Used cell phone numbers

I recently moved, so I decided to change my cell phone number so that the area code would be local. Today I received two phone calls from collection agencies, presumably for the person who used to have my new cell phone number. I hadn’t thought about the possibility of getting someone else’s old number, but I guess there are a limited number of numbers.

According to this article,  a cell phone number may only be dormant for as few as 30 days before it is reissued! Also, if the old owner was subscribing to a text-messaging service, such as news flash updates, or daily haiku poems, the new phone may start receiving them.

So my advice is to never move out of your area code so you don’t have to change your cell phone number.


4 responses to “Used cell phone numbers

  1. This occasionally happens — I sometimes get surprised / confused / outraged messages from people who have no idea why they’re getting haiku on their new phones.

    I remove them from the tinywords mailing list immediately, of course — but until they let me know about it, I have no way of knowing there is a problem.

  2. Thanks for commenting Dylan! I used your site as an example simply because it came from the top of my head. I am a subscriber to TinyWords and enjoy getting the Haiku poems. I’m sure you are much much easier to work with thank the companies cited in the article that require the original subscriber to unsubscribe. Now that would be a headache!

    I did think of one solution to this dilemma, at least if you are the original subscriber. Instead of subscribing directly to your phone, you could subscribe to your e-mail account, and then create a filter/rule that forwards the message to your phone’s e-mail address. Then if you get a new phone number, you could just change the rule in your e-mail account. Of course this does require remembering to do this. Hmmm.

  3. That is pretty scary, Will. I didn’t know that such a thing could happen and hope that you didn’t have to pay anything that wasn’t your own bill.

  4. That happened to me too but on my house line was the one with a problem.

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