Mobile Phone Numbers are Recycled - how many of you knew this ?

  Audio~~Chip 14:53 16 Sep 2011

Hello I have just changedd my Mobile phone number which is on my smartphone 2yr contract after 7 months of been harrased by unwanted calls & stupid text messages.

The operator of the Mobile Phone company with the Red & white slogan told me they use recycled numbers ! so i asked if other mobile phone companys do this and was told yes.

I am astonished that even new phones can be given with a second hand number that someone else had. Anyway in a effort to avoid unwanted phones calls, text messages which are from unknown sources i have changed my number with this company.

How many of you in the Forum were aware that this goes on Recycling old numbers when buying a new phone ? i think its really out of order.

  spuds 15:42 16 Sep 2011

Its been happening with landlines for ages. All to do with capacity?.

  interzone55 16:20 16 Sep 2011

Have you ever thought of the huge amount of mobile phones out there?

Almost everyone has a phone, many people have two or three (business, personal, spare (adultery phone). There's also the 3G sims & dongles used in laptops & netbooks. On top of these many intruder alarm panels and remote gate controllers have a little mobile phone built in, and a lot of CCTV systems have an MMS facility to send still images if there's been an alarm activation.

This all means that numbers will soon run out if they're not recycled.

The networks wait for 6 months after a contract has terminated or the last credit run out on a PAYG handset before reusing numbers.

  morddwyd 20:55 16 Sep 2011

I have to make a call every six weeks or so on both my PAYG mobiles or I lose the numbers.

Good job I like pizza!

  Audio~~Chip 21:16 16 Sep 2011

Thanks spuds, alan14 & morddwyd

Its the texts which come from random unknown companies and someone was phoning me leaving messsages which were almost obscene.

But Sim cards for Mobiles are given away like toffee. At the end of the day my contract is a Business contract and personally when its taking my time up having to sift these texts & messages its a pain.

  interzone55 10:56 17 Sep 2011


Does your mobile have a facility to block calls (think it's standard on Android)?

I got a few calls from the same number the other week, so I just set the number as blocked & now I don't get any calls or messages from that company.

  cruiser2 19:38 18 Sep 2011

Over 20 years ago when I was working, I had my car stolen. It had a car phone installed. It took a week to have the car repaired and a new phone fitted. Nobody told me I had a new number. My wife kept ringing the old number and leaving messages as I did not answer. It was several days later before a gentleman answered the old phone number. So transferring phone numbers is not something new.

  interzone55 10:31 19 Sep 2011


In your case the gentleman who answered probably purchased the original SIM from the stolen car phone, until the phone networks got their act together at that time you could use a stolen SIM for several months before it was cancelled

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