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What Has Number Portability Done For You?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the absolutely-nothing-huh dept.

Wireless Networking 756

Coldeagle writes "Number portability has been around for a few days now, I was wondering; have any of you fellow Slashdot readers switched carriers? How was your experience, and have you seen any price warring since it went into place?" Or is number portability so far more hype than happenin'?

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

in the words of big gay al... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620533)

nothing! but thanks for asking!

nada, and it never will... (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620536)

Of course it doesn't do anything for me. I am locked into a two-year agreement. I can't change carriers, look into other carriers, or even think about other carriers without first being charged $170.00.

Number portability... The commercials seem to point at the fact that you can now have your home phone number moved to a cell phone. While I do use my cell phone more than my land line I must say that having an actual phone plugged into the wall not really requiring any batteries, chargers, or antennas is nice.

My cell phone doesn't work all that well in my apartment, it rarely gets a call through on the first four or five times on the weekend, and it drops calls like mad when a plane flies overhead.

Honestly, it's just a gimmick. Something that was mandated for no real reason. It looks like something good but it just isn't what the advertisements and media claim. I liken it to the hype over the gold dollar. They went through all this trouble to design it, market it, and make sure coke machines took it and no one really cared.

As far as price-warring. The only service that I see with reasonable services and prices is T-mobile. They look fantastic until you pull up their coverage area... Here in the Twin Cities Metro area they have great coverage... Problem is I routinely travel outside of the metro area into western and southern MN along with western WI. No coverage there. Sad...

Until my cell service is mandated not to drop calls, not to require as much recharging, and not to have locked in contracts of 2 years, it won't do me any good.

Just my worthless .02,

Re:nada, and it never will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620579)

They are going to become more competitive [top25web.com] , and in the long run, cheaper. However, service still sucks for AT&T in my area, but I'm stuck with contract. Next time, NO CONTRACTS!

Re: the gold dollars (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620583)

Most people I know are just hoarding those like aging dragons sitting atop a pile of treasure. How many years before they increase in value? I don't know, but my small collection of Susan B. Anthony dollars isn't doing much, and that was quite a while ago.

Re:nada, and it never will... (4, Insightful)

klocwerk (48514) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620621)

sorry to be rude, but was a very worthless .02

you haven't tried to move your number, you're just pissed about choosing to sign a 2 year contract.

Why would you say it's a gimmick when you just don't have option to use it because you were stupid enough to sign away two years of money for what sounds like awful service?
what gimmick bought your money?

Re:nada, and it never will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620756)

what gimmick bought my money? Good cell phone coverage that's what.

Don't troll when you have nothing to say.

Re:nada, and it never will... (4, Interesting)

Coventry (3779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620632)

Are you using Verizon?
I know verizon lets you switch plans in mid-stream, as long as you get a new term on the selected plan that is longer than what remains on your current agreement. IE, if you have 14 months left, you have to get a new 2 year agreement.

I've never had a problem switching to new promotional plans since I got my phones (I have 3 phones in my name for myself, my wife, and the business - no land lines). This may just be a Verizon thing though.

Re:nada, and it never will... (1)

banzai75 (310300) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620638)

Exactly.. it's more a marketing scheme. Everyone is going to run around switching carriers. The companies will end up with the same amount of business. They'll just get to charge people for dropping out of their contracts or the new activation fees.

Plus, the cell phone companies themselves will love this because everyone is going to run out and get a new phone.

Re:nada, and it never will... (2, Interesting)

Xenopax (238094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620644)

It's nice for those of us who have been wanting to switch companies and not tell 200+ people what our new phone number is. This is especially important for us geeks who have no land line, and use our cell phone numbers on our resumes.

Personally I have AT&T, but I want to switch to Verizon because my friends all have plans that give extra mobile-to-mobile minutes, which would be useful since they are the core group of people I talk to. Up until a few days ago though, I couldn't do it because of complications with changing my number.

Also, who the hell signs a two year agreement?

Re:nada, and it never will... (1, Insightful)

jonnyfivealive (611482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620662)

thats one reason i like to let my contracts expire. that way, you get billed by the month and can continue as long as you want. then, you can just change plans any time you want.

Re:nada, and it never will... (4, Insightful)

filth grinder (577043) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620722)

Not to be rude, but I think this reply is more of, "I can't use the feature right now, so I'm going to piss and moan about other problems being more important"

Number portability is great, and needed. It's not a gimick. Here at the office, it is most welcomed. We recently reviewed our cellphone planes. Cingular was just bending s over a sink. We wanted out. We shopped around, looked at different carriers, and picked the one that best suited us (Sprint).
Of course, this was several months ago. After switching carriers, we had to distribute all new phones, everyone had to learn new phone numbers, we needed to update business cards, and then try and update all our contacts.

What if someone we met at a conference six months ago though, hey, you know so-so's product would work for us real well here, I think I even have his card. He calls a sales reps phone... nope no answer. He can fall back and call the main office number, but thats not good. It gives the appearance of being unprofessional.

If we had number portability, the transition would be seamless for the users.

Bitching about 2 year deals is dumb. You can find PLENTY of one year plans. Also, there are TONS and TONS of per-use plans for people who don't like long term plans. You can go to Best Buy and pick up a Virgin mobile phone that is pay as you go.

Your complaining seems like sour grapes to me. Looks like you chose a bad plan and carrier and now are completely upset with the cellphone world.

Re:nada, and it never will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620736)

The mandate was valid, it gives us choice, what was wrong was the fighting by the cellular companies who were claiming that this would bankrupt them, etc. This should never have been a big deal.

And now, without the deluge of changing customers that was supposed to bankrupt them, they are actually profiting as they are charging about $3 per month to all customers as a government mandated fee (which actually means the government allows them to collect the fee, but they are not required/mandated to.

-!!!

Re:nada, and it never will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620758)

My cell phone doesn't work all that well in my apartment, it rarely gets a call through on the first four or five times on the weekend, and it drops calls like mad when a plane flies overhead.

And how exactly does that work? Am I supposed to believe that you have some kind of [cough, cough] magic cellphone?

Fahk you! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620537)

Fuck you!

I did... (5, Informative)

curunir (98273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620542)

...and it seems like the process is relatively painless.

One tip for those who are thinking of trying to port their number. Do *not* do the process online. I ordered my new phone that way and the number ported two days before my new phone arrived. As soon as your number ports, your old phone stops working for anything besides 911 calls. Needless to say, I was without a cell phone for two days while I waited for my new phone to arrive.

Other than that, everything went pretty smoothly.

Re:I did... (1)

McAddress (673660) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620585)

The whole thing is a scam. Unless companies allow you to go month by month, you can't switch b/c their service is bad. Seriously, how many people had the opportunity to switch, but would not b/c they would lose their number.

Re:I did... (3, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620680)

Anyone with the foresight to not sign a multi-year contract (which isn't necessary, and people would know this if they did their homework) can move any time they please. I've been with SprintPCS for 2 years, and the only reason I haven't left them is cuz I'm lazy. But I could. Sorry, your own shortsightedness when it comes to chosing a provider did you in, not the Evil Phone Company

Re:I did... (4, Informative)

pyros (61399) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620697)

Unless companies allow you to go month by month, you can't switch b/c their service is bad.

Sprint odesn't advertise it, but you don't need a contract with them. They just charge you $10 a month extra without it. I know this first hand after calling to complain about the $10 charge when I had, in fact, signed an agreement. Also, after your agreement term has passed, they just keep billing you at the same rate, no sudden surge in sales calls to sign up for a new plan or anything. I'm pretty happy with it. I just wish they has a selection of phones without antennas.

Seriously, how many people had the opportunity to switch, but would not b/c they would lose their number.

Me, for one, when I had to replace my phone and Sprint wasn't offering any deals for phone upgrades to existing customers. If I didn't have to buy new phones, I would consider switching to Verizon or T-Mobile, now that I can keep my number.

Re:I did... (2, Interesting)

red floyd (220712) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620715)

Lucky you.

On 11/26, I bought two phones from T-Mobile, and switched my service from AT&T to T-Mobile. One phone took 5 days to transfer, the other still hasn't transferred. I'm filing a complaint with the FCC and the CA PUC.

Is this the response you're looking for? (0)

Raindance (680694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620544)

Number portability has made me pay silly monthly fees for a service I do not need.

This is me angry at America's cell phone company culture -> RAWWRR!!!..Ow! Why are you wringing me like a wet towel?

I'm a person, not a revenue source!

RD

Re:Is this the response you're looking for? WRONG (4, Insightful)

mr_z_beeblebrox (591077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620628)

I'm a person, not a revenue source!

Stream, you are countless numbers of revenue streams....think you're not. Think it at the gas station on your way to work, think in line at the grocer. Think it at Tax time...LOL 'citizen'...nope not today, citizen = revenue stream.

Re:Is this the response you're looking for? WRONG (1)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620734)

Please mod parent up.

He's right. We're all 'revenue streams'.

Telco
Electric
Cable
Inet
Grocer
Fuel
Slas hdot ...

wbs.

AGREED! (1)

snooo53 (663796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620707)

Every time something like this happens, be it phone number portability, or forcing power/cable companies to share their lines, prices always go up!

In the case of phone/cable lines I have to pay $5 extra a month so I have the *option* of switching to a carrier who charges more than the monopoly (because the monopoly in question charges higher rates to competitors to lease their line). I realize the cellular network is not a monopoly, but honestly all this really did was give all the cell companies an excuse to charge more.

To all the people that pushed for number portability in the first place... why?? When you move, you have to get a new phone number anyway! why should switching cell phone carriers be any different?

While deregulation, in theory, sounds great... in real life it always seems to result in extra fees. ...

Not a thing. (1)

Fooknut (73366) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620548)

I have verizion as my phone... they're the best in the market I live in and I have no need to change.
maybe someday someone will come along and offer a better network... until then, this is a pointless action (for me).

I was able to use it to get a better deal.. (5, Informative)

Sikmaz (686372) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620552)

With my current carrier, I called them and told them I was thinking about switching and they chopped $15 off my bill if I would stay.

It can't hurt to ask!

Re:I was able to use it to get a better deal.. (5, Interesting)

JonnyRo88 (639703) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620605)

I was in a contract, and have been renewing the same contract for about 4 years, paying almost $3000 to the carrier (we have a few phones). When i had a problem with my phone and it was not resolved to my satisfaction my wife threatened to cancel our contract right there (paying the termination fee), and they gave me a new phone and refunded the upgrade costs.

Beforehand they would have said, if you cancel your contract you will have to change your number.

Re:I was able to use it to get a better deal.. (2, Insightful)

Sikmaz (686372) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620657)

Exactly, I really think that this will help drive prices down and bring service up.

I have been outside my contract with sprint for over a year and I have refused to change my plan just to avoid getting into a new contract. Now I have the freedom to say to sprint (Or any other provider) "I am sorry but I feel that I am getting better value elsewhere". I was never rude, I simply told them the exact deal I am being offered elsewhere and asked if it was possible for them to match or beat it and they did.

If I was willing to agree to a new contract I would have gotten a $99 credit for a new phone but to keep my options open I did not sign up for a new contract.

always call to cancel (1)

jonnyfivealive (611482) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620692)

ive gotten numerous deals including $150 free phone, and im up to a pretty nice number of minutes now. they will bend over backwards to keep you. well, except at&t. they wont. ive got sprint. and teh deal i have costs at least 50% less than what you would have to pay for it, and i have a new phone

All I know... (5, Informative)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620555)

..is that Sprint is charging me $2.20/month for it.

Re:All I know... (1)

linuxpng (314861) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620656)

Verizon let's you do this for free.

your signature (3, Informative)

PaulBu (473180) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620668)

Remember: The old adage "fight fire with fire" does not apply to non-metaphorical fires.

Actually it does -- a wildfire sucks air from earth surface like crazy, so if you ignite another fire just at the right place at the right time it will be propagating towards the original fire and when they collide both will have no more fuel to burn.

Learned from some cowboys/indians book when I was a kid ;-)

Paul B.

Re:All I know... (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620711)

Call, complain... that fee just might vaporize on you.

There's no government tax for number portibilty, Sprint's simply trying to tell you that because of this new set of rules, they've decided to raise your rates by $2.20 a month. They can do that, the contract you signed with them says they can. But, if you're on a month-to-month status, you can use number portibilty to break away from them right here right now. Even if you've got time to go on your contract, you can put them on notice that if they don't retract that fee, they have a 0% chance of keeping you when the contract ends... or you might just ask them to calculate the penalty fee and see if it's worth paying.

It makes me laugh... (4, Funny)

bluprint (557000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620556)

Have you noticed how every carrier has a commercial now, saying that if you switch to them, you can keep your old number? As if they came up with this and are the only carrier with which you can do that...

it's been around for a couple of years... (4, Interesting)

husemann (15965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620557)

...and I've made use of it taking my mobile number with me when switching GSM providers and also when switching from POTS to VoIP/cable.

(oh, and, yes, I'm talking about Europe here 8=)

Re:it's been around for a couple of years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620648)

Why did you post? Just to brag? This board is asking how people are enjoying the "new" ability to switch phone carriers while keeping an old number.

When it is asked "How is it working in Europe?"...then reply.

Re:it's been around for a couple of years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620701)

Not very nice. But correct.

I'd like to (1)

krisp (59093) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620560)

I've been using Sprint for a couple years and coverage where I am (rochester, ny), is spotty at best. I have been thinking about switching to Verizon, but I have yet to speak with anyone who has actually switched carriers. I see Radio Shack ads that say that I can simply bring in my bill and pick a carrier/phone and I'm set. Can it really be this simple? How can I do it and avoid RadioShack?

Re:I'd like to (2, Informative)

Ahlee (160047) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620646)

Yes. It really is that simple. I brought in my bill when I switched from US Cellular to Verizon, paid some fee for "processing," and was out the door within 40 minutes with my new Verizon carrier handling calls with my originally US Cellular number.

As far as avoiding RadioShack, around here (Iowa) we have a lot of Verizon shops/Technolgy Huts in the malls. They handle hookups/etc. Worth a shot I guess.

Other than that, Radio Shack is a lot better now than they were. Then again, I've never had a problem with then.

Re:I'd like to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620658)

Verizon has thier own retail stores also, check out Verizon Wireless's homepage [verizonwireless.com] for a local verizon store.. no radio shack involved.

Re:I'd like to (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620745)

If you want to avoid Radio Shack, just take your bill (which is your proof that you really do possess the number that you will be porting) to anybody who sells phones attached to the service you want to switch to... they'll all be more than happy to help you.

Radio Shack is happy with all this because in most of their stores, they have more than one carrier, so anybody upset at carrier A can go to B, and anybody upset at B can go to A at their store.

Some companies can't even get it right INTERNALLY (1, Offtopic)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620567)

I had a pager from Airtouch originally. Airtouch was absorbed into the Verizon monstrosity. A few months ago, the pager broke. When my yearly renewal came up (paying for service a year at a time) I tried to get them to switch the phone number, which was really spiffy, over to a cell phone, and they wouldn't. They wouldn't even entertain the possibility. Now, I know that it means reassigning what T-1 it comes in on, but c'mon people! This isn't exactly rocket science...

For us country folk... (1)

banzai75 (310300) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620569)

not in the top 100 markets, we can't do the whole switch your home number to the cell number thing until may of 2004. Oh well, I didn't want those telemarketers anyways.

Painless? Hardly (2, Insightful)

Wicked Panda (10814) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620573)

Maybe you can move numbers around.

However, for most of us who don't change our phones with the changing of the seasons, it just means it costs us more!

What's it has done for me (2, Informative)

rossz (67331) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620574)

It has cost me 50 cents a month for several years. All the time that the phone companies have been collecting this fee to cover the costs of providing number portability they fought tooth-and-nail against it. Yeah, they're real happy to collect a fee for a service, but they're not exactly thrilled about providing said service.

ATT is not playing nice. (3, Interesting)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620575)


My friend was switching to cingular, but ATT would not release the number, so he had 2 phones, one would call with the number, the other would answer the number...

He had to hold on the phone for over 4 hours...

Price warring (1)

RumpRoast (635348) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620584)

I really think the price competition started a long time ago. I pay $50 a month for flat rate (land) phone service, includes unlimited domestic long distance. I've known quite a few people who didn't have land phones at all. I don't think that number portability will have all that great of an effect.

Now, if they could get 911 calls to trace to a location on cell phone, they'd have something.

Re:Price warring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620713)

I hope when we have land line portability the land lines will finally drop in price. Verizon charges something over $30 for the most basic phone line after the "screw you" charges are tallied in for not buying 10 options.

Hopefully prices will drop for land lines to under $15 for basic and $30 with unlimited long distance. Plus caller ID, call waiting, and voice mail standard.

That'll put it in line with your standard cellular service which includes call waiting, caller ID, voice mail (something like $6 per box on landline) and free long distance. Not to mention text messaging and other silly non-phone related services.

Re:Price warring (1)

blahbooboo2 (602610) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620724)

Great idea, but I don't want that 911 tracing. Just what we need, another easy way for the government to keep tabs on us. The new regulations already make it so easy for the feds to track us without warrents etc, now this too.

It's just like those automated toll collectors, they are now using that to give speeding tickets (by timing your time between pay points) and for tracking movement in legal cases.

Jury's out on that one (4, Interesting)

retro128 (318602) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620586)

It'd be cool to be able to transfer my home number to my cell and carry it with me wherever, not to mention cutting out the cost of my phone line, but I'm concerned that the system is not quite working properly yet. I think I'll wait until I hear more success stories.

The other issue that I am wondering about is telemarketing. It's illegal for telemarketers to call your cell phone, but if I take my land line number and give it to my cell phone, how will the telemarketers know not to call it? Did the FCC ever say anything about this?

goood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620587)

After a 6 day hassle with T-Mobile refusing to give up my phone #, Verizon finally got them to release the #. I am so much happier on Verizons network than the local GSM networks at least in my area.

Number portability GOOOOD
T-Mobile BAAAAAAAAAAD

Slow news day? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620588)

How does a "Dear Abbey" about cell phone number portability qualify as news for nerds?

Contracts (1)

bahamat (187909) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620593)

It's been my experience that most people using cell phones are in contracts and unable to leave their current carrier even if they wanted to. Of those who have gone past their contracts, they are reluctant to change because they don't want to be stuck in another contract for a year or two years. Most providers will do anything and everything they can to slap you back into a contract.

Re:Contracts (1)

lurker412 (706164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620717)

Yes, and that's probably going to become more of a problem in the future. Changing phone numbers was a big disincentive for changing carriers. With that no longer an issue, the carriers will probably come up with large cancellation of service fees as a new disincentive. This might take a while to become commonplace, so now is probably the time make the switch if you have been considering one.

Post what you pay and to whom... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620595)

Sprint is charging me $1.10/mo for it.

Re:Post what you pay and to whom... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620626)

I'm in Virginia, and Sprint charges me $1.10/mo

Mostly hype (1)

sean1121 (614907) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620596)

I thought changing your number was a BENIFIT. This way it lets me get rid of everyone who happens to have my number and shouldn't, like my ex.

For those of you wondering what this is (4, Informative)

Steve 'Rim' Jobs (728708) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620598)

The fcc has plenty of info:

http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/numbport.ht ml

Background: What is Telephone Number Portability

Telephone number portability is a service that provides residential and business telephone customers with the ability to retain, at the same location, their existing local telephone numbers when switching from one local telephone service provider to another.

In 1996 Congress reexamined and changed the Telecommunications Act to promote competition and reduce regulation in all telecommunications markets. Before that time, a major barrier to competition was the inability of customers to switch from one telephone company to another while retaining the same telephone number. Congress directed local telephone companies to offer "telephone number portability."

In order to provide the kind of telephone number portability envisioned by Congress, telephone companies had to invest in upgrades to their networks. In 1998 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) evaluated the cost involved in local number portability and determined that existing local telephone companies were allowed, but not required, to recover the costs of implementing and providing telephone number portability through two kinds of charges: (1) charges paid by other telephone companies that use a telephone company's number portability facilities to process their own calls; and (2) a small, fixed monthly charge assessed on telephone customers or "end users."

What is the Long-Term Telephone Number Portability End-Use Charge?

The long-term number portability end-user charge is a fixed, monthly charge through which local telephone companies may recover certain costs of providing long-term number portability service. Recoverable costs include those for creating new facilities, physically upgrading or improving the existing public switched telephone network, and performing the ongoing functions associated with providing long-term number portability. FCC rules state that incumbent local telephone companies may, but are not required to, recover certain costs of providing number portability by charging their customer a monthly fee.

Am I Required to Pay the Long-Term Portability Charge if I Am a Lifeline Assistance Program Customer?

Carriers can not impose the monthly long-term number portability charge on customers of the Lifeline Assistance Program.

Does Long-Term Telephone Number Portability Mean That I Can Keep the Same Telephone Number if I Move Across Town or to Another State?

The type of telephone number portability that local telephone companies must provide is called "service provider portability." Service provider portability allows a customer to keep his telephone number when changing local telephone companies. It does not allow customers to take their telephone numbers with them when they move.

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.

Will All Telephone Customers Be Charged for Telephone Number Portability?

Local telephone companies can only charge customers in areas where local telephone number portability is available to all consumers. Telephone number portability may not be available in all service areas.

Does the FCC Require Local Telephone Companies to Bill Consumers for Long-term Telephone Number Portability?

The FCC allows, but does not require, local telephone companies to pass certain costs of implementing and maintaining long-term number portability on to their customers. For example, the FCC allows incumbent local telephone companies to recover only costs directly related to providing long-term telephone number portability, which keeps the charges passed on to consumers, if any, as small as possible. New entrants to the local telephone market, wireless telephone service providers, and long distance companies also incur additional costs in handling calls to numbers that are portable. Because the FCC neither regulates the rates nor dictates the maximum amount carriers can charge their customers, carriers may choose to recover their costs of providing long-term telephone number portability in any lawful manner consistent with their obligations under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

How Long Will the Long-term Telephone Number Portability Charge Remain on My Telephone Bill?

Your local telephone company may continue to assess this charge on your telephone bill for five years from the date it first began itemizing the charge on your bill. At the end of the five-year period, your local telephone company must stop assessing the charge.

Why Do Different Telephone Companies Charge Different Amounts?

Telephone companies have a variety of network equipment and can incur different costs in preparing their systems to provide number portability. The charge that appears on your monthly telephone bill for number portability may cover certain costs of implementing and providing number portability service.

Works well (1)

nil5 (538942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620599)

So I got my number switched a few days ago, and,
lo and behold i stopped receiving my phone calls.
At last I called my provider and complained, hence the sent out a technician to come
solve the problem.
He came to look at my phone and twiddled with some sort of
device for a while, but couldn't seem to get the thing to work. I though that perhaps it might be because I have an
old phone. Who knows.
The scary thing is that the companies can't seem to get the technology working!!


Should I have to suggest it to anyone else,
Unless you absolutely must, don't switch
Carriers!!!!! The3 will just try to screw you. I want to
Kill them now!!! First the charge me like $50 a month and then they can't even make their
Service work!!

needless to say, i am mad

squeeze my current provider (1)

holzp (87423) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620602)

I just finished squeezing my current provider to giving me a better plan, at a better rate with a free phone thrown in ta boot! They seem to be taking customer retention more seriously now, becuase they know how easy it is to walk.

Contracts suck. (1)

nate1138 (325593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620606)

Sure you can take your number, but what good does that do you when you are stuck in a 2 year contract? Most carriers require at least a 1 year commitment for a free/discounted handset. I think this will become more popular as people's contracts expire and such.

I guess the only nice thing about the contract is that it does give you some leverage. I have called my carrier (T-mobile) for dropped calls, and they always credit my account per the contract (Read carefully). Additionally, the contract ending gives you a bargaining chip with your carrier, especially w/number portability. When I wanted a new phone, I went to T-mobile, noticed that my contract expired, and told them I was going to cancel. They then transferred me to one of their "retention specialists", or somesuch, and gave me a killer deal on a new Sidekick to stick with them for another year.

I for one..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620607)

I, for one, welcome our new phone digit toting overlords

What has it done for me? (-1)

Bold Marauder (673130) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620609)

Other than increased the amount of dead-tree spam I get?

*thinks*

Let me get back to you on that one. ;-)

Well, it depends. (1)

Kirk Troll (729217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620614)

Portability from one cellphone carrier to the other seems alright with me. It's easy and you don't have to tell everyone you know, including a giant business, your new number. I've had numerous experiences with switching my business lines to add fax, modem, voice mail, and telephone. I've switched these around a bit within the last ten years, and it can be a real pain to tell everyone your new number, especially when co-workers call you up at 2 AM, trying to send a fax to your home phone which was previously your fax line.

However, switching your landline to cell, I don't know. I always like to know I can have a good connection with the person I'm talking to, and not have to rely on minutes, cell phoneo outages, and bad quality. I just don't see how some people can live with *just* cellphone.

The whole idea is stupid to begin with (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620615)

I mean, isn't getting a new number always a great opportunity of getting rid of those callers you never want to speak with?

At least that's how I see it.

No Carrier (1)

Precocious Child (421821) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620617)

Went to change my carrier on the 25th of last month. The curteous sales clerk at Cingular told me it should take between 4 and 24 hours for the service to be switched from AT&T (who gets horrific GSM signal where I live). It's the 3rd of December now. Still no shift in service.

But at least Cingular paid me $80 for the privelage of getting a (useless) new phone and service plan with them.

I'm going back to smoke signals.

Re:No Carrier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620738)

I requested that my service be switched from AT&T Wireless to T-Mobile on the 24th. It still hasn't happened and the best excuse I could get from T-Mobile is that AT&T Wireless has "complex issues."

Pay services made Free (1)

clustersnarf (236) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620618)

I've been a long time TMobile/VoiceStream/Powertel customer and I received a letter the other day stating that my previous Tzones restrictions and Pay Per Megabyte are now Free. No limits, No fees. Seems that In an effort to keep customers they are offering more of the services as a courtesy rather than an exclusive pay service. I have also received "Extra Minutes" as a "courtesy". I think that companies will now try very hard to make sure that you see a better value in your service since they cannot hold the "You'll have to change your number, OH NO!" over you anymore.

Nothing yet .... (1)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620623)

I'm happy with my service but it will help out if I ever decide I want to change in the future.

trying to go . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620624)

I've been trying to get the he11 off Nextel for four straight days. They will not let my number go! Call Nextel and they say yes go, my new carrier says that NExtel has an optional "numbergaurd" enab led on this number and will nto release it. . . Loop to infinity+1!!!!!!

I just wanna LEAVE!

So four straight days and I think I'll just get a new number. I run a large network and have had this number for 4 years. I pitty the fool that gets it after me ;)

Ian

Cingular told me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620625)

to verify that I could keep my old number would take from 3 days to 7 months. Thanks, I'll take a new phone number then.

I work for a call phone company (4, Interesting)

Arkham (10779) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620627)

I work for a certain wireless company with a particularly emphasized logo.

We are pushing off the go-live date of at least one major project until early next year because customer service has been getting a LOT of WLNP calls (WLNP = wireless local number portability), way more than expected, and don't want any releases that will further increase call volume. So I don't know if slashdotters are porting, but a lot of people are. I just hope they are porting TO us and not FROM us :)

Heck, my own mother, who is as non-tech-saavy as they come, is considering porting her home phone number to a wireless phone and just getting rid of the landline. This law is going to shake up the industry. You may even see one or two wireless carriers going under as a result. They've been predicting for years that the 5 major carriers would eventually boil down to 3. This may be the catalyst to make that happen.

I didn't switch. (5, Interesting)

ekephart (256467) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620635)

I am with Sprint. Before last month or so I planned to switch to ATT; the total cost and cost per minute would have been less. But then Sprint brought out the big guns and allowed nights to start at 7pm. They officially say that you have to upgrade (i.e. pay more per month) and sign a two year contract to get the new nights time if you are an existing customer. I said I wouldn't accept that and I wanted the new time schedules or they would receive a number portability request from ATT *today*. Since I've been there for 5 years now already, they were happy to accommodate me.

Where are you using it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620647)

I don't know where you are trying it, but I get great coverage in the Twin Cities, especially Eden Prairie and Apple Valley

Nada (1)

rouge86 (608370) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620649)

I don't have a cell phone. I probably never will. I wouldn't want someone to be able to contact me when I am on vacation or in class. The most aggraviting thing about cell phones is when someone brings them to class and lets them ring during a test. I have a laptop and an email account. That is all the portability that I will ever need.

What about the phone? (1, Informative)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620653)

Though you can switch carriers and keep your phone number, you still have to change phones. The service providers lock the phones to their service when it comes from the factory, so it makes it harder to switch. I also bet, if you buy (or given)) a phone from someone who is stiff'd the provider, they won't let you have service on that phone.

Consumer leverage (1)

worm eater (697149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620659)

I don't have a cell phone myself, but I have a good friend who's phone had been broken for some time. She called the company asking for another one, and they told her it would be $80 (her warranty had just expired). As her contract was coming to an end in January, and number portability had just come into play, she told them that she couldn't afford $80 and she would switch to another carrier. That other carrier would give her a phone for free, since she would be a new customer. As soon as she threatened to leave they quickly apologized and sent her a brand new phone within a few days. And the new model is better than her old one (it has a color screen).

I'm not totally sure that number portability was the deciding factor here, but it certainly didn't hurt. It gives the consumers more leverage when they are demanding higher quality service, replacement parts, etc.

Get the name right (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620663)

Make sure that the new carrier gets your name right with the old carrier, otherwise you won't exist. On top of that, cingular put the request into AT&T as a wireLINE to wireLESS port, rather than a wireLESS to wireLESS. I waited a week to get the new phone working, and I am not all that jazzed about the quality of service.

It made me stay... (4, Interesting)

rosewood (99925) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620664)

I am sticking with T-Mobile since they are the only ones not putting additional fees on my bill for this. I was seriously considering Sprint but quite frankly, the only thing T-Mobile doesn't have is coverage in rural areas like Sprint does with analog roam.

More minutes, cheaper, not nickle and dimed to death for features, and I don't have to pay just to play a stupid game on my cell phone.

I was hoping T-Mobile would give me like a free month for renewing my contract but they said neh so I said "well poo poo on you you" but I am sticking with them.

I read years (1)

Erik K. Veland (574016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620665)

as in "Number portability has been here for a few years", because frankly here it has. Yes, I've taken my numbers between carriers and can barely even remember what it was like to change numbers when you changed carriers.

Well, good luck on that. It's a logical step and you too will one day forget about life in the stone age.

-1 Redundant (1)

Morologous (201459) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620676)

Nothing.

Too early (1)

Mullen (14656) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620679)

It is simply too early to tell. Most of us are locked into contracts and are simply waiting for them to expire. I say, give it about 6 months and check back, not days.
I know as soon as my Verizon account contract dies, I am going to look real hard and see what is out there.

What Has Number Portability Done For You? (1)

banzai75 (310300) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620682)

Cell Phones. Number Portability. Moving my land-line to the cell phone....

Great. Now noone can call me on my new land-line turned cell phone number too! I used to just imagine that women would call me when I wasn't there and were too shy to leave messages. Now I get to learn the cold, hard truth.

The hell with cell phone companies (1)

plinius (714075) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620685)

I used to use AT&T, but when they ripped me off I stopped using all cell phones.

What they did was take about 50 calls I had made and re-dated them to be 3 months later. Their customer support people repeatedly said "we wouldn't do that, that's illegal". I had proof of it but they didn't care.

I even complained to the FCC, who just referred me back to AT&T, just more proof that corporations really do control the government.

Simple (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620688)

It gives me a leverage in dealing with my phone provider.

Real life example:

They phone spammed me (picked up by my sweetie, which annoys me to no end) trying to sell their incredible landline services at incredible prices, this despite the fact that all my numbers are marked as don't spam me. It's not a "do not call list" in the strict sense, but the directoriy entries are marked as don't call this number if you intend to sell shit. This is usually repected.

I called to complain and of course the call center drone is not authorized to connect me with the marketing department, but promises a return call. Needless to say that this never materialized.

Deary me, fire up Mozilla, find the vice prez for marketing and communications and send her personally a letter hinting that they'll lose one of their first customers if they don't stop that shit pronto.

Before portability: "Hoho! yeah, fuck you too sir and good luck distributing your new number" (this is assumed, but you know the spiel)

After portability: "Well, we're dreadfully sorry Sir. Your privacy is our paramount concern and here are two vouchers for movie tickets for any theatre in the country for the best category..."

Number portability? Works for me.

Contract (1)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620698)

I'm stuck in a two-year contract, you insensitive clod.

No really, I see the benefit of saving your number if you are seriously being screwed, but cell phone companies like to lock you in for at least a year. If there were month-to-month contracts more readily available this would be a great benefit, imo.

Very useful (1)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620702)

Switch my phone carriet just last weekend, actually. Much better, and much cheaper, service now, plus I have a nice new phone with features my old providor didn't support. And I still get to keep my very fun number. (Which I won't post here for obvious reasons. It is comprised of a rather interesting pattern of numbers, tho, very easy to remember, and I always get strange looks, like, "you're kidding," when I tell people my cell number.)

i've been trying to (1)

aderusha (32235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620703)

i've been trying to get myself on at&t wireless for the last 3 days. i'm currently a nextel customer in grand rapids, michigan. i'm trying to get myself into a spiffy new GSM phone from at&t wireless using my old nextel number. problem is, at&t says my old number isn't portable (despite nextel's insistance that it is). additionally, they say my nextel number is actually a detroit number (200 miles and a couple area codes away). not sure why it would matter, as both grand rapids and detroit are MSA markets so i should be able to switch anyway. returning the phone to amazon.com is damn near impossible, so i've been on the phone with at&t for the last 3 days totaling over 6 HOURS trying to get somebody to make it happen. people that say they will call back never do, the drones on the phones can't do anything that isn't coming straight off their screen, and the managers that say they'll make things happen so far haven't made anything happen.

my best advice on this is to wait a while until things settle out. my experience so far has been enough to make everyone i work with forget about it entirely.

somebody else has mentioned this but it bears repeating - if you're out of contract (that is, you've fullfilled the terms of your original contract), call up your phone provider and tell them you're switching. they'll throw phones and better plan pricing at you like you won't believe.

The law vs. reality (5, Insightful)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620704)

The law says that phone companies have to allow for number portability. The law does NOT say the phone companies have to make it easy for the consumer.

For instance, when switching from AT&T to Verizon (while keeping your number the same) in my area you are forced to carry both your old phone and your new phone until May 2004. You place calls on your new phone but you still receive them on your old phone.

Call me crazy but I'll wait a good year or so until it's at least a bit more customer friendly.

The only thing keeping them from making it worse is that no one wants to get the worst press. So it appears they're going to drag their feet and make things as difficult as possible for as long as possible, and they're going to do it just up to the point that they can't get slammed any worse than anyone else in the industry. Like some inverse version of competition.

Q-"How poorly can we comply?"
A-"What are our competitors getting away with?"

Not done it yet, but..... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620705)

Not done it yet, but I plan on moving my service from Sprint to Xingular since Sprint has no GSM support and Nokia gave me this very nice GSM phone at the last dev con I went to. Would be a shame to waste the phone for just dev work so I figure I'll hook myself up.

It's equipped my coworker with two phones! (3, Interesting)

baine (600693) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620712)

He wanted to move from Qwest to ATT. Bought the ATT phone, ATT requested the number from Qwest, twice. Qwest denied the request both times, because the request specified a window of 3 hours, and Qwest requires a 24hr window to make the change.

He now carries 2 cell phones: 1 (qwest) to receive calls, and 1 (ATT) to make calls. This has been over a week, and they still can't get it straightened out. He's even gone to the local news and been interviewed for a story, hoping the bad publicity will prompt some action. It seems like, for all of the warning the phone co's had, they still haven't worked out a lot of the systems necessary to make the switch.

The funny thing is, the FCC only 'recommends' a timeframe for making a switch, but states right on their site that there is no required time limit. Talk about a loophole the cellphone companies can drive a truck full of cash through! My coworker could end up paying for two phones indeffinately.

Number portability is a great thing (1)

Ion Berkley (35404) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620721)

Number portability is absolutely essential if customers really want to do something about crappy US cell coverage. Whining does nothing, the status quo proves that, however changing carrier really gets a cell companies attention. The process of people swaping cell phone service is called 'churn' in the buisness and it is very expensive for the cell phone companies, thus they want to stop it at any cost. Thus you change carrier and tell them it because your phone is unreliable in your home area, and hey! they get motivated to find a way to fix it. I understand peoples frustration with contracts, however what you have to realise is that they also are going away, the rest of the world has number portability and a majority of customers are contract free paying either monthly or against pre-paid credit and own there own unlocked phones

It's a HASSLE!! (4, Informative)

MoceanWorker (232487) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620723)

.. with AT&T Wireless, at least.

The day after the portability law went into effect, I headed to Verizon to get the new LG VX6000 and to switch over from ATT Wireless to Verizon Wireless.

Verizon seemed to do their part pretty quickly. Activation was quick, I was able to call out in 15 minutes. While I am able to call out on my new phone, I still (and remember, it's been a WEEK) cannot receive phone calls because ATT Wireless is taking their sweet ass time to finish their portion of the porting.

I read the law for the portability, and I expected a major loophole. No timeline or period was stated in the law claiming the maximum amount of time a company is allowed to take with the process. I've called AT&T Wireless a numerous amount of times and they keep telling me the same thing.. "Systems are down". When asked for an explanation, the representative can't even elaborate on the reason because, well honestly, i don't think they have any clue what the hell is going.

I don't know if anyone else is experiencing this (I live in metro New York), but this sure as hell is frustrating. After this post I am planning to call AT&T Wireless, again, and if they dare say "systems are down" I think I'll flip out.. something I rarely do.

So yeah, don't expect everything to work right away, especially with AT&T Wireless.

I've switched to T-Mobile. (2, Informative)

ageoffri (723674) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620725)

I have had verizon wireless for years and I've been waiting for the "Can you hear me now? Good." guy to come around my area so they could improve the coverage. Well with number porting allowed I switched to T-Mobile and now have much better coverage where I need it! I did borrow my sisters T-Mobile phone before so I knew I would get signal. The process was painless. I called verizon and made sure I wasn't under a contract anymore and then walked into a T-Mobile store. Took a bit of time for them to do the paperwork since it was the first number port that the manager who was helping me had done. A little less then 24 hours later my new Sony Ericsson T-610 phone was working.

I will, but not yet. (1)

dmorin (25609) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620735)

I have been with Omnipoint->Voicestream->T-Mobile for years. But I think the coverage is actually getting worse. Recently they told me that my hometown was not covered, despite my phone having worked there for years. So yes, I will switch, and there's nothing T-Mobile can do to fix it, short of improving coverage.

I will not yet, however, for two reasons. First I want to make sure the bugs are out of the system. So far everybody's story is painless, which is good, but I want to make sure there are no horror stories of "My phone didn't work and I got charged by both companies for months..." sort of thing.

Second, I want the price war to take effect so I can get a really good deal. :)

Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620740)

We've had it for a half year or so in Germany. Switched providers myself and elected NOT to take over my old number. Yes it was a very nice, easy to remember number that I've had for years. However, I decided that it's actually good to get a new number every so often. It helps keep the people at bay that I regret ever giving my number. :)

Number portability is great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620742)

I can now use the same numbers under both Windows and Linux. What will they think of next?

Not in Canada (1)

Hieremias (718708) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620747)

I recently tried to get my home number (with Bell Canada) changed to a cell (with Bell Mobility). No can do. Bell Canada sells blocks of phone numbers to the various phone companies and by law cannot show partiality to Bell Mobility customers. I was only able to keep the final four digits (lots of people found 9110 easy to remember), and that's just because they hadn't already been taken.

BORING!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7620750)

Stupid Americans with their outdated technology... In Europe, we've had number portability for years!

Morons.

not until spring for my area... (1)

hustin (684493) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620760)

since my town isn't in one of the "Top 100" markets or some such nonsense, I won't have number portability for another six months or so...

:(

Always call the provider (1)

mrphish697 (219802) | more than 10 years ago | (#7620762)

Providers (T-mobile, at least) have plans available that aren't listed online. I was able to get a plan over the phone that wasn't advertised and it fits me just fine. The only problem is what a pain it is to spend 10-20 minutes on the phone with a customer rep.

By the way, I do not work for any provider, and in fact, I completely hated T-mobile (kinda still do) -- but the price was right.
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