New AT&T account - porting an "ineligible" out-of-area number

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by knightmare34, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. knightmare34 macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    I have pre-ordered a new iPhone 4, and will be setting up a new account with AT&T. I would like to keep my current cell phone number (Chicago - 773), but I no longer live in that area (currently Washington, DC). When trying to set up an account online (whether through AT&T's website or, I am told my number is ineligible for porting. After 30 minutes on the phone with AT&T, I got the same answer, but they suggested I set up the phone with a new number and then try to port my old number. I know there have been similar posts in the past, but I was hoping for some more up-to-date info. Any suggestions?
  2. lambertma84 macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2010
    Here are a few of my experiences:

    When I joined AT&T and got my first iPhone (3G) on the launch day, everything was chaos. I was at the AT&T store for 5 hours. Anyway, I wanted my number ported over from Verizon. It was the same area code and everything. They were unable to do it for some reason. They advised me to pick a new number and see if they could port my old number over later on. After a few hours, the port worked and I was back to my Verizon number. Again, this was all in the SAME area code, so it's not the exact same situation.

    Last Christmas, my mother in law and two sisters in law moved from Arizona to Texas. I went with them to get 3 3GS's for Christmas. Everything was great until it came to porting their Arizona numbers. Just like in your case, they were not able to port the numbers because they weren't from the same area (not exactly sure how far an area extends out). Anyway, there was nothing AT&T could do. Choosing new numbers and porting later was not an option. So, they all got new numbers and left it at that.

    So... Based on MY experience, there may not be anything you can do other than pick a new number. I suppose you could go back to Chicago, go to an AT&T store there, and have it ported. Something you're probably not interested in!

    Hopefully someone else here has been in your situation and was able to preserve their number. Good luck!
  3. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    My cell number is out of OH, where I lived 12 years ago when I first got a cell phone. I stayed with AirTouch, which became Verizon, for 11 years, while I moved to two states.

    Fast forward to 2008: I'm living in CA and want an iPhone 3G. I couldn't buy through Apple, but I ordered through AT&T. They had to activate it there in the store in order for me to keep my number. It took the CSA a few consults with a manager, and one phone call to their tech support, but I walked out with my out of state originally Verizon number successfully ported. I was in an AT&T Wireless store in CA and they ported my Ohio number. The manager told me that they were working across regions with different systems, which led to the confusion, but it happened.

    The moral of the story is not to listen to an agent who tells you it's not possible. IT IS. Make them do it, and make them ask questions if they don't know how.

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