When I googled for this information a few weeks ago (when I wanted to get a new phone) I couldn’t find clear answers to my questions. So, now that I’ve gone through the process I hope to provide a service (on this subject at least) by giving you this information.
If you are already a Straight Talk customer and decide you want a new phone here’s what to do:
Go to the Straight Talk website and choose the “shop” tab.
Pick out your phone and follow the steps then choose your service plan. After you pay for your phone the next step is to wait until your new phone arrives. Your old phone will continue to work until the new phone is activated. (Also – if you were on Auto-Refill with your old phone – auto-refill automatically cancels when the new phone is activated. So if you want to be on Auto-refill with the new phone you have to go through the steps to set it up again. It will not roll over to your new phone. (**see update below**)
When your new phone arrives and you’re ready to activate it, go to the Straight Talk site and hover your cursor over the “Activate/Refill” tab. A box will drop down that will say “Transfer Number”. Choose the Transfer option and not the Activate option. Once the new phone is activated your old phone will automatically stop working within minutes.
I recommend checking the “shop” category regularly. They often have refurbished phones that sell for significantly lower than the average price on the market. I got a very nice phone for $20. That’s right. $20. I found the same model (also refurbished) on ebay for $54. So I think I got a good deal, and even if it turned out to be a lemon, I only spent $20 for a $100 phone. SCORE.
I hope this is helpful for any Straight Talk customers who might be wondering and wandering as I was.
UPDATE 3/11/2013: I upgraded to a smart phone and everything went according to the above…except that my auto-refill stayed in effect this time. Perhaps that has to do with now being on the “UNlimited” plan.