Just because you want to change your business service provider does not mean that you need to change your business phone numbers. There are often many questions when it comes to phone number porting. Here are a few answers for you…
“Can I keep the same numbers?”
Yes. The FCC consumer guide states that, “If you’re switching service providers and remaining in the same geographic area, you can keep your existing phone number.” So, as long as you are staying in the country you can keep your business phone numbers.
However, there are important things to know when preparing your business phone numbers for the porting process.
Do I cancel my current service first?
No. When you cancel your service before you transfer your numbers, you relinquish all rights to those numbers. Your numbers will then automatically be returned to your previous provider, and you will no longer have access to them. So, do not cancel the service with your current carrier until all of your numbers has been ported successfully to the new provider.
How do I start the phone porting process?
First, check to see if your phone numbers are eligible for the transfer.
Phone service providers have to take many factors in account when number porting. For example, is the phone locked or unlocked? Is it compatible with the prospective carrier’s network? Most major carriers have a tool on their website to help you answer this question. You can type in the number and check its eligibility for the switch to them. Once you confirm that your numbers are eligible for the transfer, you are ready to start the porting process.
Your new provider is the one who starts initiates the porting process. So, your next step is to choose and purchase your new plan with them.
When you choose your plan, you will be asked if you would like to get new lines or if you would like to transfer your current numbers over. If you choose to transfer your current numbers, you will need to sign a Letter of Authorization. This will give your new provider permission to request the phone port from your current carrier on your behalf.
Your new provider will also ask for your current phone service account information. You might want to have your last phone bill available, as it will have most of the information needed for this noted on it. You might also need to have your phone devices’ IMEI number available.
As you input your details double check to make sure that your information is correct.
Mismatched information is the #1 factor that causes a porting process request to be rejected. The information you give to your new carrier must coincide with the information your current provider has. Your phone numbers and accounts are all sensitive information, which your phone carriers must protect. It is also their responsibility to ensure security and help prevent fraud. So, if your new carrier reaches out to them with a port request and provides them inaccurate information, they will be denied pretty quickly. Make sure that the account names, address, phone numbers, devices and account numbers match exactly to the information noted on your latest phone bill.
Your new carrier will begin your porting process for you when you provide your current phone number and account information.
Your new carrier will reach out to your current provider and work out the rest of the logistics from there. If you are porting just one simple phone line, then you can expect the process to be completed within 24-48 hours. However, if your system is more complex and you have multiple lines then the process may take a few business days. You can contact your new service provider directly to confirm the estimated turn-around time for your phone porting.
When your phone porting is successfully completed the contract with your previous provider will automatically be deactivated and your new service plan will start.
Congratulations! Your phone porting is complete. It is always a good rule of thumb to reach out to your previous carrier to confirm that your account has indeed been officially closed. This will also let you know if you have any outstanding balances on your old account which still need to be taken care of.
Are there fees? How much does phone porting cost?
Yes, there are fees for your phone porting process. The cost, however, will vary according to each provider.
If you find another service provider with better terms and best rates for you, then know that phone porting can be an option for you.