When you change your phone service provider, you want the transition to be smooth, without losing your phone number. And honestly nobody wants to alert every single soul that they cannot reach you on the current number.
Thankfully most companies, whether they provide landline phone or VoIP services, allow new clients to continue using their old phone numbers with the new service.
When Porting Is Not Possible
Before we jump right into the review of the porting process, we need to take a look at certain cases where number porting is impossible. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), if you are moving to a new geographical area you cannot keep your old phone number (which doesn’t apply to virtual numbers associated with VoIP accounts) and you can’t port your fax number at any cost. Also, there is a chance that there is no agreement between your old and new service providers, meaning you get a new number whether you like it or not. Furthermore, certain companies may apply severe early termination fees (see Broadvoice) if you leave them before the end of your contract.
The Number Porting Process
Once you are done going through all necessary terms and conditions that might hinder number porting, simply choose your new provider and sign up for the company’s services with the option of number porting. Whether you are switching from a landline phone, another VoIP provider or Skype/Viber/WhatsApp, porting should be smooth. But before you start the process, keep in mind that unlike mobile phone numbers, porting a regular phone number might take 7–30 days. Therefore we suggest you to not terminate your contract with your old service provider until your new phone service provider is ready to associate your old number to your new cloud phone system. In the meantime, ask your current service provider to direct calls to your temporary number till number porting concludes.
Speaking of temporary numbers, you cannot avoid getting one during the process, thus you might experience a bit of overlapping which is a necessary evil you have to live with. One crucial thing though: once you signed the new contract with your new provider, the old one cannot refuse to give out your old phone number even if you owe them money.
The Price of Change
According to our thorough research and the conclusions of the FCC, companies may charge you to port your number, the amount of which is usually between $15 and $30. However, certain plans at companies like eVoice and Grasshopper (albeit only its two top plans) allow you to port your number free of charge.
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