How to transfer your cell phone from AT&T to Virgin Mobile
I dumped AT&T cell phone service because I got into a snit with them. Or, more accurately, them with me. I ended up going with Virgin Mobile, even though it's mostly geared for a, well, younger crowd, for some good reasons. There's no contract and it’s less expensive for what you get. It runs on the Sprint network, so if Sprint is OK where you live, Virgin Mobile should be OK too. The downside is that you have to buy your phone up front, and it has to be a Virgin Mobile phone. No SIM card to swap like with AT&T. I bought our phones from Wal Mart. They were less expensive that at the Virgin Mobile website (virginmobileusa.com).
Before you start, assemble your last AT&T bill (if you don't have it you can print it out from AT&T’s website—ATT.COM). Your bill will have all of the information on it that Virgin Mobile’s representative will need.
Call 1-888-322-1122 from a land line phone and when the automated voice gives you options, say, "Start up service". At the next prompt, say "Transfer my service to Virgin Mobile".
You'll be transferred to one of their actual people. Stand advised, however, that I spoke with three different actual human beings at Virgin Mobile, and none of the three was a native English speaker. Not that that is, in itself, a bad thing, but it makes it hard to decipher some of the speech. Just be forewarned.
When the human being answers, tell him you want to port (or transfer) your telephone number from AT&T to your Virgin Mobile prepaid phone. They asked if my AT&T service was a contract or pre-paid. I didn't know why it mattered. But I answered the question all the same.
After you provide the human being at Virgin Mobile the required information they will tell you how to program the AT&T telephone # into your phone. Then they will tell you to wait about 24-72 hours for the transfer to go through, but my experience was that it took about 20 minutes. You'll know that the process is done, because they'll send you a little “thank you” text message. The phone still won't work until you go to the Virgin Mobile website and pay for your service. I chose to have a credit card on file with Virgin, but there are lots of options on how to pay. Including PayPal.
That was it. No hassles, and easy to accomplish, even for someone who is, um, older…..like me.
The bottom line—I’m saving about 50 bucks a month, and so far, the service is pretty good.