Can I Buy A Cell Phone & Then Activate It With A Service Provider Of My Choice

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bizwiz2

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May 8, 2002
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I've been looking for a different cell plan. I heard Kim Komando recommend to someone that they buy a used cell phone from www.recellular.com

I went to that site & found some phones that I might want. But when I checked into service providers, they told me that if I buy a phone from anyone but them, it may not fully function on their service. They said that an unlocked phone, or even a brand new phone from an electronics store would have the same problem. I spoke to someone at Recellular. They told me that their customers haven't had a problem with using phones bought from them.

So I'm wondering, is this just a bluff from the service providers to get me to buy their phones, or would I really get stuck with a crippled phone if I bought it from someone other than the service provider? Even if the phone would work, could the provider somehow provide me with crippled service & tell me that it's the phone's fault so that I buy one from them? Am I basically at the service provider's mercy, or is there a way that I can purchase a phone somewhere else and be confident that it will work when I activate it with the service provider? Thanks.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2010
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Hi, the answer to your question depends on which phone you buy and which service provider you want to sign up with. Some phones will be fully compatible with multiple service providers, but others may not. AT&T and Verizon, for example, use completely different network types, so a phone that was made for AT&T won't work at all on Verizon's CMDA network.

Your best bet is to contact the manufacturer of the phone you're interested in and see if they can give you a definitive answer for that phone. If not, if you can at least find out which company's network that phone was set up for, you'll have an idea of which networks it should and shouldn't work with.
 
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