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Thread: Need to switch from Verizon to AT&T - options? same phone? sell phone?

  1. #1
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    Need to switch from Verizon to AT&T - options? same phone? sell phone?

    I am turning to you again for assistance with my latest issue. I have, again, tried to investigate online, but it gets overwhelming. I am hoping for some simple answers or links to simple answers or resources.

    Background I have a Samsung Galaxy A51 which I bought in January after being told I needed to upgrade. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Straight-...hone/652023328. I worked with TF to get the Straight-Talk switched. I then apparently made two errors. I thought it would likely be OK to be accessing Verizon towers instead of AT&T, which my former phone had done with great reception. And I bought a one year plan which doesn’t expire until next May.

    I knew that the phone had variable reception issues when we were at our second place in Northern Wisconsin, but that became a major issue during the last thunderstorm when we lost power for 6 hours. I have checked with the neighbors and consulted coverage maps (which I should have done earlier) and determined that we really need a phone that accesses the AT&T towers. So – I am considering various options but not always sure how possible, practical or reasonable they are.

    I will mention here that I am not one of the people using the cell phone all the time. We have a landline. I use my tablet or laptop to access the internet. I do some texting, but might not use the phone for several days. We do use it when we travel – especially the internet function - and we also forward our landline to the cell phone when we are at our second home. So whatever I end up with, I want it to be cost effective. Our current plan is the $199 per year plan. OK – that is background. Options/Questions:

    1. Can TF switch my phone to AT&T? (It appears from my online searching they are totally leaving AT&T and going with Verizon.)
    2. Can a service such as Consumer Cellular take my current phone, minutes etc?
    3. Is Consumer Cellular a good service to use?
    4. Would someone else be better and take my current phone, minutes, etc with a plan at a reasonable rate?
    5. If another service can’t take my phone and I have to buy a new one, can I sell my TF?
    6. If yes, what do I need to do?
    7. Can I get something for the minutes?
    8. Where is the best place to do that?

    I thank you ahead of time for any assistance.

    R

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobEll49 View Post
    I am turning to you again for assistance with my latest issue. I have, again, tried to investigate online, but it gets overwhelming. I am hoping for some simple answers or links to simple answers or resources.

    Background I have a Samsung Galaxy A51 which I bought in January after being told I needed to upgrade. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Straight-...hone/652023328. I worked with TF to get the Straight-Talk switched. I then apparently made two errors. I thought it would likely be OK to be accessing Verizon towers instead of AT&T, which my former phone had done with great reception. And I bought a one year plan which doesn’t expire until next May.

    I knew that the phone had variable reception issues when we were at our second place in Northern Wisconsin, but that became a major issue during the last thunderstorm when we lost power for 6 hours. I have checked with the neighbors and consulted coverage maps (which I should have done earlier) and determined that we really need a phone that accesses the AT&T towers. So – I am considering various options but not always sure how possible, practical or reasonable they are.

    I will mention here that I am not one of the people using the cell phone all the time. We have a landline. I use my tablet or laptop to access the internet. I do some texting, but might not use the phone for several days. We do use it when we travel – especially the internet function - and we also forward our landline to the cell phone when we are at our second home. So whatever I end up with, I want it to be cost effective. Our current plan is the $199 per year plan. OK – that is background. Options/Questions:

    1. Can TF switch my phone to AT&T? (It appears from my online searching they are totally leaving AT&T and going with Verizon.)
    2. Can a service such as Consumer Cellular take my current phone, minutes etc?
    3. Is Consumer Cellular a good service to use?
    4. Would someone else be better and take my current phone, minutes, etc with a plan at a reasonable rate?
    5. If another service can’t take my phone and I have to buy a new one, can I sell my TF?
    6. If yes, what do I need to do?
    7. Can I get something for the minutes?
    8. Where is the best place to do that?

    I thank you ahead of time for any assistance.

    R
    1. You can switch to an ATT sim if TF will allow it. I think they are being lenient. Call corporate 305-640-2000 x1029.

    2. You can switch to Consumer Cellular, but you have to use their own sim/minutes.

    3. Nothing wrong with Consumer Cellular.

    4. There are cheaper ATT options, but the customer service might stink.

    5. Shouldn't have any trouble using your current phone as long as you get TF to unlock it (for use on a competitor).

    6. If you decide to sell the phone, we will help you then.

    7. Basically the minutes aren't worth selling, won't get much.

    8. You could sell the phone with minutes, but we will help you then.

    Someone will chime in if I messed up.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobEll49 View Post
    1. Can TF switch my phone to AT&T? (It appears from my online searching they are totally leaving AT&T and going with Verizon.)
    2. Can a service such as Consumer Cellular take my current phone, minutes etc?
    3. Is Consumer Cellular a good service to use?
    4. Would someone else be better and take my current phone, minutes, etc with a plan at a reasonable rate?
    5. If another service can’t take my phone and I have to buy a new one, can I sell my TF?
    6. If yes, what do I need to do?
    7. Can I get something for the minutes?
    8. Where is the best place to do that?
    1. You can switch to TF/AT&T, but if TF decides that there's Verizon coverage at your location (regardless of how poor the signal is) they'll force you to switch to TF/Verizon.
    2. If your A51 was used with TF/Verizon for at least 60 days, it's eligible for unlocking by TF. After the phone is unlocked, you can use it with another provider. Your minutes/days are not usable with other companies beside TF.
    3&4 . I don't have the answers.
    5. You can try selling your phone but you probably won't get much for it. After you get it unlocked, it'll be more sensible to use it with another provider than selling it.
    6. See #5.
    7. Selling your TF minutes isn't worth the hassle. First, your minutes/days are tied to your phone number. You can only transfer the minutes/days to another phone/person along with your phone number. Secondly, people who use their phones a lot and need more minutes probably already knew all the ways to get them cheap or free (with Rewards).
    8. See #7.

  4. #4
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    Samsung Galaxy A51 SM-S515DL is not on AT&T's VoLTE whitelist, so you'll need another phone if you want to use AT&T's network. Think there are reports of people using the A51 successfully on T-Mobile VoLTE, but not sure about AT&T.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slepy View Post
    Think there are reports of people using the A51 successfully on T-Mobile VoLTE, but not sure about AT&T.
    I was using my TF-unlocked A51 with a FreeUP AT&T SIM.Back around Feb 2022, their IMEI Checker said it was compatible with AT&T post-3G but lately they've been giving warning messages that it's not, even though it's still working with VoLTE. Rather than fighting with them, I switched the FreeUP SIM into another phone (Essential PH-1). Right now I'm using the A51 with a Walmart Freedompop SIM on T-mo with VoLTE.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobEll49 View Post
    And I bought a one year plan which doesn’t expire until next May.
    I'm assuming this means that you signed up sometime in May this year.
    So you're very close to completing 61 days on Tracfone (maybe you've already completed 61 days).
    Which is great, because your phone gets unlocked on the 61st day.

    You should go to https://www.tfwunlockpolicy.com/ and follow the directions to unlock the phone.
    Then use prepaidcompare.net to search for MVNOs that fit your usage patterns. Given that the phone isn't on the AT&T whitelist, hopefully TMo has good coverage at your location, and you'll be able to find some good options there.
    You can activate new service on Tracfone and get $80 by using my referral code (you get 8,000 rewards points - that's $80 in service or brand new phone!) You'll also get great karma! Please PM me for code.

    Right now, you can get started with $80 Tracfone referral rewards with these HSN deals: (1) One-year service with 1200 talk/txt/data, plus Alcatel MyFlip2 phone, for $30; (2) Moto G Power 1500 talk/txt/data 1-yr service for $60; (3) Moto G Pure 1500 ttd 1-yr service for $70.

  7. #7
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    OK - I appreciate all the responses. Let me see if I have this right. I can unlock my phone (thank you Sillyette for the link) and take it to another carrier. (I had to look up MVNOs. - Very interesting!). Given that my phone will not be OK with AT&T, that would mean going with T-Mobile. The coverage map at T-Mobile is great! That is a surprise. It didn't cover this area in the past. I am checking with neighbors to see if any of them use T-Mobile. I assume that means switching the SIM card. (Brief diversion here - I am a reasonably intelligent person with a moderate level of technical ability, but need help when it comes to the specifics of working with cell phones.) OK - so, if that means getting a new SIM card, what do I lose on my phone? Finally, if I do switch and leave TF, is there a possibility they would refund unused minutes, data, etc? R

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobEll49 View Post
    The coverage map at T-Mobile is great! I am checking with neighbors to see if any of them use T-Mobile.
    I assume that means switching the SIM card.
    Finally, if I do switch and leave TF, is there a possibility they would refund unused minutes, data, etc?
    For T-Mobile service, Tello is recommended by many. You may be able to get a free SIM and a small amount of airtime to check the coverage.
    Almost every change requires a new SIM.
    TF appears to be balking at taking the airtime from one phone and adding it to another Verizon SIM`ed phone, so you can probably forget about them buying back any remaining airtime. Your money only travels in one direction, toward Verizon.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobEll49 View Post
    1. The coverage map at T-Mobile is great! That is a surprise. It didn't cover this area in the past. I am checking with neighbors to see if any of them use T-Mobile. I assume that means switching the SIM card. (Brief diversion here - I am a reasonably intelligent person with a moderate level of technical ability, but need help when it comes to the specifics of working with cell phones.)

    2.OK - so, if that means getting a new SIM card, what do I lose on my phone?

    3. Finally, if I do switch and leave TF, is there a possibility they would refund unused minutes, data, etc? R
    1. If T-mo works in your area, there's currently a very good deal with Walmart's Free Plan that uses Freedompop on T-mo. You buy a Walmart Freedompop Free Plan SIM on Walmart web site for $9.98 (use Walmart+ free 30-day trial to get free shipping). After you activate the SIM, each month you get 300 minutes, 1000 texts, and 100MB of Data at no charge (some cities/states charge taxes/fees, none in KS, TX, and some other states). We don't know how long that Free Plan will last, but right now it's a heck of a deal if you don't use your phone much. You can get a new phone number or Port (transfer) your phone number from TF to Freedompop.

    2. If you change the SIM and don't transfer your number from TF to the new provider, you'll be assigned a new phone number. Again, your TF balances and days are not usable with the new provider.

    3. TF doesn't offer refund for your remaining balances/days.

  10. #10
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    That Walmart plan looks great, hpham and I appreciate the suggestion about Tello, Tracfancier - however - I have just learned from a neighbor that T-Mobile is not reliable here - it is OK, but not consistent. So it would appear that means that I need to buy a new phone! So apparently I now need new suggestions. Any tips on - getting a phone that is AT&T compatible (apparently that means leaving TF) and then switching from my current phone to the new one? Again, I need coaching and tips on how this works. R

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobEll49 View Post
    So it would appear that means that I need to buy a new phone! Any tips on - getting a phone that is AT&T compatible (apparently that means leaving TF) and then switching from my current phone to the new one? Again, I need coaching and tips on how this works. R
    There ARE some TF-branded phones that are compatible with AT&T. I'll take a closer look at AT&T "whitelist" and post those models in about 30 minutes.

  12. #12
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    There are several factors in your situation that we need to take into consideration:
    a. You want to use the TF balances/days that you already bought because they can't be used with another provider or be refunded.
    b. You only have good AT&T signal at your location.
    c. Since there's Verizon coverage at your location (per TF), TF will do their best to force you to switch to TF/Verizon.
    d. You will have to switch to another provider eventually if you want to use AT&T towers.

    With all that, I think the best solution includes these steps:
    1. Buy a TF-branded phone that's compatible with AT&T (i.e. on their "whitelists"). There are two AT&T whitelists. The TF-branded phones have "DL" as the last part of their model numbers. Search the list for DL and you'll find those models. The TF-branded Moto G Pure (XT2163DL) is on the whitelist #1 and currently on sale on Amazon for $44.99.
    AT&T Whitelist #1
    AT&T Whitelist #2
    2. Activate the new phone with a transfer from your current phone. You'll need to use the new phone's original TF/Verizon SIM for at least 60 days for it to be unlocked. So, you'll have to put up with the poor Verizon signal for 60 days.
    3. After 60 days, get the new phone unlocked. After that, you can activate a new BYOP TF/AT&T SIM with a transfer from the new phone. Then put that BYOP TF/AT&T SIM into the new phone.
    4. When you've used up your TF service OR get forced to switch to TF/Verizon, then you can switch to another provider that uses AT&T towers and use your now-unlocked phone with that provider's SIM. You'll need to port (transfer) your phone number from TF to that provider.

  13. #13
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    Interesting that the Moto G Pure is what you came up with, hpham, since I have two of them from the HSN deal for $60 (including one year service/1.5 gigs) that I'm just waiting 61 days for referral and unlock to happen. So I guess they have a bit more value on the open market after that.

  14. #14
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    Has someone checked the exact model number of the phone RobEll49 has? I have read so many times of a mistake in reading one digit/letter that makes the difference in a phone working currently on AT&T. I know I have had a Samsung A series phone on an MVNO that uses AT&T towers from time of purchase in March.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    There are several factors in your situation that we need to take into consideration:
    a. You want to use the TF balances/days that you already bought because they can't be used with another provider or be refunded.
    b. You only have good AT&T signal at your location.
    c. Since there's Verizon coverage at your location (per TF), TF will do their best to force you to switch to TF/Verizon.
    d. You will have to switch to another provider eventually if you want to use AT&T towers.

    With all that, I think the best solution includes these steps:
    1. Buy a TF-branded phone that's compatible with AT&T (i.e. on their "whitelists"). There are two AT&T whitelists. The TF-branded phones have "DL" as the last part of their model numbers. Search the list for DL and you'll find those models. The TF-branded Moto G Pure (XT2163DL) is on the whitelist #1 and currently on sale on Amazon for $44.99.
    AT&T Whitelist #1
    AT&T Whitelist #2
    2. Activate the new phone with a transfer from your current phone. You'll need to use the new phone's original TF/Verizon SIM for at least 60 days for it to be unlocked. So, you'll have to put up with the poor Verizon signal for 60 days.
    3. After 60 days, get the new phone unlocked. After that, you can activate a new BYOP TF/AT&T SIM with a transfer from the new phone. Then put that BYOP TF/AT&T SIM into the new phone.
    4. When you've used up your TF service OR get forced to switch to TF/Verizon, then you can switch to another provider that uses AT&T towers and use your now-unlocked phone with that provider's SIM. You'll need to port (transfer) your phone number from TF to that provider.
    That is an interesting option. I will have to think about that. Thank you for doing the investigating!

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