How to Move a Verizon Phone to AT&T Service

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Making the switch from Verizon to AT&T should be easy but the process is not always a breeze.
Image Credit: Luis Alvarez/DigitalVision/GettyImages

Making the switch from Verizon to AT&T should be easy but the process is not always a breeze. In fact, a 2018 lawsuit alleges the companies intentionally make it difficult to switch services as a means of retaining customers. That said, switching is possible using a basic set of instructions and the customer service personnel from both companies.


Unlock a Verizon Phone

Before making the change, you must first cancel the Verizon service and unlock the phone. Locked phones are stuck on the Verizon network and will not allow the change so this step is especially important. You can cancel service and unlock the phone by either calling the customer support number or visiting a store directly. Both options require the account password to prove identity and make any changes.

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Visiting the Verizon store is the easiest method of canceling and unlocking the phone. Customer service on the phone often involves wait times and the in-person visit ensures you complete the entire process. Verizon will unlock the phone after the account is canceled. Make sure to request the unlocked phone, otherwise, they might not pursue this step. Unlocking the phone yourself is not possible and only the company will unlock to accept new service providers.


The type of phone is not important, as all modern smartphones with Android or iOS platforms can unlock to switch between service providers. It only requires the company to unlock and release the phone from the contract. Unlock Verizon Samsung phones or iPhones at the store or through customer service to move forward.

Switching to AT&T

After the phone is unlocked and free, the switch to AT&T is fairly simple. The most difficult aspect of the process is selecting the best plan. AT&T offers plans for individuals and families with options to sign contracts of varying lengths. Some plans also offer an upgrade to a new phone after the contract reaches a certain time period. Spend some time researching and shopping for the best option before entering the AT&T store.


When you know the options, visit a store in-person to register the phone with AT&T and start the plan. They will draft a contract that requires signatures before activating the phone. Make sure you understand the new contract and the terms for breaking the contract as the fees are often significant. Negotiate if needed to ensure the plan is reasonable and delivers the desired level of data and service.

After signing, the agent will activate the phone on the AT&T network and test the phone. Go ahead and make a test call as well before leaving the store. At this point, you are up and running on the new network.


Continuing Verizon Messages

Although the phone is now running on the AT&T network, it may continue receiving Verizon message updates or show notifications about not being on the Verizon network. Original Verizon phones come with software installed specifically for the Verizon network. These intermittent notifications have no effect on the functionality and can simply be ignored.

Prepaid phones work in a slightly different manner and are often actually easier to transfer between networks because they are not locked into a contract. The Verizon prepaid phone unlock code obtained from the customer support service will open the phone to other networks, including AT&T. The prepaid phone will require a new SIM card from AT&T but otherwise, the signup process remains the same once the phone is unlocked.


If the phone does not function properly on the new network, AT&T customer support is the best option for help as Verizon no longer is contracted for service.