When changing business phone service providers, you have two options. You can get a new phone number through your new provider, or you can port over the same number from your old provider to your new provider. Almost all businesses choose the latter, because you don’t want customers to get confused with a new number. It helps keep things organized if you continue to take your number with you from provider to provider. The only issue is that some providers will charge you for porting your phone numbers, which can be discouraging. At CallHarbor, we opt to charge zero porting fees. We want our customers to feel like family right from the start. Making the switch to a new provider should be as painless as possible, and that is something we boast about.
Let’s take a look at what porting a number over entails, why some companies charge for it, some legalities behind it, and a few frequently asked questions about porting numbers.
What is Number Porting?
Number porting is the process of taking your existing number and transferring it to your new service provider. That way, there is no interruption in your service. You don’t need to deal with the hassle of sharing your new phone number with customers. Your business won’t miss any opportunities due to confusion.
In the past, switching telecom providers meant you had to get a new phone number. This means companies would stick with vendors longer than they wanted to avoid the hassle of changing phone numbers across the organization.
Number porting gives your company the freedom to upgrade providers without having to inform existing customers and clients about the change because the phone number is still the same. On their end, everything functions as normal. On your end, your organization gets the benefit of using a communication provider that supports your business much better. When porting your numbers to a new provider, such as CallHarbor, the porting needs to take place before the service switch takes place. You should not cancel your plan with your old provider until after the port has competed successfully. This will help to ensure there’s zero interruption in service after the number porting occurs.
Why Does CallHarbor Port for Free?
CallHarbor ports your numbers over for free. We don’t charge a big porting fee or crazy taxes for the service. It simply comes along with your plan when you switch to us. We want your onboarding to be as painless as possible. With some VoIP providers, it will cost your upwards of $39.99 per number to port your numbers over. We don’t think that’s the way to go. We want to build a relationship with you from the get-go, and show you how much we care about your business!
What Are the Legalities of Porting?
Local number porting (LNP) was mandated in the U.S. by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It was put into place in order to fuel competition in the communications industry so that the government would not end up governing communications. If services could deny number porting, then many businesses and organizations would end up being stuck with their provider for a long time. Even if they were unhappy, they would not want to switch due to have to get a new number.
Because of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, you should always be able to port your number. But there are some strategies you can take if your current provider is trying to block it from happening. The first step in the process is to make sure all the information you submitted to your current provider in order to port your number is correct. This is a common situation that causes current providers to deny your request. As Talkroute reports, “9 times out of 10, when a port request is rejected by the losing carrier, it is due to missing or incorrect information on the port order.” You should contact that provider and find out exactly your port request was rejected, so you can see if it was just a miscommunication all along.
But if they are intentionally withholding your number, simply remind them that they are required by law to release your number. Just as Talkroute says, the FCC clearly states, “Commission rules require carriers to port a number when they receive a valid request, and carriers may not refuse to port.”
Q: How long will it take to port in once submitted?
A: Ports can generally occur within 7 business days. However some ports may take longer if account information is incorrect or the losing carrier denies the port.
Q: What are the statuses of a port?
A: These are the four statuses your port could be:
– Submitted (submitted and awaiting verification from losing carrier)
– CSR Required (a CSR is required to continue)
– Rejected (your port has been rejected and will need to be resubmitted with proper information)
– FOC (a date has been confirmed for your port to process)
Q: When will I need an LOA (Letter of Authorization) filled out?
A: All Toll-Free numbers require a LOA, most local numbers will not, however our support staff will let you know if there is a special case where it is required.
Q: What is a CSR?
A: A CSR is a customer service record that is sometimes required to continue with the porting process. This would be requested by the customer to their current/losing carrier. It is generally provided by mail or email.