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The Process of Porting Telephone Numbers

HomeElectronicsCell PhonesVerizon PhonesThe Process of Porting Telephone Numbers
 Keep your existing phone number when changing carriers. The Local Number Portability mandate of 2003 set provisions for a consumer's right to keep an existing telephone number when switching service providers. The action was motivated in part by consumer complaints and the FCC's desire to address non-competitive practices within the industry. The LNP covers portability within the same geographical area and applies to wireline, wireless and VoIp services. Porting your telephone number only takes a few steps and usually goes into affect the same day you place the order.Contact your new service provider to initiate the porting process. Do not terminate service with current provider until porting is complete through the new provider. Your current provider may charge an early termination fee and require you to pay unpaid fees.
During the period of porting your number from one provider to the next, your phone services may be limited. You may not receive all incoming calls and 911 service may be restricted or disabled. Porting from wireline to wireless service may take up to several days. The LNP mandate requires carriers to port within one day, but some service providers still exceed the deadline. Porting service from one wireless carrier to the next generally takes only a few hours.
According to the LNP mandate, service providers may charge a fee to cover the costs of porting numbers. Before initiating the porting process, ask your new provider about fees. Service providers may not refuse to port numbers even if a consumer refuses to pay porting fees. However, they may continue to bill for the service.
If your service provider refuses to port your number within the same geographic area, you may file a complaint directly with the FCC. The Federal Communications Commission provides an online complaint form at fcc.gov/complaints. Complaints may also be filed at online consumer sites like ripoffreport.com. Consumer's file publically viewable complaints on the site and companies are permitted to refute the complaints.
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