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AT&T is paying customers $100 for their phone numbers, but it is not what you think. AT&T is giving this monetary reward to customers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico after selling its customer base to independent carrier Liberty.
This compensation isn’t some unexpected bonus, reports AndroidPolice. Instead, it’s payoff money to keep customers happy after they’re pressured to give up the phone number they’ve had for years.
The problem started in 2019 when AT&T sold its mobile phone business in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. These assets were bought by the local wireless carrier Liberty.
Some of these AT&T customers used their phones primarily on the U.S. mainland and were able to keep their area code and phone numbers. Fast forward two years later, and this moratorium is coming to an end.
Liberty and AT&T are now telling these AT&T holdovers that they can remain as AT&T customers, but they can no longer keep their phone numbers.
These AT&T numbers are needed stateside and will be reassigned to new customers in the mainland U.S.
Customers who give up their number will be given a $100 Visa gift card and not be charged for changing their number.
AT&T said in a statement that the number of people affected by this change is small as most customers migrated their accounts to Liberty. Most of the holdovers were U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico residents who spend most of their time in the mainland U.S.
AT&T said these customers do not have to accept this offer but are strongly encouraged to make the switch. AT&T warns that eventually, customers will be forced to give up their numbers. When that deadline arrives, there may not be as sweet of an offer as this on the table.