How to Transfer My Qlink Number to Another Carrier

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Qlink Wireless is one of the US carriers you can get free monthly service from the government. However, how good is the lifeline provider? Do I still get a good reception in the rural areas as in the urban areas? And if not, is there a shortcut on how to transfer my Qlink number to another carrier without involving customer care?

As an existing Qlink Wireless customer, I’m sure you’ve had your share of the incompetence of its customer support team. Of course, many of the customer agents are usually good and helpful on matters involving the service. But getting hold of an agent can sometimes be tricky.

When lucky and you get in touch with an agent, some of them don’t know the details about porting out your Qlink number. Other staunch employees will be unwilling to help you leave and give out the wrong details to transfer your number.

Speaking of staunch employees, the Qlink system will lock your phone number when the other carrier initiates the number porting. As we shall see later in the article, your Qlink number transfer can’t move on with this lock.

When You May Want To Transfer Qlink Number To Another Carrier

Qlink Wireless is one of the best Lifeline phone providers with free service. The phone carrier even gives you a free touchscreen device, albeit only when you combine the Lifeline with the ACP program.

Like other companies participating in the government phone and broadband benefit, Qlink does have its drawbacks. In extreme, these drawbacks may force you to transfer your Qlink number to another carrier that’s supposedly better. Some examples include:

  • Poor or no reception: the towers Qlink Wireless uses for native coverage are those of T-Mobile. If the T-Mobile signal is not good in your area, either in an old residence or after relocating, transfer to another carrier that works.
  • Need more high-speed data: Qlink advertises to offer unlimited talk data, talk, and text. However, the last I checked they had 28GB – 30GB high-speed data, then throttle you to 2G speeds for the rest of the month. If you’re online a bit more, a Lifeline provider like Safelink Wireless offers up to 1.2TB of high-speed data (60GB for those flagged for misuse) before throttling.
  • Take advantage of the hotspot feature: sadly, Qlink is still yet to have a mobile hotspot on its free phone service. To share the free monthly data with your laptop or tablet, you’ll have to switch to another Lifeline provider- like Safelink has a 30GB mobile hotspot.
  • Would like to call Canada/ Mexico: In the Safelink vs Qlink review, we see that the TracFone brand has free calling to Canada/ Mexico. Qlink Wireless free phone is only for local use here in the US.
  • Want a better ACP tablet from the government: Qlink has a discounted tablet PC, Scepter Tab, that they give with the ACP program. However, other companies you can apply for a free tablet from the government, like Airtalk, have a much better cellular tab.
  • Upgrade to a cheap no-contract phone service: If interested, there are now prepaid phone services from as low as $10 or under per month. A perfect example is Tello on T-Mobile or Ting with Verizon network.
  • No longer eligible for the free government phone service: as you already know, one MUST reapply and qualify for the Qlink Wireless free phone service every year. If not eligible for the next re-certification, you’ll need a prepaid or postpaid phone service to keep your number.

How to Transfer My Qlink Number to Another Carrier

Technically, how to transfer a Qlink number to another carrier is just like with prepaid/ postpaid phone providers. Similar to the paid services, Qlink also CAN’T withhold your number. It’s still bound to the FCC policy of keeping your phone number when you change providers.

In the porting policy, the FCC states that “your old company cannot refuse to port your number, even if you owe money”. If the phone provider (Qlink in this case) refuses to transfer your number, you can start your complaint with the FCC.

How to Transfer My Qlink Number to Another Carrier
Transfer Qlink Number to Another Carrier

That said, a Qlink Wireless customer rep may be willing to help you port out with your phone number. So, it’s good to give it a try.

If the Qlink customer rep refuses to port your number or you never got hold of one, don’t report to the FCC yet. You can easily transfer your Qlink number to another carrier as follows:

Step 1: Choose Your New Phone Carrier

Before all else, I’d recommend you first choose the new carrier to use. Make sure the carrier you choose is the perfect one for your needs and won’t have the issues you’re escaping from Qlink.

If the new carrier is another Lifeline provider, the requirement is that you MUST apply for the free phone service and qualify. The requirements to qualify are the same old ones: proof of low income or participation in government-funded benefits.

On the other hand, prepaid carriers require a loaded payment card (debit/ credit card) since you pay before a monthly cycle. Then, the postpaid carriers require a favorable credit history since they will be charging your service after a monthly cycle.

Once you’ve chosen your replacement phone carrier, apply for your preferred phone service and wait for the order (SIM card).

Step 2: Gather Everything You Need for Transfer

The new carrier can take 1 – 14 days to deliver your order, depending on whether it’s a postpaid/ prepaid/ Lifeline service. As you wait for the order, gather all the things you’ll need to port your Qlink number. The several things you’ll need for the number transfer are:

  • The account number and PIN of your Qlink service
  • The full name and address used on your Qlink account
  • A cell phone compatible with the new carrier- that’s if joining under the BYOP (bring your own phone) program.

Important Note:

Call the Qlink support team at 1-855-754-6543 to request your service Account number and PIN. If you don’t get hold of an agent or he is reluctant to give it to you, just go to your Qlink online account. The account number is the enrollment ID, whereas the PIN is the last four digits of your social security (used in enrollment).

As for the phone you bring to the new carrier, make sure you factory reset it before inserting the SIM card. The reset helps get the APN settings back to default, allowing the new carrier to update your device with its correct configuration automatically.

Speaking of automatic, your old Qlink service cancels automatically when the number transfer is complete. More importantly, the new carrier will need your old Qlink service active to port your number successfully. So, DON’T attempt to cancel your service manually.

Step 3: Contact Your New Phone Carrier

Once you have your order from the new carrier and everything to transfer the Qlink number, call their (new carrier’s) support team. The customer care of the new carrier will ask for your details used on Qlink, including:

  • Full Name
  • Billing Address (residence, state, and city)
  • Qlink phone number you want to transfer
  • Your Qlink service account and PIN
  • Alternative phone number to contact you (if needed)

Once the new carrier verifies your details, they will initiate the Qlink number transfer to their service.

Step 4: Remove the Qlink Number Transfer Lock

Sadly, when your new carrier initiates the number transfer, the Qlink system will put a security lock (on your number). At this point, your number transfer won’t continue until you remove this security lock.

To remove the number lock, just call the Qlink automated customer service number 1-855-754-6543. The self-help service will require your Qlink phone number or account number (enrollment ID) to bring up your profile.

Once verified, the automated system will want to know where you need assistance. Wait until you hear the option of the transfer request, and then create a 4-digit quick access code.

After setting up the quick access code, the automated system will ask whether you want to remove the number transfer lock. Confirm yes and the number transfer will now continue.

Step 5: Wait for Your Qlink Number Transfer to Complete

Once you’ve removed the security lock on your Qlink number, the transfer will take a couple of minutes or hours to complete. Hence, the reason I’ve mentioned above NOT to cancel your old Qlink service.

Once the transfer of your number is complete, go ahead and enjoy your new service.

Final Thoughts:

As promised, you can see the steps to transfer your Qlink number to another carrier are very easy. In fact, you also never have to wait for a customer rep to give your account details. The Account Number to your Qlink service is the enrollment ID, whereas the PIN is the last digits of social security.

However, we’ve also seen that Qlink’s system will put a security lock on your number upon requesting a number transfer. But again, you can easily remove the security lock by calling the automated service number 1-855-754-6543.

Once you’ve removed the security lock, your number should transfer to the other carrier without any issues. It should take a couple of minutes to 4 hours for the number transfer to complete.

The number porting (not just with Qlink) can sometimes take longer to complete- in some cases up to 24 hours. If it’s past 24 hours, a glitch must have happened somewhere. Check your old service to make sure it’s still active to reinitiate the process. If not, your old number is lost, and you’ll have to settle for a new number.

Besides a canceled service, your Qlink number transfer may fail to work due to incompatibility issues. For instance, a basic number porting rule is that you can’t port between MVNOs of the same parent company. A good example is from Qlink to Hello Mobile or vice versa.