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Activate Your Bell Cell Phone Yourself – No Store! No Fee!

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One problem faced by many Bell Mobility users is that they have to go into a Bell Mobility store to activate their phone. This may not be too inconvenient if you live near to a Bell Mobility store but many people do not live near to a Bell store or need to activate their phone outside of store hours like on Sunday’s or holidays. And did I mention the instore activation charge of between $15 – $25?

This short video will hold you by the hand and show step-by-step how to active your new or used Bell Mobility cell phone from the comfort of your own home using the Bell.ca website.

This guide is for if you already have an existing account with Bell Mobility and would like to add a new phone to your existing account. If you do not already have a Bell Mobility account then you’ve got to go into a Bell store to have one created. With that said…

Sit back and let me show you the steps you need to take to activate your new Bell phone.

1.First visit the Bell website on our computer by entering www.bell.ca into your internet browser.

2.At the very top right hand corner of the page you will find the “Log in” link, click it.

3.In the form that opens, enter your Bell.ca username and then your Password, and then select the “Log in” button below.

4.If you don’t have a username and password for Bell.ca you can easily get one by speaking to a Bell Mobility customer service representative at 1-800-667-0123. They can show you how to access and add your Bell Mobility account to your Bell.ca profile. Besiding alowing you activate your Bell cell phone, the Bell.ca site allows you to view important information regarding your service including your reviewing your Bill, and most important to me, allowing me to see how many airtime minutes I have used up for the month.

5.Once you’ve logged in you will be taken to the “My Bell” page. Here you can view your bill, see your other Bell services, and update your user profile. On this page locate the “My services” section and below it you should see your “Wireless” service and the mobile phone numbers that are on your account. If you have more than one cell phone on your Bell Mobility account use the drop-down box to select the phone number that you want to put on your new phone. It is very important that you select the correct phone number. If you select the wrong phone then you can interupt service to it. You don’t have to worry about this if you only have one phone on your account.

Once you have selected the phone number you want to activate click on the little circle with the arrow button beside the number.

6.The next page that you will be taken to is called the “My Wirelss services” page. On this page you can add new features to the Bell phone you selected, you can reset your voice mail password, and you can even change your phone number too.

Locate and click on the “Change my phone” text link, it is found under the “Features and Services” column.

7.Once on the “Change my phone” page read the short instructions and then enter your cell phone’s 11 digit ESN (Electronic Serial Number) also sometimes called the MEID (Mobile Equipment Identity) into the 2 blank fields near the bottom of the page. Enter the same number into both fields. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “continue” button.

The ESN is typcially an 11 digit number found on a sticker located on your phone often hidden by the cell phone battery. Every Bell cell phone has a unique ESN this is how Bell is able to identify one phone from another.

If you phone is ever lost or stolen contact Bell and they will add your ESN to their “negative file” making it imposible for anyone to use your phone.

Be aware that some newer phones have ESN numbers that are longer that 11 digits.

8.If you are taken to the “Change my phone” page with the words “Contract term” then Bell has accepted the ESN that you entered and you are ready to complete the activation. If you got an error then your serial number may not be good, you may not be able to activate that phone. In this situation you should contact Bell Mobility customer service and ask them to verify that the ESN is good.

Once you see the “Contract term” phrase you are ready to complete the activation. On this page Bell gives you the opportunity to change your rate plan (I recommend that you don’t) and you can also extend your term (I also recommend that you don’t). You want to keep everything the same. You can change these things later.

Locate the button that reads “Keep current” and click it.

9.The next page that will load is a page that allows you to add and remove features like call display, text messaging, and others to your cell phone account. Once again I recommend that you keep everything the same.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Continue” button.

10.Great. You are almost finished activing your new bell phone. This next page is a summary page that details the changes that you’ve made. Nothing has been saved as of yet, meaning that if you stopped here or closed your browser there would be no changes made to your account.

In the Summary you will see the new ESN, this is the one that you will be adding, and you will see the existing ESN that is on your account. You will also see the charges associated with activating your new ESN, as there are currently no charges for activating your new phone online you will see $0.00 charged.

At the bottom of this page you will find the “Terms and conditions”, you must read and accept the terms and conditions before you can continue. Start by clicking on the link that reads “Terms and Conditions”, a popup window will appear (if you have popup’s blocked on your browser you may need to disable it for this step). Once the popup with Bell’s terms and conditions is open, scroll to the bottom of the popup window and then close the popup.

Once this is completed you can add a check mark beside “Accept” option and now you can click on the “Submit” button at the bottom of the page.

11.Congratulations, you have just activated your first phone using the Bell.ca website. Bell will often state that these changes can take upto 4hours to take effect on their system, but my personal activations have all been completed within 5 minutes.

This last page is one of the most important pages in the activation process. It tells you have your activation has been completed successfully but you still have one more step to do before your phone will work.

This last step is “Programming your phone”. This is the process of putting your existing phone number into your newly activated phone.

On this page there is one last number that you must copy down. It is Lock Code. The lock code is a 6 digit number that will allow you to access your phone’s programming menu. This is where you will enter your existing phone number. I highly encourage that you write down your lock code and put it up in a safe place because it will not be provided to you again by Bell.ca

12.To finish the activation process you’ll need to program your phone number into your newly activated Bell phone.  You can find programming instructions for many Bell cell phones at this link:  http://cellarama.com/activate – You can contact Bell’s customer service and they should be able to walk you through the steps of programming your phone.

We are in the process of creating video tutorials similar to this one showing your how to program your specific Bell phone.  For programming instructions for your Bell phone visit: http://cellarama.com/activate

And if you liked this article you can find more articles and videos for Bell Mobility users at http://cellarama.com/tv – At cellarama.com you’ll also find great contract-free cell phones for Bell Mobility.

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43 Responses to “Activate Your Bell Cell Phone Yourself – No Store! No Fee!”

  1. brandon lelievre Says:

    just activated phone online at bell.ca and was charged 35 for the activation. guess you cant beat the bill. atleast i didnt have to deal with a call center

  2. Mitch Says:

    Thanks for posting this. Something that should be on bell’s website. Just want to point out that this didn’t work for me as I have a pre-paid service. I got up to step 6 but “change my phone” is not an option.

    Also there is a mistake. You have “9.The next page that will load is a page that allows you to add and remove features like call display, text messaging, and others to your cell phone account. Once again I recommend that you keep everything the change.” The last word should be same not change.

    Also the little circle with the arrow mentioned in 5 is gone now. The phone number is the link now.

    Regards,
    Mitch

  3. Cellarama Admin Says:

    Thanks for the update. We contacted Bell to inquire if they started charging for online activations and their answer was no. We also confirmed this with our own test activations in May, June, and July. We hope this article is useful!

  4. bhph Says:

    Your info was a great help, until I got to the end about * still * having to contact Bell to complete the ‘programming’ part…

    they close at 6 on Saturdays, and aren’t open on sunday…(guess when i got home from the store with my new phone!?) I would have been left with no phone until Monday morning, except the super guy at Futureshop had a freind who knew some Bell code to enter into the phone whien I went back to the store…I heard something about Pound sign (maybe twice?), a 6 and missed the rest as I though he was just getting a phone number or something…anyway, it seems to be working. Thanks for the activation video..great..if you can add the bit at end so we don’t have to call bell for ‘programming’, it would be wonderful

  5. Cellarama Admin Says:

    Thanks bhph for the comment. We are in the process of creating videos on programming Bell Mobility cell phones. The first programming videos will be on the Bell cell phones that we offer then others. Hopefully next time you activate your cell phone using Bell.ca we will have a programming video just for you!

    Thanks again for the comment.

  6. Conan Says:

    If you call Bell to give you instructions for your phone, as your last step details, you will still pay $35. To avoid this, you have to search google for the programming instructions for the CDMA version of your phone, or find a forum where knowledgable are, and then follow those.

  7. Amy Says:

    I have been with bell for almost 5 years now and have been changing my phone like you change your clothes. I recently got an old blackberry pearl from a friend. they got a new phone and gave me there old one. Yes it is a BELL phone, and i tried activating it online but it tells me the ESN number isnt a bell phone, yet i KNOW for a fact that it is. Does anyone know anything i can do? ive tried calling customer service but since my name isnt on the account (its under my parents name) they will not do anything for me. Can anyone help?

  8. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @Conan – Thanks for the post!

    You are absolutely correct. To avoid the activation fees from Bell you have to activate your phone using Bell.ca and also program your phone number into it as well. We will be releasing guides very shortly with programming instructions for different phones.

    Thanks again for the great comment

  9. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @ Amy – Thanks for the post!

    You have a very good point. And this is one of the reasons we take such great care checking each ESN on every phone we sell. Here’s the reason why you may be having problems… The phone you are trying to activate may not be a real Bell phone. Even if a phone was previously used on Bell doesn’t guarantee it is a Bell Mobility unit.

    One not-so-well-known secret is that if you have a phone that is identical to a Bell model (but from Sprint or Verizon) and you have a friend who works at a Bell World or Espace Bell store (and they know the programming code), it is possible to active non-Bell units on the Bell Mobility network.

    If you do not have a friend on the inside, it may be difficult to activate your phone.

    If you would like us to let you know if your phone is actually a Bell phone, please contact customer support via email.

    Thanks for the great comment!

  10. Julia Says:

    How do you activate prepaid phones on a contract?? Im on a 3 year contract and just bought a prepaid phone and i dont know where to go or how to activate the phone? HELP

  11. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @julia thanks for the post!

    If by Prepaid you mean “Solo Mobile or Virgin Mobile”, you are out of luck because currently Bell Mobility does not allow Solo or Virgin phones to be activated on Bell Mobility accounts (and vice-versa).

    But if you have a Bell Mobility phone that was activated on a Bell Prepaid account then as long as it is no longer activated on the Prepaid account, you can follow the instructions in our video above to activate it yourself.

    If you are not sure if your phone is Solo, Virgin, or Bell, a call to Bell Mobility customer service should clarify that for you.

    If you need a contract-free Bell Mobility cell phone because you are in a contract we have phones that will work for you in our “Clearance Centre”.

    http://cellarama.com/clearance_centre.htm

    I hope I was able to help.

    Thanks again for the post!

  12. scott Says:

    hello, where could I fiind the programming steps for the U740 required for the last step ? do you have this info or a link avail?

    thx

  13. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @scott thanks for the post!

    We have not added the programming for the Samsung U740 as yet, but here are the instructions:

    1.) Turn phone on – if using a battery, check to ensure battery is fully charged
    2.) Press ## followed by the 6-digit Lock Code provided by Bell Mobility#
    3.) Press 2 to enter programming
    4.) Enter your phone number with area code – 10 digits (MIN) Press OK
    5.) Press OK
    6.) Press 3, Phone will display Service Done and power cycle

    That’s it!

    After programming your Bell Samsung U740 your phone should start working immediately (providing it is already activated).

  14. scott Says:

    thx Cellerama, great instructions. using the new phone now. haven’t seen my bill yet but keeping my fingers crossed.

  15. LizzaTibbo Says:

    Hi, I have an existing cell phone and only have 1 year left on my contract with Bell. I bought a new cell phone (Samsung Cleo Pink) back in August 09
    from an authorized Bell dealer. Today Nov. 6-09 I went to the place I usually activate my cell phone. It didn’t work because the phone serial #
    was in negative file. I need help. I know for a fact that the phone is a Bell phone and the dealer is a Bell employee, I have his info on a business card he sent along with the phone. The phone was packaged tight so it must be a new phone. when I put it on, the Bell logo comes on. Does a new phone have a 30 day activation period? Please help. Thanks

  16. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @ LizzaTibbo thank you for the post!

    With my time at Cellarama I have seen Bell phones that were on Bell’s negative file (even some new ones). In short, Bell’s negative file is a list of phones that Bell has flagged not to be activated. This usually occurs when a phone is reported lost or stolen.

    At Cellarama, we check all phones we buy with Bell to ensure they are not on their negative file.

    When a Bell cell phone is added to their negative file, it is done so manually by a Bell representative and errors may occur here. So if someone had reported their Samsung Cleo lost and their ESN was 07201209121 and the representative entered 07201209122 (the last digit was changed) and your ESN is 07201209122 then your new phone could have ended up on the negative file by mistake.

    So here’s my advice.

    Bell currently has a return policy or 30 days on their phones. So your phone is now outside of the return policy. Take the phone back to the Bell store you purchased it from and include your receipt. Tell them that you just went to activate the phone but the phone cannot be used because the ESN is on their negative file. Since they can confirm that your phone was purchased from them, and since they can confirm that your phone is on the negative file, they can look into removing the ESN from the negative file (if it was added an error) or replacing the phone.

    Because the time frame is more that 30 days, you may ultimately need to speak with a manager at the Bell store and explain why you did not try to activate your phone earlier. Ultimately it will be up to the discretion of the Bell store to help you.

    I hope this helps.

    Thanks again for the post!

  17. Activing and Programming your Bell Mobility Cell Phone | Bell Users Blog - Save Time, Find Money, Do More - Cellarama.com Says:

    [...] 2. View the video. This is where you watch us activate a phone using the Bell.ca [...]

  18. Happy User Says:

    Used this to convert my number to a SIM card. This was so easy and saved me $35!!! Thank you so much for letting us all know about this! Those crooks at Bell World even told me that there is no point doing it myself as they will charge $35…What liars!

  19. sherri Says:

    Hi there – do you have the programming instructions for the LG reveal?

  20. sherri Says:

    Nevermind! It’s the same as the LG Rumor. Thanks so much for the info! This site is great!!!

  21. albert Says:

    since bell and telus is starting to put their foot into the sim market there is a lotof scare tactics that is costing people unnescessary money and this information needs to get out there

  22. Shannon Says:

    I tried changing my # on the bell website and got as far as the step that says “click on change my phone”. As soon as I click this the page changes to “Page Cannot Be Displayed”. Is there some reason for this? Is it because I am on my work computer? Should I try it on my home computer?
    Anyone else have this issue?

  23. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @Shannon

    Thanks for the great question.

    Being able to activate you Bell phone on Bell.ca is extremely convenient The only draw-back is that their “Change you phone” feature goes down frequently.

    I have encountered many similar errors to yours while changing my phones online.

    My only advice is to be patient – it always comes back. Sometimes after a few minutes. Sometimes it may be down for a few hours.

    So be patient… if you can.

    Thanks again,
    Cellarama Service

  24. Shannon Says:

    I will keep trying and bring patient, altough it has been continuing to happen for the past 4 or 5 days. Has bell deactivated this feature on me or something? Is that possible?

    Thanks for your promt response Cellarama :)

  25. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @Shannon

    I have just completed an activation at Bell.ca and I didn’t encounter any issues. Your “Page cannot be displayed” error could be caused by your browser settings.

    If your browsers security settings are too high it may not allow the application to run. I would start there.

    If that doesn’t work try using different Internet browsers. I personally like Firefox and Google Chrome, but the application will work on all major browsers.

    Hope this helps…
    Cellarama Service

  26. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @Shannon

    I other thing to add…

    If you are unable to use Bell.ca to activate your new phone, the other option is to contact Bell Mobility customer service (1-800-667-0123) and tell them that you want to “change the ESN on your account”.

    When they are done be sure to ask them for the “lock code” for your new phone (as you will need this when programming your phone number into your new phone).

    Then visit our phone activation page for instructions on how to program your phone.

    http://cellarama.com/activate

    Good luck!

  27. Kathy M Says:

    Just bought a Samsung M500 to replace a Katana that went swimming. I am 2.5 years into a 3 year contract with Bell. Walking through the DIY for activation, entered the ESN easily enough for the correct phone, but now I get the message “Unfortunately, your current plan is not available in the service area you chose.” I have not moved or changed numbers since the contract began. Now what? I can’t move forward without changing contracts it would seem, and it doesn’t give me the option to simply continue with the existing contract as is. We have 3 phones on this contract, the number I am changing is the primary, and I am the contract holder. Suggestions??
    Kathy

  28. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @Kathy M

    Hi Kathy thanks for the question.

    Normally activating Bell Mobility cell phones online is an easy process. However there are rare exceptions where the online tool will give you some issues.

    The message: “Unfortunately, your current plan is not available in the service area you chose.” – could mean a few issues but it most likely is telling you that the online Bell tool does not recognize your phone.

    We do not have a way to resolve this using the online tool, but there is another way to activate your phone from home.

    Call Bell Mobility customer service (1-800-667-0123 or *611 from an active Bell cell phone) and ask them to transfer you to “National Channel Support” or NCR for short (this is an internal Bell group that is responsible for activations). Once you’ve reached NCR explain that you are having difficulties changing phones online using Bell.ca and they can make the changes for you over the phone.

    They will even assist you program your phone too.

    Please let me know if this was useful.

    Thanks again,
    Cellarama Service

  29. Derek S Says:

    I’m trying to activate my old HTC Touch through the Bell website (I used it previously with Bell for years), but when entering the serial number for the phone, it also asks for the SIM card number. This is a CDMA phone, so doesn’t have a SIM card, but it won’t let me continue without one. Any advice?

  30. scott Says:

    hello, I have gone through the steps on Bells website to change my phone and was provided a lock code but I do not know how to enter it. I need teh instrucitons for LG Bliss (ux700 i think). do you have these available?
    thx

  31. Keith Says:

    I recently moved from BC to NS and changed the phone number myself. I have a SAMSUNG U740. Everything went smoothly except for my voicemail. Everytime I try to call my voicemail, I get a busy signal. Is there any way I can fix that myself?? Thanks.

  32. Cellarama Admin Says:

    @Keith

    Thanks for the question! We’re happy you were able to program your Bell Samsung U740 successfully using our guide. Regarding the voicemail, I’m not too sure where the problem is occurring, but it is unrelated to programming your new phone number into the phone.

    Our best guess is that Bell Aliant may use a different number to access their voicemail application, to verify this contact Aliant and ask their customer service what the manual number is to access your voice mail. You should have no problem access your voicemail with that number.

    I hope this helped.

    Thanks again,
    Cellarama Service

  33. Andrea Says:

    I was supposed to have my Solo activated on weds 13th Oct. I had my own Solo SIM card so I phoned and gave the agent my SIM number and also requested to use my landline number. They moved my Telus number leaving me without phone service and up to now my Solo is still not activated. I have been without any phone service since they cancelled my Telus account.
    I suppose the agent could have marked down the wrong SIM # because my phone reads insert SIM. All the emails I send them appear to be ignored. I can’t phone them, NO phone service.

  34. Andrea Says:

    Follow up to my previous comment. Told Solo via their crappy web sight where to stick their lousey service. Went with Fido instead and they had me up and running in minutes. Solo has no support whatsoever and it appears that not one person in their office checks web requests. Still lost my old phone number though thanks to Solo.

  35. Brad Says:

    @Keith,

    Not sure if you figured this out or not, but I had a similar problem after I switched to a HTC Desire from a Blackberry. My plan included vicemail with my Blackberry, but the new plan for the Desire didn’t. I just called Telus and they activated my voicemail. Problem solved.

  36. Brenda Says:

    As of June 2011, Bell Mobility has REMOVED THIS SERVICE from their website. You are now REQUIRED to either go into a store or call a rep to activate your phone.

    Why they would do this I have no idea as it seems they are regressing, to me, anyway.

    I now have an HSPA phone with a SIM card so, thankfully, will no longer require them to activate any future phones long as I stick with this type of phone.

  37. Cellarama Blogger Says:

    @Brenda

    Thank you for the update.

    We have been informed that Bell has removed this service. In our opinion this service was a great benefit to Bell Mobility customers and we are disappointing with Bell’s decision to shut it down. We hope it is a temporary move.

    We are currently in the process of documenting the next easiest way to activate Bell Mobility cellular phones and it should be ready shortly.

    Thanks again for the comment!
    Cellarama Service

  38. Bob J Says:

    This feature is no longer available on the Bell Mobility web site.

  39. katie Says:

    this doesn’t work anymore bell changed their website. I cant find the part where it says my wireless services. cant even find change phone. guess i better pay the 20$ activation fee. i should’ve just stuck with rogers. they got gsm network

  40. Cellarama Blogger Says:

    @katie

    Thanks for your comments.

    We are currently looking for a new process to Activate Bell Cell Phones online. Hopefully we will able to have an update posted shortly.

    Thanks again,
    Customer Service

  41. Markus Tahon Says:

    Really Appreciate this update, how can I make is so that I receive an email sent to me when you make a new article?

  42. venting Says:

    HI!

    I just got magic jack plus for main my home phone number but want to one of my i-dent-ical numbers for my Smart Phone to save hassles as I have given this number to way too many people to try to change it.

    Is this possible if I buy my smartphone from Bell Mobility!

  43. Cellarama Blogger Says:

    @venting – Thanks for the question.

    We are not familiar with the Magic Jack i-dent-ical number service. So we cannot advise you if it will work through a smartphone from Bell Mobility.

    Thanks for the question and good luck!
    Cellarama Service

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