Imagine the following:
Youve had the same cell phone number for eight years. One day, you go to call your daughter just like you do every Sunday but this time youre met with a dead line. You turn the phone off, then back on. Still dead. When you contact your provider, you learn your number no longer belongs to you.
How is that possible?
Its called porting. And when done correctly, it can be great for mobile phone users. But in the wrong hands, you may just find your number goes missing.
What is porting?
Wireless porting, or Wireless LNP (local number portability) gives consumers the ability to change mobile service providers while keeping their current phone number. So, if you wanted to switch from your contract provider to, say, Pure TalkUSA, you dont have to get stuck with a new number!
Its an excellent process for consumers whove had their number for a long time and dont wish to deal with the hassle of getting a new one.
How can I get my number ported?
Porting usually occurs with a wireless number, but it can be done with a wireline if circumstances allow (i.e., if the number qualifies and the wireline provider approves the port). When porting a wireless number, your current provider doesnt have to approve the porting request. In fact, according to FCC regulations, providers are required to honor a valid porting request.
So how do you go about making one?
First off, porting only works if youre transferring your number locally. So, if youre moving from Texas to Maine, you cant port your number.
If you are switching between local service providers, all you have to do is speak to your new provider about their porting process when you set up your service. Most providers have a section on their site reviewing porting and allowing you to check if your number is eligible (most numbers are).
After your number is confirmed, youll have to prove your identity in order for the provider to authorize the port. According to the FCC, bringing a recent bill can speed up the process, given it will have your account number and correct name and address.
During the porting process, make sure to keep your service with your previous provider active. If you dont, your number wont belong to you and wont be available for you to port!
Can someone else port my number?
Technically, no. According to FCC rules, providers must verify a consumers identity before submitting a porting request to the old carrier (this is where a recent bill comes in handy). However, there have been instances where users have claimed their number was ported without their authorization. How does this happen?
In some cases, its identity theft. The FCC provides strict regulations in regards to porting. A provider must verify a consumers identity, and, once they send a valid request, the previous provider cannot deny it or question it. Therefore, if someone has enough information to authorize your account, your number could be ported without your permission.
In other cases, it could be human error. With all the phone numbers in the world, can you imagine what happens if a porting request is made incorrectly? I.e., if the one digit thats wrong happens to make the number yours?
If your number gets ported without your permission, contact your service provider first to resolve the issue. Oftentimes, it will be up to the new provider to transfer your number back. If you have difficulty getting your number back, you can file a complaint with the FCC.
Porting can be tricky, but generally, its a great way for consumers to stay connected to their contacts. If youre interested in porting your number to Pure TalkUSA, contact us today!