The Best Way to Switch Cell Phone Providers

by Ben LeDoux

Cell phone providers are constantly fighting for each others business by issuing special deals, promotional offers and exclusive phones. It is then left to the consumer how he will proceed when it comes to making the jump from one service provider to another. However, before jumping, many questions need to be answered to avoid expending any extra charges on either side.

Cell Phone Contracts

Cell phone companies lock their customers in with contracts, most being either one- or two-year lengths in which the cell phone company will keep the customer's business or receive a cancellation payment for a breach of contract. Before the customer can move onto a new contract with another company, he will need to figure out the duration of the rest of his contract with the original phone company, otherwise he will incur a penalty. If the contract is up and payments are now month-to-month, the customer is free to move to the new company without receiving a penalty, or, if the contract is still in effect, there will be the decision to either stay for the length of the contract or cancel the plan and incur the penalty. The best option when switching to a new provider is to wait until the contract is up before moving to the new provider.

Move to the New Provider

The new cell phone provider will cancel out any account; this way it can transfer the number from the old account over to the new account. It will then set up the new plan and give both contract and phone options. Phones will normally cost less through a two-year contract; however, the customer risks being locked into a two-year contract if the service is bad. Once the phone and contract have been picked out, the customer will then be out of their contract with the former provider and have their number ported to the new provider and be in use with the customer's new phone. After this, the switch is done and he will be responsible for any fees that could come from breach of contract although, to re-iterate, it is always best to hold out until the former provider's contract is over before moving to the new provider.

About the Author

Ben LeDoux is a student at Front Range Community College in Westminster, Colo., where he writes for the "Front Page Newspaper." A Denver native, LeDoux has written for over 10 years for various blogs, creative writing sites and school newspapers. For more of his work, please visit