My situation is complicated. Hope someone has an answer. Live chat agents are not help so far!
So I've had a post-paid service for years. But I have to be abroad for about 18months. Currently I'm abroad. I've used a smartphone with my post-paid plan. My monthly bill is $75. I sure don't want to pay $75x18 for a service I won't ever use until I go back to the States.
Keeping my phone number was crucial. I wanted to switch to prepaid. That took me a while. I couldn't do it online. It said "number not eligible". (too silly because if I order prepaid from t-mobile or verizon, my number is eligible, but I wanted to stay with AT&T)
I called the customer service (calling from abroad is expensive) After a lot of talking, they switched my account to prepaid, told me I can now order a new device and have it shipped to my address in the States. So the plan is, my mom will receive the new phone with the new SIM installed and activated. And all will be good.
But then I went online to place the order. I wanted to pick a basic phone, go with the cheapest plan (10 cents a minute plan). However when I wanted to check out it either wanted me to pick a new number, or transfer an existing number - which then told me "number not eligible for transfer"!!!
The thing is, I don't actually need a device or the new SIM card. As soon as I go back to the States, I will switch back to post-paid. But I do need to fill my account in the meantime, so the account doesn't get deactivated after a while. I tried to login to my gophone account. It asks for PIN. This is news to me. What's a PIN? I try "forgot my PIN" or "setup a new PIN", but it sends the PIN to the phone! Well I don't have the phone yet! How can I receive it to begin with! UGH!
Before temporarily transferring your existing number to prepaid, did you inquire about temporarily suspending your service before you left the country? I am pretty sure that AT&T offers this service...
I would assume that you don't already have an activated prepaid SIM card, correct? AT&T would have sent you an activated one in the mail with the new phone, correct?
If possible, I would suggest trying to place an order over the phone speaking to a customer service rep since the option to transfer your existing number is not going through. They might be able to guide you every step of the way. You can either have yourself do this, or your mother. I know that international calling can get expensive.
Thank you for responding. I did inquire about suspending my service. I'd done it once last year, so I'm not eligible for another one until January 2014. My best option is prepaid plan.
No, I don't have an activated SIM card. My rep over the phone who made the switch told me my SIM card will arrive with the phone I'd order online. I guess he wasn't aware that I wouldn't get the option to keep my phone number when I tried his suggestion - ugh!
My mom is going to try to sort it out at a store. If she can't, I'll try what you suggested - order a device with a customer service over the phone. what a mess! I should have done this before I left the country but I needed my data plan (which was unlimited) till the last hour I was in the States.