Wireless providers have never been more competitive, so the time is perfect for customers to save money on devices and their chosen plans by switching from one company to another. Despite that, you might be hesitating and wondering whether you’ll have to get a new number. The simple answer is no, but it depends on a few things. Here’s what you should know.
Wireless Local Number Portability, a Federal Communication Commission regulation from 2004 lets you keep your number while changing providers. However this only works on a local level, so unfortunately if you are moving to a different state or area code it does not apply to you.
The regulation allows you to transfer a phone number even if you have an unpaid bill with your previous provider. This means you will be granted the request to transfer your number, but on the condition that you pay off any remaining debt.
Furthermore, the only person who can authorize a switch is the account’s primary owner. If the account is not in your name, but instead in the name of one of your family members, or even the company you work for, you will have to get their authorization first.
When you finally decide to change your provider and transfer the number, there are some steps you have to take. For starters, we recommend not terminating your current contract until you have all the information you need to sign the new one. This is important because if the provider deactivates your number you will no longer be able to transfer it or use it. In other words, you want to get everything in line before making your final decision.
When you file the request and sign all the necessary papers, your new provider will contact the old one, and start the process. The Wireless Local Number Portability regulation also guarantees the transfer will be over in no more than 24hours. However, if there aren’t any problems, it can be done in just a few hours.
One more thing you need to keep an eye on is if there is any leftover balance on your phone. The reason behind this is that your previous provider may charge you additionally if, for instance, you are keeping your phone while changing providers. You can, however, check all of this by giving ESN or IMEI number which is in the about section on your phone or mobile device.
If you have any questions or need to make sure you understand everything correctly simply check with the new provider. Check for transfer fees that may or may not exist. The whole process is done between two companies, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to confirm everything with your new provider to be safe.
All told, the transferring process is not that complicated. Even better, it doesn’t take long if you have all the answers beforehand and you know which provider best suits your needs.