go to school in kansas and im from southcarolina and have no service with verizon on campus and have been told to switch to At&t. How do I go about doing that? and is there going to be a fee for switching plans?

  4. Ok here it is after porting the numbers verizon is charging me for a full months service. I waited till the day of my contract end and billing cycle so no matter what you do they will charge you for one months service. now heres the insanity of this. when you pay them you are paying for next months bill. Thats what they said to me so if i pay the bill they are assuming that i want the months service you get it all double talk and threating to ruin my credit which is, thanks to my wife, perfect. has anyone ever gotten out of paying for that last month of unused service? if so how

  5. Verizon not only required the account number, we had to give them a “pin” number, which of course we did not remember.

  6. this was a huge help. Everyone says that you have a right to keep your old number but no-one is clear on how to do it. Thanks

  7. I would like to know if you can keep your out of state number if you are adding to someone else’s bill they live in a different state.

  8. I was wondering how would it work to switch to at&t from Verizon. But also I recently got my contract like 2 weeks ago would I get my deposit back from verizon if not not do I keep the iPhone ?

  9. Did anyone have to provide their verizon password to port their number?

  10. I am buying my buddy’s iPhone 4 from him and the phone with Verizon. I am with at&t with a prepaid plan. Would I be able to get this phone activated and switched from Verizon to at&t? Could I do it without having to get my dad to sign a contract?

  11. When I moved to a different state I chose to switch from Cingular to Verizon. I went to a Cingular store and said , my contract excpired several months ago,,,, can I port my number over and discontinue cingular service at any time ? The sales people assured me that since I was not under contract I could make the switch at any time. I made the switch at the beginning of my cingular billing cycle. Well,,, Cingular proceeded to bill me for the entire month. After many many phone calls and speaking to upper management they agreed to bill me for only a half of a month. I finally gave up and paid the half month bill, even though I had only used the service for three days. Needless to say, Cingular will never receive a recommendation from me.

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