Hosted VoIP FAQ: Can We Keep Our Phone Numbers?
For many businesses, the idea of being forced to change the phone number when they upgrade to a new hosted VoIP phone system is not just a concern: it is a deal breaker!
This is certainly understandable. After all, the last thing that your business wants is for past, current and prospective customers to hear a “we’re sorry, the number you have dialed is not in service” recording, or get routed to another business — and maybe even a competitor!
The good news is that when you upgrade to DigitalPhone.io’s advanced hosted VoIP phone system, in most cases your business can continue using your existing phone number (including any toll-free numbers). This is done through a process known as porting.
In the past, porting (i.e. transferring) phone numbers wasn’t possible — which was a major headache for businesses. Basically, phone numbers were tied to a specific Service Provider. If a business needed or wanted to change their Service Provider, they had to get new a phone number. Naturally, this was great news for Service Providers who didn’t have to do much to earn customer loyalty. As far as doling out phone numbers went, they were the only game in town.
However, after receiving plenty of complaints over several years, the FCC agreed that this practice was unfair. As such, they changed the rules, and now businesses can keep their existing phone number if they switch Service Providers and remain in the same geographic area. This change took MUCH LONGER than it should have, but as the old saying goes, better late than never!
The Porting Process
The experts here at DigitalPhone.io will manage every step of the porting process for you. In some cases, “simple porting” can be done in one business day. However, more complex porting — such as from a landline — can take 1-2 weeks. Be assured that this duration is NOT because of us. It is because we are dependent on your old Service Provider, and unfortunately some of them don’t make porting out a priority.
Additional Porting Information
Here is some additional information about porting:
- It is VERY important that you do not cancel your old numbers before the porting process is complete! If you do, then unfortunately your old numbers will no longer be available.
- During the transition process from your old Service Provider to DigitalPhone.io, there may be some temporary disruption in service. If so, we will immediately assign you a temporary number.
- Your old Service Provider may charge an administrative fee for porting. You will need to check and see what it stated in your agreement. If you wish, we will review your agreement and tell you what to expect.
- If you have a balance owing to your old Service Provider, then this should not have any impact on porting your numbers. In other words, the Service Provider cannot hold your numbers “hostage” until an overdue bill is reconciled. Billing and porting are separate processes.
- Some Service Providers are easy to work with — and some are not. We will do our best to ensure that your old Service Provider follows the rules, and releases your numbers in a timely fashion. If they are difficult to work with, then at your request we will help you lodge a proper and detailed complaint with the FCC.
Don’t Trust Your Number Porting to Just Anyone!
If you don’t choose the right hosted VoIP partner, then number porting can turn into a disaster. That is what happened to Oneida Baptist Institute, an internationally-renowned boarding and day school for students in grades 6-12 founded in 1899, and located in Oneida, Kentucky. Read this article to learn how the DigitalPhone.io team came to the rescue and ended their porting nightmare!