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