Used Phone Numbers

How long do mobile phone companies let a phone number go dormant before they give it to a new customer?
Is there any way to prevent from being given a phone number that receives frequent calls for the previous owner?

Having been involved with selling cell phones and service, I can tell you that at least Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless recycle numbers almost immediately after the service for that account has been permanently discontinued. AFAIK, there’s no way for them to screen out numbers which might receive large numbers of calls for a previous account, though they will allow you to change the number if you wish.

In many areas, they frequently introduce new (“overlay”) area codes which apply to the same area. If you get a cell phone with the new area code, you’re basically guaranteed a fresh number.

If you’re worried about people not recognizing your area code, you can give them your home or business number and use call forwarding.

When I first got a beeper, I was bombarded with calls for the old owner. It got REALLY annoying, particularly when callers asked questions like “are you SURE you don’t know where to find Karen Kerplotz?!?”

My new cell phone has a new area code and it’s fabulous.

I got a phone # once that was for the nearby grade school, used just the year before. And still in the phone book. Egads.

I may just wait until the 24th and keep my current number.

I have had my current cell phone number for over 3 years and I still get phone calls from this one family that has a son / nephew in a different area code but with the same # as mine, I tell them the problem every time they call me, they still have not figured out that they need to dial 1- the other guys area code and then my number if they want to reach ‘Sunny Jim’ and not me.

I would rather put up with a few stray calls from a family that I have almost grown to love than calls for an entire grade school. YIKES!

The Jung Ones

I have heard this complaint often about cell phones so I reckon they must recycle quicker.

I know Ameritech home lines are based on usage. You know you get that annoying tri beep that is really loud. There is some kind of formula where Ameritech would analyze how many calls the old number got and it wouldn’t reissue it until it got below a certain number of calls per month.