U-M Housing Phones
Residence Halls and Northwood Community Apartments
Getting a Telephone
You will need to buy your own telephone when living off-campus. Inexpensive home phones are available at local stores such as Meijer, Target or Best Buy.
Getting Local Telephone Service
Most people order local service through AT&T, but other companies also offer local phone service. To order local telephone service, call a telephone company that provides local service to the Ann Arbor area. It is a good idea to review each company’s web site, which usually offer details regarding their service plans (different services offered for a certain price per month). This may help you decide which service you would like and may help when you call the company.
Getting Local Telephone Service from AT&T
Instructions for setting up telephone service through AT&T are provided below. If you choose to use another company, you can use the steps below as a general guideline for what to expect from other companies. To order phone service, call AT&T at 1.800.288.2020 or visit the AT&T web site. It's a good idea to order your phone service as soon as you know your Ann Arbor address.
Before Calling. Be sure that you have at least two valid pieces of identification (at least one must be a photo ID, like drivers license or passport). Examples of valid ID include:
Questions. AT&T may also ask you any one of these general questions:
Additional Requirements. AT&T may ask for additional information. Be prepared to fax the following to the AT&T Customer Verification Center at 1.800.257.0701. AT&T will use this information to verify their 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 new telephone number and the date it will go in to effect. It usually takes 2 business days to check references and 1-2 days to install.
*You can change the services or plans provided by your local or long distance companies at any time.
Long Distance Service and International Calls
Long distance service can be arranged through AT&T or separately. If you are going to call home often, you will want to choose the company with the best rates for calls to your home country. It's a good idea to ask students from your home country for their opinions as to which company provides the best service.
Establishing Service.To establish long distance service, call the desired company directly after you have arranged for your local phone service. Verify that the carrier provides service to your home country or town. Sample carriers are:
Typically, long distance carriers offer different calling plans (i.e. plans that offer discount calling rates to certain countries during certain hours of the day or on weekends). There is usually a monthly fee for a calling plan. International calling plans to any country are also available.
Once you have called a carrier and have chosen a plan, ask the long distance carrier to send you a written confirmation of the calling plan you have requested, which will describe the long distance rates you will pay. Keep the confirmation for your records. You can change your long distance carrier or cancel your calling plan at any time for any reason.
Some students choose to have a cell phone instead of, or in addition to, their home telephone. There are two types of cell phones: those with pre-paid minutes and those which require you to sign a contract. Contracts provide you with a certain amount of minutes per month for a specific cost. If you plan to stay in the United States for an extended period of time (at least a year) it may be cheaper to sign a contract. Keep in mind that if you sign a contract and if you also do not have a social security number, you may have to pay a security deposit to sign a contract.
Pre-paid phones can be purchased from places such as:
There are several providers of cellular phones in the Ann Arbor area; call or check their web sites to locate a dealer near you.
General Information and Other Telephone Services
International Long Distance Calls
To call another country, you must know that country's international access code. The code can be found in the International Calling section of the AT&T phone book, or by calling your long distance carrier. Usually you have to dial 011 before the international access code, but refer to the phone book for exact details.
These are services that require you to dial a special phone number for discount rates for your phone calls. You dial this number first to access the service, and then you dial the number you are calling. You can check web sites, such as http://1010phonerates.com/intl.html for more information, or ask other students for their opinions.
Information on the Web
Examples of web sites which offer competitive telephone services include:
Last reviewed: 05/13