As part of my Radical Cost Reduction Process, I decided to move from Apple to an Samsung Galaxy S5 for my phone, and to save $10/month by moving from Virgin Mobile to Boost Mobile.
Previously I had a $40+fees deal with Virgin with data throttling at 3 GB. I would sometimes run up against that limit, but not much. However, I also had an iPhone 4S, which only does 3G, meaning I could only use data so fast. Boost Mobile has a $30+ fees plan that starts throttling at 2GB initially, but that amount increases by 500 MB every three months of online payments, all the way to 5 GB. I believe I can show some discipline for six months until I’m back to my previous 3 GB level, and then get more each quarter until I’m at 5 GB. They also have a $40+fees plan that starts at 5 GB and goes up to 8 GB, and I believe the months-served transfers if you go from the lesser to the greater plan. So if I find myself going apeshit now that I *finally* have LTE, I can pay $120 more per year and get almost twice as much data.
The main reason I’m writing this is because of how painful the transfer was. *Both* of these companies are actually Sprint subsidiaries, which you would think would make it *easier* to port your number from one to the other. You would be wrong. At the time of this writing, neither the automated website service *or* the automated telephone service can port a number from Virgin Mobile to Boost Mobile without the help of a human. There is *no* combination of legit button pushing that will get you to this person. You will either always get transferred to the automated system, which will tell you you can’t transfer the number, *or* you will reach a point where you have to have an existing Boost account and passcode. I was also re-activating a used Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5 at the same time. Here’s what I had to do:
Get your Virgin Mobile account number and PIN. The account number is a total bitch to find, they do everything they can to hide it from you. Either call directly, or log into the Virgin Mobile website and retrieve it using this trick. That’s what I did, and it worked:
You will also need the DEC number from your phone, which is often under the battery, and the number from your SIM card. It’s worth copying all this shit into one place so you can get to it quickly during the call.
Call Boost Mobile support and choose the option to activate a new phone. Do *not* make this call from the number you are transferring, as it will get cut off *before* your new phone is activated. Borrow a friends if you need to, but realize it might take hours to get this process done. I had to call over 15 times to get it done. Hopefully this guide will reduce that number for you. Choose the option that says “I already know what the numbers mean.” Once you get to the point where they’ve asked for your DEC number from your phone, start yamming on the bottom row of buttons on your numeric keypad, the #, 0, and * like you’ve having some kind of fit. Keep yamming a few times a second until you hear “You are now being transferred to a customer service representative.”
There is *no* way to get to this point except to do this. If you follow the prompts to activate a new phone or port a number, it will lead you to the automated system which doesn’t work with Virgin Mobile transfers. Why? Because they’re part of the same company, and you wouldn’t be transferring the number if you want to give them *more* money, would you?
One you get a rep on the phone, tell them that you want to migrate a Virgin Mobile phone number to Boost Mobile. Confirm that this means you will be creating new Boost account. You will lose whatever credit you had on your Virgin Mobile account, which will be closed. If you want to save any of your data from Virgin Mobile, do it *before* you start the transfer, because it will be much harder to get afterward.
The reps themselves do a good job. One thing to do is to give the rep the phone number you are using to make the call. They *will* actually call you back if you get disconnected. Note that you *don’t* want to use the number you’re trying to transfer to make the call, because the transfer happens fast enough to cut off the call *RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE*. That’s what happened to me. At that point, my number had been transferred, *but my new account and phone had not yet been activated!!!* This means that if I hadn’t had another phone, I would have been stuck with no functional phone until I found one and bashed my way back through their awful automated system again.
After the number transfer paperwork is done, they will activate your phone. Only phones from one of the Sprint companies will work. Mine was a used Sprint phone. There is a $10 one-time fee for re-activating the phone. After you pick your plan and set up your Boost Mobile account, you can either pay for your first month with a $3 convenience fee on the phone, or you can go to the website or use the phone itself to pay. I’d stay on the line until you’ve done this to make sure everything works.
The good news is that once you get to the right people, the transfer is nearly instantaneous, and you can start using your new phone before you hand up on the customer rep.
I hope this helps people get through faster and easier than the 4 hours it took me.