How to Change Lifeline Cell Phone Providers

By | April 2, 2017

Many decide to change lifeline cell phone providers. There are different reasons for wanting to switch your Lifeline cell phone provider. Maybe you receive poor customer service, want to upgrade to a smartphone, or more talk and text time, you may want to switch providers.

As a Lifeline client, one of the most important issues is good customer service. Is is virtually impossible to reach the company? Does the phone prompts keep you running in circles? The good new is, you are not locked into a yearly contract. You can complain to the FCC, or change Lifeline cell phone provider altogether.

Some think you have to first cancel with your current provider before enrolling with a new provider, but this is not true. The Universal Service Administrative Company ( who administers the Lifeline program has very specific rules that instruct phone vendors on how they must handle what then call a “Benefit Transfer” (a phone company switch) to another provider.

Change Lifeline Cell Phone Providers

You have the right to change your service provider when you have had service for at least 60 days. The main thing is to make sure you have canceled your previous company. You don’t want to get caught having several free government phones as you can lose your Lifeline benefits.

Often we get letters from readers, complaining they have a problem with their phone and when they try to call their providers they can never reach them. We know how frustrating this can be. When you call customer service, I want ‘service’, and I want it right away!

Often we get letters from readers, complaining they have a problem with their phone and when they try to call their providers they can never reach them. We know how frustrating this can be. When you call customer service, I want ‘service’, and I want it right away!

Steps to Changing your Lifeline Provider

If you are not satisfied with your service, or provider you can switch to a new Lifeline provider. You can change you free cell phone provider every three months.

  1. Contact the company and ask your previous service is change to them.
  2. Confirm you want to transfer phone services to another provider. Once the transfer is complete services from the old provider will stop. Remember, you can not legally have service from more than one Lifeline provider at a time and must agree you do not have service with two or more providers.

The new company will need documents to process to change providers. Anyone can change their Lifeline phone provider if they are not happy. Hopefully. you can switch over without losing any time or service interruption on your phone.

  1. Provide your name
  2. Provide your date of birth
  3. Give physical address
  4. Give phone number
  5. Give verbal or written consent to change providers
  6. Provide last four digits of your social security number
  7. Confirm your household has only one lifeline plan

We can not guarantee you will be a break in your phone services during the switch. Make sure you provide all the needed information accurately such as TPIV or Third Party Identity Verification. Also have available proof you are financially eligible to receive Lifeline service.

Before you choose a new provider research the phone provider. Find a new Lifeline provider e on the Lifeline website. Locate providers in your state HERE. Go to the provider website and compare benefits, like minutes, phones, special offers, if the offer smartphones with upgrades, etc.

You’ve got the Power

The great thing about the program is, if you do not like your provider or are not satisfied with the customer service, you can change your provider. That’s right! You can also file a complaint with the FCC to report these issues. The provider need you as much as you need phone service! Each month each phone provider participating in the program is paid $9.95 to serve you.

How to re-enroll when you Lose your Lifeline Discount

You can lose your Lifeline discount by not re-enrolling by the program deadline, or someone in your household also has a Lifeline phone, or you have not used your phone for a long period of time can reapply and start over again. You have to start as a new subscriber, sign up and provide proof you are eligible for the program. You must also swear no one else in your home is receiving discount phone services.

10 thoughts on “How to Change Lifeline Cell Phone Providers

  1. Melani

    Having major customer service issues with Terracom. I pay by check with the billpay of my financial institution. They cash my check that includes my name and account number. However, they do not apply my payment to my account. Then they text, call, and cut my phone off saying I have not paid. This has happened twice. Even after I fax them proof that they received and cashed my check. They hassle me like you wouldn’t believe. I have not found any place to complain to that can or is willing to help. So I have to go it alone. Making many many calls and hours of chat time fighting with them. They are quite incompetent.


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