Cell Phones and Recycled Phone Numbers

Whenever someone set up new phone service, whether wireline or wireless, there as always the possibility of being given a recycled number. On the old PSTN, phone companies usually held disconnected numbers for about 3 months before putting them back into service. This meant that a new customer that was allocated that number would receive periodic calls intended for the former owner. This is much more of a problem when cell phones are concerned because a call would be more likely to be intrusive and/or could be chargeable to the recipient. However, these days, the bigger problem is that the former user of the number may have signed up with various services to receive SMS messages and/or MMS messages, both of which are typically chargeable to the recipients, and being automated, are much more difficult to stop. So when comparing between various options, don’t just look at the phone features and the plan features offered by the wireless operator. Fijnd out how likely you are to receive a recycled number, what their policy is to change numbers and what features they may have to block incoming SMS and MMS messages. However, if you intend to actively exchange SMS and MMS messages, then simply having blocking capabilities is not enough. Getting a virgin phone number is what’s necessary.