The FCC implemented the initial change that mandated that competing local phone services allow you to keep your current phone number when you change service providers. This local number portability does come with some challenges when you choose to move. Here are ten of the challenges you may face when attempting to keep your current phone number after you move.
- Non-local move – If you are moving to a totally different area, not serviced by your current carrier, they do not need to allow you to keep your old number. The FCC rules only apply to porting your number to one of their competing providers.
- Security systems – Some apartment and condominium buildings require the use of a phone number with the local area code in order to operate it. If you are moving from another area code, keeping the same phone number could create issues in this area.
- 911 – The 911 emergency system ties your phone number to a specific location. Keeping the same phone number when moving to a new area may cause your 911 calls to go to the wrong 911 operator or to not go through at all.
- Porting time – There will be a delay between the time the porting of the old number is initiated and the time that the transfer is completed. This time frame could be anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
- Porting charges – Some phone companies have charges for porting numbers to new carriers. You will want to check with your company to see if that is the case. Often times the fees will be waived if the customer requests it.
- Temporary porting – Occasionally, a person does not want to keep the old number permanently, only temporarily, in order to avoid missing calls. There are services which can facilitate this type of temporary forwarding to your new number, but there will be additional fees from this third party vendor.
- Address confusion – If you keep your same phone number when you move, it can cause some confusion as to your current location. Many people may assume you still live at your old address because of the fact that your phone number has not changed.
- Reverse phone lookups – It may take some time for the new address to show up in connection with the old phone number. People who use your phone number to find your address online may see your old address instead of the new address.
- Notifying new carrier – If you do not make arrangements with the new carrier to request the porting of your number before canceling your current service, your number may not be able to be ported. It is important let your new carrier know your intentions and provide them with the proper information before ending your service with the previous carrier.
- Wireline to wireless line – In many instances you may be able to port your land line number to a cell phone. Check with the cell phone carrier you are considering to see if they have this option available.
It is up to each individual to weigh the pros and cons of attempting to keep their phone number when moving. For some it may be worth the hassle, for others it may not.