I bought my very own prepaid cell phone in January. When I was assigned my number I called technical support because the prefix (those first 3 digits after the area code) were for a town that would be a long distance call for me. I was told I had to verify that first by making a test call and checking my phone bill. Sure enough, I was charged 35 cents for 1 minute on top of the 10 cents per minute that my cell phone deducts.
This morning I called back and made my case. The girl, for whom English was not her first language, but still was understandable, gave me a new phone number after about 30 minutes of back and forthing. I then had to wait an hour to test it. It didn't work. I went online to their website and plugged in a bunch of numbers provided for reactivating my phone. When I tried again I still could not use the number. So I called them back.
Person number two, a little harder to understand had me type many numbers into my phone again, kept asking me to be put on hold while he checked with his supervisor, etc. After about an hour of this I was told everything should work after waiting another hour which I did. Again, no joy.
Now I asked both these people about changing my zipcode, but the first gal said I couldn't do that unless I actually moved away. Person number two had similar difficulties.
The third time I called I got a third person and after explaining my problem yet again, he finally informed me that the new number would not work for me. After typing in more strings of digits a new phone number appeared which had the same 657 prefix of my original phone number. I again mentioned that that number is a long distance call from my home phone to my cell phone and made no sense. However, this person had little trouble being persuaded to try different zipcodes for me. Finally, we hit one that still had local prefix numbers available for my phone. The only problem was I would need a new SIM card which could take up to a week to be delivered. Then I will have to go through the reactivation process again. Still, if this is what it takes to get me a local number, that is fine with me.
My only question now is why don't their zipcodes and access numbers actually match as they do for the old landline phones. It sure would make things operate a lot more smoothly! Spending 3 hours on the phone for something that ought to be simple makes little sense.