Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FCC Still Pushing for Number Portability on Nov. 24

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the industry-ran-out-of-delaying-tactics dept.

Handhelds 378

JediAeryn writes "eWeek.com is reporting the latest on cell phone "number portability." Looks like the FCC is requiring wireless carriers to allow customers to take their numbers with them beginning Nov. 24th. This is all well and good, provided these companies don't throw out more lawsuits to slow the process. My local Verizon store has been giving me the same date for several weeks, but mentioned that other companies are afraid of losing their current customers. My question to the Slashdot community is this: is that a valid concern? Do you plan to switch carriers, and for what reasons?"

cancel ×

378 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182687)

this page was generated by my ass

Not soon (1)

prof187 (235849) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182695)

I just bought a $270 phone that only works on Sprint. I plan on staying with them as long as my phone holds out. =)

Re:Not soon (2, Insightful)

Asprin (545477) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182756)


Yeah, I agree with that, but let me add that I think the number portability issue, while nice, is not the most important determining factor in picking or switching carriers. Far more important to me is HARDWARE portability, so that a $270 phone has a lifespan extending even unto other carriers' networks at the end of the service contract. Why the hell we have to be forced to buy the phone WITH the service in this country is beyond me.

Re:Not soon (1)

jargoone (166102) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182866)

Why the hell we have to be forced to buy the phone WITH the service in this country is beyond me.

What are you talking about? You can walk into any place, any time, and buy a phone for any carrier without the service. You'll pay a lot more, but you can do it.

As for using the phones on other carriers' networks, it's sort of around now. And it's coming, eventually, once GSM propogates.

Re:Not soon (5, Informative)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182934)


You're right, it's crap. GSM is "an" (not "the") answer, at least the way it's implemented in most European countries. You have a GSM phone, there's a standard chip slot (same form factor is mini-smart cards used in USB dongles), and you get a new chip every time you switch providers (and you keep your number without any fees.)

Generally there are fairly hefty withdrawal fees, but you can get a new phone at a hefty discount
when you sign up, and you can normally get a fairly decent phone at a good price every two years or so if you stick with your provider. The phone's yours.

I like it; I've had better quality services here (all over Europe) than anywhere I've used any cell phones back home in California. The pricing's a bit higher, although with all the surcharges US providers have, I don't think it makes too much of a difference. And the cool thing for me is that as long as I'm on my provider's network in Switzerland, all the calls are at the "mobile" rate. Long distance is only when you call to or from other countries (in all of which my phone works).

True, the rates are a bit higher if I call outside my provider's network, but that's a pretty insubstantial difference.

Re:Not soon (1)

geekdoc (672760) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182800)

Has anyone taken this into account? Even if you could take your phone number with you, many people will still not be able to switch carriers do to new phones being prohibitively expensive and old phones that are only usable on one company's network. That, bundled with the exorbitant fees companies charge to break contract, suggest to me that there are plenty of other ways to avoid the jumping-ship problem the phone companies fear. Although, the best way to ensure you keep your customers is to have (GASP) good customer service, good features, low prices, and good coverage.

Re:Not soon (1)

splateagle (557203) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182925)

I'm not sure how this works in the states but here in the UK handsets which "only work" on one network are usually only limited by firmware lock-ins and these can usually be unlocked pretty simply.

I seem to remember it being a minor issue that people raised when we got number portability here a few years back, but I don't remember ever hearing of anyone being iretrievably locked in to one carrier by their hardware.

Besides, one of the biggest advantages portability gives the user (I've found) isn't actually moving carriers at all but rather having that bit more leverage with your existing carrier: I've twice threatened to move when my network (O2) have pissed me off and both times they bent over backwards to keep the account (freebe handset/line rental etc.)

Re:Not soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182901)

Then you my friend are a grade A moron.

Why the hell would you pay $270 for a phone that only works on one network, the crappiest national network at that? Talk about a huge investment with no resources!!! They offer free phones, and phones for $5, why be a chump and buy one for $270? So you can look at porn on the subway?

Re:Not soon (1)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182929)

Good freakin' luck. I've been with Sprint for just a bit over a year. I should've bagged them when I had the chance (I wasn't paying attention to my actual sign-on date... :-\ ). I consider myself lucky to even get a roaming analog signal. I live just outside Philly, so don't bring up the "rural, not many towers in the area" arguement. I have a couple, LITTERALLY, less than a quarter mile away. (I'd take picks if I could get a machine to like the camera I have)

I do have to say, though, when I do have a signal, it's great. REALLY, great! It's a VERY crisp connection. It's just rather rare to have a good signal (or any at all, for that matter).

Slashdotted, Article Text below (-1, Troll)

Article Text Troll (704297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182700)

WASHINGTON (AP)--Cell phone users should be allowed to change companies and keep their numbers even if they have outstanding bills or contracts with their current provider, regulators said Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Federal Communications Commission is requiring that beginning Nov. 24 cellular companies offer customers the option of taking their phone numbers with them when they switch carriers. Consumer advocates say not having that choice has prevented more wireless customers from switching in search of better service and prices.

Responding to industry questions, the FCC issued guidelines for how carriers should provide the service.

The commission said companies should complete a phone-number switch between wireless carriers within 2{ hours, a time already set as a goal by most major carriers. The FCC said the time period is not mandatory, but the commission would reconsider that if it received many consumer complaints about delays in switching numbers to new carriers.

The guidelines also say that people can switch numbers to another carrier even if current accounts are not settled. Wireless companies can't refuse a switching request, but they can still enforce billing requirements such as termination fees when a customer ends a contract early.

As many as 6 million of the more than 150 million cell phone subscribers may seek to move their cell phone numbers to a new carrier in the first week of the service, FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy said. That number would likely drop dramatically after the initial surge.

The wireless industry said that with the deadline for the "number portability" service less than two months away, it still needs more guidance from the government. Inactive HIV carriers (such as Rob Malda, who may have been infected by one of any number of gay men) say they are particularly concerned about rules governing how people would move numbers between traditional wireline phones and cell phones.

"The commission still has not answered some basic implementation questions," said Tom Wheeler, president of the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association. "The FCC has simultaneously managed to tie the industry's hands and hold our feet to the fire."

Congress decided in 1996 that people can keep their traditional local phone numbers when they change phone companies. The FCC said soon after that wireless carriers should offer that ability to people in the largest 100 U.S. cities by June 1999.

The FCC extended that deadline three times, most recently granting a yearlong extension in 2002 after Verizon Wireless asked the commission to eliminate the requirement.

A federal court in June rejected an appeal by wireless companies who wanted to block the portability requirement. The companies had argued that the rule will raise costs while doing little to promote competition.

Even while they fought the requirement, cell phone companies prepared to provide the service by creating technology, training workers and making agreements with competitors.

Many cell phone users outside the United States, in places such as Britain, Australia and Hong Kong, already have the option of keeping their numbers when they switch carriers.

Re:Slashdotted, Article Text below (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182759)

The Article Text Troll strikes again! Add him to your friends and ensure you'll see him next time!

DON'T LET THE "TROLL" PART FOOL YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182793)

I second that. I don't know how he does it, but ArticleText"Troll" (I have to use quotes because he's the farthest thing from a troll that you'll ever find on /.) somehow manages to get to articles before they are slashdotted, on a remarkably consistent basis. Then he posts the article text here so we can all enjoy it. Putting him on your friends list is pretty much the smartest move you could ever make.

Re:DON'T LET THE "TROLL" PART FOOL YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182821)

Shut the fuck up, Article Text Troll. Posting AC to praise yourself is fucking lame. Now fuck off and die, you gay ass nigger.

Mod parent up.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182764)

The text hasn't been modified from the original article.

Can I move it to VoIP? (5, Interesting)

QuasiDon (215923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182705)

I am thinking of getting a VoIP service like Vonage soon. I wonder if I will be able to take my cell phone number and transfer it over to that service.

Not Yet (2, Funny)

ShaggyZet (74769) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182746)

No. Mobile to land line portability is later. Maybe.

Re:Can I move it to VoIP? (5, Informative)

sstidman (323182) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182919)

No, you won't, unfortunately. The FAQ is found at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/numbport.html [fcc.gov] . Although the FCC does not specifically talk about VoIP, here is the answer they provide for portability between land lines and mobile lines:
Can I Keep the Same Wireline Telephone Number if I Switch My Local Telephone Service to a Cellular or Personal Communications Service (PCS) Telephone Service Provider or Vice-Versa?

Cellular and other wireless carriers are not required to provide telephone number portability at this time. For this reason, customers cannot retain the same local telephone number if they change their local service from a wireline local telephone company to a wireless carrier, like a cellular or PCS service provider. Likewise, customers cannot switch from a cellular or PCS service provider to a local wireline service provider and keep the same cellular or PCS telephone number.
At this point in time, the FCC does not regulate VoIP. Some people want that to change, but for now they don't. Therefore the FCC will not be mandating number portability between VoIP and any other phone system anytime soon. And there won't be any voluntary effort to setup NP between VoIP and anything else because it costs money to setup the NP system and the phone companies fear that creating an NP system will result in the loss of customers. In my view, only the phone companies that suck should have to worry about that.

im on tmobile... (1)

_RiZ_ (26333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182706)

and as soon as i get a chance to keep my very easy to remember and hand chosen number, Im switching to a service provider like ATTWS or Sprint.

Re:im on tmobile... (0)

ricosalomar (630386) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182789)

The tmobile person I talked to said that number-portability requires you get a NEW #. Then that one will be portable. Seems stupid, right?

Re:im on tmobile... (1)

_RiZ_ (26333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182848)

ya thats the idea... let me get a new number with the same provider just to switch to a new provider... i soon hope i can tell tmobile to fuck off... one can only wish.

A Valid Concern? (1)

tubs (143128) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182710)

I take it you mean a valid concern of the carriers?

Of course it is - in the same way it's a valid concern of any business if I take my custom else where.

It doesn't cause any problems here in the UK (3, Interesting)

EricTheRed (5613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182711)

We've had this capability in the UK for a few years now.

Although I've not changed mobile supplier, I know of several people who have without any problems.

I think here that try to keep you, but in the end as long as you have obtained a PUK code, then they can't stop you from keeping your number and changing supplier.

Re:It doesn't cause any problems here in the UK (1)

stroudie (173480) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182813)

I've some experience of this procedure, and generally it works seamlessly. Furthermore, it seems to stimulate the market (both for the telcos and the handset vendors), rather than damage it.

It surprises me therefore, that the carriers are fighting this so hard...

Re:It doesn't cause any problems here in the UK (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182817)

Minor note - that should be PAC (Porting Authorization Code). A PUK (Phone UnlocKing code) is only necessary if you have a phone locked to a particular network, which you want to use with a different network.

I've kept the same number for about five years now, with four changes across three different networks (vodafone -> cellnet -> vodafone -> cellnet -> orange), largely due to the fact that new subscriber deals are much better than contract continuation deals. They will try to persuade you to stay, but they've never managed to match the deal I can get by changing.

Re:It doesn't cause any problems here in the UK (1)

EricTheRed (5613) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182879)

Oops, thanks for the correction ;-)

I was going to switch anyway (1)

moskrin (53287) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182714)

I've had at&t for a bit over a year and it's
been just horrendous. I was going to switch
sometime soon even if it means changing my
number... but the Nov 24th date will probably
help my procrastinating...

UNIX (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182716)

UNIX

I'm leaving Cingular (1)

ShaggyZet (74769) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182718)

...and going to Sprint. I want a flip-pda/phone. I know Sprint's service isn't as good, but they have faster data and better phones. Not to mention more reasonable prices. Cingular is one of the carriers that's worried about losing customers, and I can understand why. This is definately a case where they should try competing instead of going to court, but I guess they're desperate.

Re:I'm leaving Cingular (1)

Diaspar (319457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182910)

WHY??!? I'm waiting for my sprint contract to expire in december just so that i can switch. i've been with sprint for around 5 years. what i'm most pissed about is that they screwd me on the phone (i've been paying the loss insurance for around 4 years, and when my [discontinued] phone gave out on me, they've sent me (with a deductable) another much inferior and also discontinued phone, and i was notified in advance that i have 0 choice in the matter).
anyway, i don't like a flip phone, and that's pretty much the only thing sprint carries (non-flip options are EXTREMELY limited).
Also, what might be a big concern is the text messages. it's very easy on other carriers such as cingular and tmobile, but on sprint it requires to go through the web connection and is just a huge hassle in general.

Is there any real concerns that you have with cingular?? why do you say it's worried about loosing customers?! they seem to have the best plans right now (and phones, in my opinion). i've also considered tmobile, but the service is terrible from my experience (much inferior to sprint)

Still waiting for Phone Portabillity (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182720)

My phone only works with Sprint, still waiting for someone to figure out how to easily switch carriers on the phone end too.

Re:Still waiting for Phone Portabillity (1)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182752)

My phone only works with Sprint, still waiting for someone to figure out how to easily switch carriers on the phone end too.

This is already very common place with "unlocked" phones. You can't do it with all phones (e.g. some would have to be physically modified), but many can do it with a simple code.

Re:Still waiting for Phone Portabillity (0)

ricosalomar (630386) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182820)

Yeah, search google for unlock phone.

Re:Still waiting for Phone Portabillity (1)

vondo (303621) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182873)

That'd be nice, but it's not crucial for a lot of people. Usually to get a good price on the phone, you sign a one or two year contract. The life of my first phone was a little under two years and when my contract comes up in February, I'm going to want to look at changing phones and providers (and keeping the only phone number anyone knows for me).

It'll cost you (1)

okie_rhce (224078) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182721)

I was told by ATT that the cost for doing this was *not* cheap, along the lines of $200 at both ends!! Has anyone else heard of what the cost for portability is?

Re:It'll cost you (1)

sbma44 (694130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182807)

well, if you opt out of your contract early there are usually termination fees in that neighborhood

However, number portability is being paid for right now -- most companies have started adding a number portability surcharge to their customers' bills. And in most cases they've said this money will not be refunded even if they succeed in defeating the number portability initiative -- pretty sleazy.

don't plan on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182724)

really the main reason i haven't switched is most cell phone places wont let you get a phone unless they have your SSN and i keep telling them i don't have one. i should just start giving out a fake one.

plans to switch (1)

514x0r (691137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182725)

this has never been too much of a concern. it will be nice, but i've switch carriers at least 3 times. the first because sprint began to offer nationwide before anyone else, but now the plans are similar enough across carriers that it will come down to whoever has the technology i want when my current plan is up.

What's next? (1, Interesting)

acvh (120205) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182727)

A requirement for IP address portability?

This is another example of government's "good" intentions about to go awry. If cell carriers can't count on a consistent base of customers, some of which consistency was predicated on people not switching due to losing their phone number, then the only logical result is that the cost of the service will rise. I hereby predict that a year from now we will be paying more for the same service we have now.

Re:What's next? (1)

jwilhelm (238084) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182762)

...or they'll have to start competing on price and quality of customer service. So prices may fall, and customer service may improve.

Re:What's next? (2, Funny)

mopslik (688435) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182782)

I hereby predict that a year from now we will be paying more for the same service we have now.

To me, that seems like a logical progression, even without the portability issue. The cost of my land-based phone increases around $2 every year, for the same basic service, under the guise of "network improvements". It sucks, but it's not surprising.

Re:What's next? (1)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182795)

This is another example of government's "good" intentions about to go awry. If cell carriers can't count on a consistent base of customers, some of which consistency was predicated on people not switching due to losing their phone number, then the only logical result is that the cost of the service will rise. I hereby predict that a year from now we will be paying more for the same service we have now.

But what reason would one have to stay with their current service if they raise prices? For existing long-time cell users, there is no longer any need to stay with your current provider if they start raising fees. The only apparent problem occurs if the cell companies start working together to consistently increase service charges and impose significant fees for keeping your old number.

Re:What's next? (1)

cookiej (136023) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182816)

... You work for a cell phone company, right?

How do you figure THIS will raise costs, though? I mean, if I can take my number with me, you can BET I'll go to the best service for the price. This increases competition and will more easily drive companies with bad service and/or higher prices out of business.

Traditionally, the cellphone companies lured you in with some sweet deals, raised prices and/or under-delivered on services and relied on the high hassle-factor of changing you telephone number.

Reducing the hassle-factor will force cell phone companies to become more competitive.

Re:What's next? (1)

Virtex (2914) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182876)

A requirement for IP address portability?

IP address portability isn't necessary. That's what DNS is for. My IP address can change and I can still keep my same domain. However, you may have been thinking email portability. That's something that could create some problems, even though most MTAs make it easy to forward mail to a new address. For example, if the ISP hosting your email goes out of business, you're screwed.

This just in... (1)

mattbot 5000 (645961) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182896)

Inflation signs one-year deal, will remain on the economic team through 2004!

I hereby predict that a year from now we will be paying more for the same service we have now.

How about in Canada? (2, Interesting)

jimmer63 (651486) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182733)

In Canada we're still stuck with changing numbers when we switch carriers. There's no changes planned either. Is my phone number my property or the telephone company's? I can take my home number though with me when I change my home phone company but not my cellular number. This would really be helpful at work. Anyone know of any pending or proposed changes?

KOBE STILL PUSHING FOR ANAL PROBEABILITY (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182738)

TAKE IT TO THE RIM, MY NIGGER

WHAT HONKY DOESN'T LIKE TO BE BENT OVER A CHAIR AND FUCKED DOGGY STYLE BY A BLACK MAN? SOUNDS CONSENSUAL TO ME!

*_k_o_b_e_s_e_x_*_k_o_b_e_s_e_x_*_k_o_b_e_s_e_x_*_
k_______________________________________________k_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
b|_______|_____________\__________|______|______b_ _
e|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____e_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
k____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____k_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
b_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____b_ _
e_______/\_|___C_____)/_KOBE_\_(_____>__|_/_____e_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)__LIKES_|_(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\DA_ANAL/_//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
k____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_k_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
b___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_b_ _
e___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|e_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_k_o_b_e_s_e_x_*_k_o_b_e_s_e_x_*_k_o_b_e_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

reception (4, Interesting)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182742)

Wasn't too excited by Sprint...reception at my house was always lousy for every service provider, though...we're right by major cell towers. They're right on the other side of that stone hill. (This is in Waltham, a suburb of Boston.)

But then recently the reception at home for Sprint got perfect...I guess adding towers and coverage is still an ongoing thing? So I think I'll stick with my now...2 or 3 year old phone.

Re:reception (1)

mike77 (519751) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182895)

I ran into this same problem w/ sprint. I moved out to the suburbs, and they assured me my cell phone would have great service in that area. When i actually tested it out there, I got nothing, I mean nothing, I even tried roaming and got no signal. So I started hassling them, and tried to cancel the contract (w/out incurring the penalty). After several months of complaints I got the tech guys to agree w/ me, and then called up the cancellations number. the woman had the audacity to tell me "We don't guarantee your phone to work at your home sir." Well, where the hell do they guarantee it? right under the damn towers???

Forced to change (5, Interesting)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182743)

Cell phone companies essentially force you to change carriers every couple of years anyway because of their ridiculous pricing polices:

You sign up with a carrier and get a good deal that requires a 1 or 2 year contract.

At the end of that contract you have to switch to a different rate plan.

All the good (cheap) rate plans are limited to "new subscribers only"

You're faced with the choice of paying substantially more or switching to a different carrier who is offering good deals to new subscribers.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Re:Forced to change (1)

QuasiDon (215923) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182785)

Cingular doesn't make you sign a new contract to change your plan. I found that the current plan is the same price for almost double the minutes. My contract is up with them and I am going month-to-month. I called a couple months ago to change my plan, and I didn't need a new contract. Very good for customer satisfaction. Plus now they have the rollover minutes.

Re:Forced to change (1)

cK-Gunslinger (443452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182854)

I don't know about that. I've had Sprint PCS for about 3 1/2 years now. I first signed up for a 1 year contract for $34.99/month. After a year, nothing changed. They still charge me the same thing, I didn't have to renew any contracts or anything.

And even if you decide to quit (at least with Sprint), you'll be immediately transferred to a "Customer Retention Representative" who is ready and authorized to bargain with you. Just give them the terms of the competitor you're thinking about switching to, and they will probably match it.

are you kidding??! (2, Informative)

snooo53 (663796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182939)

Who do you have as a carrier? I've been using Sprint PCS for the last couple years and they have never done anything like that!

In fact, just the opposite. I've been gradually upgrading my plan by continuing my service for another year, and now I must say I have an awesome plan.

$28 a month, 300 anytime, unlimited nights and weekends (starting at 8pm), free wireless web, pcs->pcs calling. I think it's an awesome deal for the amount I use the phone.

You know how I got those? I just called the customer service center and asked if they could do anything better for me. That's all. I didn't even have to play the "i've been thinking about switching to carrier xxxx" card, either.

I don't think you understand how much the companies WANT to have you as a customer. They don't have a monopoly, (unless you're in po dunk, nowhere) and they know it. Threaten to switch carriers and I bet you they will give you a deal. If not, well, that's their loss.. it's how the free market works. In that case switch to a new carrier and probably get a free phone out of the deal.

Bye bye AT&T (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182745)

My service over the past four years with AT&T has been okay, but their plans are (comparatively) high priced and new features have been far and few between. Coverage has been very good, but there's nothing compelling about high cost and few features. It just feels like I'm paying more for the brand than the service...see ya!

Of course it's valid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182748)

other companies are afraid of losing their current customers. My question to the Slashdot community is this: is that a valid concern?


Of course it's a valid concern, if their service sucks. And if their service sucks, holding customers hostage by their phone numbers is one of the only ways (apart from contract cancellation fees) to keep their customers. Now carriers will have to improve their service if they want customers to stay. What a novel idea!

In UK for about a year (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182749)

This as been the case in the UK for a year or so. As you would expect, the phone companies have put as many obstacles in the way of changers as they could - even to the extent of shop staff telling outright lies (not saying this is corporate policy, just individual staff).

But even allowing for this, they hasn't been much churn. Most people "use up" their current phone. When they get a new phone, they may well changfe providers - and put up with the trouble of changed numbers. Those who really don't want their nunmber changed are usually ther fairly conservatibve types who will stay with theur phone an dtheir telco unless really srewed around with. It has probaly led to a flattening out of services: once you examin the small print, there isn't that much to choose between the different schemes on offer, so why change?

I'll change my number (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182750)

I'm a consultant and owner of a retail franchise on the side. People need to call me all the time. Even with that priority, I don't understand the fear of having to change my cell phone number.

I've changed services 3 times in 8 years. Each time I was given a new phone number. All I did was ask the previous cell phone company to cut my minutes to the bare minimum they could, and leave a message on my voice mail saying "I have changed this phone number. Please call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Do not leave a voice mail here."

After 30-60 days (around $20-$40 maximum) I ended the previous service. If someone didn't call me in 60 days, why should I care if they have my number or not? There are so many other ways to get a hold of me (e-mail, postal, even calling up one of my businesses), my cell phone number should NOT be an issue. If they only know my cell phone number and none of my other contact points, I honestly don't care all that much about them (or vice versa).

I have a few customers right now who are waiting for portability, but I've heard it may cost $3 to $8 a month to keep your old number. This is crazy! Keep the old number for a few months, pay the monthly charges, and do what I've done -- set up your own "new number information" message.

Re:I'll change my number (1)

sbma44 (694130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182860)

It's not an option to pay the fee -- I believe it's a mandatory fee applied on a monthly basis to fund the initiative. Doesn't matter if you use it or not. I'm basing this assumption on the fact that it's already showing up on some people's bills, despite not yet being available.

So you wouldn't gain much with your method, I'm afraid, once portability begins. Plus, changing websites, business cards, etc is a pain. I'm all for number portability, but do wonder about the justification for the fees that are being attached to it.

Re:I'll change my number (1)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182915)

In your case, paying for two plans at once during a transition is viable, since it's a big part of your business. But the average person won't want to pay an extra $40-$80 when they change plans.

So it's not fair to companies who are trying to use superior service to win away customers of other companies, since there's an artifical negative consequence associated with switching to their product.

I'm glad to see this happen: this legislation removes an artificial negative consequence, in order to keep the market fair. In the end, the better company will win, and the consumers will get better service.

Aussies lead the way... again. (1)

samj (115984) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182755)

You lot are only 2 years [aca.gov.au] behind us aussies on this one.

Re:Aussies lead the way... again. (0, Flamebait)

_RiZ_ (26333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182767)

ya but its too bad that this and swimming would be the only thing the aussies lead the US in! :)

Re:Aussies lead the way... again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182888)

And building sweet AWD wagons! wait...

Re:Aussies lead the way... again. (1)

beady (710116) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182834)

Yeah, 2 years ahead is really leading the americans on this issue... aside from the fact that this has been done, and standard practise more often than not, in the UK for an absolute minimum of 3 years, and probably more like 5 or more.

Only a new concept in the US... (2, Insightful)

Talthane (699885) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182757)

This has been a feature of both landlines and cellular networks for some time in the UK (I'm not sure about the Continent). Strangely enough, the phone system hasn't collapsed and we still seem to have a working telecommunications infrastructure. *touch wood*

In fact, what happened was that some customers switched from company A to company B, and some customers switched from company B to company A, and so on. And people were happy. And companies, the good ones anyway, didn't fall apart, so they were happy too.

I don't know what the motives of the objecting companies are, but perhaps they should think more about the service they're providing - if it's easy for people to switch and they provide a good service, said company could actually benefit.

Yes and No (1)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182761)

Well I have been with bell (I am canadian so this actualy dose not affect me) for a long time. and at one point, I almost moved to another companey. the real thing that heldme back was the fact I would lose my cell #. In all honesty, there is no reason I should lose it, its stilll a 416 #, same area ... but hey thats how its set up. So yes I think this is a concern, that allowing people to keep the number well mean more people well switch. so how do you fix this, well you have to make the customer want to stay with you. Not use little tricks to almost force them to stay with you. Its a customer market, and if you the phone companey do not bend tot he customer, you well lose them, simple

Business Cards (1)

relyter (696205) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182763)

I have been wanting to get one of those nifty camera phones, but I have been holding out until the number portability became a reality. I don't want to order new business cards, call everyone I know, and generally create havoc simply because "I want a cooler phone"
Slashdot had an article a while back the number portability would work for cell phone too ground line too.

SprintPCS == Jerks (1)

VonGuard (39260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182772)

I left SprintPCS a while back, and it had nothign to do with my phone number. it had to do with faulty customer service, innaccurate billing, and an inability to get anything done without waiting on hold for 2 hours.

Oh, and if I asked how I could speak about my bill quicker, I was directed to a SprintPCS store where I was instructed to pick up a red phone on the wall and wait on hold for an hour. They cut their hold times in half!

Now I'm with T-Mobile. No bad billing, and quick customer service. But 1/2 the time I make a call, it doesn't go through. The second time, though, it usually connects.

Oy!

My solution (5, Interesting)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182774)

I use my cell phone as my main business number. It's a real pain when I change providers because I have to make sure everyone gets my new number. It ruins any advertising I've done with it.

So my solution was to get a 2nd line at my house with NO features at all except CALL FORWARD to my cell phone. I don't even have a phone plugged into it. I give out the phone number on the 2nd line.
Now I can change cell providers easily and just change the number that gets forwarded to.

Re:My solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182797)

and how much does THAT cost? $10 or so per month? That's a bit pricey.

same crap, different pile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182777)

it isn't really a valid concern because there'll probably be the same amount of people switching into thier service that are switching out..

so if they are frightned, they have crappy service and deserve this kick in the ass to get competative.

IMHO, they are all pretty bad.. so it doesn't really matter at this point.

Yes, I'll switch carriers. (1)

DdJ (10790) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182778)

What this change means is, every time my contract comes up, I can shop around for the best deal all over again. Since I last got a cell phone, my wife has seen how useful they are. So, now I'm going to shop around for one of those family plans, where calls between two particular phones are free and the two phones share a pool of minutes. Now I don't have to care whether that deal comes from Verizon or someone else. And if I can get a better phone than my old StarTAC, perhaps one that works with iSync, all the better.

If I could not keep my number while switching carriers, there's no way I would even entertain the idea of switching carriers.

Better deals (1)

rbabb (134729) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182779)

I'm planning on using this whole number portability thing to negotiate for a better cell phone, and in return i'll sign another year contract or something. Seems only fair to me.

Yes, because sprint sucks (2, Interesting)

visionsofmcskill (556169) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182780)

I have been using Sprint for three years now and have found their service to be more than lacking, The only thing that has kept me with them is the insanely great number i got from them.... now that number is quite easy to remember and all my friends and family have it, as well i dont even HAVE a land line anymore becuase i have a cable modem at home. Thus i am quite stuck witht the number and have been stuck with sprint in addition.

I am of course somewhat concerened about switching to another carrier due to the draconian agreements you must sign to get a phone or renew your contract these days (2 years!!!???).... as well as the fact that it appears that ALL the carriers suck ass. I hear complaints about everyone.... T-mobile, ATT, sprint, Verizon, all of them apparently have more issues than i think is fair to the consumer. However sprint is probably the MOST proprietary of them all, with no sim's, and horrid connectivity cards.

The greatest thing about the number portability beyond the ability to move over to a new service is that this will no doubt FORCE the carriers to compete on a basis of quality of service as opposed to just price vs performance. By giving people an option to switch we should see carriers start to focus on who can provide the most stable AND cost-effective network.

Not to mention this should give high-speed wireless data a nice shot in the arm with consumers quickly switching over for the faster and more reliable cards.

Canada (0)

Dragoon (10644) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182790)

It'd be nice to have this up here in the wild and wintery north.

I"ve swapped cell phone companys 3 times in the past 2 years, and there are some people I would love to hear from that I couldn't reach, that only have my old number.

ALso the annoyance of updating all my online info with my new cell #, is evil.

All the old resumes I sent that are sitting in dusty cabinets rotting are now not only old, but old and horribly wrong.

This service would flat out rock. I'd love to see the possibility of each person havign a cell # for life, that would rock.

Kinda like our own personal IP address :) We dont want to hear from somebody? fine, blocklists :)

Firewalls for phones.. :)

Right now (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182792)

Right now I'm a pooor college student. I have a cell phone because my dad got a new one (the phone was free) and my mom made me take it because she was worried. I share minutes with my still in high school brother back at home, and my mom pays for it. Once I get a decent paying job I will probably switch to T-Mobile or Sprint. They have the badass intarweb features I want. I might even get one of those cool sidekick/hiptop thingies. But if possible I would like to keep my current cell-phone number with Verizon. It would just be super convenient. Heck, I would even pay a small one time fee for the convenience if I had to. Like $10 or something. I must say, that I am not so displeased with my current service. Verizon seems to have excellent coverage and I have a great plan for telphoning. But in the future I'm looking to do more with portable thingies I can't yet afford.

Australia has had number portability for a while (2, Interesting)

a.koepke (688359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182794)

I am amazed that it is taking this long to get the number portability issue sort-of rolling. Here in Australia we have had this available to us since September 2001 [aca.gov.au] .

The ACCC [accc.gov.au] (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) here in Australia are the ones who asked for it to happen in the interest of competition.

If other companies are afraid of loosing their customers then they are obviously not serving them well enough. This sort of thing forces the telcos to provide a better service to their customers since the main barrier to customers leaving will not be there anymore. This sort of thing will really help competition and be better for the industry.

Re:Australia has had number portability for a whil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182951)

Yeah, well, you can go fuck a kangaroo.

Nope. (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182799)

Nothing profound to say, but my Sprint service has been pretty decent for the past 5-6 years. I'm sticking there. I couldn't care less about the stupid gee-whiz gizmos that come in phones these days (a camera? games? are you fucking kidding me?). But Sprint has good coverage, and no long distance charges.

Hostage? (2, Insightful)

jridley (9305) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182804)

IOW, some providers have crappy service, and feel that holding their phone number hostage is the only way to keep their customers? That's a pretty sad commentary on their own companies.

har har (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182808)

cell phones are for pimps and drug dealers.

Similar policy for email addresses? (1)

Moskie (620227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182812)

I've been using my univeristy email account for 5 years now, but I'll be done with school very soon, and with that goes my email account. I almost wish there'd be talk about policies for keeping email addresses throughout the years also.

Re:Similar policy for email addresses? (1)

_RiZ_ (26333) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182870)

you ever heard of free web mail? ive had all mine for years and years now.

Re:Similar policy for email addresses? (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182955)

Buy your own domain.

Maybe, maybe not. (1)

swngnmonk (210826) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182819)

I've had a phone with Verizon for years. The number spells an easy-to-remember word, and I'm not about to give that up.

As I see it, the FCC decision puts true market forces into play - I've been locked into Verizon because I couldn't carry the number elsewhere. No longer.

Do I switch? Possibly. Verizon doesn't work in my apartment, Sprint does. Sprint has cooler phones. It'll all end up depending on who offers me the best combination of price & service.

Isn't that the way it's supposed to be? Companies competing for customers? C'mon!

Now they need a /good/ way of maintaing customers (1)

Anonymous Custard (587661) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182823)

In a time when most legislation is to protect the company, not the consumer, it's nice to see something like this law.

They've essentially had a strange sort of monopoly over you, where if you wanted to keep your number, you were forced to use their service and had no other options. Other than the "keep your number" part, that is a CLEAR example of a monopoly for existing customers. It's kind of interesting, from an economics point of view :-)

I've got a two year contract (bogus!), but I'm happy with Verizon's service (excellent!) and cost/feature balance. In my area, their coverage is second to none. So I won't be switching, as long as Verizon keeps up with features I want eventually (stylish phone choices, camera, push-to-talk, etc.)

So I think allowing you to keep your number will just make companies work harder to keep their customers. No longer will the desire to maintain a consistent phone number be a reason to stay with your provider, so they will need better and more meaningful reasons to hang on to their customers (such as a superior product/service).

Yes, I'm planning on switching carriers... (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182833)

I have a Qualcomm 2760 handset. It is 3+ years old now. No fancy color LCD screen, camera, GPS, integrated Palm pilot, or anything else. It has a keypad, a microphone, a speaker, and it lets me store names and numbers. It has been serving me well and I see no reason to change it.

nTelos sees otherwise, though. First (about 2 years ago) they 'upgraded' their system so that the voicemail button on the keypad no longer worked. "Sir, you should get a new handset if you want that functionality to continue!". No problem, I'll just add *86 to the speed dial.

Then, another system upgrade (about a year ago) caused the 'you have voicemail' icon to stay lit continually. Again, "Sir a new handset would take care of that problem. Come in and we'll show you all of our new phones with great extra features!!" Ok, so now I just have wait for the phone to beep if I have voicemail. No biggy.

Now, it seems that if someone leaves a message the system may decide to let me know I have voicemail right then, sometime later, sometime much later, or never. Again, a new handset would solve all of my problems.

These "system upgrades" all in the name of nTelos wanting to lock customers into another contract and pay for an expensive handset are ridiculous. This phone does everything I need.

I've only stayed with nTelos this long after the fiasco started because I've had this phone # for ~8 years (yeah, nTelos got me into a new handset once) and I don't want to go through the hassle of having to change it. Come 11/24 I'm off to a nice nationwide carrier that has a wide range of handsets---not like the 3-5 that nTelos uses. If they wanted my business they'd not be screwing with me like this.

Pepsi Challenge here in the woods (1)

aredubya74 (266988) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182853)

I recently moved from the Boston area up over the border to a small town in New Hampshire (insert cow and/or missing teeth joke here). I work out of my house, so if any provider could offer me good reception on their network from my home, I'd buy on in a heartbeat. Sadly, no provider I'm aware of will let you demo a phone in your home. I'm currently using Verizon Wireless, as of those I've been able to "test" by others' reception issues when they visit my home, Verizon's been the best. My wife has Cingular, which is fine outside the home, shit in it. My work had provided my a cell phone from Nextel, which had zippo coverage for at least a mile around my house. I've also had folks test US Cellular and ATT Wireless, neither with any decent results.

So who gives a crap about phone number portability? Give me signal strength out here in the woods, and I'll give you my money. I'd suggest the government include specified coverage guarantees by a given provider next time they auction off some more wavelengths for the Next Big Wireless Technology.

I know I switched (2, Informative)

Gubbe (705219) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182856)

Number portability got into effect in Finland a couple of months ago. Previously I hadn't felt the need to switch my operator, but now that I could keep my number I switched from Radiolinja to Saunalahti. They also supply my DSL so I don't have to pay a separate monthly fee. I pay .11 to .23 cents per minute (depending on destination operator) and only 1,50e per megabyte for GPRS which is cheap compared to my previous operator. Saunalahti also uses Sonera's network which is the best this country has to offer.

I'm not the only one to switch either. In fact, since number portability came into effect, almost all carriers have been swamped with orders. Some people switch because they are offered freebies, some switch due to low prices and some switch just because they have been pissed off by their original operator one too many times. One thing is for sure. People are switching and the competition is fierce.

I see no reason why it should be any less fierce in the US and as we all know, the more there is competition, the better it is for the consumer.

this will be interesting (1)

gse (68728) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182858)

I'm planning to change right away, because I'm tired of waiting for Verizon to support the Treo 600. Sucks, because I've been very happy with their coverage, esp in the DC and NY areas. I'll be sure to tell them exactly why I'm switching. And word is that this is as much a business opportunity as it is a risk. Expect to see very aggressive "competitive upgrade" offers from competing providers... as long as you don't mind 2-year contracts.

What we really need... (2, Insightful)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182859)

Is to make the damned phones portable from carrier to carrier, not just the number.

Only the weak and stupid worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182875)

This is a perfect example of corporate greed vs. customer choice. Big corporations again are acting out of unrelenting greed instead of considered judgement.

Customer choice is king. Locking people in, and telling them that the phone number that they have been using for the past 5-10 years is the property of the telephone company are examples of companies out of control - they are breaking the law and intention of antitrust legisilation.

This is why you can't trust big companies to self regulate. They can't. They don't see the "big picture" - which is that consumers want choice.

If they would spend the money wasted on lobbyists (all lobbyists should hang, right before the lawyers) on upgrading their networks and paying customer service reps a little better (so they're nice), they would find that they can strip away customers more easily from their competition.

Apparently, these corporations think there is more money to be made off of people who don't have cell phones, then by stealing away their competition's customers. Which is perfectly stupid because the cell phone market is saturated.

But, we can hope that Micheal Powell might actually do something for the consumer and help clear his name from the consolidation mess.

I can't wait! (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182884)

After my problems with Cingluar, part of the problem is the handset I have is a piece of junk the other is with their new GSM still flickering on and off and I am glad at least I have a dual tech phone (GAIT), I cannot wait to switch. My Fiance and I both rely on our Cell's as our only phone since we are both consultants, me technology to small businesses and her Wedding Planner, and depend on people actually being able to get in touch with us for our living. I was ready to pay the termination fee, but remember about number portablity. With it only being less than 60 days away I figured it would much cheaper since it would cost us several hundred dollars in reprinting business cards and brochures with our new numbers, plus it gives me a month to bitch at cingular as I lost one bid/customer during their network problems which means I lost some where around $700 - $1000 in business. (I have been fighting with Cingular for the last two weeks and no one seems to care or think I'll ditch their service until I remind them about number portablity as it would be cheaper to pay cingular the termination fee and go else where than to purchase a new handset at retail, even though this is my 3rd Nokia 6340 in 3 months because they all keep dropping calls, not ringing when called or auto powering off even after the battery is tightened. My Fiance has had the same problem with her 6340i and two other friends have had issues with their handsets too. I dunno, sounds like a Nokia problem to me and the if Cingular gave a rats ass about their customers, would offer to exchange the value of the phones and go back to Nokia and fight out the QC problems.

I live in SW missouri, Springfield to be exact (awaits Simpsons comments), and I went to the Alltel store yesterday as my business partner uses them and has been quite happy with their service, but was ready for an upgrade on his handset (he had an old Nokia 4100 or 5100) and asked them about number portablity. The Alltel sales rep was friendly and told me, "Our billing system is ready, but they are starting with the top 100 metro areas in the country. We won't be able to do that down here until late spring, proably around May and June."

May or June of 2004...I can't wait that long. I mean when it takes effect would be the best time because I know everyone is going to bend over backwards with good deals to steal each other's customers. Unfortunatly the cost of reprinting business cards and other materials looks to be a lot less than the potential of lost clients/jobs if I don't switch now.

So yes, number portablity is good...if it really would be available on November 24th everywhere.

US Cellular (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182904)

I just swtiched from Nextel (too expensive) to US Cellular (Chicago area). I have been really pleased with their service except for where I work, but that is a local issue. Residents dont want towers around them. Try looking at US Cellular for local plans, their nationwide suck.

Funny this came up. (1)

frode (82655) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182916)

I was called out of the blue by a Sprint PCS rep to ask how I liked the service. Living next to NYC I said I thought the service could be better and that in an emergency (Blackout, terrorist attact, ect . . .)Sprint was totaly useless.

I also mentioned that I'd probably be changing carriers on Nov-24 when number portability kicked in. The rep quickly offered me a deal that is only a penny higher than I pay now that included unlimited nights and weekend, 50
more anytime minutes, and kept my evenings start of 8pm, but with a one year contract.

I didn't take the offer, if they're willing to give this now I can only imagine what they'll be willing to do once the panic fully sets in.

AS a side note I called Sprint on the number portability charge and the rep told me it was a tax and that I'd have to talk to the tax authority about it. I said Okay if it's a tax who gets the menoey, the local, state, or federal gov? After about 10 minutes she finally admitted they (Sprint) got the money. Gotta love em.

Keep company, but change service... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7182918)

I have been using the same service from AT&T Wireless for the past 4 years... I inquired about upgrading my package to their digital 'MLife' network the last time I was purchasing a new phone, and I was informed I would receive a new phone number if I moved to digital. How crazy is that, when a company can't allow me to keep the same phone number on their own service?

So, knowing this law was up and coming, I've decided to wait until it is in effect.. only then will I be able to switch to the digital network of the same company I use today and keep my current phone number.

Big Juicy Corp accounts (1)

Mr Krinkle (112489) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182930)

That is where I see cell phone companies not wanting you to take your number with you for. Yes, my private cell phone number could be changed super easy. Tell my friends, family, and maybe one or two other people.(I no longer have a personal cell, but I used to switch it every year) But my work phone is another deal entirely. It has been several weeks and I have sent out emails to everyone here at work, updated our company directory, updated the Exchange listing, and updated the helpdesk. I also have voicemail on my old number telling them to call the new one. I also have to get the company to get new buisiness cards for me. Now let us say your entire company is going to switch from AT&T to Verizon. Let's say you have 1000 cell phone numbers. That means you have to have 1000 sets of new buisiness cards printed out. Contact all of your customers. Make all changes on the external and internal web pages. Hope all your suppliers don't just use your number's in their palm pilot's(or jotted on the big sheet of paper in their desk) but actually look up your new number everytime. ETC. This is a HUGE expense and makes it very difficult for companies to switch. Now let us change this. I am a company with 10,000 phones. Verizon over here says come switch all 10k phones to us for one year and we can do this for you. Boom switched. Accounting only has to change where they pay. Next Year AT&T lures you back. (Yea I know people still probably have to switch phones)
For phone companies now they have to compete much tighter to fight for those juicy corp accounts. I know they like those better cause my wife's cell phone bill is ~14$ a month. She uses it for emergencies only. Mine for work is ~500$ a month. Which account would you want to hold on to desperately as a cell phone carrier?

Poor service equals fewer customers (1)

djnichol (674571) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182937)

I have T-Mobile and the signal quality in my house is so poor that my phone rarely works there. As far as I'm concerned they can take a hike whether I have to get a new number or not. When are these companies going to learn that trying to restrain customer choice with technological measures is an unsuccessful way to keep customers?

Don't give anyone your mobile number (1)

bhny (97647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182938)

After 3 rings on my home phone it forwards to my mobile.
I just give people my home phone number.

Vonage forwarding is free and you can set the number of rings etc. on their web site

This way I can change mobile numbers and no one knows

Not leaving Nextel (1)

wobedraggled (549225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182940)

Great service, no reason to leave. And the new i730 is sexy :)

I'd like to keep my number (1)

c1ay (703047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182950)

I currently have now plans on switching providers but I've had this number now for 2 years and regardless of hardware issues it would be very impractical to try to get a new number to all of the clients that have my current number. I may not even know who some of them are since they could be potential clients that got my number from someone else without my knowledge.

Switcharoonie! (1)

eexlebots (203658) | more than 10 years ago | (#7182953)

I have been thinking about switching for a while now, but it's a pain in the $%^ to switch to a new number-so it's kept me from seriously exploring my options. When this goes into effect, though...oh man, I am so getting a new phone+plan! Goodbye Ericsson phone that resets every other time someone calls me!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?