The biggest fear most customers have when implementing a new phone system of any kind, has do to with the Number Porting.
Number Porting is the process of moving your telephone numbers from one service provider to another.
We’ve all heard horror stories about a business or person losing their phone numbers or being down for a few days because a port went bad, or having to delay an installation because the number porting was rejected.
There’s a lot of fear because of how important that phone number is to the business. It’s the lifeline of the business. A business can’t afford for anything to go wrong.
If you follow a few simple steps, you can have a successful port:
Step 1 – You should contact the losing service provider and request a CSR – Customer Service Record. The CSR refers to the record a service provider holds with information regarding a business’s account. It contains the phone numbers, business and personal information, such as name and address, and account number.
Step 2 – You will have to sign an LoA – Letter of Authorization, giving the new service provider permission to port your phone numbers from the losing service provider to the new service provider. It’s VERY important that you complete the LoA with 100% accuracy. Most of the information is found on the CSR.
The key things to note on the LoA are as follows:
- The Billing Telephone Number much match. This us usually the main phone number.
- The Address must match. Sometimes even a period in the wrong place, or if you enter Rd. instead of Road, the port request will be rejected.
- The Authorized Contact must match. This is the person authorizing service on behalf of the business.
- And you must include the phone numbers would you like to port.
Step 3 – Once you provide an LoA to the new provider, they will issue an FOC, Firm Order Commit, date. This is the date that your numbers are scheduled to be released and available to port to the new provider. They will give you a window whereby you can control the time of the port and/or they can have an automatic port occur if you do not initiate it within the window.
Step 4 – This is the actual port. On the day of the port, you will contact the new service provider to start the process of porting your numbers. You can either give them the order number or your BTN. The process is usually instant but may take as much as 10 minutes to fully complete. During that time, your calls should not be interrupted. Calls will be ringing in on the old phone system, and during the port, start ringing on the new phone system.
From start to finish, the number porting process may take up to 30-45 days, depending on the losing carrier, accuracy of the LoA, and if there are any outstanding balances that are due. These usually need to get addressed before the losing carrier will release your numbers.
We typically schedule the port for 2 weeks out, which gives us enough time to work through any issues, provision the new system, train users, test, install, and then port.
Here’s two more tips to ensure a successful port:
Review your current contract. Your contract may contain early termination fees and/or outstanding balances that you are obligated to pay.
Here’s a word of caution – Do not terminate your service with your existing company before initiating new service with another company. Recovering your numbers after you terminate service is very difficult, if not almost impossible.
If you’d like more information on a business phone system for your business, you can reach us at (248) 247-7200.