How to switch your carrier (and keep your phone number, data, and contacts)

Congrats, on owning your iPhone — you’ve taken a big step toward mobile freedom!

Everyone has a customer service horror story related to one (or more :/) of Canada’s wireless carriers. For you though, this treatment is a thing of the past.

Carriers have such poor customer service because they their customers are locked into multi-year relationships that cost $100s to cancel. So, when an issue arises, carriers know that they can get away with just about anything.

This cycle exists because smartphones are so expensive. Carriers this as an opportunity to the upfront cost of the phone, and put customers on a multi-year payment plan.

But by buying a high-quality used smartphone, you have reversed this power dynamic! Now, walking away is a breeze.

(Assuming that you are not currently on a contract. If you are, then you’ll have to wait until that contract is up before sticking it to your carrier).

Without further ado, here is our six step plan for ditching your carrier while saving your phone number, data and contacts:

How to switch your carrier

  1. Call your current carrier to confirm that you won’t face any charges if you cancel your account. If there are charges, they should be able to tell you how many months until you can cancel without paying any fees
  2. Shop around for the perfect plan. Plan Hub is a great resource for this (be sure to select ‘Bring Your Own Phone’!)
  3. Once you’ve found your perfect plan, visit or call your (new) carrier and sign up for the plan. Be sure to mention to them that you want to port your number.
  4. Your new carrier will deal with your old carrier to complete the port. Keep using your old SIM card
  5. Once the port is complete, put in the SIM card from your new carrier and call in (or visit) your new carrier to activate the SIM. You’ll have all your contacts, data and keep your old number!
  6. Finally, be sure to contact your old carrier to confirm that your account was shut down

That’s it: six easy steps!

The best part is that if you see a better deal at a different company, just repeat the steps above: you’re a mobile free agent!

Photo Credit: Tech Daily

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2 comments

  • Christine 3 May, 2020   Reply →

    Are these phones not unlocked ?

    • Dylan @ Orchard 4 May, 2020   Reply →

      Hi Christine, thanks for your comment. The vast majority of our phones are unlocked. If the item page says “Unlocked” then it’s unlocked. A small minority of our devices come locked, and the carrier to which those phones are locked is also indicated on the product page.

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