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What happens if I lose my cell phone?

The first thing you should do is contact your service carrier. If your phone is truly lost or stolen, you don’t want someone else using your free minutes. By contacting your carrier, they can suspend the service so no one else can use your remaining balance.

As to whether or not your service carrier will send a free replacement phone, that depends on the cell phone provider. Some free cell phone providers will replace the cell phone free of charge (like Assurance Wireless) and other providers won’t. Instead of replacing the phone for free, they offer phones at a discounted rate.

Therefore, prior to signing up with a free cell phone service, read the small print to see how they respond to lost or stolen cell phones.

Can I have more than one free government phone in my household?

No, only one free phone service per household .

How long can I keep a free government phone?

For as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. Most free phone services require annual recertification. This means you must provide the necessary documentation to prove that your financial situation and household income still falls within the eligibility requirements for receiving a free government phone. If your financial situation has improved, instead of locking into an expensive annual phone contract, opt for an inexpensive prepaid cell phone.

250 free voice/text minutes is not enough. Can I get more voice/text minutes?

Yes you can, but it won’t be free. Most carriers offer low-cost ways to purchase additional talk and text time. Check with your carrier to see what type of packages they offer.

Can I get a free Smartphone like an iPhone, Blackberry or Android?

Service provider phones vary, but most free government phone services (if not all) do not offer iPhones, Blackberries or Androids. Phone models vary depending on availability.

What if my phone breaks in the first year?

Some free government phone providers offer a one-year warranty on their phones. If your provider offers a warranty, call them immediately to report the damaged/broken phone. Not all carriers offer a warranty. In such cases you may be responsible for purchasing another phone. Carriers like Assist Wireless for example, charge a $25 fee to replace a lost or damaged phone.