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How to keep your prepaid cell number if you switch providers

That’s it! You’ve had it up to here with your current prepaid provider. They’ve billed you for minutes you haven’t used, and refuse a refund. Plus, their rates aren’t even that good to begin with! You’re steaming mad, and everyone knows the best way to get back at them: change providers.

Once upon a time, that would mean getting a new number. That’s always a hassle, since you needed to let everyone know (who remembers people’s phone numbers nowadays?).

Now, thanks to an FCC regulation, you can keep your number when changing providers. Well, most providers, anyway. Yes, there are some that haven’t kept up with the times — and it’s costing them valuable business. Wireless Number Portability is being used by most wireless companies to make switching to their services more attractive. Before, some may have hesitated before switching. Now, there’s no reason to.

Here’s a list of some major service providers and their procedure to switch numbers.

Alltel
Yes. Give them a call at 866-255-8357 to see if your number is available for transfer. Once it’s confirmed, you can either perform the transaction over the phone, or take it to an Alltel store, and they’ll port the number for you and set you up with the new service. Unfortunately, this cannot be done online.

Amp’d Mobile
Yes. Call their customer service center at 866-811-0091 from a land line. They’ll set you up with a phone and plan using your existing number. Unfortunately, this cannot be done online.

Boost Mobile
Yes. Go to the website and click on “Activate” in the top menu bar. On the right side, under “Activation Tools,” click “Port Eligibility Check.” You’ll then enter in your number, and Boost will tell you if it can be transferred. If it can, you can proceed with activation online. Or just give customer service a call: 888-266-7848.

AT&T
Yes. When you sign up for AT&T’s Go Phone, you will be given the option to port your number upon checkout, making it an easy, online transaction. You can also do this at an AT&T store, or by calling customer service at 888-333-6651.

Cricket Prepaid
Yes. It can be done either at a Cricket store, or by calling their port line at 866-351-7678. Unfortunately, this cannot be done online.

Liberty Wireless
Yes. When you buy a phone and service through Liberty online, you’ll be given an opportunity to port your number during checkout. If activating by phone (888-919-7692), you’ll also be given the option at that point.

Locus Prepaid
Can’t say that they do, but can’t say that they don’t. But they do make it incredibly difficult to find out. It would help to put a live representative on the line.

Metro PCS
Yes. Just pop into a MetroPCS dealer, and a sales representative can set you up with a new account and port your old number. Unfortunately, this cannot be done online or over the phone, and is only available in Atlanta/Athens, Georgia; Central Florida; South Florida; Sacramento/Stockton, California; San Francisco, California; Dallas, Texas; and Detroit, Michigan.

Net10
Yes. To activate and transfer numbers, go to the website and choose “Port In Your Number” from the menu on the left side of the screen. You will then be taken through the process of porting your number. Or call their customer service line at 877-836-2368.

Omni Prepaid
Omni prepaid does not offer number porting service at this time.

Page Plus Cellular
Yes. Call their porting department at 800-550-2436 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Eastern Time. They’ll be able to set up all of your porting needs. If you purchase your phone online, you will be given an option to port your number at that time.

Simple Freedom
Simple Freedom does not offer number porting service at this time (really free, huh?).

STi Mobile
Yes. Call customer service at 800-784-6099 to find out if your number is eligible. If it is, the customer service representative will guide you through the process of porting your number with STi Mobile.

T-Mobile Prepaid
Yes. Visit their transfer website to see if your number is eligible. If it is, you can continue to purchase your plan online. The number switch will take place at checkout. Or you can call customer service at 800-937-8997.

Tracfone
Yes. To do so, go to their website. If you have already purchased a phone, drag the cursor over the “services” button on the top menu. When it drops down, select “Number Portability.” You will be guided through a few steps, and then can activate your Tracfone. If you wish to buy a phone through the site, your number porting will be taken care of during checkout. Or call customer service at 800-867-7183.

US Cellular Prepaid
Yes. Visit a US Cellular location, or call customer service at 888-289-8722, and they’ll walk you through the process, including rate plans and phones.

Venture Mobile
Yes. Call customer service at 888-965-8259. This is after you buy your phone, but before you activate it. They’ll activate your service and begin the porting process.

Verizon Wireless
Yes. You can check your number’s eligibility at their website. If you’re eligible, you’ll be prompted again at checkout. Alternatively, you can call customer service at 800-256-4646, or visit an authorized Verizon dealer.

Virgin Mobile
Yes. After purchasing a Virgin Mobile phone, but before activating it, call 888-322-1122, and an agent will help you make the switch. Unfortunately, this cannot be done online.

Xtreme Mobile
Xtreme Mobile does not offer porting at this time.