Why is my port taking so long?

Once upon a time, there lived a Princess who wished to move her phone number from one provider to another. In her mountain top castle overlooking the town, she continued to wait for her number to port.

She sighed, “It’s just taking so long! I expect my Prince to be here soon and I need my number ported before then. Why is this happening to me?

A dragonfly buzzed through her open window five days later, exclaiming, “Your port request has completed, my royal Princess!

The Princess, full of delight from the news, felt a longing in her heart to understand the time frame behind her number port. Suddenly, her phone rang. It was the Prince!

My dearest Princess, I am running behind on my journey to you. I am waiting for my number to port and it’s taking longer than expected. I shall arrive into your open arms once my mobile provider can get this straightened out.”

The Princess now had time to research. She knew exactly who to ask for help.

The Pig.

The Pig was the kingdom expert on phone numbers. The Pig would have the answers.

The Princess knocked on the door of the royal barn. “Pig, are you there? I need your wisdom!

The door opened and The Pig welcomed her inside.

“By the time I’m done with you today, Princess, you’ll be a porting professional. Now, sit here on this hay bale and prepare yourself for the truth.

The Pig grabbed a stick and began to draw a diagram on the dirt floor.

Moving your phone number from one provider to another seems so simple. In a day and age where things happen at lightning speed, why would a phone number take 3-7 business days to transfer? The truth is, it’s a process with a lot of moving parts behind the scenes.

Here is porting straight from the trough: 

  1. The new “gaining” service provider notifies the old “losing” service provider of the requested port.
  2. The old “losing” service provider is asked to validate the customer’s information, such as your name, address, account number and PIN.
  3. The old “losing” service provider confirms the subscriber’s information and notifies the new service provider with their approval (if it matches) or rejection (if it does not match).
  4. The new “gaining” service provider notifies the carrier of the requested port.
  5. The carrier creates a pending port and sends a notification to the old “losing” service provider.
  6. Optionally, the old “losing” service provider notifies the carrier that it concurs with the port.
  7. The new “gaining” service provider notifies the carrier to activate the port.
  8. The pending port is activated in the carrier and broadcast to the telecommunications industry network.
(Source: NPAC)

Sounds simple enough, right? Within each step, however, resides many hands, hooves and many potential bumps along the dusty trail.

NPAC states, “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.” Note they refer to simple ports only. The FCC says, “Simple ports generally do not involve more than one line or more complex adjustments to telephone switching equipment.Now, if you’re porting more than one number or one number from a group of others with a carrier, even if those others numbers do not belong to you, it’s not a simple port. And it turns out, most ports aren’t simple.

And, when things are not simple, you may notice your port takes longer than one day.

Carriers that we work with at NumberBarn take approximately 3-7 business days, sometimes a wee bit more, sometimes a wee bit less, to port, when all of the information is submitted correctly. The FCC says, “You may be able to use your phone within a few hours for changes among wireless service providers. However, porting from wireline to wireless service may still take a few days.” But again, that’s only if you have all of your information correct on the number port and the port is submitted to the correct carrier, using the correct platform for their submission.

A Customer Service Record (CSR) is the name, address and any other identifying information attached to your port. This information must be submitted to your new,”gaining” provider and match what is on file with the old “losing” provider. If the data doesn’t match the carrier records, it can set you back. In some cases, the CSR reflects an old address. Sometimes it reflects an address with a typo. If the number was purchased through a reseller, the information to port reflects the reseller address. It may also include an account number and/or PIN that you must provide to port. Some providers, like NumberBarn, make the CSR information available in your online account. Some providers, you must ask them for the CSR information. We always recommend checking with your provider first to ensure the smoothest port.

Here are some resources to guide you on your journey:

The Princess felt satisfied after this explanation. She knew that she did not provide the proper castle address originally, which set back her port. She thanked The Pig, dusted the hay from her dress, and opened the door to leave.

Awaiting her outside was the Prince!

“My love, my one true love! My number has ported. I failed to enter my CSR information correctly but alas, I corrected it and it ported. Now, we can be together forever,” he exclaimed.

The Princess turned and looked longingly back at The Pig, who stood at the barn door, waving. The Pig gave her wisdom and insight into a whole new world.

She then turned back and looked at the Prince, dancing with happiness from his number port.

My dearest Prince,” she said. “I have had a change of heart. I wish to stay with The Pig and continue on my journey to become the most Number Smart Princess in all the land!”

The Prince, weeping, rode off into the sunset, alone.

The Princess and The Pig lived happily ever after, however.

And, we hope you do too with your successful number port to or from NumberBarn. Remember, we’re here to support your number needs. Have a question? Don’t be afraid to ask! Contact us here.

We’re NumberBarn, we take phone numbers very seriously. But, we also like to have a little fun. To learn more about us, visit NumberBarn.com and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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Written by

Jenny Dempsey

Jenny Dempsey is the Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn