Phones have a lot of utility these days, so when a phone gets suspended, it can be quite disruptive.
A phone can be suspended for a variety of reasons, including a breach in your cell provider’s terms of service, unpaid bills, or a voluntary suspension.
The easiest way to unsuspend your phone is to address any outstanding fees or bills and contact your provider to learn why your account was suspended.
A suspended phone is no use to anyone, so let’s take a closer look at each of these reasons your phone may be suspended and what steps you can take to unsuspend it.
What Does It Mean When a Phone Number Is Suspended?
Think of a suspended phone as being locked. You can’t use your provider’s built-in services on the phone.
That includes things like making calls on cellular data or using your phone’s messages.
People who try to call you will get a message saying that you are unable to receive calls at this time, and you won’t be able to hear any voicemails they leave. The only number you can call is 911.
Third party services such as Facebook Messenger still allow you to make calls through the app, and social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat still offer the capability to instant message people.
When suspended, you are still subject to any billing and fees, and your phone will remain suspended until you reactivate it.
What Causes a Phone to Be Suspended?
Phones can be suspended for a variety of reasons. The first and most obvious is that you requested that the phone be suspended.
If you’re traveling and know you won’t have service, suspending your phone to get the reduced-billing rate may be worthwhile.
But if your phone’s suspension comes as a surprise, then it’s possible that your provider has suspended your account due to non-payment, a transfer to another provider, or theft.
If your bill is two months overdue, a provider may cancel your service temporarily until the payment is complete.
When you’re porting your phone over to another provider, your old provider might temporarily suspend your number during the move.
Lastly, if a provider suspects that your phone has been stolen, they may automatically lock your account for you.
How Long Can Your Phone Be Suspended?
A phone can be suspended for different periods of time depending on what caused it to be suspended.
In the case of non-payment, your phone can be partially suspended immediately following the bill’s due date.
If left unpaid, your provider may fully suspend your account indefinitely.
After a full billing cycle (a 12-month period), your phone will be fully disconnected.
If your phone is lost, stolen, or voluntarily suspended, you have 90 consecutive days to address any issues with your phone and reconnect it.
If a phone is left suspended for longer than 90 consecutive days or for more than 180 days in a 12-month billing cycle, your account may be permanently suspended, and you may need to create a new account.
Can You Lose Your Phone Number When Your Account Is Suspended?
In the case of voluntary suspension or theft, your phone number will not be lost if your account is suspended.
The only way you can lose your number if through non-payment over the course of 60 days or inactivity for more than 180 days in a billing period.
If you fail to pay your bill after two or three months (depending on your provider), your account will be deactivated, and you will need to get another phone number.
Similarly, if your account is inactive for more than 180 days (or over 90 consecutive days), you will be permanently suspended, and you will lose your phone number.
Providers may vary in how lenient they are with partial and full suspensions, but it’s always best to stay on top of your phone plan payments, since non-payment can linger on your credit history for a long time.
How to Unsuspend Your Phone with Various Providers
Keep in mind that will all the following companies, if your account is being suspended due to non-payment, then the fastest way to reactivate your account is to settle any outstanding bills.
If you’re trying to reactivate your account after a voluntary suspension or if you’ve found your lost/stolen phone, here’s what you need to do.
- Log in to My Verizon.
- Navigate to Accounts and select My Devices.
- Select Suspend or Reconnect.
- Select the device you want to reconnect and click Reconnect Now.
- Log in to AT&T.
- Select the device you want to unsuspend.
- Press reactive and follow any subsequent prompts.
- Log in to your T-Mobile account or open the app.
- Select the line that was suspended.
- Click Yes, Reactivate.
Sprint phones follow the same template as T-Mobile, since Sprint is owned by T-Mobile.
- Log in to your U.S. Cellular account on the website.
- Navigate to the device that has been suspended.
- Select Reactive and follow any subsequent prompts.
- Navigate to the Cricket Wireless website.
- Contact Customer Service.
- Follow any prompts given to reactivate your account.
- Navigate to your Metro PCS account and log in.
- Select the device you want to reactivate.
- Follow the subsequent prompts and confirm the reactivation.
As a valuable part of our everyday social lives, suspensions really put a damper on a phone’s usefulness, especially when you’re unsure why your phone has been suspended.
The quickest way to reactivate your account is to contact your service provider and check why your account has been suspended.
Address any outstanding bills and follow the online prompts on your provider’s website to reactivate your account.
Keep in mind that it may take up to 24 hours for your account to be fully reactivated, at which time you should be able to freely make calls and text.
Hopefully, with a plan of action, you should have your phone unsuspended in no time!
I’ve been working with technology in one way or the other all my life. After graduating from university, I worked as a sales consultant for Verizon for a few years. Now I am a technical support engineer by day and write articles on my own blog here in my spare time to help others if they have any issues with their devices.