Getting Telephone Service

 

Getting a Telephone

You must either rent or buy your own telephone. Inexpensive phones are available at Meijer, Target, or Best Buy (as little as $10). Should you choose to rent a telephone, you can get one from an AT&T office.

Getting Local Telephone Service

  1. To order telephone service contact SBC Ameritech at 1-800-244-4444.

Before calling, make sure that you have at least two valid pieces of
identification such as:

  • Passport
  • Social security number (the number is used to check your credit history; if you do not have one, explain to the operator that you are new to the country. Provide your passport number instead.)
  • U.S. Driver's license or official state identification card

SBC Ameritech may also ask you any one of these general questions:

  • Your name, your date of birth and your local address
  • Whether you had prior service with Ameritech
  • What your social security number is. (If you don't have one, tell them the type of identification you are using and they will ask for for information from those documents. Hint: it is best to use your passport.)
  • The name, address and telephone number of a close family member in your home country
  • Where you are employed. (If you are not employed and if you attend classes at the U of M-Dearborn, tell them you are a student.)
  • Who your long distance service provider will be. (You do not have
    to know for sure.)
  • Whether you want your telephone number listed in the telephone book or unlisted. There is a monthly fee charged to have an unlisted telephone number.
  • If you want extra options such as call waiting (allows you to receive other calls while you are talking on the telephone), caller ID (displays the name and the number of the person calling you), voice mail (functions like an answering machine, so people can leave you messages when you cannot answer the phone), etc.

Ameritech may ask for additional information. Be prepared to fax the following to the Ameritech Customer Verification Center at 1-800-668-6613:

  • Your name
  • A photocopy of your passport photo page and Social Security Card (if available)
  • A statement saying you are requesting telephone service in the State of Michigan

Ameritech will use this information to verify its accounts. To request service, call at least 48 hours after you have faxed this information. Tell them you have already faxed the above information to the Customer Verification Center.

Once you have completed all the necessary steps in the process, the operator will tell you your telephone number and the date it will go in to effect. It usually takes 2 workdays to check references and 1 - 2 days to install, but it could take longer at busy times of the year.

*Remember you can change the services or plans provided by your local or long distance companies at any time, so you might want to start with the cheapest plan (e.g. no call-waiting, etc.) and then add more options later if you want them.