When you’re transferring your number to a new provider, the last thing you want to hear is, “The port was rejected.”
In almost every case, though, this can be easily prevented from happening by simply making sure that the information you provide to your new provider is EXACTLY what is listed on your phone bill for the number you are porting.
If you don’t have a phone bill, or you’re simply unsure of the specific information your carrier has on file for you, just contact them and ask for a Customer Service Report (CSR). Don’t forget to ask if there’s anything else they will require to release your number.
Carriers who are losing a phone number are notorious for rejecting a port request for the tiniest discrepancy, as you will see below.
HERE’S WHY YOUR PORT WAS REJECTED
1. Name and/or Address Mismatch
This one is at the top of the list because it’s probably the most common reason that a port will be rejected.
This can be tricky because the address on file with the losing carrier may not be your current address, or even anything close to what you thought it was. Don’t just submit your current address; it has to be exactly the address they have for you.
2. Invalid Zip Code, Incorrect Billing Telephone Number, or Incorrect Account Number
Not only submitting an incorrect address, but even one misspelled digit in your zip code is a red flag for the losing carrier. Also, be sure that the BTN (billing telephone number) and account number is error-free. It’s not a bad idea to double and triple-check these items to make sure they’re perfectly spelled and accurate.
3. Unauthorized Contact or Customer Signature
There is only one person who is authorized to make a port request for any number, and that is the primary account holder. Just because you are using the number, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the authority to request a transfer.
If anyone other than the primary account holder puts his or her name on the port request, the losing carrier will turn it down for sure.
4. Invalid or Incorrect PIN
This tends to be tricky for people because they assume that if they have never used a PIN for the account with their provider, then it doesn’t exist.
You may have never seen your PIN before, even though you had one the whole time but didn’t realize it. Sometimes a PIN isn’t even generated until you submit the port request. Here’s what you need to remember:
1) All wireless carriers require a PIN (usually 4 digits), or in rare cases some kind of password, to port away a number to a different carrier.
2) If you don’t know your PIN code, or you’re not sure if there is one, call your carrier and JUST ASK; they will tell you what it is.
3) If a PIN is required and you don’t provide it, you can be sure that your port request will be rejected.
5. Number is Locked
Google Voice has a special feature for their numbers that many of their users aren’t even aware of. When you decide to port your GV number to another carrier, they will charge you a $3 fee, and you will need to “unlock” your number.
This is easily and quickly done, but if you neglect this step, they will reject it.
6. Inactive Account or Not in Good Standing
Has it been awhile since you used the number you are attempting to port? Have you missed a payment or two? If so, then there’s a chance your provider has labeled your account “inactive”, or deleted it entirely, in which case the number cannot be ported.
Unpaid balances have the potential to disallow your port. Also, prepaid wireless numbers (some of the toughest to port) that have no available credit cannot be ported. You must add credit to a prepaid account before a port will be permitted.
7. All Data Mismatch
If your porting agent tells you this was the reason for rejection, you might ask yourself if the number you are attempting to port even belonged to you in the first place.
“All data mismatch” means that every piece of information you provided was wrong, so it’s possible that the number is on a different account than you thought it was—or you submitted the wrong number.
8. Spelling Error
Once you’ve exhausted every other possible reason for rejection and you’re tearing your hair out trying to figure out why it’s happening, just double check the spelling of everything.
Once again, losing carriers will reject a port request for tiniest inconsistency, so it’s a good idea to double check everything—address, zip code, account number, and especially the phone number you’re porting.
If you take nothing else away from this article, remember this: When your port is rejected, the best thing you can do is communicate with your old service provider to find out exactly why they are rejecting the port.
Don’t Shoot the Messenger
Last, but not least, be nice to the person at your new provider, who is facilitating the port. Your port represents new business for them, so they want to be sure that your number is transferred successfully.
Keep in mind that prying away a number from your old provider tends to be very difficult, and if it gets rejected, it probably wasn’t the facilitator’s fault.
If your port request is rejected, there’s no need to panic. Chances are, it was due to some piece of information that doesn’t match what they have in their records.
Take the time to call your provider, ask for a Customer Service Report, and have it submitted again. It might take a little longer than you anticipated, but it’s very seldom that a number is flat-out not portable.
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1. “Keeping Your Telephone Number When Changing Service Providers,” Federal Communications Commission, https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/keeping-your-telephone-number-when-changing-service-providers