posted Dec.18.2003 Switch from Verizon Communications (wireline) to T-mobile. I put in a port request on 11-28-03. It is now Dec 18. That is 21 days. The first 7 days were from a mismatch in the account names. If I had not called the (1 hour wait) portability customer service (CS), T-mobile would have let that request sit indefinitely because Verizon does not "close" their requests because of errors. That experience taught me that calling is a good idea. Call a lot. Upon re-request, the process went through until there was a "general error" of "No conditions evaluated against the given data to configure route." This is a T-mobile generated error, and they seem to be resolute in NOT resolving it. They have had 14 days, and they ALWAYS say "it may take 7 more days." T-mobile is always nice. The CS is courteous, but they are not very knowledgable, so get names and numbers and ask them to notate your account with what you discussed. The porting CS takes a long time to get through to (between 20 mins and 1 hr), and you are ALWAYS referred to them because the regular CS "doesn't have the correct program to access that information." I have talked with ONE CS portability person who knew the system. The others have limited knowledge of the system. Megan (rep #417560) is supervisor in portability group. She informed me that there is a Tier3 group that handles all of the error files. They have a table filled with these files. They operate on them in a serial order and work until there is a "fix," which is then applied to the entire pile of files. It makes me wonder if a small pile (like mine may be, because it is wireline-to-wireless and there are fewer of these than wireless-to-wireless). I voiced this concern to a different rep, but it was not known how they establish priority or if there are unresolvable issues. Anyway, the company I ordered from (a1wireless)shipped me my phones, one of which has a new cellular number that I don't want if I cannot have the other activated with my old number (on a familyplan). I have 14 days to get tmobile to port and activate or I seriously cannot have t-mobile service. I will HAVE to send the phones back or pay a $350 fine because they are not "activated with 14 days of having recieved them." I have filed an FCC complaint against verizon communications for not complying with the 4 day response period and I plan on reporting T-mobile for their far more egregious 14 day violation and refusal to address my porting error. GOOD NEWS about the process. I complained to T-mobile CS and explained to them the situation. The first person offered me one free activation and one free month of service. I let him know that I did not consider that to be adequate compensation, and that I may choose a different wireless carrier. He swore that I could not be offered any more of a reason (compensation) to wait it out. I asked to be switched to the telephone survey, after which I was asked "were you satisfied with your experience with T-mobile service." I replied "no" and was switched to a "specialized CS" rep who offered me 200 free minutes and BOTH activation fees waived, in addition to the other stuff. To boot, they are letting my contract start when the original request went in, but I don't get charged until I get the number ported. This means I will have an 11 month(ish) contract. In other words, don't believe the first CS people, ask to be switched to a specialized CS rep if you are not satisfied. Of course, none of that does any good if they never provide me service because they continue to sit on the port. I have spent about 15 hours on the phone and made about: 6 calls to the retailer, 4 horrible calls to verizon communications, and 10 calls to T-mobile. I still would like to do the switch, but it is hard to believe ANYTHING that anyone says, all companies have been completely wrong and unhelpful at some point. I am especially disappointed with T-mobile. They look like they are a good company, but my porting experience has been unacceptable. Oh, the problem has been referred to by T-mobile as: "general error," "no conditions evaluated against the given data to configure route," "errored out," "moving ahead," "assigned open," and "reserved." And the "trouble tickets" don't seem to be doing any good...yet posted 1-13-03 This process came to an end for me after I had made about 20 calls and been on the phone for about 25-30 hours. Granted this was over a 5-6 week period and most of that was on hold, but it was not a good customer experience. Not at all. Lessons: 1. Don't overestimate Tmobile's reps. They have some truly unknowledgable and unhelpful people answering their phones. Though they are always "courteous," they may be VERY ignorant. If you don't like who you called, call back! Better yet, ask to speak to "a higher tier," "escalation," or a "specialized representative." Then forget your frustrations, because these people are (4 out of 5 times) knowledgable and really care. One good rep is worth 100 bad ones. 2. When they say a time frame, forget it. I was told 4-5 business days, then 4-5 more, then 7, then "we don't know." If it does not go through immediately (w/in a week, seems reasonable), then you may NEVER see the port. 3. Don't believe the "stories" about why things take "longer than expected." Their apologies are as meaningless as their excuses. It took me 12 calls of veiled excuses to find out that they reason T-mobile could not port from Verizon North landline was because they were in FCC non-compliance by NOT EVEN HAVING A SERVICE AGREEMENT with VN! Worse yet, most reps appeared ignorant of this, even at the escalation (tier2) level that I talked to and the tier3 level who she talked to. 4. Call at night. People who answer the phones after 1am EST are far more willing to help than those who work day shifts. They have less to do and appear to be slightly happier people. Also, hold times are 10-20 minutes instead of an hour+. 5. Ask for compensation. I got 200 bonus minutes extra per line per month (on a 2-line family plan--this effectively doubled my minutes), the first (screwed up) month w/o usage or charge, an additional free month, and both activations free. Though these concessions did not fully compensate for my time and certainly not for the frustration, they are better than nothing. (Ironically, the application of this compensation was problematic--bad billing or applied incorrectly to account--and necessitated a few additional calls.) 6. Law and reputation means nothing to T-mobile. When I stated that they were in non-compliance and that this was unacceptable, they apologetically said "sorry, but that is the way things work." They are similarly uninfluenced by statements that I would have the option to report my story to the FCC, BBB, and online forums. 7. Know when to give up. I put too much time in on this. My wife ended up saying "Let's accept the inconvenience of a new number so you stop thinking about calling them." I did. And it was a good choice at a personal level. If you give up like I did, ask your landline provider to put a "this old number is cancelled, the new number is..." message on your old line. You have to ask for it. Overall, I am disappointed in T-mobile. However, we need service. Now that the account is no longer in porting limbo, service is good. Because I did not voice my dissent with the T-mobile by dropping their service, I am posting this to the FCC, BBB, and several online forums (howardforums.com, numberportability.com, wirelessadvisor.com).