You’ll see it on local commercials and in newspaper advertisements all the time.
Business owners will prominently feature their phone number, either through bold text or a catchy jingle that gets stuck in people’s heads. While social media and email have become more prevalent as a means of discovery and communication, businesses still heavily bank on potential customers calling them to discuss their services.
If you’ve established a well-known phone number that nets you high engagement rates, you’ll likely want to keep it as you go through the process of changing telecommunications providers. After all, a shift in your identity could cause a lot of confusion and leave your customers stranded.
Here are some tips to consider that will help with keeping your number.
What to Consider When Porting a Business Phone Number
Technically referred to as local number portability (LNP), porting is mandated by the Federal Communications Commission, which means you’ll need to be aware of some key regulations before you begin your provider change.
The most important point to remember is that you are wholly responsible for giving the details of your port and initiating a request. You must undergo this step before canceling service with your previous provider, because otherwise the number will be deactivated or assigned to a new customer.
You will need to send a letter of authorization to the current carrier to inform them of the request, and they may supply you with the necessary documentation to help you write the letter.
With that in mind, your current telecommunications partner will remain responsible for arranging the port with other potential carriers, as well as updating you about the procedure. Always check with the eligibility rules for both the donor carrier and the new carrier, as the two may not have an interconnection agreement.
Companies can also charge for number ports, per FCC regulations, so be alert throughout the process. Some carriers might try to sneak this charge in somewhere when you have one foot out the door. Most of the time, however, these fees are negotiable and might be waived by large carriers.
Remember that once you’ve formally filed your request, no company can block the porting of your number. That means you don’t need to respond to any threats that might come with negotiations.
Generally, the porting of cellphone numbers is nearly instant, but business lines are complex and typically require more time. The FCC requires providers to complete simple ports — which usually don’t feature more than one line and don’t utilize complex telephone switching equipment — within one business day.
That said, difficult transitions — like going from a wired network to a wireless one — could take as much as 10 days. There’s not much you can do during this transition period, but you can give your customers a heads-up through your social media pages so you can reduce any possible confusion.
Ultimately, by starting this process early, you can communicate your needs to both carriers and help them understand what you expect. This step will significantly cut down on surprises, as you’ll gain a lot of vital answers from the onset.
Merlin Will Assist With Your Porting Process
We can provide excellent customer service to anyone who needs assistance with any telecommunications issue. If you require guidance with porting your business phone number, contact us today at (717) 859-1003, or request a quote.