If I Move, Will AT&T Charge Me to Change My Cell Phone Number?
By Maria Raether
While mobile technology has untethered you from the necessity of sharing your area code with the city in which you live, you might want to change your number anyway when you move. If you're an AT&T customer, it will cost you (as of June 2011).
How Much It Costs
AT&T will charge you a fee of $36 (as of this publication date), to change your cell phone number. The change-of-number fee will appear on your next bill, which will be split between the old and new numbers. Charges, minutes and fees will be prorated based on the date you changed your number. However, changing your number doesn't otherwise change the terms of your contract.
How to Make the Change
You can change your cell phone number on the myAT&T section of the company's website or by calling customer service at 611 from your mobile phone or 1-800-331-0500 from any phone. On the website, select "Mobile Number Change" and log into your account. Follow the instructions under that option, where you'll be prompted to select your new cell phone number based on your new ZIP code. You'll see a confirmation page and receive an email and text message. Make sure you log out under your old number and log back in under the new one; otherwise, the change won't take effect.
What to Expect
The new number will take effect immediately, so don't request the change until you're ready for a new cell phone number. AT&T will delete your old voicemail box, so you'll be unable to retrieve your saved messages. You'll also have to record a new outgoing message for your new voicemail box.
What Callers Will Hear
As of this publication date, there's no way for callers to hear your new number, so you'll want to notify your family, friends and professional contacts as soon as possible. People who dial your old AT&T cell phone number will hear the following message: "The number you dialed is not a working number. Please check the number and dial again."
Even though you have the same cell phone, you'll need to reset some of your existing features because of your new number. Examples include parental controls, the do-not-call registry and AT&T's text-to-pay service. If you have an Apple iPhone, you'll need to sync it with iTunes to reset the Visual Voicemail option.
For 25 years, Maria Raether worked as a writer, copy editor, assignment editor, designer and photographer for a variety of newspapers in the Midwest and Florida. She now serves as a professional pet-sitter and is pursuing a career in real estate.