A Guide to Quicker Phone Number Porting

Here at CallRail, we’ve ported thousands of call tracking phone numbers into our system. We work hard to make the process as simple and painless as possible for our clients – but not every port goes according to plan.

There’s a lot going on behind the scenes during the port process, and each step has a potential for complications. These complications can cause huge delays, which according to the FCC end up costing you money and hinder your ability to choose a call tracking provider based solely on price, quality, and service.

We want our customers to take advantage of all the benefits of CallRail, using the numbers important to their business, as quickly as possible. Find out what you can do to make the transition seamless and fast.

How does porting work?

Before we dive into how to make your number porting go as smoothly as possible, it’s best to understand how porting works and what the process entails.

Here is a high-level summary of the port processing steps, as provided by the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC):

  1. You complete all of the documentation requested by CallRail, and submit it to our porting team.
  2. CallRail submits the documentation to our carrier on your behalf.
  3. Our carrier reaches out to your current provider (known as the losing carrier) to notify them of the requested port.
  4. The losing carrier confirms all of the provided information sent over by CallRail on your behalf.
  5. Once they establish that the Letter of Authorization (LOA), Customer Service Record (CSR), and attached phone bill are all accurate they notify our carrier for confirmation.
  6. Our carrier notifies the NPAC of the requested port.
  7. The NPAC creates a pending port and sends a notification to the losing carrier.
  8. The losing carrier must then communicate with the NPAC that it approves the port.
  9. CallRail’s carrier notifies the NPAC to activate the port. Once the pending port is activated in the NPAC, it is broadcasted to the telecommunications industry network within milli-seconds. Your port is complete!

That’s right: the porting process ultimately runs through nine steps from when you first submit your port request, to when the number has successfully transferred over into our system. This may look straightforward, but each step is a potential bottleneck that can delay the porting process.

Most ports can take time

The NPAC states that “if there are no errors or issues with validations, and it is a simple port, the FCC has mandated that the request be completed within one business day.”

The thing to note here is the word ‘simple’. This rule only applies to simple ports, defined by the FCC as ports that involve only one phone line or do not require more complex adjustments to telephone switching equipment. The term ‘complex adjustments’ is at the discretion of the losing carrier, and thus hard to define.

So as you can see – most ports aren’t simple, and take some time. At CallRail, we estimate most ports to take between 4-6 weeks. Some can take far less time (as short as a few days), and large bulk ports sometimes take as long as 6-8 weeks.

The root cause of most porting delays

Most bottlenecks in the porting process are caused in steps four and five. Many losing carriers delay the confirmation process in order to maintain their current customer. It makes sense why these providers would want to hold onto your number – whoever carries the number gets paid for the service.

Thus, if porting documentation isn’t submitted just right, CallRail’s porting team can never get past step five in the process. The main factors we’ve found that can go wrong when submitting a port request include:

  • Incorrect data on the Letter of Authorization or Customer Service Record. The losing carrier will typically scrutinize over your documentation to ensure every last detail is correct. This is mostly for your protection, as it prevents unauthorized porting of your numbers. At the same time, little things such as small typos or outdated business addresses can cause the losing carrier to reject your documents. You will have to fill out and submit new paperwork, causing a major delay as the process starts all over again from the beginning.

  • Arbitrary carrier rules. Some call tracking providers will establish seemingly unnecessary rules that cause huge delays. Sometimes these take place in the form of porting fees (we’ve seen fees as large as $800 – for a single number!), or additional documentation. Other times it will be a ‘required’ period of time to process a port request – as long as 30 days.

  • ‘Leasing’ of phone numbers. Not all call tracking providers ‘sell’ users their phone numbers. Instead they ‘lease’ the phone numbers to you while you’re using them. We’ve found that some of our customers are unaware they have been using leased numbers via a reseller and will attempt to port these numbers into CallRail. Once the documentation is submitted it is revealed who truly owns the numbers and that they cannot be moved into CallRail. It is important for consumers to educate themselves on the ownership of their numbers prior to selecting a call tracking vendor.

Make your port as painless as possible

While all of the above may make the porting process seem like a long, complicated process, the good news is it doesn’t have to be. There are certain precautions every customer should take prior to porting their numbers into CallRail.

  1. Review any contracts with your current provider, or contact them directly for assistance. One of the simplest ways to ensure you’re aware of any additional fees or processes is to read your service agreement or reach out to your carrier directly. This way you’ll be able to take care of anything that needs to be done on their end prior to starting the process with CallRail. You’ll save a lot of headache up front, and ensure a fairly swift porting process.
  2. Have your current provider complete the CSR, prior to you completing the LOA. Submit the CSR to your current provider’s support team, or complete the document with them over the phone. This guarantees you’re putting the proper service address on file in both the CSR and LOA.
  3. Get your data right. This is the number one way you can help your ports go as quickly as possible. Double and triple check your CSR, LOA, most recent phone bill and the list of phone numbers before you submit it to the CallRail Porting Team.

We want you to enjoy all the benefits of CallRail ASAP. If you ever have any questions regarding the porting process and CallRail, feel free to send us an email or give us a call at (888) 907-4718.