Jason Tapolci posted a great article about the Top 10 Number Porting Pitfalls . A useful reference for anyone in the Hosted PBX business.
Much like with anything in life, if you fail to plan, more than likely you are planning to fail. When it comes to something small like forgetting to plan ahead for lunch, no big deal; head to your office cafeteria. But when the task is larger in scale, such as porting the numbers for your entire business, you will absolutely want to be prepared for the process. Omitting the smallest detail can leave you in quite a time-monopolizing, money-dwindling bind. Save yourself the trouble; before you fall into any number porting pitfalls, read through these ten failures so you don’t become one.
1. Failure to Check if the Number is Portable to the Winning Carrier
Most providers will have a provisioning or porting tool online that allows users to check for number portability. These are very simple to use. Simply enter a telephone number and click enter. If you’re already a VoIP Innovations customer and want to see this in action, log into your BackOffice Account, drop down the Porting tab, and select Provisioning Check. If you’re not a customer, but still want to check this feature out, then sign up for a free trial today!
2. Failure to Confirm the Losing Carrier’s Port Out Process
There are two questions you’ll want to ask the losing carrier:
1) Do they allow partial ports? If you have multiple numbers on your account, find out if you can port out individual numbers or if you have to port all of your numbers at once.
2) Do they require a CSR (Customer Service Record)? The CSR will provide both the losing and winning carriers with account information. It is important to accurately know your CSR information in order to quickly port a number.
3. Failure to Check if there are Any Open/Pending Orders on the Losing Carrier’s Account
Most providers will reject a port out request if there are open or pending port orders. Be sure to ask the losing carrier if this is the case because this will cause a port rejection, which will cost you valuable time!
4. Failure to Confirm the CSR Information with the Losing Carrier
As mentioned in above, guessing or using trial and error could cause a delay in the porting process due to rejections. If your current provider is a CLEC carrier, you should be able to obtain a CSR.
5. Failure to Check if the Number is Active with the Losing Carrier
You cannot port a number that is in an inactive state. All you need to do is make the number active and submit the port request.
6. Failure to Confirm Required DID Features are Supported by the Winning Carrier
Not all providers offer the same DID features, let alone BackOffice functionality. One of the most important items that needs to be done is to verify that the winning carrier can support the DID features that have been promised to your customer base. Taking away features and functionality tends to have a significant impact on the customer’s expectations.
7. Failure to Identify the BTN
The BTN (Billing Telephone Number) is the main account number used by providers to group and organize an account’s telephone numbers for billing purposes. A BTN cannot be ported out before the rest of the numbers unless a new BTN is identified. Be sure to ask the losing carrier which number is your BTN and make this the last number to port out.
8. Failure to Communicate Number Port Status
Number porting has many steps in the process and each step will present a different set of challenges. It is important to know which step each number is currently in, especially if you are porting multiple numbers. Be sure to ask the winning carrier if they have a clearly defined porting process that provides complete transparency and clarity. The quicker the information is passed back and forth the quicker the port will be completed. Fast porting is without a doubt due to great organization and communication.
9. Failure to Understand the Financial Impact of Moving Numbers
Moving numbers around is always a touchy subject with the end users but it can have a dramatic effect on finances if done wrong. There are three moving financial parts to any number port:
1) The NRC (Non-recurring Charges)–these are your one-time porting and activation fees.
2) The MRC (Monthly Recurring Charges)–this is the cost per month to keep your number on the winning carrier’s service.
3) The usage rates–the per minute or per channel fee to handle calls. It is very easy to look at a deal on the surface and think there is an opportunity to save money by porting to another provider.
In reality, it is very easy to actually increase your costs if you don’t calculate these three items correctly.
10. Failure to be Alerted when the Winning Carrier Takes Control
One of the most common pitfalls is for a losing carrier to move a number prior to the FOC (Firm Order Commitment) date causing the number to lose service. It is equally frustrating to have the winning carrier not be ready on the FOC date and the number goes out of service. This leads back to number eight, be sure the provider is organized and communicates well.
The original post is here.