Binary Elysium

Hey there! My name is Casey. I'm a software developer, nomad, language lover, and coffee fiend.

Exporting contacts from Verizon to Gmail

23 October 2008

I got a G1 today.

That deserves a post unto itself, but I wanted to share a solution an annoying issue regarding switching from Verizon to T-Mobile. Before I got the G1 I had a LG-VX9800 (yes, ancient, I know) with around 200 contacts. Obviously one of the first things I wanted to do when I got my G1 was transfer all my contacts from the LG to the G1. There are several ways to do this

  1. Go to a Verizon store and pay $10 for data backup
  2. Buy a USB Cable for the LG-VX9800, and use bitpim
  3. Manually copy (type) your contacts into the G1/Gmail
  4. Use my method

There was no way I was going to pay $10 for what should be a simple “Export,” so #1 was crossed out. I’m impatient and didn’t want to wait for a cable to be delivered and neither did I want to pay the money for one. There goes #2. I didn’t even consider #3; I just listed it for completeness sake.

That leaves my somewhat difficult and unreliable method. Basically, what I do is use Verizon’s “Backup Assistant” tool to send my contacts to Verizon’s website. Then I save the source of the “Print Contacts” page - because there is no export feature. With a little ruby I parse the file into Gmail’s CSV format and import the file via the Gmail contacts page.

Here’s a quick howto.

  • On your Verizon phone go to "Get Going -> Get a New App -> Backup Assistant" and install it for $1.50 a month.
  • Follow the prompts and backup your contacts.
  • Go to the Verizon backup website and sign in.
  • View your contacts and click the "Print Contacts" link. Save the source of this page to a file
  • Download this script and run it against the saved html file. Save the output in "contacts.csv"
  • Go to the Contacts page in Gmail and select Import, and upload "contacts.csv" Note: I suggest using the "add these imported contacts to" a new group feature. Because you will likely have to merge and cleanup the imported contacts.
  • Import and Enjoy

IMPORTANT: My script only grabs the following information from the Verizon contact list: Name, Email, Work Phone, Mobile Phone, and Home Phone.

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