View Full Version : Tips for replacing a lost cell phone

07-09-2006, 08:02 PM
:( At some point yesterday morning, while out shopping at the outlets in Lancaster, I realized my cell phone was not in its holster on my belt. I retraced my steps and checked in each store we had visited as well as all around and under our car in the lot with no luck. I also called the hotel to check if I had lost it at breakfast. Unfortunately, it was gone without a trace. I even checked back today with the information/security booth at the outlet center to see if it turned up.

So I am now minus one cell phone. I need to replace it, of course. When we got them, we went for the phones that were free after rebate, but I know those deals only apply to new accounts. We are still under contract so I can't try to sign up as a new customer. Any tips or special deals anyone knows of for not getting stuck paying full price for a replacement. I'm with Cingular. Thanks for any advice.

07-09-2006, 08:22 PM
Sorry, but you will probably have to pay full price. I lost mine last year in WDW (on BTMRR) and when I came home had to buy a new phone and SIM card. The phone I bought was a non camera phone and it still cost $200.00.

ETA: this was with Cingular also.

07-09-2006, 08:26 PM
Was your phone on. Try calling it (if you haven't already). Maybe it is just dropped somewhere and someone will find it. My son always does this when he loses it in the house. If your contract is almost up you can go and try and see if they can give you a better deal. I accidently threw my cell phone away and when to verizon. They said they would give me another (same type) phone for the cheaper price since it was the first time I had done this. I know have several phones that my family has given me and I keep them just in case.

07-09-2006, 08:28 PM
Make sure to notify your carrier so no one else can make calls and rack up charges on your phone.

Check to see if you have a replacement or repair policy as part of your contract. What you do next depends on the response you get. Ask your carrier or local Cingular store them how much it would cost to replace it there or how much it would cost you to have your service transfered to a phone you supply.

Since you are still under contract, you will need to do something, but only your provider can let you know just how much it will cost if you or they provide a new phone.

We have a service agreement on our phones (Nextel) and buy used phones cheap off E-bay. Our local store transfers service to the new sim under our service agreement contract for no additional fee. If they will charge you a huge fee to provide your own used phone, it may be best to negotiate a new contract and get a deal on a new phone.

07-09-2006, 08:29 PM
It actually depends on your provider. As long as I'm still under contract I can get a new phone every so many months. Last year my DS spilled coke all over my cell and of course it stopped working. I went into the cingular store by me to see what it would cost for a new phone and walked out with a new phone for nothing. Considered it an upgrade and after in-store rebate it was free. Call your provider see if they will work with you to get you a phone inexpensively(sp?).

07-09-2006, 08:31 PM
Wow! Do I feel your pain. We just got our 19, 18, 16 yo sons and myself new cell phones with a new plan. We shipped my DS's to him in New Mexico where he is working again this summer and he was SOOOOoo excited! We were able to have cell coverage to talk to him for the first time. The second day he went back to base camp where he could was clothes and put it through the washer. It is a camera phone and the inside was full of water. He is just sick about it. He has to purchase another one already. I know Circuit City carries these Verizon phones for a reasonable price but I don't know about Cingular... I wish you well. Let us know what you end up doing.

I know my DH has sold several of his old (very new actually) corporate phones on ebay. Sometimes his company decides to go with a new provider for everyone and tells the employees they can have their phones. They don't want them back. I guess if you did that you would have to research which phone you want that works with Cingular and then watch for it on ebay.

07-09-2006, 08:36 PM
Was your phone on. Try calling it (if you haven't already). Maybe it is just dropped somewhere and someone will find it.
We did call it, but it was set on vibrate so unless someone had picked it up, nobody would hear it ring.

Once I was pretty sure it wasn't going to turn up, I called and reported it lost so that I wouldn't be responsible for any outrageous bills someone could run up if they found it. So anyone who has it now can't use it.

I'll go over to the Cingular store this week. We are on the family plan with 4 phones on the account, so maybe I can talk them into giving me a break since we've been good customers.

07-09-2006, 08:55 PM
I'm with another carrier but with my plan I'm still eligible for something like a discount after six months and a new phone after a year (or if it is a real nice phone then after two years). They won't tell you that. The way I found out was my super old phone wasn't holding a charge any more and I called and asked for a new phone. Try the Cingular website too - after you log in you can see how much an "upgrade" phone will cost you - cost will vary depending on your account type, length of service, how long you've had your old phone, etc.

07-09-2006, 08:59 PM
No advice but wanted to wish you luck :goodvibes:

07-09-2006, 09:31 PM
I had a friend who lost her phone (she has Verizon) and they told her to find a phone that was Verizon compatiable. She found one at Walmart for I think $30 and brought it to Verizon and they programmed it with her old number. Good Luck!! :cheer2:

07-09-2006, 09:40 PM
Scour e-bay or Craigslist for compatible phones. You should be able to get a deal.

07-09-2006, 09:51 PM
see if the store sells reconditioned phones. i recently had to do this w/Alltel (and my sister did it w/Cingular in FL). The phones aren't cheap (i think it was like 80 bucks), but it was a lot better than paying the ridiculous price they want to charge you for a new phone w/out a contract and rebate.

07-09-2006, 09:52 PM
My wife put my phone through the washer and dryer. I went to Craigslist under the wanted section and put out a plea for any sprint phone. I was willing to pay for one but a very nice lady offered up her old one for free. I went to the sprint store and they transferred it over for free. It happened to be the exact same phone that I had before, so ask Cingular if they will transfer any cingular phone.

07-09-2006, 10:54 PM
My dd and ds lost theirs. dd first had not even had it 2 weeks. for hers we went to wal-mart and bought a go phone (prepaid phone) 70 dollars or so and took it to cingluar and they put a sims card in, no charge. Make sure to open the phone so that you do not take it in the store in the box or they will tell you to use it prepaid for about two weeks. DS lost his and was only a couple of months till 1 year ungrade and we borrowed a friends older phone that took a sims card and he used that until his 1 year ungrade. Just had to take it in for a new sims card again no charge. Then at his 1 year he bought a new camera phone for 40 dollars. If before 1 year upgrade they told us it would be the full price. Hope this helps.

07-10-2006, 06:57 AM
Steve , look on cingular website , I bought a pre-paid phone for $30 from them and it works like a charm. You should be able to use it for your service without a problem. Also if you know anyone that has a T-mobile phone , you can use those phones for cingular service too.
Enter your zip code in this website and it will show you everything that is available.


07-10-2006, 07:22 AM
Good luck to you. Our DS lost his phone. We happen to have an old cell phone (we had upgraded DH's a few months prior) that we took to the customer service and they put in a new sim card for us.

I have heard from co-workers that you can often get the discounts on a replacement phone by increasing the length of your contract.

-DC :earsboy:

07-10-2006, 07:27 AM
Thanks everyone. I can't do anything until Thursday, so I'll see what happens when I talk to the Cingular folks. The prepaid phones look like a good option if that will work for me. I don't mind spending some money, like $50 or less, to get a brand new phone but didn't want to spend $200.

07-10-2006, 08:01 AM
If you get a phone from a friend or ebay that isn't cingular. make sure it's unlocked. Any phone that takes a sim will work. A friend gave me her old Razr(Cingular) I'm with T-Mobile and had to go by an unlock code. My Cingular sells referbished phones.(phones people turn in before their 14 trial period type thing, or even after they upgrade). My friend got one that came preloaded with a bunch of games and songs.

07-10-2006, 11:58 AM
Yup - buying a "Go Phone" will be your best bet. Wal Mart has a decent selection and good prices.

You will have to take it to Cingular to have them program your number into it.

If you go to the store, they'll try to get you to renew your contract to get a phone for a free or reduced price.

T. Lynn
07-10-2006, 12:09 PM
Sorry to hear that about the phone. I'm not far away from those outlets.

Actually, my mom was shopping there over the weekend. I should call and ask her if she happened to find a cell phone while out shopping.

07-10-2006, 12:36 PM
If the phone you had isn't new they may offer you a deal on a phone. When I lost my Cingular cell phone they offered me a free phone if I would sign a new contract. I refused the offer and went with Nextel but they did offer a deal for a new phone.