What once was may not be what you want now, and that applies to phone services. You aren’t stuck to a single service; you can make the switch at any time. If AT&T isn’t providing a service that doesn’t match your expectations, perhaps Verizon will or maybe it already has. And making the switch from AT&T to Verizon can be easy, but it can also be painful—for your wallet, that is.

How to Switch from AT&T to Verizon

Making the switch is a multi-layered process, one that will take patience and time. But follow through with the steps and you can get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

Part 1: Knowing Your End Date

One of the best strategies to avoid paying more than necessary is to wait until your end date is upon you. Now, this isn’t always ideal. Perhaps you want to cancel your service now or maybe the end date isn’t for another year. It’s totally understandable if you don’t want to wait another year or a few months even.

However, if this idea interests you, get a hold of your contract’s end date on AT&T’s website or by phone.

1. Use your phone to call *639# and AT&T will send you a text message that contains your contract’s end date.

2. On AT&T’s website, sign into your account.

3. After you’ve signed in, click Bill & Payments.

4. On the following page, choose View Account Profile and then User Information. Your contract’s end date is on the User Information page.

Part 2: Know Your Contract

When you’re gearing up to make the switch from AT&T, like any service, they’ll try to make it as painful as possible. And they’ll do this by attempting to charge you with an ETF, or an “early termination fee.” You can try to avoid it by taking a look at your contract. It’s unlikely, but still possible and worth trying.

In the contract you might be able to find a loophole of some kind or a stipulation that allows you to avoid an early termination fee. Usually an early termination fee can be avoided if you’ve fulfilled the end of a contract, but again, it depends on the contract itself.

But if it’s inevitable, AT&T has a help page that can give you an estimation on the ETF you’ll be paying.

Part 3: Can You Move Your Number?

Now, you might be really close to your phone number. It’s ingrained into your memory that a new phone number would throw a wrench into your memory. It’s possible to move your old number to Verizon, but first you have to see if it’s capable of surviving the move.

On Verizon’s website, it has a really handy tool for checking the eligibility of a phone number transfer. You’d get to keep the number, but change the service to Verizon.

1. Plug the number into the empty field under Phone Number.

2. Click the “I’m not a robot” captcha. You aren’t, are you?

3. Click Check Eligibility and Verizon will quickly alert you if it’s able. If not, then when you make the switch, you’ll get a new phone number.

Part 4: Making the Switch

In order to sign onto Verizon’s service, you’ll need some legal documentation. Bring along your current AT&T bill, your social security number, a driver’s license, as well as your credit card and or debit card information. It’s a bit overkill, but at least you’ll be prepared for everything.

Once you’ve started your service with Verizon, you need to give AT&T a call and bid them farewell. Be prepared to pay an early termination fee and the return of your old phone. AT&T’s customer service number is (800)-331-0500.

Bottom Line

As you can see, switching over to Verizon from AT&T isn’t a difficult task. Your wallet will suffer the most with the fees that AT&T can and will throw at you, but in the end it’s worth it if you feel Verizon truly offers the better service.