If you are changing business phone providers, you may be pushed to change your number. But if you’re staying in the relatively same geographic area as before, you don’t necessarily have to. Number porting allows you to keep your number, even if you change business phone providers.
However, it is a process to port a telephone number from your current service provider to another. A fee is part of that porting process. In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about porting fees and cover the following sections:
- What is a Porting Fee?
- The Legalities of Porting
- How Much is a Porting Fee with Different Providers?
- Frequently Asked Questions about Number Porting
Number porting is the process of taking your existing number and transferring it to your new service provider. That way, there is no interruption in your service and you don’t need to deal with the hassle of sharing your new phone number with friends, family, and colleagues.
Porting your number isn’t necessarily a seamless process, which is why some business phone providers charge a fee for transferring that number. As we previously reported, FCC regulations state that you are the owner of your number and can port it to wherever you would like to. But there’s no rule against charging you to take that number from one business phone provider to another.
But how you will be charged and if you will even be charged at all will vary depending on your business phone providers. Your old provider may choose to charge you as an incentive to remain their customer. Your new business phone provider may even be kind enough to foot the cost for you to sweeten the deal.
Plenty of business phone providers may not even decide to charge you at all. Transferring numbers between VoIP providers can be a bit challenging, meaning that you’ll be more likely to expect a fee from that, instead of from a PSTN number to a VoIP service.
Local number porting (LNP) was mandated in the U.S. by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It was put into place in order to fuel competition in the communications industry so that the government would not end up governing communications.
As it is a complicated process, number porting can come with some legal issues. But one thing is for certain — you can never be denied the opportunity to port your phone number from your current phone service provider to the new one.
Because of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, you should always be able to port your number. But there are some strategies you can take if your current provider is trying to block it from happening. The first step in the process is to make sure all the information you submitted to your current provider in order to port your number is correct.
As Talkroute reports, “9 times out of 10, when a port request is rejected by the losing carrier, it is due to missing or incorrect information on the port order.” You should contact that provider and find out exactly your port request was rejected, so you can see if it was just a miscommunication all along.
But if they are intentionally withholding your number, simply remind them that they are required by law to release your number. Just as Talkroute says, the FCC clearly states, “Commission rules require carriers to port a number when they receive a valid request, and carriers may not refuse to port.”
Even if you hold an outstanding balance with them, they can’t deny you the ability to port your current number — it’s simply against the law. You should escalate the issue to a supervisor if you still are not getting anywhere.
The FCC has also required that the process for intercarrier number ports to take place within one business day for about ten years now. This applies to every business phone provider, even VoIP carriers. Those service providers were initially concerned, wondering how much information a new carrier must provide before the current carrier has to release a number.
According to the CommLaw Blog, “The FCC has now exercised the wisdom of Solomon, concluded that uniformity and standardization are the most important considerations, and decided on 14 data fields.” Simply put, data must be shared, but it is illegal to use said data for anything other than the porting request.
Number porting pricing varies across different VoIP providers. Here’s a look at pricing for some major business phone services and everything you need to know about working with them.
Ooma Porting Fee
If you plan to port a landline number to Ooma, it will cost a one-time fee of $39.99 per number. For customers who upgrade to Ooma Premier, transferring a number is completely free of charge. Ooma recommends you hold onto your landline service until the process has been complete.
Ooma has an entire number FAQs on their site for potential customers to refer to before getting started with the process. It should take Ooma between 3-4 weeks to complete the process.
magicJack Plus Number Porting Fee
In the United States, porting a phone number to magicJack will cost a non-refundable fee of $19.95 per number. In Canada, numbers cost an additional $10/year.
In order to start the process with magicJack, you need to first provide them with your number, along with the account information, for your current provider. Your existing phone number needs to remain active in order for the transferring process to work. Porting a number to magicJack typically takes between 7-14 business days.
Verizon Number Porting Fee
Verizon doesn’t charge a specific fee for transferring a number. But according to their FAQ page, you may incur an early termination fee if you switch to another service. Switching from a PSTN business phone provider to Verizon should take between 2-10 days to complete. The process should take between 2-24 business days to complete the port from another VoIP provider.
Your old service will be automatically disconnected once your old number is ported, and Verizon will send you a text message informing you when the port is complete.
RingCentral Number Porting Fee
RingCentral covers the cost that may come with transferring your phone number from your existing to a new provider. They can port most toll-free, wireless, and landline numbers. RingCentral even provides a page allowing you to verify a number’s portability.
The business phone provider suggests customers expect that the process will take between 7-10 days to complete. Wireless numbers typically port in 5 days, and the process is typically done for landlines in 7 days. It may take closer to 10-15 days for smaller carriers.
Mitel Number Porting Fee
Mitel allows customers the option of bulk number transfer. When transferring fewer than 50 phone numbers, the process will take between 10-15 business days. For more than 50 numbers, it can take up to 30 business days.
Still got some questions about the process? Here’s an FAQ of some commonly asked questions on the process.
Who owns my number?
You do! Once you are given a phone number, that number will legally remain yours, unless you should surrender it for some reason.
Can my port request be denied?
No. The FCC has clearly stated for years that no customer’s request should ever be denied. It is against the law.
Can I port a long-distance number?
That depends on your specific carrier. Most only deal in local numbers. But if you hoping to port one from another area, it’s absolutely worth it to ask.
Should I cancel my existing service before the process?
Absolutely not! You will want to hold on to that service until you have confirmed that everything is set with your new business phone carrier.
What information do I need to provide for the process?
This will vary slightly, depending on your new carrier and the type of number you are transferring. But porting shouldn’t require too much information on your end. Odds are that you’ll just have to provide basic data such as your phone number, account, and address.
Conclusion: Number Porting Fees are a Small Price for Convenience
If you can swing it, a fee is worth the cost. If you opt for a new phone number when you switch providers, you will need to take time to inform your contacts of your new phone number. That means you may not be operational for a short amount of time.
There may be miscommunications along the way as well, meaning that you could unintentionally lose customers if they don’t get your new phone number right. If your ready to take the next step, take a look at our guide for preparing to port your business number.