Ludicrous at Cingular

A few days ago I learned an utterly amazing fact. After your cellphone plan expires, you have the chance to upgrade your phone (with discounts, etc). However, in general,  when you buy from third parties like, you do not qualify for the “new plan phone discounts” if your service plan has run out.   The only way you can qualify for these “new service discounts” is to buy a cellphone with a completely new account (and telephone number).  However, according to the Cingular rep, you cannot transfer your existing telephone number to any of these upgrade telephones without going through a month or two of waiting.  That strikes me as ludicrous.