How to switch cellphones?
July 23, 2005 6:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to switch my cell phone from the LG VX4400B to a Motorola V60, both of which are branded by Verizon, my carrier. How do I go about doing this?

The Motorola phone was not bought from Verizon, but was sitting in the lost and found at the pool where I work for a few weeks, and was given to me because my phone is barely functional do to cracks in the screen and a loose battery connection. I am pretty sure the service on the phone has been canceled. I believe this because whenever any number is dialed it says you have to pay roaming rates, and asks for a credit card number. I was hoping there were just some settings I could put into the Motorola to work as my phone.
posted by daviss to Technology (9 answers total)
My phone had a cracked screen too, after I fell on it. I found another one at the thrift store for six bucks, both Cingular.
I went in to the Cingular store expecting to have a hassle and all they did was take out the SIM card from the broken one and put it into the new one and that was it. The Sim card is under the battery, little white thing about 10mm x 6 mm. I don't know if it will work for Verizon.
posted by lee at 6:47 PM on July 23, 2005

Lee is correct. All you need to do is change the sim card. As long as the sim cards are branded for the same carrier, you'll have no problem. Depending on the phone, you may lose some of the personal info on your original phone. The sim usually only stores the account info and the contact list. The two phones may interpret the contact list differently which might be inconvenient, but it will work. Some phones let you save the contact to the sim or the phone. I would save all the contacts to the sim so you can transfer the list to the new phone without re-entering them.
posted by phox at 8:07 PM on July 23, 2005

Oh yeah. It's possible to use different branded sims on different networks sometimes. For example, Tmobile and cingular are both GSM networks. So, you can "unlock" the sim card and use it for either network. But, a nextel sim is only good for nextel.
posted by phox at 8:10 PM on July 23, 2005

Verizon is CDMA not GSM. No SIM card. Contact Verizon Wireless about it. They can reprogram the phone at any VZW store.
posted by AstroGuy at 8:40 PM on July 23, 2005

If for whatever reason your phone, old or new, doesn't have a SIM card, just call Verizon customer service and tell them you are switching to a new phone. They will want the ESN (serial number) off the back of the phone you are switching to. They'll tell you to turn off your current phone, and the new one should be on within 4-8 hours or some such. Typically it will work right away - just leave the old one off so as not to confuse the poor dumb cell network (though I'm not sure this would actually be a problem).

Disclaimer: Having worked at Radio Shack in the past, I know this is how Sprint used to work. Maybe Verizon too, though I don't specifically recall doing it with them. And Sprint may have changed to SIMs now, too, but my "old" phone doesn't have one. Just sayin'.
posted by attercoppe at 8:44 PM on July 23, 2005

nope, sprint is CDMA also so no SIM cards.
posted by joeblough at 9:29 PM on July 23, 2005

From looking online, it appears that the LG is CDMA but the V60 came in any of several different flavours (I found references to a CDMA, TDMA, and GSM version). You'll need to make sure that you won't need a new SIM card. If you don't, just call in to customer service, they'll take the IMEI number from the back, and if your experience is like mine your new phone will be working in minutes. I never had to wait more than a quarter hour to use the new phone.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:45 PM on July 23, 2005

Since you say the V60 is branded Verizon, you shouldn't have any problems transferring service (due to incompatibility or the phone being locked). I would go to a Verizon store (not a third-party store but one actually operated by Verizon -- check on their website for a location nearest you) and get it done there, as that's the safest and surest way to do it. It shouldn't cost you anything.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 1:07 AM on July 24, 2005

Best answer: I just had to make the same switch from a LG3100 to a borrowed V60 after I inadvertantly destroyed my phone. Call Verizon customer service and have the new ESN# ready. Pop the battery out to get to the label.

Verizon will transfer the phone at no charge. You'll need to go through a couple menu prompts on the V60 when directed by the Verizon CSR.

As a current user of a V60, I would recommend you keep your old LG around. I miss mine.
posted by vaportrail at 11:42 PM on July 24, 2005

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