What happens when you change phone numbers?
Do you know where your old number ends up when you are done with it?
Have you ever wondered who owned your phone number- before it became yours?
What are the Pros and Cons of changing your phone number?
Well, when you decide to change your phone number, service providers do not simply banish it to purgatory.
Instead, they keep your old number and resell it to another person!
Any old phone numbers must be put back into circulation within 90 days, which means that the new number you are buying was previously owned by another user.
If you are currently thinking about changing your number, there are many aspects that need to be considered first.
Sure, there may be plenty of benefits to a change, but remember that a lot of your important information is likely tied to your current phone number as well.
We often forget that so much our medical, financial, business, and personal histories are all linked to a set of digits that we have used for many years.
In this article, we try to keep it as objective as possible so that you can make the best decision when it comes to potentially switching to a new number!
What Are The Top Reasons To Change Your Phone Number?
There is no doubt that changing your phone number and getting a fresh start is extremely warranted in certain situations.
Here are some of the situations where a change of number might be for the best:
A Case Of Stalking Or Harassment
If you are being stalked or harassed through your phone, then changing your phone number is a very good idea.
It is one of the easier ways to protect yourself from being contacted by someone that you want to avoid at all costs!
Ensure that the service provider knows why you are changing your phone number, as the last thing you want is for the poor person inheriting your number to start suffering the same treatment as well.
It is also very important that you report the situation to the police before changing your phone number so that they can make a record and perhaps even have a nice chat with the instigator!
Moving To A Different Area
Sometimes when you move to a different city or country, it can mean that you have to start paying higher costs to keep your current phone number.
In some instances, you might be charged long-distance rates for calling if you have an out-of-state phone number.
Alternatively, you may find that the state cellular tax costs less in your new location.
Therefore, it’s perfectly logical to decide that you want a local area code for where you are currently living!
Receiving An Overwhelming Amount Of Marketing Calls
In this day and age, it’s very possible that your phone number has been sold to countless telemarketing lists.
You may even find yourself being bombarded with annoying marketing calls all day long!
If this situation reaches a point where you are constantly being bothered by cold calls, then you may decide the time has come to change your phone number.
Again, you should let the service provider know why you are changing your phone number to prevent the person inheriting your number being subject to the same interruptions.
Business Phone/Company Issued Cell Phone
Using your personal phone number for business can quickly become a problem.
Once your client base grows, you will probably find that you want to create some separation between your professional and home life.
It is good to keep your business and personal numbers separate so that you can operate your business number professionally and keep a clear distinction between your work and social calls.
It can also become a problem for you if the only phone number you use has been explicitly issued for work by your company.
If you use that number for personal reasons, it may be seen as unprofessional and as a conflict of interest.
In the interests of protecting your job and remaining professional, you might need to change your current phone number to another one!
What Are The Downsides To Changing Your Number?
Unfortunately, there are a few downsides involved if you decide to change your phone number.
These potential complications are something that you will want to consider carefully before deciding to go ahead with the change.
Our phone numbers are tied to all aspects of our personal and professional lives. Here are a few things you should definitely keep in mind:
You Will Need To Let Your Contacts Know ASAP
It will be essential for you to let your contacts know that you are changing numbers as quickly as possible.
You want to make sure that you don’t fall out of touch with people, and that they are aware that you will begin contacting them from a new, different number (or else you might find yourself being blocked!).
Additionally, you won’t want any sensitive or private information sent to your old phone number.
Make sure as well that you have saved your contact list somewhere.
The last thing you want is to lose any of your numbers! If something goes wrong, you still want to have access to all of your contacts.
It is also a good idea for important work-related numbers to have a second method of communication available.
If something does happen to the number, it will be handy to have an email address that all your contacts are aware of.
Finally, follow up with all of your contacts after informing them of your phone number change. It is essential to know that your contacts have received your new phone number and that they are aware that it is you.
You Will Need To Change Your Two-Step Authentication Settings
It has become more and more common (and sometimes mandatory) to use a two-step authentication process to log into various websites and apps.
Once your password is entered correctly, you will then receive a code on your phone that you need to insert when prompted by the website. Only then will you be able to gain access to the site.
Two-Step Authentication is an easy and effective method of protecting your sensitive information from being accessed by others.
This can, however, cause a lot of problems for you if you forget to update the settings for your new phone number.
If your two-step authentication codes go to your old number, it can put you in a very difficult situation as you may unintentionally hand access over to a stranger!
There is also the possibility that you may get locked out of an account.
Therefore, always make sure that you have all the required passwords prior to a phone number change. Check whether you need to update any apps before finalizing any change!
You Will Need To Change Your Personal Login Details
Once you have made the switch, you will then need to ensure that all of your login details are updated and connected to your new phone number.
This can be quite a task, as every one of us has a myriad of apps and websites that we rely on frequently!
For instance, it’s essential to adjust your medical history log in details to your new number.
Additionally, if you have any business-related contacts and logins these will need to be updated as well.
You will need to make sure that you have made all of these changes to your logins before someone else has access to your old phone number.
It is therefore a good idea to personally update the following service providers of your phone number change:
- Your bank
- Tuition centers and schools
- Your family, doctor, dentist, any other healthcare professionals
- Anyone listed as an emergency contact
- Courier services
- Rideshare services
Be Aware Of Any Unexpected Texts
You may often receive reminder messages from your doctor or other providers sending you appointment reminders.
If you change phone numbers, then a stranger might start receiving your messages!
It is essential to make a list of every company, business or social contact who has your old phone number details.
You will need to inform all of these contacts to ensure that they don’t contact your old number after it has been assigned to someone else.
It can be overwhelming to consider all of the issues and changes that come with switching your phone number.
However, knowing what you need to be aware of will hopefully help you to make an informed decision- as well as prepare you so that you can mitigate any problems and make the process as smooth as possible!
How Often Should You Change Your Phone Number?
There is no real reason to change your phone number regularly.
Unless there are pressing matters such as those discussed above, it’s usually fine to keep your current phone number for as long as you want!
There is no hard and fast rule that states that you need to change your phone number after a particular amount of time.
In fact, it can certainly be a long and drawn-out process of updating information and contacting multitudes of people to inform them about a change.
Changing a phone number can also mean that you could potentially put yourself at a security risk with the apps and personal information that are associated.
If most of your personal information is tied to one phone number, definitely think twice about whether it might be better to stick to those digits and avoid the upheaval that changing the number could bring.
With the amount of time and effort required to make this change smoothly, changing your phone number should be a last resort unless there is a real level of inconvenience and danger involved in keeping your current one!
What Are The Costs And Procedures For Changing Numbers?
Every carrier has different terms and conditions when it comes to changing your phone number:
T-Mobile charges a $15 fee to change your phone number. All of your voicemail messages will be deleted in the process.
AT&T charges a fee of $36 for you to change your phone number. You also lose access to any old voicemail.
Verizon does not charge any fees for you to change your phone number.
However if you have an Android phone that runs on Gingerbread (2.3) OS or earlier, you may experience some problems.
By changing your number, your phone will be reset- and this will cause you to lose all of your apps, messages, photos, and all of your accounts or custom settings.
Sprint does not charge any fees for you to change your phone number. Like the others, you will lose your old voicemail messages.
It is important to note that once you change your phone number, it is unlikely that you will be able to get it back in the future!
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now have a clearer idea of the pros and cons of changing your phone number.
The best thing you can do when contemplating a switch is to become more aware of how you use your current phone number.
Who do you give your phone number to?
Try to think about the effects later down the line if you share your phone number with people, companies and websites.
Make sure also that you have systems in place that serve as an effective backup to using your phone number.
If possible, try to use an email address instead of a phone number when you are building contacts. This can be especially handy for maintaining business contacts.
When it comes to apps and security, try not to rely on your phone number as the main reference login at all.
If you do decide to change your number, definitely make sure that you have all systems in place and all of your contacts organized before the switch is finalized.
All in all: To avoid problems later down the line, make sure that you understand all the terms and conditions that come with changing your phone number!