How do I move my number from AT&T to another carrier?
Recently we moved from AT&T to Mint Mobile and it was a learning experience. The steps are actually crystal clear on the Mint side of things, and their App is brilliant. Not just from a UX point of view, it actually works very well and does what you want it to.
Woah, woah, I am not a liar. Let’s just all calm down. I mean it, it really does work, and the experience is enjoyable, I have done it 6 times now. I promise, it’s going to work. The difficult part is AT&T. But by the 4th time, I had it figured out and it was easy.
I am not going to bash AT&T. Simply, their service is solid, but their customer support is less than supportive. Case in point, I was handed off to several different agents, both in live chat and actual phone calls (ewwww), and no one gave me clear steps to move my number from AT&T to Mint (or any other carrier). In the end it was actually pretty simple.
You can get a new number with Mint, which is so easy it seems unreal. You can also transfer your current number, which I wanted to do for myself, my wife and several of my children. Some of the kids wanted new numbers, but most wanted to keep their original numbers.
Here are the steps to transfer your number.
- Contact AT&T. Sorry, you have to actually communicate with them, as task that should be fully automated requires this manual step. It’s because they want to keep you with them, and the sales pitch ensues. My wife did this step and she was so frustrated. She said “no I don’t want to stay with AT&T” many, many times. Like a 5 minute call took an hour. In the end the agent was upset with my wife and showed it. Which is not good, customer support should not act that way, but hey, this is one of the reasons we wanted out. You need ask them to release your SIM lock. You will have to own your phone to do this, which means you are not making payments on the phone. Other than that, they have to release your SIM lock.
- You will know the above step is complete and your SIM Lock has been released when your view your phone’s settings and see the text No SIM Restrictions or similar. For example on an iPhone that setting is under General → About then scroll down to Carrier Lock. It should say No SIM Restrictions if successful. This is the most painful part, after this it’s smooth sailing.
- You will want to have your Mint App downloaded and installed on your phone. That can be your new phone or your current phone if not using a new phone. One of the steps will ask you if you want to keep your number. You say “yes” and then are asked to provide several pieces of information. Your AT&T account number and your pin are among the necessary bits. That PIN number is not the number you use at AT&T for your account. This is your number transfer request PIN.
- To request a number transfer you will dial *7678 using the phone part of your phone. I know right? Who uses the phone on their phone? The automated voice on the line will ask you for your AT&T PIN. I know, super confusing, this is your account pin, a 4 digit number you have with AT&T. Once you do that, AT&T will send you a text with a 6 digit PIN. PIN, PIN, PIN, I feel like I am saying PIN a lot.
- Go back to the Mint App and plug that PIN number (the 6 digit one from the text) in and submit the request. It will probably fail. That’s ok. You will get an additional text from AT&T either stating that you are transferring your number and to call if you did not, or you will get one that says to respond with “yes” if you initiated the transfer request. Obviously you say yes, unless you want to really mess things up because you want more drama and difficulty. Once that’s done, submit the request again through the Mint app. It will go through this time.
- You will be notified pretty quickly that your number was successfully transferred. That comes in a text from AT&T saying they are sad to see you go. Sorry AT&T, that sorrow is one way only. Your service in the top corner of your phone screen will say MINT and your device will disappear from your AT&T account. Yay!
I have been using Mint for 2 weeks now and so far it’s good. I know it’s T-MOBILE which was almost enough to make me not move forward, but with 11 of us in the family, the savings really drove the decision. I would suggest giving it a try. You can run a free trial on your current phone and switch between two services.
I hope this was useful. If it was, think about using my Mint referral code. 🙂