KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Multi-party line telephone systems were widely used until the 1980s and cell phones have never been part of the multi-party line system, but one Kalamazoo man ended up sharing a number.
Tyson James bought a new phone from the Boost Mobile store in Kalamazoo and immediately knew something was wrong. He texted his girlfriend, but got no response.
The couple eventually got together and she showed him that she had been responded to his texts. They realized her replies were going to someone else with the same number.
James then FaceTimed his own phone and another guy answered.
"He was like, ‘Why you keep texting me?’ and I was like, ‘This is my phone number.’ And he was like, ‘No, this is my phone number I got it today.’”
When James went back to the Boost Mobile store, he said they told him he would have to pay to change his number or agree to share it with a stranger.
Boost agreed to change the number for free after they were called by Newschannel 3.
They said unassigned cell numbers go into a pool, are re-activated at random. They said it's very likely that both James and the other guy got their phones and were assigned the same number at the very same time. Something Boost Mobile said almost never happens.