Our cell phone contract ended last month, but before we renew the plan with our current carrier we want to investigate some other options. Right now we're paying month to month on our existing contract, which has advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is being able to compare service options at our leisure, but the biggest disadvantage is not being able to get a new phone at a discounted price!
The phone that I've had for two years has become increasingly unreliable. Some days it works fine, but on other days I have to reboot it multiple times before it will work, or every call automatically disconnects after several minutes. I went to the phone department of a big-box electronics store to see what my options were. A nice associate showed me the full-priced phones (which, as I suspected, were very expensive) and then suggested another option I didn't know existed. Today I bought a pay-as-you-go phone and used my current SIM card to switch it onto my regular contract.
I bought the cheapest phone that would work with my carrier. It won't win any awards in the style department, but it will do the job. I brought it home and put it on the charger. While the battery was charging, I saved all the phone numbers in my old phone's address book to the SIM card. While I was doing it, I took the time to delete all the numbers I don't use any more. When all the numbers had been transferred, I took the SIM card out of the old phone and put it into the new one.
I made a call using the address book of the new phone and it worked! I'm looking forward to being able to make a cell phone call when I need to. Another advantage: if we end up staying with our current carrier, I'll be able to keep the prepaid phone as a backup in case I need it in the future.