In a typical month, we will handle several hundred Canadian number ports, and at least 30% of them fail at the first review. We check each request before submission against a copy of a recent invoice, and in many cases can ask the end user to quickly amend the request, but a “clean” port request will always go through more quickly.
Canadian service providers also have approval from the CRTC to charge a penalty of $70 for a rejected port request, so there is a significant incentive to get it right first time.
The Top 6 reasons why number ports fail:
- The number has been cancelled: A cancelled number can never be ported. Numbers can sometimes be resurrected by the same provider with a little persuasion, and maybe then ported.
- The address is the billing address, not the “service address”: To port landlines, the address needs to be the physical address where the line enters the facility. Often, customers enter the billing address instead. In some large commercial buildings, the service address may be different to the street address of company. If in doubt, call your service provider before submitting the port request and ask them to confirm the service address.
- The number to be ported is the ‘Pilot Number’ of a PRI: A PRI (often called a Megalink by Bell customers) is defined for administrative purposes by a pilot number, often the main number of the business. Porting the pilot number will kill the PRI and all other DIDs, and will normally be rejected.
- The number is part of a hunt group: Businesses that are currently using analog lines into a PBX usually have one number with multiple lines associated to it in a hunt group. Although in most cases, the only number the customer knows is the main number, each line has its own number and calls to the main number are transferred to these numbers in a predefined order. If a number in a hunt group is ported, it would leave the numbers lower down the hunt group order “stranded” and the port would be rejected. When porting any number in a hunt group, all of the numbers in the hunt group need to be listed along with what needs to be done to them. (Typically either cancel the remaining numbers, or how to rearrange them into a new hunt group). If in doubt, call the service provider and confirm the numbers in the hunt group and their order.
- There is already work order on the number: If there is a pending work order on a number such as a move, or cancellation, the port will be rejected. Don't cancel the number to be ported.
- There are several intermediate resellers between the service provider and the end user: The end user may not be aware of the various resellers in the chain from the service provider, and may only be able to list their supplier. The CRTC has been working to address this problem, and in most cases, if an invoice is attached showing the number and end customer name, the port can proceed with a short delay.
The porting process has improved significantly over the last few years as a result of process improvements initiated by the CRTC. If the information on the porting form is carefully checked, a copy of the invoice is attached and the six errors above are avoided, the number transfer should go through in 5-6 business days. If the request is rejected by the service provider, this can add a week or more to the process. In most cases, a call to the current service provider confirm the information takes a fegw minutes asn can avoid problems, as well as rejection charges.