Outside of excursions to the grocery store for food, the pharmacy for medication and the doctor for medical help, you should be inside working from home and reading PhoneArena all day. After all, a drive to one of your carrier's brick and mortar locations could put you at risk. Some carriers have already shut some of their stores. Verizon closed most of its company-owned outlets although some authorized resellers like GoWireless have a large number of locations open. T-Mobile has closed stores located in shopping malls and some AT&T and Sprint stores are closed.
Visiting one of your wireless provider's retail locations is an unnecessary risk.
To keep everyone safe, Verizon's George L. Koroneos posted a video on his Twitter account
(via Max Weinbach
) that reveals how you can switch your phone and activate a new one directly from home. As he points out, "now might be one of the worst times to have a lost or broken phone." So Koroneos suggests that if you have an old phone lying around, even if it wasn't purchased from Verizon, you can try to activate the handset on Verizon. If you are a Verizon subscriber, all you need to do is open the My Verizon app. Click on the hamburger menu at the top left of the screen and tap on Devices. Go to switch or activate devices.
If you are moving to Verizon from another carrier, go to verizonwireless.com/bringit
and tap on "Switch Now" to move your phone or tablet to Big Red. You will then select whether you are bringing a phone or tablet to the carrier. Enter the phone that you are moving to Verizon. As George notes, almost any unlocked 4G LTE or 5G phone can be moved to Verizon as long as it is paid off. If you're not sure if you have an unlocked handset, call your current carrier and ask them. If the device is carrier-locked, you can ask your current provider to unlock it. Most will as long as the device is paid off and your account is in good standing.
The next step is to enter the device's IMEI number, which is a unique number used to identify a specific device. For example, your Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
is going to have a different IMEI number than the Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G unit you bought for your significant other. You can find the IMEI on an iOS device by going to Settings
. On an Android device, go to Settings
> About phone
Next, you'll be asked whether you need a Verizon SIM card. If you do require one, it will be "quickly" mailed to you. And if you want to move your current number to Verizon, you'll be asked to type that number in on the next page. Device insurance is also available and if you do want it, you'll be asked to add the smartphone protection plan to your cart. After that, you'll be asked to select a Verizon data and calling plan.
Verizon is offering a $250 rebate for each phone moved over, and a $100 rebate for each tablet or Apple Watch switched. Once your devices are activated on Verizon, you can claim your rebate by moseying on over to this website
, https://www.yourdigitalrebatecenter.com/#!/. Type in BYODATHOME250 for a smartphone and BYOWATCHTABLET for a tablet or Apple Watch. To receive the rebate, you must redeem the offer within 30 days of device activation. Existing Verizon customers adding a line are entitled to a $100 prepaid gift card.
Let's sit down and have a chat for a second. This is not the time to run over to visit any of your carrier's physical retail locations. Phones can be ordered and activated online. Your first duty is to keep you and your family safe.