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Transferring your phone number (DID)

posted Aug 14, 2015, 12:54 PM by EZvoip Co   [ updated Aug 25, 2015, 2:40 PM ]
Local Number Portability (LNP) or Wireless Number Portability (WNP) allows people to keep their phone number when switching providers. In theory, it should be a simple matter and it's mandated by law and explained on the website of various organizations, such as CWTA, CRTC, FCC. In practice, it is a process fraught with delays and difficulties.

Keep Calm and Port Your Number


To transfer out a phone number (i.e., to take your phone number with you from us to a new provider), you need to contact your new provider and make sure your account with us is in good standing. You do not need our permission or even to let us know and we do not charge for that, although we would appreciate your feedback.


Cost

To transfer your phone number "in" (i.e., to us from your former provider), you need to make sure that your account with them is in good standing. There may be a cost associated with the transfer, varying from $8 to $15, depending on the area code, which we might often be able to absorb - still, you need to make sure that the balance of your account with us is at least $15-20.

In particular, transferring a phone number from USA, whether toll-free or from other area codes, may be free, but the wait time could be up to 4 weeks (though it is usually around 2 weeks). A Canadian number may take around 1 week, but there is a cost of $8-10, unless it is a fax number, in which case it could be $15. 

We can provide a more accurate estimate of the cost and delay once you give us the aforementioned data. 


Required data

To complete the transfer, we will need from you: 
  1. the actual phone number, including area code which should be active, in working order, and not scheduled for disconnection
  2. we need to know if this is a partial port (i.e., if you have other phone numbers with them that you are keeping there) and if this is (are) residential or business numbers
  3. if it's a mobile number, we'll need the IMEI, PIN and SIM cars as well (if used)
  4. the address on file with your former provider and their CLEC, i.e., Service Address, which may be different from your billing address; this may be different from your actual address, especially if you changed your address while a subscriber with them, so be sure you provide us with the address your provider (or the CLEC, the provider of your provider) has on file and do not attempt to change / update it while the transfer is in progress
  5. provider's name and address (this is usually printed on the statement)
  6. a signed copy of your latest statement (see below for more details); the signature should be on a blank area
  7. your account balance with us (as well as with them) should be higher than possible charges throughout the duration of the transfer.
We emphasize that all this data should match what your provider has on file. This may be outdated, and if that is the case, trying to update it with them may cause further delays. Also, be sure NOT to schedule a number for disconnection!
If you have changed your address while holding that phone number with the same provider, you might want to provide us with the old address as well. You might also want to do a Reverse Phone search on your number (YPca, YPus, RPL, WP, 411).


How to send us your signed statement

The requirement for a signed statement is there to ensure that some "phreaker" in a far away place cannot steal your number without your knowledge, as part of an identity theft. This is why this process may seem complicated, but in the end, it is for your own protection.

a) Paper statement
If your provider sends your paper statements regularly (via mail), please take the latest in your possession and sign it on a blank area. Be sure that your name, phone number and address are visible. You can then fax it to us or scan it and email us the resulting image. If you do not have access to a scanner, you may also take a good resolution photo with a digital camera or a smartphone.

b) Online statement
Most people these days no longer receive paper statements and track their usage online. If that is your case, you may take a screenshot of your latest statement, sign it, then email or fax us the resulting image.
To take a screenshot:
  • On a Windows laptop or computer, you may use "Snipping Tool" which automatically saves screenshots in your Pictures folder (when pressing the Windows Key and PrtSc), or press Alt+PrtSc to only take a screenshot of your current window, rather than the entire screen. If you do not have or want to use a specific utility, the image might be placed in your Clipboard. You will have to paste it (Ctrl + V) in an image editor in order to save it and / or print it.
  • On a MacBook or similar Apple device, press Command (⌘)-Shift-3 or Command (⌘)-Shift-4 as detailed on Apple Support.
  • On a smartphone or tablet, you may take a screenshot by pressing the power button and the volume down key on Android, or the lock and home buttons on an iPhone. You can then find the screenshot in your Camera Roll. You may then sign it with your finger using an image editor right on your smartphone, then email it to us - just be sure that your signature is readable and obvious, or your former provider might reject the application.
Once you obtained an image file of your invoice, you can try signing it with your mouse or pen / finger if you have a touch tablet. If that does not work, you might have to print it out, sign it with a pen by hand, then fax it or scan it / take a photo and email it to us.
We prefer to receive such a statement by email, but we can provide you with our fax number on request, if that is your preference.


Reasons for rejection

NB: Pay particular attention to the address! Your provider may have a slightly different address on file and even small discrepancies may be used to delay or deny a phone number transfer. A post office box is a guaranteed mismatch as it's a billing address only.
  1. A landline is installed at a specific physical address, which must match; for services which are inherently nomadic (such as prepaid mobiles or VoIP), the address may be arbitrary but still needs to look like a valid street address (not a box) with your port request matching your record at the existing provider.
  2. Another common mismatch is the contact person's name on a business telephone line. A carrier will list names of one or more specific persons in a company as having control of a number even though the bill itself only shows the company name and billing address. The contact person's name is needed.
  3. The Billing Telephone Number (BTN) is the main telephone number listed on your account. If the BTN you provided us does not match what your phone provider has on file, you will receive the Incorrect BTN rejection. To resolve this rejection you will need to contact your current phone provider and ask them what the BTN is for the specified porting number(s). If you are porting more than one number it is possible there may be more than one BTN on your account. If this is the case you will need to determine which of the specified porting number(s) falls under which BTN. The least painful way to do this is to request a Customer Service Record (CSR) from your current phone provider. It is recommended that prior to submitting your port request to us, you can either request a CSR from your current phone provider or you can call/email them to determine what the BTN(s) is/are.
  4. If the porting number(s) is/are part of a Hunt Group, you will receive the Hunt Members Stranded rejection. To resolve this rejection you will need to provide a list of the hunt members and what is to be done with them (port them, cancel them or keep them). To avoid this rejection, before starting the porting process, make sure the porting number is left alone (not being attached to any Hunt Group) or provide the Hunt Group information within the porting notes.
  5. Sometimes, even when we already have an FOC date, the losing carrier is able to reject the order. This kind of rejection is called More Recent Authorization. It means that the losing carrier received a more recent authorization than ours to port this number or that the customer contacted the losing carrier and cancelled this request, or that the losing carrier received a request from another carrier more recently. In this case you will also need to contact the losing carrier to verify this and then let us know how to proceed.
  6. You will receive the Freeze on the Account, Pending Order rejection if there are any open/pending orders on your account with your current provider. This could include feature changes, disconnect orders, or even changes made to other services you may have with your current phone provider. To resolve this rejection you will need to contact your current provider, determine what the open/pending order(s) is/are, and either complete or cancel the order. Once this has been done, you will need to contact us so we can resubmit your port request. Usually a confirmation number is needed. To avoid this rejection, make sure there are no open/pending orders on your account prior to submitting your port request to us; this includes disconnect orders. It would be best to wait to submit a disconnect request until after your numbers have completed porting to us.
As shown above at 6), if your address or other data the CLEC has on file is different from reality, rather than update it with them, just make sure you provide us what they have on file. If you attempt to update it, we may receive the rejection detailed at 6, resulting in further delays and expense.

Once the porting process is complete, and you are satisfied with your new service, you might want to call your former provider to cancel the account and make sure that there are no additional charges.
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