Originals Travel / Food / Culture Politics Religion Cool
All things awesome.

Changing Your Assurance Wireless Phone.

So in another life, I used to work for Verizon. We used to have a program in California called "life-line service" for land line customers. It's basically a government subsidized phone service for those who are low-income. I remember my first day in training when we were learning that the phone company is responsible for certifying if the individual qualifies, our trainer suggested with a wink and a nod that "oral testimony" was all that was needed. I can only imagine the number of employees who went home and told family members how to save beaucoup bucks on their phone bill. Well it's 2010, and life-line is still around- but now for cell phones. Coincidentally here in NC the process isn't much different. You simply call Assurance Wireless, and they mail you a document for you to sign and certify that you're low income and they send you a free cell phone, with free monthly minutes. Now I'd love to tell you I'm gaming our capitalist system for a bit of socialism love, but the truth is with my recent unemployment, me in school, and our litter of kids- we did qualify and that was a great thing (except for the not eating part of being poor) because we only had one cell phone before, and with me travelling back and forth to school and Shan going the opposite way in a beater of a car to take the kids to school, it made sense to have help if we broke down. We really didn't now how we were going to afford the extra phone, so the program has been great for Shan's limited usage- and did prevent her from being stranded one day when she decided to test her car's snow drift jumping capabilities a few weeks back.

The biggest problem with Assurance wireless's program is that they send you a very cheap phone. (I know... you shouldn't complain.) Unfortunately, the quality of the phone gave Shan about a 3.5 hour battery life, and a ringer you couldn't hear when it was in your pocket. What's more is there doesn't seem to be a way of upgrading or changing out your phone for another despite that- that was my long-term hope when I researched & chose Assurance. Rather than spend money on a phone (sort of counter-productive on free service) I had hoped eventually I'd be able to pass on one of my Virgin Mobile phones the next time I upgraded. I've been with Virgin for almost 5 years and can't say anything but good about the company. Yesterday, I discovered you can swap your Assurance Wireless phone for a better one, and it's fairly easy.

See I just bought an Optimus V for my pay plan. Love the heck out of the sucker, and while my LG Rumor 2 was an awesome phone, I decided to bid it adieu and donate it to Shannon. Once it was deactivated I logged onto Virgin Mobile and activated it under Shan's Assurance wireless number. And it worked! What you need:

    Changing Your Assurance Wireless Phone.
    1- Your 10 digit assurance wireless telephone number.
    2- Your 6-10 digit pin provided with the your original Assurance Wireless activation. (If you don't remember it, call and get it.)
    3- Logon to Virgin Mobile.
    4- Click on "Swap Phones" (bottom right-hand side)
    5- Enter your phone Serial number (under the battery)
    6- Follow the directions. (##VIRGIN# -> Then hit activate on your new Assurance (Virgin Mobile Phone)

And that's it... You just activated a Virgin Mobile phone on Assurance Wireless. The plan doesn't change, and you have a much nicer phone with longer battery life, and better ringer. I don't believe Virgin's smart phones will activate because when I received my Optimus, it required the $25 a month package, (which is what I had anyways) but the Rumor 2 or other non-smart phones should work just fine. Here's the proof:

virgin mobile phone on assurance wireless change.jpg
User avatar

My name is Jack and I am an employee with Assurance Wireless. I just wanted to clarify that Assurandce Wireless and Universal Lifeline Services are not government funded. The Universal Service Fund was established to ensure that affordable communications services can be available to everyone. Carriers contribute to the USF and then can apply to use those funds for programs such as Assurance Wireless. Carriers are permitted to carry a USF fee if they so choose.

I have been given a samsung phone that used to be on a contract with verizon. I have horrible vision and dexterity issue with my fingers and am having several issues seeing the screen and hitting the tiny buttons on my phone that was given to me by assurance. I am a single mother of 3 going to school full time and working full time and desperately need the phone because I cant afford any other service. I also cant afford another phone so was grateful the samsung was given to me. Is there any way to switch my assurance service to the samsung phone? If so, how do I do it? Please help.

Not unless it was an Assurance or Virgin Mobile phone originally to my knowledge. They put proprietory software on the phones that allow them to work with the pay-as-you-go model of the two companies.

You may want to ask if they'd allow a smart phone such as the Virgin Optimus V on Assurance. I have one on Virgin, but have no idea if it will work on Assurance sans the 3g. If it does it may have features for larger text, since it's an OS.
User avatar

I read your post about the assurance wireless phones and how to change from the junky small kyocera to a more practical phone you can actually use and hear easily. I have done quite a bit of research myself, calling assurance, being told "yes, this phone will work" and then being told by someone different that the only phone allowed is the kyocera jax. I pretty much gave up until I saw your blog. But, there is a big span of time between february and august and wanted to know, how the phone is working? I was told that, even if I try to change phones, they will only work for about a month (hmm....just when the phone's warranty runs out). Now, surprising enough, assurance wireless has allowed certain states (Michigan, Indiana, and georgia) to have a kyocera S2300 or the jax if you sign as a new customer. If you are already a member, this phone is available for a higher price (seriously?!!) I asked them about this. Why shouldn't all people, new and old customers, pay the same price? We weren't allowed a different phone at that time we signed up. Nope, this is the way it is. They told me to check around on prices and gave me a list of available phones allowed. I did this and decided to order thru them the 2300. The guy I spoke with told me sorry, no phone but the jax. I told him the proof is on the website. After he checked, he took my info, credit card number etc, and then told me the phone is out of stock. Not too surprising. It does state on the site that the phone is available for a limited time (does not say how long). This may be assurance's way of saying "sure we'll give you another phone...NOT!"

I had found this post to activate an Optimus V on my Assurance Wireless plan and it worked perfectly!
Then 5 months later I decide to upgrade to the Optimus slider - so I gave my Optimus V to my friend who also has an Assurance Wireless plan, but this time trying to activate the Optimus under his plan using the same "Swap Phones" procedure on the website, it says "This is a Virgin Mobile device and cannot be used on this account" message. Now I cannot swap it back to my account where it had worked for 5 months. They must have changed their policy on this.

Oh cool, you got the Optimus to work??????

Hmmm... yep, I'm betting it's because of the Smart Phone issue. I have no idea if there's a work-around. I thought about buying another Optimus for Shannon and activating it so she'd have wifi web at school, but decided against it since she rarely uses it. That said, eventually I will upgrade and try it.

I'd definitely give VM a ring, perhaps try activating it through their IRVU as a work-around.
User avatar

Do you think they might change their policy if it really is. Swapping your phone to a smart phone. That would really be useful to me because I really need Wifi and because of my non smart phone, it's kind of difficult to complete some tast.

My understanding is they now allow them, although this is untested.

I checked a few weeks ago, because I may be doing it as well as I'm leaving the US, and want to give the phone to someone.. It looks like they don't recommend it, but they do allow it.

I suspect they get a lot of people who buy phones and demand they be allowed to use them.

If someone attempts the conversion, please post back... I'd love to know for certain.
User avatar

Well I just tied to move the Optimus over to Assurance, as I just purchased an HTC EVO. No go, generalized response, which is a lie as others have managed it in the past:

I wonder how long they expect to keep up this charade, as eventually smart-phones will be the norm.
User avatar

if you call assurance they will give you a list of phones that will work.Or they"ll tell you where on line to look. I lost mine.When i called the guy gave me such a list I had to ask where can i look cause it was to much.I don"t know about smart phones and why not let us have one.My concern was I didn"t want to walk around with a assurance phone.I had to get a Go-Lo because I actually got the last one.It costed me 50 bucks and it"s all silver so it looks like metal.What sucks is no wifi.with my other phones,I down load majic jack and I have a small clear hotspot device.Tape them together(no one notices) and when desperate I'll use that.And don't fall for the magic jack stuff about someone else also has to have the magic jack. I dial directly to anyone I want.BUTTTT! the strangested thing is some people get thier own number like on a caller ID.Some people get a different number everytime,But like I said when desperate use it.

Return to Cool