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Porting numbers

Posted on 2016-10-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2016-11-02
Currently I have a client that is in dispute with their vendor that provides their Internet and phone. The dispute is over billing. Is there anyway to port their numbers over to another vendor or do they have to resolve their billing first?  Also do some vendors keep phone numbers where they won't let them go ever? These are the DID numbers.  Let me know what your experience is experts.
Question by:al4629740
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LVL 22

Accepted Solution

Reid Palmeira earned 1000 total points
ID: 41859843
In the US, you can port the numbers over to another service provider but that doesn't resolve any disputes with the current carrier over billing. They could still be liable for any valid charges and could be sent to a collections agency for non-payment even after the numbers are ported. Your first step would be finding another service provider in that area code (LATA) and rate center.  That said, there are limitations on number porting. For example, there's no guarantee of being able to port numbers to a different service type. Or if you're in a remote/rural area sometimes the carrier can get a waiver from LNP requirements. You say these are DIDs, but if they're VoIP and you tried to port them to a wireless carrier, there's no guarantee of that. Typically though, you move them from an ISDN PRI on provider A to an ISDN PRI on provider B, you're fine.

Here's the NPAC outline of how it works. https://www.npac.com/number-portability/how-lnp-works

And the FCC rules for LNP, at the beginning you'll see it addressing your specific question about billing and outstanding balances. https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/porting-keeping-your-phone-number-when-you-change-providers

Do double-check the existing service agreement/contract though, if they're still under term there could be early termination liability or other expensive charges for terminating the service.
LVL 31

Assisted Solution

masnrock earned 500 total points
ID: 41860576
You should be able to port the numbers and still continue the billing dispute. But remember that you deal with the new company for the number port, not the current one. Do NOT try to terminate the old service before getting the new one. A number of people have done this and lost their phone numbers. I even had a past client do this and lose a phone number their organization had for over 30 years.

rpalmeria22 has actually given you a lot of good information in terms of anything that may come up from contractual obligations, etc.
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

Phonebuff earned 500 total points
ID: 41860935
I will add one note of caution.   The new company acts as your agent, but the current provider has to play in this process and in my experience has resulted in the port being denied for any number of reasons.   Greatly extending the time the whole process takes.

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