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Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« on: May 26, 2020, 06:32:42 am »
I left Korea 'for good' a few months ago, with a fairly new 2 year phone contract. I wasn't allowed to pay off the phone at the time as the contract was signed too recently, and I quickly decided that leaving Korea was a mistake, so I allowed the payments to continue and didn't cancel the contract. I figured it would be easier to just keep my number for when I got back.

Now I've returned and found that my phone number of several years has been disabled. A lot of stuff is linked to that number and I would like it back. I called KT via Skype, and they told me that the number was disabled upon the request of the immigration office, on the grounds that I handed in my ARC and left the country. KT insist that they cannot enable my number unless I walk into a store with an ARC. However, I'm currently in self-quarantine, and my number is scheduled for removal on the day that my quarantine ends.

I'm hesitant to call the immigration office unnecessarily in case someone there decides that I shouldn't be self-quarantining without an ARC, but I will do so half way through my quarantine period if anybody has successfully had a number reinstated before.

Help?


Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 07:42:01 am »
Sign up with an online telecom like KT M Mobile and request your old number. No need to leave the house.


  • theman3285
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1018

    • June 16, 2017, 09:01:06 am
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 07:49:09 am »
Sign up with an online telecom like KT M Mobile and request your old number. No need to leave the house.
Wouldn't you need an ARC for that?


  • oglop
  • The Legend

    • 4264

    • August 25, 2011, 07:24:54 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 07:51:10 am »
your ARC number never changes - just input the digits.


Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2020, 08:38:51 am »
Thanks for your suggestion, cowboy.

I just called KT via Skype, and they told me that the numbers for temporary plans come from a different pool, or at least that's what I think the lady meant. I'd have thought the number could be ported though, and somebody on Reddit seems to have managed it. Maybe the lady was confused.

KT also want to charge me a cancellation fee, even though they closed my account. I don't mind paying off the device + subsidy, but the cancellation fee is BS given that I'm not the one who cancelled.

I think the lady I dealt with was a bit out of her depth.

your ARC number never changes - just input the digits.

The phone companies seem to know which ARC numbers have been suspended.


Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2020, 08:55:08 am »
Thanks for your suggestion, cowboy.

I just called KT via Skype, and they told me that the numbers for temporary plans come from a different pool, or at least that's what I think the lady meant. I'd have thought the number could be ported though, and somebody on Reddit seems to have managed it. Maybe the lady was confused.


I wasn't suggesting anything about a temporary plan. I was suggesting switching to KT M permanently. They're also way cheaper than the big three telecoms and I've had excellent reception and speed all over the country.

But if they won't accept your ARC number and are saying it's invalid, then you're probably going to have to forfeit your number.


Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2020, 11:02:35 am »
I wasn't suggesting anything about a temporary plan. I was suggesting switching to KT M permanently. They're also way cheaper than the big three telecoms and I've had excellent reception and speed all over the country.

But if they won't accept your ARC number and are saying it's invalid, then you're probably going to have to forfeit your number.

I will try calling KT M via Skype and see what they say. I know that my ARC number has been disabled (I just spoke with 1345), and it seems that phone companies will be able to see that. I could try using just my passport to sign up, but I'm not sure if that would be enough. I also don't know if it would be possible to verify my identity for registering accounts and making payments if the phone number was tied to my passport and not an ARC.


Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2020, 11:55:28 am »
Just wondering if anyone knows of something similar to KT M, but not owned by KT? I'm more than slightly annoyed about being charged a cancellation fee if THEY cancel my phone service against my will even though I'd continued the payments.

Edit: Looks like U+ 알뜰 is better value than KT M, plus they haven't screwed me out of money for no reason.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2020, 12:01:18 pm by StillInKorea »


  • AvecPommesFrites
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1022

    • September 04, 2017, 02:19:33 pm
    • Incheon International Airport Immigration Office Detention Facility
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2020, 11:59:53 am »
You were a mug for continuing to make payments and they've taken you to school. Nice guys finish last.
Soggy undergarments


Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2020, 12:06:18 pm »
I figured it would be easier to have a working phone number connected to my accounts as soon as I returned, so I continued making payments for a few months. I also had a phone to pay off, and it was cheaper to maintain the subsidy than cancel a fairly new contract. Of course, I didn't count on them disabling the number.

I agree with your (troll) point though. Don't anyone feel bad about leaving Korea with their phone and not paying it off. KT are perfectly happy to cheat their customers, if not others.


  • leaponover
  • Expert Waygook

    • 707

    • March 05, 2012, 12:08:16 pm
    • Iksan, S. Korea
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2020, 12:13:48 pm »
I figured it would be easier to have a working phone number connected to my accounts as soon as I returned, so I continued making payments for a few months. I also had a phone to pay off, and it was cheaper to maintain the subsidy than cancel a fairly new contract. Of course, I didn't count on them disabling the number.

I agree with your (troll) point though. Don't anyone feel bad about leaving Korea with their phone and not paying it off. KT are perfectly happy to cheat their customers, if not others.

Not that this is helpful for solving your problem, but doesn't sound like KT is the one to blame.  You left Korea, disabling your arc, Korean government cancels your plan, you get charged a cancellation fee per the contract with KT.  KT is following their normal procedure.  Seems you should be annoyed with government policies and not KT's rather normal policies.


  • AvecPommesFrites
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1022

    • September 04, 2017, 02:19:33 pm
    • Incheon International Airport Immigration Office Detention Facility
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2020, 12:14:58 pm »
Oglop already told you your ARC number never changes. Your phone number may have changed but any new number will be linked to the same ARC number that you have all these connections with so you can reset any passwords or log ins or whatever and you will be fine.

Tell em to go **** themselves over the cancellation fee that's the only win you can get.

Your old number is gone. Let it go. Move on.
Soggy undergarments


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 2202

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2020, 12:17:58 pm »
I figured it would be easier to have a working phone number connected to my accounts as soon as I returned, so I continued making payments for a few months. I also had a phone to pay off, and it was cheaper to maintain the subsidy than cancel a fairly new contract. Of course, I didn't count on them disabling the number.

I agree with your (troll) point though. Don't anyone feel bad about leaving Korea with their phone and not paying it off. KT are perfectly happy to cheat their customers, if not others.

Well, the problem with that is that raises the prices for the rest of us.
Mr. C is not a bad person, in fact is quite a good person here. One of the best people on this forum if you really look at it
-Mr.DeMartino


Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2020, 12:52:33 pm »
It looks like it's possible to sign up for U+ 알뜰 with a Korean driving licence. I wonder how that would work with phone-based ID verification?


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5489

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
    more
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2020, 05:49:47 am »
Well, the problem with that is that raises the prices for the rest of us.

The companies can solve this problem of non-payment of foreigners leaving but doing what they do here. When you sign a contract you pay a big deposit which is refundable on completion of the contract. Easy.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2020, 09:31:29 am »
I was able to get my number back and avoid the 700k+ fees.

My number was scheduled for deletion the day after I finished quarantine, which gave me one day to do the following:

1. Find a new apartment and sign a contract.
2. Take the contract (+ other required documents) to the immigration office to apply for an ARC, and receive a '체류허가신청확인서'.
3. Take the tongue-twisting document to a KT Plaza and get my number back.

I was lucky that the immigration office worker and KT Plaza employee were helpful people who actually understood the complicated situation.

I also spoke with a representative of a law firm who offers free advice to the expat community. He told me that the problem was due to a national security law, and that KT were not to blame.

If anybody else has this problem in the future, follow the steps above.


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 2202

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2020, 10:55:27 am »
The companies can solve this problem of non-payment of foreigners leaving but doing what they do here. When you sign a contract you pay a big deposit which is refundable on completion of the contract. Easy.

Yes, I suppose that is a solution.  But I find it really surprising that someone would be in favor of punishing everyone with large deposits so that scoff-laws can run out on their contracts.
Mr. C is not a bad person, in fact is quite a good person here. One of the best people on this forum if you really look at it
-Mr.DeMartino


  • confusedsafferinkorea
  • Waygook Lord

    • 5489

    • October 08, 2010, 01:02:32 pm
    • Zhubei, Hsinchu Province, Taiwan
    more
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2020, 12:01:56 pm »
Yes, I suppose that is a solution.  But I find it really surprising that someone would be in favor of punishing everyone with large deposits so that scoff-laws can run out on their contracts.

Not punishment, you get it back if you finish your contract.
There is no known medical cure for stupidity!


  • Mr C
  • The Legend

    • 2202

    • October 17, 2012, 03:00:40 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Phone number cancelled by immigration office?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2020, 05:15:49 pm »
Not punishment, you get it back if you finish your contract.
Well, I understand what a deposit is.  People are already coming up with lots of money to move here, this would be one more thing to eat into the kitty.  And it's unnecessary. 

I'll say again that people who do a run and don't abide by their phone contracts just make it harder on the rest of us.  Let's not defend them.
Mr. C is not a bad person, in fact is quite a good person here. One of the best people on this forum if you really look at it
-Mr.DeMartino