Q: What are “porting” and “forwarding?” Are they the same thing?
- Porting, also known as transferring is the physical move of a phone number from one carrier/phone service provider to another phone service provider’s network.
- “Forwarding” is when calls from one phone are redirected to another.
- You can forward your calls from your mainline number to a number on your new phone service with Smarsh Hosted Services. See your current phone service provider for information on how to forward calls. If your port date is weeks away, you can forward your calls to your new phone system.
Q: Why should I port my number?
- Porting your number means that you can take advantage of a new phone system and lower phone line costs without having to tell your customers to call a new phone number.
Q: Can I continue to use my current phone number with your service while I port my numbers to Smarsh Hosted Services?
- Yes. You will need to contact your current service provider to have them do this.
- If you wish to have your current provider forward your number, request them to do this before you submit your paperwork to port your numbers to our services; some providers will only allow you to have one active order on your account at any one time.
- It will take a few weeks due to the paperwork other carriers require; in the meantime, we will be providing you complimentary numbers that will work with your service.
- If you need further help, contact your sales representative or our customer service department, and they will coach you through how to request this of your current service provider.
NOTE: Please do not request the cancellation of your services or phone number(s) with your current provider until AFTER all numbers you wish to port to us have successfully ported. Once you have received our confirmation of port completion, contact your old service provider to cancel any services/numbers you no longer need; they may not do this automatically.
Q: Can I continue to use my current toll-free number?
- Yes. Call your sales representative or our customer service department, and they will coach you through the process to port your toll-free number to our services. Once we have received your order and your Letter of Authorization, we will submit it to your current service provider for you. Most toll-free port orders are completed within 2 weeks following receipt of your paperwork, depending on how well the information you provide matches what is on file on your account with your current service provider.
Q: How do I port my local numbers and/or toll-free numbers?
- Start by telling your sales rep your existing local phone number(s); they will be able to tell you if it is portable.
- All toll-free numbers may be ported as long as you are the account owner.
- Your sales rep will then enter an order in our systems to port your number(s). The order will include how to setup your number(s) with our services once ported. You will be given an order ID for reference.
- The telecommunications regulatory authorities require certain paperwork that authorizes Smarsh Hosted Services to port your number(s). Your sales representative will provide you with a blank Letter of Authorization (LOA) to port your numbers. Different forms are required for local and toll-free porting.
- You must fill out the LOA, sign it and send it back to us following the directions on the form. You must also include a copy of your most recent phone bill showing the number(s) you want to port.. Please include your porting order ID reference on all communications including on your LOA.
Q: How do I start porting my numbers? Where can I get the forms to port my numbers?
Please see this article for the steps on how to start porting your numbers to Smarsh Hosted Services.
Q: How long will it take to port my number?
- The amount of time it takes to port a number depends on several factors. Porting of a local telephone number typically takes 2-4 weeks depending on how quickly your current service provider responds to how well the information you provide matches what your current provider has on file for your number(s).
- Toll free porting typically takes 1-2 weeks.
- You will receive updates as we receive approval (or a rejection) from your current carrier, and throughout the process.
- There is a bit of overlap time where you will likely need to have both Smarsh Hosted Services Voice Services and service through your old carrier—though the service with your old carrier can be minimized to cover only the phone numbers you are bringing with you. You also are not billed for your new lines of service with Smarsh Hosted Services until the sooner of 20 days from your initial order, or when you manually activate your lines.
Q: What if I have a contract for my current phone lines/numbers?
- Most likely you can still port your number(s). You may want to check to see if your existing carrier has early termination fees or port-away fees.
Q: Can I port my number and buy new phone numbers?
- Yes. Each of your desk phones will come with a complimentary telephone number already assigned to it. If you port over any additional/existing telephone numbers, we can point them to any phone number on your new Smarsh Hosted Services account.
Q: What if my number fails to port?
- Should we encounter a problem in porting your phone numbers from your old carrier, you will be notified right away. We will provide you with the rejection reasoning we received, which will give you the opportunity of resolving that issue with the carrier and resubmitting with us.
Q: I only want to port my main number. What if I have other numbers on my current account that I don’t plan on porting?
- Each provider will treat numbers that are not requested to port differently. Please contact your current provider to find out their policy for porting only one of a group of numbers.
Q: I disconnected my number more than 30 days ago. Can I still port it?
- Only active telephone numbers, in good standing, are portable.
Q: If I want to go to another provider from Smarsh Hosted Services, can I port my number away?
- Yes. You can port the local or toll-free number(s) that you own with our services away from Smarsh Hosted Services. You would coordinate this through your new provider. Please also note that once the port is complete, you will need to contact Smarsh Hosted Services to have your current services and number(s) cancelled.
Q: Will my phone number(s) be “down” for a period of time?
- When your phone number is ported to Smarsh Hosted Services, it will immediately start ringing on your Smarsh Hosted Services-provided phone system or your Auto Attendant or WebFax service, if this is what you specified.
Q: Can I cancel a port that is in-progress?
- Yes—for local port orders, if your number port has not yet been scheduled or is more than 3 business days away, otherwise a non-refundable fee may be included. To initiate the cancel, contact Smarsh Hosted Services Customer Care. You also need to make sure your current service provider does not complete the cancellation of your number/services in their systems.
- For toll-free orders, if we have already submitted your port order to your current provider, we may not be able to stop your port order. Contact your current provider as well as Smarsh Hosted Services Customer Care.
Q: What if my phone number is on a DSL line?
- If your phone number is connected to your DSL connection, you need to take additional steps BEFORE porting your number to us. If you want to keep your DSL connection, check with your current phone service provider to see if they offer “naked DSL”. If so, they can unbundle your phone number from your DSL service, allowing you to port the number without problem.
Q: Will Smarsh Hosted Services cancel my old service after my number(s) have ported?
- No. It is your responsibility to cancel your previous service after your phone numbers have ported.
Q: Why might my number not portable? What will slow the porting process?
- You have DSLservice on a porting number, or a number you wish to port is disconnected, or you did not submit a recent phone bill from your current carrier to Smarsh Hosted Services.
- Your account has been frozen and does not allow the account to be ported.
- You have special features with your current provider such as a hunt group or distinctive ring.
- You have other active orders on your account with your current provider such as an order to setup “Remote Call Transfer”, or to change your account information, or to disconnect services or there is already an order to port other numbers from your account.
- The name and address on your account with your current service provider are different than what you submitted to us on your Letter of Authorization (LOA).
- You are porting a wireless number and did not provide all necessary information on your LOA (current wireless account # and PIN are required).
- The authorized signer on your LOA does not match what your current service provider has on record.
If your port order was rejected by your current provider for one of these reasons, we will generally be able to tell you which reason and offer suggestions for how to resolve the issue. We provide this information in our email on your porting order from our case management system.
Q:How do I find out the status of my port order?
You will get emails from our case management system referencing your port order ID at each of the following points for local port orders:
- When your port order has been entered in our systems by sales or customer support.
- Within 2 business days of receipt of your completed paperwork – Letter of Authorization (LOA) – which is what we need before we can start working your port order.
- When we have submitted your port order to our carriers. We will also generally be able to advise you of ESTIMATED Port Date (EPD) that we have requested.
- Status of the port order at least weekly.
- When we have heard back from your current service provider
- Your port order was accepted and we have a FIRM ORDER CONFIRMATION (FOC) date.
- Your port order has some issues or was rejected. We will provide you with guidance on how to clear the reject.
For toll-free orders, the process is slightly different and you will receive emails covering items 1, 2, 4 and 6. Toll-free porting is not on a scheduled date.
If you have questions about your order or need to make changes, reply to the email from our case management system on your porting order. If you have further questions, contact Smarsh Hosted Services Customer Support.
Q: Can I expedite a port order?
Unfortunately, the telecommunications industry does not widely support expedites for local numbers, and has no provision to expedite toll-free numbers.
In the rare instances that an expedite is agreed upon for local numbers, the following are the generally accepted circumstances. The circumstances under which most carriers will agree to an expedite are:
- You have authorized charging your account an expedite fee of $75/number to request an expedite.
- We already have agreement from your current provider to port the numbers you want to expedite.
- You are able to provide the name, phone number, and email address of the person in the losing carrier’s PORT OUT department (not customer service or account management) whom has already confirmed to you that they will agree to this expedited port out request.
- You understand that by submitting an expedite order, we are losing the dates that had previously been requested and/or confirmed; if the expedite is not granted, the order(s) will need to be resubmitted with new standard timeframes.
- You will provide reason for needing the expedite and understand that even if a losing carrier says they will expedite, most only allow it for hospitals or similar, whom are out of service until the port completes.
- Expedites, if granted, are almost never provided for the same day.
NOTE: there is no guarantee to the expedite; you will be charged $75/number to start an expedite order regardless of success. Once we have agreed to try to expedite for you, we will do what we can for you.
Q: What do I do after my number has been ported?
- After your number has been ported, it is your responsibility to contact your old provider and request that they disconnect your previous service.