Easy Twitter Hack: Keep the Username, Dump the Account

We are the kinds of people who can’t help ourselves. We end up giving free consultation all the time to friends (and strangers!) who just ask for help. I’m guessing most of the content generated for this site will be germinated by someone crying out for help. This question came from a friend who wrote me the following email. Maybe you’ve been in this boat:

You are the only social media expert I know, so I have a question.
When I initially setup my twitter account, something went wrong and it has never worked properly. I’ve never been able to automatically update my Facebook status via Twitter, I’ve never been able to retweet (unless I “quote” a tweet), you cannot find me or my timeline if you search for me, etc. It’s like I have my profile set to private. I’ve submitted several help tickets through Twitter, I’ve set my account to private and then set it back to public, I’ve done everything I’ve thought to do.
All this to ask, is there a way to cancel my account and start over but not lose my username? I can re-follow people, so I don’t care about losing that. I would just like Twitter to work properly.
Any thoughts? It seems like you might have done something similar with Wildhair Media and your personal account.
Can I buy you lunch in lieu of a Wildhair Media consultative fee?

I share this with you to make it public that my friend owes me a lunch.
I also wanted to share the answer I gave him with everyone, hoping it might help.
Reducing my answer into steps to follow, I told him to following the following method.

Step 1- change the email of record on your existing twitter account to a different email address (I only assume you want your new account to be associated with your existing email address)
Step 2 – start a new twitter account with the email address you prefer and the user name @genslayxyz (DO NOT DELETE YOUR OLD ACCOUNT, twitter puts deleted accounts into a re-approval black hole) set your image, bio, background to look the way you want
Step 3 – login to your @genslay account and change the username to @genslayDEAD
Step 4 – quickly go back to the @genslayxyz account and change the username to the, now available, @genslay
Step 5 – as @genslay, go to the @genslayDEAD account and follow all of it’s follows
Step 6 – login to your @genslayDEAD account and
a. change BIO to an ALL CAPS announcement that Twitter messed with your account and people should refollow you at http://twitter.com/genslay
b. change bio URL to http://twitter.com/genslay
c. change BIO location to @genslay, USA
Step 7 – using hootsuite or tweetdeck (or any service that allows you to schedule your tweets) schedule multiple tweets over the next seven days saying. “SCHEDULED: Twitter messed up my account, if you’re a real friend you’ll understand and refollow me at @genslay :)”

That will be $50,000 please.

If you found this helpful, please leave a comment.
If you know a better method, I certainly invite you to share it with us in the comments.