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Wireless Number Portability Stories

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by JFB, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. JFB

    JFB Gold Senior Member
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    We want to hear all about what happened when you requested that your wireless number be ported to a new wireless carrier.

    Feel free to start a new thread, or just post here in this one.

    So, tell us what happened........................
     
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  2. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    I will recap my story which I've scattered about through a couple of other threads.

    On Saturday, November 22nd I went into a T-Mobile store and bought a new phone and activated service with a new phone number with an intent to port my old number over from AT&T Wireless Services on Monday the 24th.

    On Monday I called T-Mobile to begin the porting process. It took a little over an hour on the phone and at the end they said it would take 3 to 24 hours before the change would be effective.

    24 hours later, nothing had happened yet. I called T-Mobile back and sat on hold. After an hour or so I reached someone and was told that the request had been rejected by AT&T because my name on the request didn't match my name in their system. I grabbed my AT&T bill and reconfirmed with T-Mobile that it WAS, in fact, entered correctly the first time. They resubmitted the request and said to check back in another 5 hours if it hadn't gone through.

    5 hours later I called back. AT&T rejected the request again saying that the ZIP code didn't match. We double-checked and it was exactly as it was listed on the AT&T bill. They said to check back again on Wednesday.

    On Wednesday, more of the same. We went through again to make sure that all of the information in the request was exactly as it was listed on my AT&T bill and resubmitted the request. They said that if it failed this time, I was stuck until Friday since they wouldn't be open on Thanksgiving.

    On Friday, as you have guessed, nothing had changed. I called back in and was told that AT&T was having serious computer problems and that all requests were being rejected. They said there was nothing else they could do for now and that there was no ETA.

    I checked again on Saturday and Sunday and got the same answer both times.

    On Sunday night I sent an eMail to AT&T Wireless Services telling them that there was no excuse for their incompetence given the fact that they've had over seven years to prepare for this.

    Today I called T-Mobile again and talked to someone about the situation... specifically about my concerns regarding double-billing since I have an active T-Mobile account right now and I have to keep my AT&T service active until the conversion is complete. The T-Mobile rep was very sympathetic and said that she would take care of it by making sure I am not charged for my T-Mobile service until after the portability request is successful.

    I still haven't heard anything from AT&T regarding the eMail I sent them last night. I don't expect to.

    I honestly believe that their problems aren't as severe as they claim and that this is an attempt by them to get their customers to "give up" on switching to another carrier. As someone pointed out in a different thread, many people who have requested number ports away from AT&T have done just that... they've become frustrated with the delays and decided to just stick with AT&T rather than suffer through continued aggravation.

    I intend to continue my quest if for no other reason than to make it clear to AT&T that they're not just losing a customer, they're losing a customer to one of their competitors. Number portability is more than just a convenience for wireless subscribers, it's a new way for them to voice their dissatisfaction. When you cancel service, it's impossible (aside from ineffective surveys) for the carrier to know exactly why you're leaving. You might be moving to a unserved area, you might be trying to save money by getting rid of your mobile phone, you might be combining your service with someone else in a Family Plan. But when you have your number moved to a different carrier, your old carrier knows exactly what you're doing. They know that you aren't happy with them and have decided to seek greener pastures.

    After four years with AT&T, T-Mobile is looking mighty green to me.
     
  3. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    One more thing.

    If you are stuck in a situation similar to mine... even if you eventually find resolution, it would be a good idea to file a complaint with the FCC. It's easy to do. Information on how to do so can be found on the FCC's Number Portability page.

    http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/wirelessportability.html

    Scroll to the bottom for information on filing a complaint.
     
  4. patti024

    patti024 New Member

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    If its any consolation my husband and I are trying to port in to ATT from Nextel. It's been 6 days now and we're being told it could be another couple days (i don't think so) I don't know whose to blame, we understand its a new process but 6 days and still counting is bit ridiculous. We're getting tired of carrying two phones already.

    When we went to port our numbers(11/25) we were told "expect 3-6 hours but it could take up to 24 hours" 24 hours later we were told "we've seen some cases where it's taken a little bit longer than 24 hours..please be patient". 48 hours later we were told "4-6 days...give it another day or two". Now on day 6 we're being told "you're in our system, it's a routing issue, we'll walk you through programing phone" Okay that's complete let me make a test call.....guess what?.... that didn't work! "Well you might have to give it another day or two (yeah right)". Or how about this one....."I'll give you the number for the "porting department" but even we (customer care reps) can't get through...maybe you'll have better luck".

    The only reason we're leaving Nextel is due to their plan and phone pricing (a bit expensive). Their coverage was good. We chose ATT because a number of friends and family have them (TDMA not GSM) and have no complaints. Plus we had them prior to Nextel and didn't recall any problems. We tried Verizon but they are too spotty on our area.

    Is there a conspiracy to keep customers by trying their patience? OR How about the fact that right now I'm paying two service providers? Sorry to say it to everyone else but I'm glad we're not the only ones having problems porting our numbers.

    Let's see what day 7 brings....
     
  5. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Yikes, AT&T is coming out looking real bad in this whole portability thing.
     
  6. Delta

    Delta Silver Senior Member
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    I'd rather take my chances volunteering in an Ebola ward than try and port with AT&T.
     
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  7. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    Here is an example of poor reporting.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/djus/031202/1459001278_1.html

    I suspect the analyst in this story is being paid by one of the wireless carriers. I have my suspicions as to which one but I digress.

    He is judging the success of LNP through a statistical sampling of 1. Yes, one. He tracked 1 instance of each possible iteration for the six major carriers. His result, 17 failures out of 30 possible combinations as of one week after LNP took effect.

    That alone makes this "research" questionable. My suspicions are furthered by the fact that he doesn't name names. In fact, the article doesn't even name the alleged analyst.

    Each of the six carriers would be involved in 10 of those samples which completely skews the results. If 10 failures (5 inbound, 5 outbound) are, as I suspect, from one carrier, that leaves 7 failures between the other five carriers.

    I don't know why I'm even bothering to look into it that deeply since there simply isn't enough data to make this report usable in any way. If he even took the time to sample TWO of each iteration, there might be some useful, if not extremely crude, data to draw hasty conclusions from... but then again, it would only be useful if he broke it down by carrier.

    And okay, I know I'm nit-picking... but this is just terrible. Doesn't this man have an editor?

    "Number portability is still Fubar," Mr. Entner said, using an initialization meaning fouled up beyond all recognition.

    Initialization? Um, no. Time to open up a dictionary. May I suggest "acronym" or maybe "colloquialism" instead?

    Shameful... just shameful "journalism" from the Wall Street Journal. I'm stunned.
     
  8. ChrisB

    ChrisB New Member

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    Yep, AT&T is definitely not looking good in all of this. Not that they care.

    I ported one of my numbers from T-Mobile to Verizon on 11/24 at 9:50 AM(I was our store guinea pig) That port was completed within 8 hours, although there was a glitch on Verizon's side as they didn't have things set up right in their switches and I was actually unable to receive calls until I had it fixed the next morning.

    I started my port from AT&T to Verizon last Wed. at about 9:00 P.M. and I've been getting the typical results posted here. It's still not done.

    I almost lost another customer who ported on 11/24 because it took 5 days to complete.

    I hope enough people file complaints to get this straightened out quickly.

    And I know a number of folks will be disappointed when the carrier they want to port to doesn't have a switch in the rate center for their current number. In the Pittsburgh area we can't do Beaver Falls exchanges from AT&T.

    Good luck all and happy porting.

    Chris B.
     
  9. patti024

    patti024 New Member

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    Here's an update on our port from Nextel to ATT. It's now day 8 and ONE line is ported and that just happened within the hour. Still waiting on the second line.

    Considering there seems to be alot of ATT bashing going on in this forum, I just want to say that Nextel is/was the source of our problems. First of all they kept denying the port "without specific reason" (according to ATT's port dept) After calling Nextel we found out that they would not release our numbers without our permission, even though we NEVER signed up for "number guard". After some time on the phone (and an attempt to keep us with them) they stated they are releasing the numbers immediately. 24 hours later nothing, we finally went to the ATT store where we signed up for service. The rep who sold us the phones etc... got on the phone with the porting dept. The port dept stated that Nextel is still denying the port. My husband (extremely irrate at this point) called Nextel from the store. Nextel was throwing out every excuse in the book and blaming ATT for everything. They (Nextel) said ATT will have to call us directly to get this straightened out. Well to their surprise my husband handed the phone right to the ATT rep. Now Nextel was saying well......you have "Mr" in front of his name and you have his zip code + 4 digits, we only have the zip code. Yada yada yada ... a bunch of BS!

    Is it just me or are they getting a little carried away or what? I understand you need to make sure you're porting the right number for the right customer to the right carrier but come on. If the name, address, account number, and social all match I think its safe to say everythings a go. But then again Nextel managed to get another 8 days (and counting) of service from us!?

    Hopefully our second line will finish tonight. We expected some problems but nothing like this.
     
  10. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    We ported my Dad's Sprint number to Cingular this past Monday. It was ported 3 to 4 hours later, with no problems of any kind. The only other client that we have ported (Cingular to T-Mobile, same day) has yet to have her number ported. It turned out that we gave T-Mo the wrong address, as she is in the process of moving. Also we had a simpleton of for a CS rep saying "It was OK to use the new address". So now that we gave T-Mo the right address it shouldn't be too much longer before she gets here number. [​IMG] For any one who is thinking of porting. Make sure to bring your newest cell bill, because if one little thing is off you will be SOL for days or even weeks. From hearing the horror stories of porting the wireless industry is correct in calling it "fallout" when there is problems porting the number. Also just by my to dealings with porting it is better to do the port through the computer (POS = Cingular or Watson = T-Mo), not by calling CS.
     
  11. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    An update:

    On Wednesday afternoon I called T-Mobile again just to "check in" and spoke with a frustrated customer service representative who seemed very pleased with the fact that I understood what was going on and knew that it wasn't their fault. I also filed an official complaint with the FCC. Then I decided to call AT&T directly to see if I could get anywhere that way. The first rep I spoke to played dumb and pretended that he had no idea why there would be any delay on a number port request. He said that I would have to speak with someone in AT&T's number portability center and transferred me there. The person who eventually answered my call explained that the network administrators were limiting the number of people who could concurrently access the systems required to handle the requests and that she currently did not have access herself. Apparently they are instituting a sort of "rolling blackout" system. She said that she would gain access some time before midnight and offered to call me when she was able to get into my account and look into the problem. She also suggested that I try calling back in hopes of reaching a rep who DID have access to the system.

    I decided to go for both options. I gave her my contact information and then tried calling back. The first several tries yielded a recording that said all representatives were currently assisting other customers and that I should call back again later. It then disconnected. After many redial attempts, I finally managed to get into a hold queue. I waited on hold for two and a half hours before I finally gave up. The representative who promised to call me back never did, either.

    It is now Thursday morning. I tried calling AT&T's number portability group several more times this morning but couldn't even get into the hold queue. So I tried calling the regular AT&T customer care group. The first rep I spoke to said that she had no way to contact the number portability group directly at the time and that she would have to send some sort of form to them instead. She put me on hold for a few minutes and then came back to say that she didn't have to send the form after all and that she would transfer me to the group instead. The person that answered told me that the computer systems were completely down and that nobody had access at that time, there was no ETA for when they would be back up and that there was nothing she could do to help me in the meantime.

    I called Customer Care back and explained these events to yet another person and asked what we could do to get this resolved. He asked if I could hold while he looked into it. He never even came back on the line. After about five minutes I was transferred without explanation to the number portability group again where I spoke to yet another person who told me that the computers were down and that there was nothing she could do for me.
     
  12. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    Wow Cloudscout...what a nightmare.
     
  13. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    Yeah.

    I'm now in the process of contacting every news agency I can find to see if I can get this story covered in the mainstream press.

    As much as I dislike "ambulance chasing" I am considering contacting an attorney to see if some sort of class-action lawsuit may be possible. I'm obviously not alone in this.

    AT&T is really working the PR circuit. You'll notice that their PR rep is quoted in just about every article on LNP lately and is downplaying it's significance. He says that there really hasn't been much demand for it and that it's no big deal. He, obviously, never acknowledges the fact that they have a 10 day backlog of LNP requests.
     
  14. Ctennyson

    Ctennyson New Member

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    WHile I would not claim that AT&T is having no issues with porting numbers out, I can assure everyone that it is taking other companies equally long to port their numbers to AT&T. It is on the order of days now for every company to port a number out.

    I sympathize with all those having the issues, just like I sympathize with all those trying to leave T-Mo, and Verizon, Cingular, Sprint, etc.
     
  15. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    The delays in porting numbers INTO the AT&T network are caused by the same problems causing the outbound delays. Yes, there are snags here and there with other carriers but even if the other carriers do everything perfectly, AT&T is unable to process the requests in a timely manner.

    Their computer access is intermittent and it appears that they are putting a priority on INBOUND ports during those times when they have access.

    AT&T is also the only company that flat-out rejects incoming phone calls.

    Try calling their number portability group. 90% of the time when you call in and hit '2' for the wireless portability department, you get a recording saying that all representatives are busy and that you must call back later and you are then disconnected. You basically have to continuously redial in an attempt to get into the hold queue. Even then, you sit on hold for hours and when a rep finally answers they probably don't have access to the computer systems at that time as the "rolling blackouts" only allow a limited number of reps to access the system concurrently... and that's if the systems are running at all. This morning the rep said things were completely down and that nobody had access.
     
  16. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    I'm on hold right now... waiting to talk to someone in AT&T's Number Portability Group.

    I have been on hold for THREE HOURS so far.

    (3 hours, 1 minute to be exact)
     
  17. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    Oh wow. I just tried calling "regular" customer care on another line and got a recording that said, "Due to circumstances beyond our control, your call can not be answered at this time." It then disconnected me.

    Circumstances beyond their control? What, exactly, constitutes circumstances beyond their control? Was there some natural disaster that I haven't heard about?

    It seems to me that any circumstances involving their ability to answer phonecalls are most certainly within their control. It may be beyond their budget, but certainly not beyond their control.

    Unless they're actually admitting that the situation is "out of control"... which is obvious.

    A T-Mobile rep told me that the fine for missing the November 24th deadline is $100,000 per day. I will be sorely disappointed if the FCC doesn't impose this fine on them.
     
  18. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    Please let me apologize to those of you who are sick of me "hogging" this forum... I just think it's important to air this "dirty laundry" where as many people as possible can see it.

    I'm still on hold with the Number Portability Group on one phone (3 hours 30 minutes and counting).

    On another phone I tried calling Customer Care back again and got into the hold queue this time... it estimated my hold time at 6 to 10 minutes. After 19 minutes a representative answered. Again I told the story (as abbreviated as I could make it) and explained that I have been on hold for over 3 hours on the other line. He asked if he could put me on hold to look into it for me. I made him promise he would actually come back on the line before he transferred me to anyone else since my last call to a Customer Care rep ended that way... they said they were going to look into the problem and then, several minutes later without bothering to come back on the line to tell me what they were doing they transferred me to the Number Portability Group where I talked to someone who had no computer access and, therefore, couldn't do anything to help me.
     
  19. madkiwi

    madkiwi New Member

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    I tried calling the 800-241-0335 number 2 hours ago, was put on hold for about 12 minutes, then also got the story that they could not access the customer files. However I was told that "this did not mean that ports were not happening, just that the cs reps were unable to look at the system". <cough>bul$hit<cough>

    I was told to try back later, as they are there until 11pm.

    I'm sorry AT&T, if this is a plan to try to prevent me from leaving, it stiffened my resolve.

    If it isn't, then they are just one f'd up company, so why would I want to stay?

    madkiwi

    PS If anyone has a different number for the outgoing ports side, please post it.
     
  20. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    Nope, I'm afraid that's the only number.

    I'm still on über-hold on the one line... 4 hours, 3 minutes so far and counting...

    On the other line, the representative who PROMISED ME he would come back on the line before he transferred me somewhere else never came back. He put me on hold for 35 minutes and then I was transferred to the Number Portability Group where I received the recording saying that they were unable to answer my call and disconnected me.

    A 55 minute phone call only to get hung up on.

    I have eMailed my story to every news outlet I can think of. I strongly urge everyone else who is having this problem to follow my lead. Let's get some exposure for this.

    I tried calling regular Customer Care back again (dialing 611) and got the recording again.

    "Due to circumstances beyond our control, your call can not be answered at this time.

    We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you please call again at a later time.

    Thank you."


    *click*
     
  21. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    AT&T is a mess. I figure you should have a years worth of free service with them by now Cloudscout...of course since you're leaving them what goo would that do! [​IMG] Sounds like AT&T is aiming for Sprint's reputation as the worst in CS!
     
  22. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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  23. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    Cloudscout:

    Call the technology desk (or city desk or just news desk) of your local paper and television station (and I don't know where you live, so we want something on the order of the Miami Herald or the Des Moines Register, not the order of the East Clampton Weekly Wibble). The number will be listed in your phone book, if not, call the main number.

    Point them to this forum, tell your story, ask the desk guy to skim your post while you're on the phone. See what happens. This is easily reproducible (all the desk guy has to do is call the portability line to get the message) so it should be good.

    Another good thing to do is find the columnist that everybody reads... in SF it was Herb Caen for a long time, in Chicago it was Mike Royko, etc. Pour out your woes.
     
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  24. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    Funny you should mention that. I actually eMailed the Minneapolis Star Tribune about this on Wednesday. About a half hour ago, the columnist called me and interviewed me for about 20 minutes.

    Also, my Slashdot story submission was just accepted so it should be popping up there pretty soon, too.
     
  25. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
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    Excellent.

    I'd no idea you were a geek too... I'll have to make an exception and go read /.

    P.S. Prepare for slashdotting!
     
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  26. Kitsune

    Kitsune Member

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    It has been ELEVEN days. I've been trying to port from AT&T to Sprint. My cell phone is still totally down because of AT&T's stall tactics. This is really bad for my business. I'm afraid to leave my office during business hours in case I miss an important call. Being connected in crucial!

    Cloudscout- We are going through the same thing. Only I hang up after being on hold with AT&T for more than an hour. My neck starts to cramp up and I get ear fatique listening to the hold music for so long.

    When I finally got through to customer service at AT&T at various times over the past week, they all say the same thing: "our systems are down and we can't access your account information." In the mean time, my port to Sprint remains in limbo. Sprint's porting specialists have been calling AT&T as well in order to try to straighten this mess out. They've also been stonewalled by AT&T. For the past FOUR days, EVERY time I call to speak with an AT&T porting specialist, I get a message saying that they are not taking calls at this time due to high call volume.

    BTW...The number I got to reach AT&T porting specialists is: 1-800-241-0558

    Sprint tells me that the port can't be totally complete until AT&T provides them with some final information. AT&T is withholding this information for some reason, be it intentional or due to technical difficulties. Either way, the consumer ends up paying the price for this.

    To add insult to injury, I just got a bill in the mail from AT&T. The nerve! I will certainly dispute this with the FCC.

    Humm....I wonder if I should call the technology news desk at the SF Chronicle?
     
  27. NYCDru

    NYCDru Sprint Newbie
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    If this is what ATT has been doing to people i am glad i left when i did. At this point major news outlests, FCC, Better business buerea, get everyone involved. They need to suffer now.
     
  28. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
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    My story is up on Slashdot right now.

    And I expect to see an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune tomorrow.

    Pardon the cliché, but I want the lid blown off of this story big time.

    AT&T has spent the last 11 days screwing me over. Now it is my goal to show them the consequences of their incompetence.
     
  29. madkiwi

    madkiwi New Member

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    Cloudscout,

    You have had a heck of a time, obviously.

    I'm happy to report that my porting from AT&T to Verizon just completed, almost exactly 72 hours after I signed up.

    Not quite as perfect as I had wanted, but not as bad as some have experienced.

    Madkiwi
     
  30. Cloudscout

    Cloudscout Junior Member
    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    27
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    Wow.

    I just called the Number Portability Group again.

    I only sat on hold for 20 minutes.

    The person who answered actually had computer access. It took about 3 minutes and the call was done. He said that everything should be fine now and that he has completed the AT&T part of the process. Now it's back in T-Mobile's court.

    I'm going to call them now and see what they say.

    *edit*

    The entire call from the time I started dialing to the time I finished talking to the T-Mobile rep and hung up was 4 minutes, 46 seconds.

    The port is being processed and should be completed very soon.
     

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