How to Activate Used Cell Phones With U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular opened its doors in 1983 in Chicago, Illinois. Over the years, the company has grown to the point of serving 6.1 million customers nationwide, as of December 2010. If you are an existing U.S. Cellular customer, you can activate a phone other than the one purchased when entering the contract if for some reason it becomes necessary due loss or malfunction of the original phone, or even if you simply prefer another model.

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Call customer service for aid in activating a different phone with U.S. Cellular.

Step

Remove the used cell phone's battery. Look for the electronic serial number (ESN) on the label in the phone's battery compartment. The ESN is an eight- or 11-digit alphanumeric code, often with a designation of "DEC," " ESN" or "HEX" preceding the number sequence. Write the number down.

Step

Look for the phone model, which is listed on the same label. Write it down.

Step

Call U.S. Cellular customer service at 1-888-944-9400 from a different telephone. When prompted, press "4" for Technical Support.

Step

Explain to the support representative that you wish to activate a different cell phone. Answer the representative's security questions, including your name, cell-phone number, account password if you have one and billing ZIP code.

Step

Give the representative the ESN number and cell-phone model information. Turn the used cell phone off, then back on, when asked. Dial "*228" then press "Send." The phone will be active within a few minutes.