Today, we take for granted that we can keep our telephone numbers when we change communications service providers—something that just wasn’t possible only a little over 15 short years ago! It wasn’t that long ago that with a phone number, you could identify the state, city and even neighborhood where the person lived. Not so today! More than ever before, consumers, both individual and business, have telephone numbers that serve as their identities and they depend on multiple types of devices that are connected to a single telephone number. Thanks to the local number portability act or LNP and associated technologies, today you can take your number with you when you move! It’s ‘port’able!
When you place an order with a carrier to ‘port’ your phone number the order involves three key organizations besides you, 1) the winning carrier which is your new carrier, 2) the loosing carrier, which is your current, soon to be old carrier 3) a third party organization that manages the telecommunications industry LNP database. This organization is known as the NPAC or Number Portability Administration Center. In order to enter, track and execute your LNP order you, the consumer, must provide accurate information. If any of the information provided does not match carrier records, delays occur. Below are a few things you should be aware of when porting your numbers….
The following information is found on your current telephone bill and a copy is often required by the winning carrier to ensure accuracy of information:
- Customer name.
- Service address.
- BTN otherwise known as the bill to number.
- Account number.
- All phone numbers on the bill, whether they will be ported or not. (Numbers will need to be identified as either to be ported or not.)
- If some numbers will remain with old carrier, a new BTN must be chosen.
- A LOA or letter of authorization will need to be signed by you the consumer, giving your new carrier authority to act on your behalf to port over your number(s).
Some additional pitfalls to watch out for!
- Billing issues with your current carrier will need to be cleared up before they will likely agree to port your numbers away.
- Orders for any services on the account with the loosing carrier will likely cause the port order to be rejected.
- Careful about resellers of wholesale telecom services! Some resellers keep very poor records. When asked to supply a CSR (customer service record) or detailed phone bill, they cannot. I’ve seen situations where incorrect information provided by resellers such as BTN or account number has caused port order rejections, in once case as much as four times!