The PhoneBoy Blog


Simplifying Telecom, Mobile Phones, Gadgets, and More!

My Numbers Have Been Assimilated

A funny thing happened when I attempted to log into Cingular's Online Account Management (OLAM) today. It didn't recognize me any more. Tried one number, it failed. Tried my other number, it too failed. Tried my wife's number, and that one still worked. Checked to see what numbers were still on my account, and only my wife's number showed up. The others are now gone.

A couple of days ago, I complained that I had to move my mobile phone service into corporate billing. While it took me until Thursday to finally get the paperwork to fill out to do what they call a "Change of Financial Responsibility," it actually got processed really fast. I wouldn't have even known that it had happened except I tried to use OLAM. For grins, I also tried to use *646# to check my minute usage. I now get the dreaded "This information is not available for your account type" text message as a response on both of my numbers.

A Change of Financial Responsibility is something pretty much all of the carriers offer. It allows you to transfer liability for your lines to another person. This is particularly good when, for instance, a company assumes control of a telephone number previously under a personal liability account. It is also good for people who for one reason or another, want out of their contract because they either can't afford the service or want a different service but don't want to pay the early termination fees. In fact, Celltrade USA is making a business out of brokering deals between those who want out of their contracts and those who want to assume them.

On Tuesday, I will officially be free of my Cingular contract and can then port her number into T-Mobile. This weekend, I'll buy a T-Mobile Prepaid kit for my wife. I've already unlocked her Cingular-branded Nokia 6102 so there should be no problem with the new SIM. After her initial minutes run out (or maybe before), it will be time to head on over to Cheap Phone Cards and get $100 worth of minutes for a few bucks less than $100. That should take care of my wife's mobile phone needs for the next several months.


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