How to transfer mobile phone contacts from one phone to another?
August 6, 2006 2:10 PM   Subscribe

How does Verizon Wireless in-store tech support transfer an address book from one mobile phone to another?

This afternoon my fiancee took advantage of her New Every Two rollover at the Verizon Wireless store. She paid $10 to have all her address book entries transfered from her old phone to her new one.

A gentleman behind the tech support counter disappeared for only a few minutes to complete the task.

How does Verizon Wireless transfer address book entries from one phone to another? And can I acquire the same means to do this from my PC?
posted by Bryan Behrenshausen to Technology (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Did she store them on her SIM chip? In that case, it's simply a matter of changing the chip from the old phone to the new.
posted by muddgirl at 3:09 PM on August 6, 2006

Verizon doesn't do GSM phones, I think.
posted by k8t at 3:17 PM on August 6, 2006

There is various phone-sync software that will do this in conjunction with the appropriate data cable. One option is an open source package called BitPim, which should work with a lot of CDMA phones (lik
posted by Good Brain at 3:21 PM on August 6, 2006

Most phones allow either cable or bluetooth address book transfers to a PC [and synching to outlook or other PIM]. Unfortunately, most carriers disable this feature -- or don't make it easy for users to do on their own. They'd rather charge you to transfer your own information.

You can check the website of the phone mfg to see if they have cables/software for your particular model phone.

If you had a GSM service like Cingular or T-mobile, you can store contacts on the SIM card and transfer it that way. The other benefit of GSM phones is you can buy unlocked phone without the carrier specific crippling of feature.
posted by birdherder at 3:24 PM on August 6, 2006

I use Apple's iSync and Bluetooth for that purpose. It's also nice to know that I have a full backup of all contacts etc. on my dotmac-account if I loose my phone, the one way or the other.
posted by KimG at 3:28 PM on August 6, 2006

I'm pretty surprised they charged her ten bucks to do it. They transferred mine over for nothing when I had to replace a broken phone.
posted by bink at 3:42 PM on August 6, 2006

Oh, and now the helpful part of my post: go to Howard Forums to find out what you can do to make your phone talk to your PC. BitPim works for me, though it takes some fiddling.
posted by bink at 3:45 PM on August 6, 2006

I don't know how they do it, but the $10 thing seems strange to me too - last time I got my new phone (just like her, as part of the "new every 2 years" thing), they didn't charge me (and no, it wasn't hidden, I got a cheap phone so I wouldn't have to pay any extra, and my bill is the same every month). If they are charging for this now, that's bs.
posted by AlisonM at 4:15 PM on August 6, 2006

There's a company who makes a standalone unit to do the transfer. It's a handheld device that you plug both phones into (they come with a myriad of adapters for nearly any phone you could imagine). It'll also allow you to backup and restore phonebooks from a PC.

I can't think of the name to save my life though.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 4:56 PM on August 6, 2006

Yeah, Verizon now regularly charges the $10 "transfer convenience" type fee. Charming of them, hm?

Verizon = CDMA = No SIM cards = No pull and plug (and play)

posted by disillusioned at 5:10 PM on August 6, 2006

The Verizon device is some proprietary gizmo. To do the same thing on your own see if the two phones are compatible with BitPim.
posted by Brian James at 5:37 PM on August 6, 2006

I have Verizon. When my phone has been replaced under warranty, they will do an address book transfer for free. On the "New Every Two" they charge $10.
posted by 6:1 at 7:02 PM on August 6, 2006

This doesn't answer your question, but one way to save $6 is to use Back up Assistant (on many Verizon phones under "get it now"). You are charged $2/month, or each time you download it. You can do it all by yourself while standing in the Verizon store. Plus you can use it to update your contacts online.
posted by Monday at 9:38 PM on August 6, 2006

The answer is, in every case I've ever experienced, proprietary Windows software. They plug a USB cable into the wide port at the bottom of the phone; there's usually an "phone upgrade" or "clone address book" option that lets them copy your data with a couple of clicks.

To do it yourself you have a number of options, as explained above, but vendors and provider service centres use software provided by the manufacturer. Motorola's is called PST, I think, and Nokia's is called Diego.

I've heard that unsavoury types pirate these and make them available on distributed peer-to-peer networks, but I wouldn't know anything about that.
posted by Zozo at 10:02 PM on August 6, 2006

I upgraded my phone via New Every Two a few months ago. I asked for the $10 fee to be waived and they did it without a hassle.
posted by initapplette at 5:48 AM on August 7, 2006

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