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Wireless Number Portability Stories

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

  1. douglasb

    douglasb New Member

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    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).
     
  2. PCTroubleShooters

    PCTroubleShooters New Member

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    Hello,

    On 12-17-2003 I signed up for switching my number from Alltel to T-Mobile. This is my only business phone and so far neither phone works.
    I have this number wrote on my work van and business cards so I can't change numbers. This is costing me business and money. Not to mention health problems worrying about no income.
    I was worried about switching, I’ve seen on the FCC website that it should only take 2.5 hours. So far it’s over 3 WEEKS!!!!
    I have called T-Mobile help many times. After being on hold with the National Call Center for over an hour each time. After finally getting through National Call Center conversation (1-8-04) was with Tiffany. Who was going to submit a RUSH trouble ticket #1. She told me that Alltel didn’t respond to the request. I immediately call Alltel.
    I called Alltel on 1-8-04. I spoke with Tech Support which transferred me to Dan in Finance who transferred me to Mike in Sales who transferred me to Blake in Finance who transferred me to Latoya in Sales. I explained to Latoya I needed to talk to a supervisor. I was told by supervisor Mike they are holding numbers until early termination fees are paid. I told him that not what the FCC mandates. He told me they as far as he knows they can.
    After hours and hours of investigation I decided to call Alltel’s Corporate number. On 1-13-04 I spoke with Leanna, Alltel’s Executive Customer Relations person. I explained to Leanna that I’m switching to T-Mobile because Alltel never got my phone to work. Ever after many tech calls and 2 stops at an Alltel site to have a Alltel person look at it. I was told I didn’t have to pay the bill since I couldn’t use the phone. Well I was LIED to because my phone was HOTLINED for over due payments. She even agreed that I had no phone usage. She took my phone off the hold list and (If I still wanted to switch, HA) to call T-Mobile and tell them to submit a request.
    Easier said than done. After speaking with Lynn she transferred me to the National Call Center. After waiting 1.25 hours I spoke with Laura (Supervisor) she told me that NPAC had problems with requests on 12-17-03. Nothing was done till I called in Trouble Ticket #1 in 1-8-04. She submitted RUSH Trouble Ticket #2 and told me to call back in seven days.
    I explained to each person I’ve spoke to that this number is my only business number. Doesn’t anybody care anymore!
    I found someone who cares. After calling back T-Mobile (2nd time today) and being transferred to the National Call Center. I’m on the phone right now with Cindy. She informed me that the request was submitted and can’t be changed. And there are no flags indicating that something was wrong. I asked her where the request is and she said she was looking at it. She told me they are waiting for a response from NPAC and Alltel. Cindy got the OK from the supervisor to call another department to help the stalled process. She put me on hold and got my home phone number in case we got disconnected. She came back 10 minutes later and stated there is nothing they can do. She then submitted Trouble Ticket #3 with the comment: I will use the courts if I have to. Cindy tried the hardest so far as was disappointed. The “request” has a problem from NPAC’s updating software during the request. The request can’t be deleted and re-requested. Looks like bad planning on someone’s part. I wonder if they even CARE they are costing me money?

    Regards,

    Michael A Czarnecki
    Licensed Owner
    PC TroubleShooters[​IMG]
     
  3. millenium

    millenium Member

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    "Wow" is really all I have to say after reading all of these porting horror stories. I don't have one to share right now because I haven't yet had reason (or desire) to port, but I AM reminded of something my mother used to say whenever my sister and I had to have the newest toy in town: "Never be the first in line for anything, dears. When all the other children are tired of playing with it, and the salespeople are no longer sick of dealing with it, there'll be more than enough room for you". Words of wisdom.
     
  4. AKP

    AKP Junior Member
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    After seeing all these horror stories, it's probably a good idea to NOT publish a mobile number as a business number. A more reliable kind of business number might be a landline number, either frequently forwarded from an actual landline or just a forwarding number itself. Apparently wireless companies are more prone to mess up service or billing than landline companies. Also, a mobile handset itself might experience technical trouble, so with a landline number you could change the forwarding to a different mobile or landline or voicemail for a quick fix to allow business calls to come through while you prepare to replace your mobile phone. This would be a more responsible way to maintain phone contact for your business.
     
  5. Dharmster

    Dharmster Junior Member
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    I placed on order with Intelenet Wireless on their website late (11PM EST) the evening of the 2/5 to port my number from AT&T Wireless to T-Mobile. My number was ported on 2/7 and my phone shipped on 2/9 and arrived today.

    Thanks to Intelenet Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile for a hassle free and easy switch! Job well done!!
     
  6. OrangeKid

    OrangeKid New Member

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    I ported two numbers. I ported from ATT Wireless to Verizon on January 3. Within 4 hours the port was completed and my new Verizon phone could send and receive calls. At the same time I ported a Sprint land line to a second Verizon phone. This port turned into the port from hell. It took 40 days and numerous phone calls to Verizon (who was very helpful but held hostage by Sprint and calls to Sprint who had no record of my port request after almost 30 days). My port request had to be resubmitted at least three times from Verizon to Sprint over those 40 days. The Verizon Sprint port specialist told me that the computer programs between Verizon and Sprint were incompatible and that Sprint land line port requests have to be handled via email and fax.

    My brother also ported a land line to Verizon and his took 31 days. So for those porting a land line be prepared to wait and make sure you have alternate ways to receive your calls.
     
  7. SNSE

    SNSE Senior Member
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    Anybody with Success/Horror stories from Denver between ATT and Verizon?
     
  8. billsfan2

    billsfan2 New Member

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    Location:
    Southeast
    My Phone:
    Kyocera 2235
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    In theory, having a landline business number that forwards to a cell number is a good idea. But for those who are self-employed, it sometimes comes down to a matter of expenses. There are several ways to forward calls, but in a friend of mine's case, it was at least $65+ per month to have a special landline plus forwarding. Add this to his current cell phone plan which didn't offer free nights/weekends, free long distance, or nationwide calling, plus several landline entries in the yellow pages, etc. and his bill was at least $200-300 a month. He's hoping that once his business number ports, he will paying much less.
     
  9. SQFreak

    SQFreak Moto's Not So Bad Anymore
    Senior Member

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    Location:
    Davidson, NC
    My Phone:
    Motorola Q9m
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    Port: Alltel (wireless) to Verizon Wireless
    Market: Greensboro--Winston-Salem--High Point, North Carolina
    Number: 336-418-xxxx (an old Centel Cellular number; we got it with a bagphone)
    Initiated: February 21, 2004

    It's not that Alltel is bad - it's pretty good - but it's cheaper for everyone to be under one company, and we've chosen Verizon Wireless, as it's better here.
    The port was initiated at the Hanes Commons Verizon Wireless corporate store in Winston-Salem, NC. The employee, Maurice, was presented with the most recent Alltel bill. The Verizon account was approved for postpaid activation without deposit.
    24 hours later, Verizon Wireless's port status center says, "Your port request requires additional assistance. Please hold for the next available representative." I don't have time to deal with it right now.

    Here we go again!

    EDIT: On the phone with VZW Port Center now. The port was put in as a wireline port. F**k. Yes, this is most definitely "here we go again."

    EDIT: Off the phone with VZW. The number is leased from BellSouth (NANPA database has it as "BELLSOUTH TELECOMM INC DBA SOUTHERN BELL TEL & TEL") so - get this - VZW has to do manual authorization (landline port style) through BellSouth to verify that Alltel owns the number, then get permission from Alltel to port the number, then back to BellSouth to actually execute the port. ETA: 2 to 3 weeks - just like a landline port, except worse. The landline-side porting rep with VZW said that VZW Customer Service will have no problem giving me a temp number for the time being, no change fee associated if I tell them what's going on. (When my Cingular-to-Verizon port went wrong, VZW told me that there was no temporary number, and no way to get one issued, period, which I knew was a lie.)

    I told the VZW rep that the number "was originally obtained from Centel Cellular, then sold to Sprint Cellular, then to 360 Communications, and now to Alltel Communications." Ya know, I'm not so sure this number is so important to me...

    So this raises a question. What happens if I want to port my Cingular number from Verizon to, say, Sprint PCS? Does SPCS contact Cingular to get the current owner, then over to Verizon for port authorization, then back to Cingular to execute the port, and back to Verizon to disconnect the service? Or is there some simple way of getting around that? And what about if I want to port this Centel Cellular somewhere else? New SP to BellSouth to Alltel to VZW to New SP to BellSouth to VZW?

    FINAL EDIT: Port cancelled. New number assigned - 336-408-xxxx, GTE MobilNet owned (w00t)!
     
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