Please suggest=> Cheapest/quickest way to get a number to port in ??

I have a very timid friend who has asked for help getting the Visible swap deal - and has no number to port in.
Please suggest the easiest/quickest/cheapest way to get a number for that ??

Thanks !!

Make sure your friend is aware of the limited qualifying providers for promos requiring ports.
I believe the absolute cheapest, although perhaps not the easiest, is FreedomPop's (AT&T) Premium SIM. The SIM for the free plan is $5 right now at Target, and I think it goes on sale sometimes. .
Walmart's FreedomPop SIM at $10 (I know you're familiar with that one!), or Tracfone with a $10 plan (Ebay or Tracfone site) and $1 SIM kit, would be other relatively inexpensive options on the approved list.

Thanks KentE !!
He is using up his Tracfone time/minutes with his existing number & wants to be ready for the VZ switch, hence the Visible deal interest.

TF seems to be a hassle for getting acc't # & PIN as it is not listed at the site & their help says one must call - unless you know a better way ??

I did a quick search & found $7 numbers at - is that any good ??

The wallymopp SIM deal is attractive & I will be testing that a little tomorrow around here - and I'd get a 2nd for my partner if it does have enough coverage - but I will NOT pay the almost $18
total for a 9.97 SIM !!!

Thanks Again KentE.

Google Voice #.
Free to get, $3 to "unlock" for porting.
Worked for me.
When you enter port info. @ Visible and select "other" for carrier GV does appear in a subsequent drop-down list.

I've never ported out a GV # before - great idea.
If you pay them the $3 fee, does it automagically provide the account # & PIN needed for the port-in ??

The cheapest on Visible's list of eligible carriers is FreedomPop. Currently, you can get the 1st month for $2.99 for a 1gb unlimited talk and text .plan. In the 2nd month, the plan goes to $15/month, but if the number is ported out immediately, that doesn't matter. The drawbacks are as follows: 1) chat with FreedomPop - first to get the acct info and then a 2nd time to ask them to release the number, 2) I've had experiences where the port doesn't execute correctly (e.g. no incoming voice or text), although this isn't truly a problem if the number is to throw away.

Ting is also a legit cheap option if you manage to buy a $1 SIM at Target.

The absolute cheapest, which is not on Visible's list, is TextNow (free). It's also convenient - PM me for some tips on what the acct number and PIN are.

GV acct. # is the phone #, PIN is the one you set for VM access.
Other than that you can supply the "winning" carrier with the first/last name you set on the Google acct. tied to the voice # but I'm not sure G requires it for port out
I've read that if the carrier insists that they need an account zip code people provide Google's Mountain View CA headquarters 94043 zip.

Re the $3 # unlock payment, you could wait until you complete the transaction with Visible if you want to make sure it all goes through on the initial order screens, then pay G. If you don't pay the port will fail but I don't see an issue if you pay G shortly after you complete the Visible order

You'll want to have access to a computer ("desktop") browser (Chromebook works also) because some of the GV port settings interface you'll use are only in the "classic" settings interface. It's a bit of a PIA to force & use on a phone browser, save yourself the frustration.

If you go the TextNow route I'll be curious to hear your experience. I've considered it but never done.

Personally, I wouldn't take the risk of porting from a provider not on Visible's 'approved' list. I've seen reports of it working, and reports of it not working. If it can be done 'by the rules' (see bingyee's suggestion of the FreedomPop online first-month offer) for only a few dollars, why not go that route?

If your friend is already on Tracfone, and planning to move away, porting directly from Tracfone is the cheapest, and easiest, route. (No additional cost, and Tracfone is on the Visible approved providers list.)

Getting the account number and PIN is easy via online Chat in about 5 minutes. If the Chat bubble doesn't appear at the bottom of the screen, disable pop-up blockers (and if that doesn't work, clear cookies for 'Tracfone'.)

The account number is either the IMEI or a shortened version of the SIM ICCID. Don't accept the online suggestions about exactly which it will be, because Tracfone doesn't always follow that-- just ask. The porting PIN is the account Security PIN the user designated if they've set up an online account management with Tracfone. If they haven't done that, the Chat agent should be able to set up the PIN. (Or create an online account for the existing phone, and set up the PIN in the process.) If no online account management has been set up previously, the agent may ask for last-4 digits of IMEI or SIM card, or other info, to confirm ownership.

I'm a little hesitant to even mention this, because 'things can go wrong' on Tracfone:: but Tracfone has historically allowed porting out a number, and then getting a new number assigned to the line, and keeping the existing allotments & service days. This is easiest to do if the phone is on the Verizon network, since the same SIM can be reactivated. Doing that would probably require the assistance of CS, and might require the adding an new time card in the process. (I've managed it before without the additional time card, but I had a previous Chat transcript that confirmed I could do it without adding the new refill-- and I had to quote that transcript to get the agent to bypass that step when reactivating the line.) Your friend should factor in the possible cost of the refill, existing balances, and possible hassle factor before going that route. (And I should also mention that the rules that apply for the Rewards Program points are more restrictive than what Tracfone allows in general account/line actions, so I wouldn't recommend going this route if Rewards points are also in play.)

Apparently he uses their PAYG & has enough to last him more than a month - so porting that number would make him surrender those amounts.

If Textnow actually works for this, it is simple enough to get a number from them, and free - vs. if not, there are other good looking options that folks here have kindly shared already.

I am still wondering about the numberbarn - wonder if anyone here has used them - and where Visible's approved port-in list is as I've not seen that info ??


For any promo requiring a port of an existing number to qualify:

Looking at that list today, it also appears that FreedomPop has been removed as a 'qualifying' port. Visible has excluded specific prior providers as they've determined that ports from excluded providers are more likely to be used in 'gaming' their promo system.

I think this leaves Tracfone, Page Plus and Ting as the 3 cheapest routes if one wants to avoid possible denial..

Thanks KentE - just had a look there & what sticks out the most is that the list revolves around cellular providers only.

Of course they can do as they please given the goodness of their offers, but number portability itself also includes landlines, VOIP, etc. .

Given that Bingyee mentioned Textnow - and in my searching I ran right into numberbarn - I would qualify those (if they work OK...) as cheapest (as in 100% free) and most convenient (just buy a number specifically made for porting).

I've yet to hear back from him about maybe going forward with a deal for him, but after we spoke last night I thought it would be good to bring this up here at the forum whether he goes forward with this, or not.

Thanks Again !!

You're absolutely correct about number portability-- and Visible has no problems accepting a port from nearly any provider, including landline or VoIP.provider.

The restrictions are solely about qualifying for a promotion, like the swap phones or gift cards.
As mentioned before, I'm cautious about breaking the already generous terms of the Visible offers. The cheaper options are, as you note, only cheaper "if they work OK". You might have success, but Visible has already clearly stated that they will not "work OK". Just make sure your friend understands the risk involved if s/he wants to skate around the edges of the offer.

What's special about the $1 Target Ting SIM vs. an Amazon, Best Buy etc $1 Ting SIM?
What am I looking for on the packaging or in description?

No difference in the SIM itself. The thing to watch out for is whether the SIM has an account credit attached.

And another brief warning: Ting doesn't like people using that credit offer for in-and-out porting promotions. You might be burning a bridge with Ting (regarding future activations) by using it this way. (Ting keeps good records.) Having Ting as an available option has bailed me out of sticky situations over the years, and that's a bridge I'm not willing to burn. I wouldn't hesitate to use Ting for this purpose without using the account credit, though.

I think Ting's GSM activations are a little stricter than they used to be, too. IIRC, you can't activate a still-locked-to-T-Mobile device there anymore. It needs to be unlocked first.

Thanks for the warning. If I were to find & use a $1 Ting SIM w/credit attached I'll be sure to use disposable/temporary everything & make sure the VPN is on.

@KentE What data does Ting utilize to associate a customer with a previous account? (ie. Email address, credit card, something else?)

Have you seen cases where they've denied new service based on a previous misuse of a promotion?

You seem to indicate that using them as a quick in-and-out port intermediary is okay as long as you don't blow through the free credit. What would you be more wary of? And what kind of sticky situations has Ting bailed you out of?

I don't know what metrics Ting tracks for fraud prevention. (And yes, they do consider in-and-out porting using promotional credits as fraud.) I imagine some combination of location, address, payment source, etc. My feeling is that they are reasonable in these decisions, but agressive about taking action. If their fraud department triggers an alert, immediate suspension of the line (and potential loss of the number), and possibly related lines and blocking future activations, is a possibility. Like all other fraud prevention departments, Ting will not share what metrics they use for detection.

Ting has historically been very tolerant of short-term accounts, and up-front about understanding that there are legitimate reasons this might happen. It's tying it to free promotional credit that Ting objects to.

Re: sticky situations: Ting has an excellent customer service department, and they will put in effort on an individual line that most CS departments won't. This makes Ting an attractive choice, for example, for an intermediate stop in porting your landline number to a different final destination. Ting will also go to bat for a customer to clear up things like a problem IMEI. (They can't fix an IMEI that should be blocked, but they seem willing to work with networks to figure out why an IMEI is blocked by network mistake.) And it's also handy that Ting SIMs are available at some retail outlets-- convenient if you're in a time crunch and can't wait for mail delivery of a SIM from a provider.

Ting's standard rates are not prohibitive (without promotional credit) to use as a short-term way-stop on your path elsewhere. I'd rather pay that standard rate for a month, keep my future options with Ting available, and not risk a suspension of a number that's worth keeping..

{EDIT: I should be clear on this: I don't have any idea whether a single instance of using Ting's promo credit offers will trip their alerts, or whether those getting tagged are multiple offenders, etc.-- same issue with Ting not explaining their metrics, plus reports from users who have been suspended might not have all the important details reported If you've never used a promo credit in this application, and don't care about the possibilities of activating a line with Ting in the future, the risk seems minimal.)

@KentE You wrote in your earlier comment that "I wouldn't hesitate to use Ting for this purpose without using the account credit, though." Apparently you understand that Ting is okay with doing a quick in-and-out port so long as you don't blow through a free credit. So I was wondering what you think Ting would find objectionable.

In the past, Ting reps have often made the offer to use their service for short-term needs-- including here on this forum. It's obvious that they take pride in their customer service, and seem willing to offer that customer service even when they know the customer is a short-term customer. I think it's also obvious that they do this partially for the goodwill that it can generate.

They're willing to do that for their normal monthly cost, with their least expensive plan currently at $10. They're not anxious to do it for free. They're even less anxious to do it multiple times for the same customer for free.

If you're asking exactly where Ting will draw a line: I don't know, and I plan to avoid learning it.