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Clear and meaningful process flow porting Landline either 'to' or 'from Virgin Media

carp_brother
Tuning in

Hi all

I've been a customer of VirginMedia for almost 20 years, however the plans offered are not as applicable to our current lifestyle. Smart TVs with their own apps (and our own independent subscriptions) have replaced the V360 Box. I can't remember the last time we used it or turned it on this past eight months.

So we're aiming to look at a new package without Virgin Media (because there are a lot more competitors offering cheaper and faster services for the same price) or with them if a Virgin Media package suits our needs and budget.

We're looking into the detailed process of getting our VM phone number (the number we've had for years) ported from VM to another Fibre provider (or one that is not tied to our future provider, such as Vonage/Sipgate/VoIPify/ Number People/ CircleLoop/ Voipfone/ A&A). That way we can possibly keep our phone with a VOIP provider independently to whoever our broadband provider is.

We are in West London, TW2, and have a vast array of providers coming through the ranks, but am feeling unnerved about losing VM because we don't know their competitors' reputations as we haven't used anyone else but VM. So we are completely reliant on trustpilot and such like to give us good feedback: even then we are not sure those posts are trustworthy either.. Sorry for sounding cynical!

Anyway I'm trying to get my head around the Number porting process with my OTS 'Right to Port' and frankly haven't gotten much information. We seem to be at the behest of the provider we are porting TO and also the one we are porting FROM. Why is it not like with MOBILES where you get a PAC STAC code things?

Can anyone detail what happens when this starts, what needs to be done by both providers, so we get our (current VM) number with another provider? We are out of contract with VM so are not tied-in any more, however understand I will have to keep both accounts active until the number is ported.

Cheers..

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Adduxi
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

When I ported from BT to Sipgate, I filled in some Sipgate supplied forms and they did the transfer.  Note however once ported, the BT line was ceased.  I imagine that would be simliar to VM, except VM will not make things easy depending on your current contract.  If you have a package that includes the phone, I imagine it will be difficult to do, as VM will see this as a contract change that may put you into another 18 month "new" contract.  It may be easier just to cancel VM at the time of porting?

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Adduxi
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

When I ported from BT to Sipgate, I filled in some Sipgate supplied forms and they did the transfer.  Note however once ported, the BT line was ceased.  I imagine that would be simliar to VM, except VM will not make things easy depending on your current contract.  If you have a package that includes the phone, I imagine it will be difficult to do, as VM will see this as a contract change that may put you into another 18 month "new" contract.  It may be easier just to cancel VM at the time of porting?

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goslow
Alessandro Volta

AIUI, the OTS proposal is in another delay until Sept 2024

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/news-centre/2024/enforcement-programme-into-failed-implementation-of-one-to...

I think the providers are supposed to be following the aims of the scheme already although the mechanisms for making it happen, as envisaged, do not seem to be running yet.

From many past topics on here, I think you are correct that your existing line with VM must be fully operational, and have no pending disconnection request on it, to be able to port it.

I no longer have a landline and do not use VOIP but some of the regulars on here have moved to a third party VOIP service for the reasons of flexibility which you have suggested.

It is supposed to be the gaining provider who leads the porting process and deals with any/all issues with the porting.

Have you checked who owns your landline number? Is it VM? You can check here

https://portal.aql.com/telecoms/network_lookup.php

In the 'gone wrong' number ports described on here, the customer's phone number has typically been ported before to VM (so another provider actually 'owns' the number). If something goes wrong with the port, and the number becomes 'lost', it goes back to the range holder of the number. There are supposed to be 'rescue' procedures in place for a lost number during porting under OTS but implementing them seems to be erratic in the topics described on here.

Mostly porting issues on here happen when VM is gaining a number (and the problems there typically involve the customer cancelling their existing service before the number has ported and/or VM delaying starting the new service and/or the range holder of the number being a third party).

Robert_P
Forum Team
Forum Team

Hello carp_brother

 

Thanks for posting in regards to your services, contract, package cost and transferring your number to a new provider, we understand the confusion around this and appreciate you seeking some clarity on these matters.

 

We have listed below the steps for porting your number:

 

  • Customer contacts new/gaining provider to raise porting request
  • New/gaining operator  sends port request to current/losing operator with porting details including phone number, postcode with current operator and requested port date.
  • Current/losing operator validates the request based on the information provided and the information held on our customer database. The current operator  will accept the porting request and return it to the new/gaining operator or reject the request if the information is incorrect and provide the reason(s) for the rejection to the new/gaining operator.
  • If the order is rejected, the new provider will correct the order and resend the information to the current operator, who will then carry out step 3 once again
  • If the order is accepted, the new/gaining provider will get in touch on the agreed port date or within the further 6 days of the porting window to request the number is ported. The current/losing provider will supply a reference  for the request and then port the number over to the new operator within the agreed industry SLA.

Ofcom version can be found here, if you have any further questions feel free to ask.

 

Rob

Client62
Legend

In 2017 we ported from BT landline to Sipgate VOIP it looked like this ...

1) Register with Sipgate and get the supplied VOIP number working on your choice of VOIP Phone, ATA or Soft phone.

2) Submit a porting request to Sipgate to claim the landline number from the existing provider & pay any porting fee.

3) Once the landline number has been claimed / ported,  in the Sipgate VOIP a/c management portal enable the landline number as an inbound number for the Sipgate VOIP a/c

The VOIP a/c does have 2 inbound numbers routing to the same a/c & it is a choice as to which phone number to show as your Caller Id for outgoing calls.

Our Caller Id is the original BT landline number as that matches what our Banks / Doctor / and so on expect to see.

4) Following the number porting, BT automatically closed the phone a/c & sent a final statement.

Hopefully that gives a flavour of what one might expect.

This month is my last month of contract so I'm pretty much paying £86 a month (which is over two and a half / almost three times the amount of other competitive offerings. in my mind I've left, but know they 're going to bug me to stay. Thee is one offer they have but that includes a SIM Card and we are already on GiffGaff so it's already cheap.  I can't see the need to then have to cancel one of three GiffGaff contracts just to save money on VM.  Thanks for the advice - that's good information. 👍

Number ownership.pngLooks like it's owned by them.. Only need to make the call to VM to either request cancellation after calling up new VOIP provider and FTTP provider, or stick with VM and not change but only for the right price...  Thank you everyone for the good responses.. Community Fibre seem to be our preferred internet provider next month if VM can't come up with anything. I'm seeing more one stars on TrustPilot about VM than I am with Community Fibre.  CF seem to offer a faster (on paper) deal with symmetric speeds as opposed to 90/10 offered by VM at a much more favourable rate. I feel like we don't even need any physical phone provider any more, just stick our number online as an independant VOIP. CF are adding £10 per month for the priviledge and only really need it for incoming calls.

Client62
Legend

I tried the link : https://portal.aql.com/telecoms/network_lookup.php  BT are still shown as the owner of our original landline number despite it having been operated via Sipgate for many years.  Not sure what to make of that.

If you are intending to use a VOIP phone or a Cisco / Grandstream ATA do get hold on the manuals for these devices and have a look at the set up processes that are described by the various VOIP providers.

For a PC softphone MicroSIP Lite is well worth a look as this is a zero cost VOIP application that is quite simple to configure and to get working. In the early period, my confidence was boosted by understanding the configuration data and then seeing VOIP in action on in & out bound calls.

Avoid used VOIP kit from eBay, if it turns up and was locked down by the last VOIP provider / office or comes without the required PSU etc, it can be quite useless meaning you spend twice to get the correct item.

goslow
Alessandro Volta

@Client62 wrote:

I tried the link : https://portal.aql.com/telecoms/network_lookup.php  BT are still shown as the owner of our original landline number despite it having been operated via Sipgate for many years.  Not sure what to make of that. <snip>


I think blocks of numbers can change hands periodically (as providers come and go) but some of these number ranges were allocated back in the 1990s according to these OFCOM lists

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/information-for-industry/numbering/numbering-d...

(the last landline number I used was allocated to VM in July 1994 and is still showing as a block owned by VM, so some blocks don't change much at all over a long time)

I think if you ever gave up your number entirely, BT would get it back and BT could then reallocate it to another customer.


@carp_brother wrote:

Looks like it's owned by them.. <snip>

Usual advice on here, when moving to a new service, is to keep the existing service running and overlap where possible if that is feasible and affordable to you. That way you avoid being cut off with no connection if there is a delay in installation and you have your 14 day cooling off period with the new service to try it while still having VM to fall back on if the new service is no good.

I had the same sense of trepidation when moving from VM (20 year customer) to BT FTTP a couple of years ago as the BT FTTP was a new and unknown quantity in the area. As it turned out the BT service has been excellent (far more reliable than VM ever was, hasn't skipped a beat in 2 years and has very low latency). No billing or admin issues with BT and I have not needed to contact them for support.

My past experiences with Openreach/BT are that they are equally as capable as VM for spectacular levels of chaos and confusion but I think that because all of this fibre infrastructure is brand new, the technical issues have simply not been there.