Phone number portability was instituted by the FCC in 1993. It granted ownership of a toll free number to the company who uses the number, not the telephone service provider. Prior to 1993, companies found themselves tethered to their phone company for years. As switching providers would have caused serious disruptions in their business.
Now, thanks to portability, companies can transfer their toll free number to any carrier they choose without the risk of losing the equity they’ve built over the years with their primary 1-800 number. Transferring a toll free phone number is simple, and it can complete without interrupting service.
Once you’ve chosen your new service provider. It will be necessary to complete a Responsible Organization Change Authorization. Responsible Organizations, also known as RespOrgs, maintain toll free number registrations in the United States. The RespOrg system created in 1993 as part of the toll-free portability program. As a customer, you will have to fill out all of the information on the form regarding your business and current provider. Check and double-check the details to be sure everything is correct. As a single error could lead to a rejection of the transfer.
Once you’ve completed the form, send it to your new carrier. Some providers will require extra information. Such as a copy of the most recent phone bill associated with your toll free number. Be sure you gather all of the necessary forms and documents to ensure a smooth transfer.
It can take as few as three days and as many as 21 days to complete a successful transfer of a toll free number. It’s important to be patient but keep in touch with your new provider so that you know the status of your transfer. Do not cancel your service with your current toll free provider. Until you have received confirmation in writing from your new carrier that the transfer completed successfully.
Most toll free phone number transfers are smooth, some customers find themselves up against roadblocks. Some carriers may refuse to release the telephone number through the RespOrg authorization process.
In that case, customers will have to work with the Number Administration Service Center (NASC) in order to transfer their toll free number to a new provider.
The RespOrg process is free, but the NASC process does involve a fee. That fee will charge the NASC to your new carrier, who will pass that fee along to you, the customer. Exact costs will vary depending upon the provider, so it’s important to ask your new carrier what their NASC fees are before you decide to make the switch, just in case your initial authorization is declined.
While it is relatively easy to change providers for your toll free number. In order to ensure your service is not interrupted and you can continue to own your number. You must conduct a bit of up-front research to choose the best new carrier. Understand their possible NASC fees, and you must have your timeline in place for your transfer. Never cancel service with your old provider until you’ve received your confirmation from your new carrier. That they now manage your toll free number.