Is Your Virtual PBX Number Portable?

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Change is part of life. Companies grow, business needs change, and sometimes a switch in virtual PBX providers becomes necessary. If you find that you do need to change your virtual PBX provider – or if you are in the process of looking for a virtual PBX provider – knowing that switching providers is an option can be reassuring. And, of course, you will want to take your valuable business phone number (or numbers) with you. http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-time-to-change-image22545801

When it is time to change providers, will you be able to port your business number?

There are three types of phone numbers, and virtual PBX providers tend to handle them all differently. The vast majority of providers will, however, allow you to walk away with all of your numbers free of charge as long as you’ve settled your bill.

Toll-Free Numbers: Toll-free numbers, or numbers that allow customers to place calls for free, are required to be portable by U.S. law. Therefore, no matter which virtual PBX provider you choose to go with, your toll-free number will remain mobile.

Ported Numbers: No virtual PBX provider we’ve encountered will take possession of a ported number. This means that if you port (transfer) your own numbers into a virtual PBX service, you should be able to port those numbers out again.

Provided Numbers: This is where things can get tricky. If a virtual PBX provider assigns you a phone number, the virtual PBX service can claim ownership of that number and choose to deny you the right to port it away if you switch providers. Some virtual PBX services even reserve the right to switch your phone number randomly while you are still subscribed (chances are that won’t happen). Even companies that claim ownership these numbers will often let you port them away.

If You Need to Port

If you are currently subscribed to a virtual pbx service, check our chart below for their policy. No matter who your provider is, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Leave in Good Standing: Settle your account – pay any bills and early termination fees as necessary.

Do Not Cancel Until the Port Is Complete: While you are porting a phone number from your old provider to your new one, you cannot cancel your old service. You have to wait until the port is completely finished before cancelling. This applies to all porting, including toll-free numbers. If you cancel your old account before the port is complete, you will likely lose all of your numbers (scary).

Some Final Thoughts

The moral of the story? If you are just now considering signing up with a virtual PBX provider, be sure to do your homework. Figure out whether you will be able to port out your business numbers, as well as the cost in both time and money of doing so. Choosing a virtual PBX provider that can accomodate your needs both at the beginning and the end of your service will save you a lot of angst later on.

Provider Specific Porting Policies:

RingCentral

Can I Port Out? Yes
Policy:

YOU MUST KEEP YOUR RINGCENTRAL SERVICE ACTIVE IN ORDER TO PORT YOUR NUMBER TO YOUR NEW PROVIDER. RingCentral cannot guarantee that your RingCentral number will be held for porting if you cancel your RingCentral service prior to receiving confirmation that your number has been successfully ported.

VirtualPBX

Can I Port Out? Yes
Policy:

You understand and agree that You are not the owner of any VPBX-assigned telephone number (Number). In the event that the Service associated with Your VPBX Number is in the process of being cancelled, then VPBX will, upon Your written request and following standard porting procedures, allow You to move Your VPBX Number(s) from VPBX to an alternate carrier provided that (a) the cancellation of Service is on favorable terms; that (b) all fees and charges for the Service, whether or not then due, have been paid in full.

From time to time You may port numbers into Your System, or port Numbers out of Your System. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AFFIRM THAT SHOULD YOU CANCEL YOUR VPBX SERVICE PRIOR TO NUMBER(S) SUCCESSFULLY BEING ACCEPTED BY THE WINNING CARRIER, YOU WILL BE UNABLE TO PORT NUMBER(S) AWAY FROM YOUR SYSTEM, AND LOSE ANY RIGHTS TO SAID NUMBERS.

Phone.com

Can I Port Out? Yes
Policy:

3.4.6 Phone Numbers: Phone.com will provide telephone numbers to be used in connection with the Service (each, a “Number”). In the alternative, customers may port a number to Phone.com for use with Phone.com’ Service. A request by you to port your Number from Phone.com to another provider may be deemed a request by you to terminate your agreement with Phone.com. If you decide to port your Number to another service provider, you remain liable to Phone.com for any applicable early termination fees, equipment charges, and any outstanding balances due on your account. Your account must remain active until the port is complete. If your service is terminated prior to porting, it will result in the loss of the Number. As a result, the Number will not be eligible for porting.

Grasshopper

Can I Port Out? Yes
Policy:

10. Ownership of Toll Free Number. You are the owner of any toll free telephone number assigned to you by Grasshopper or transferred by you to Grasshopper. Prior to termination of your Account for any reason, you may request to transfer your toll-free number to another carrier at no extra charge. If you fail to transfer your toll-free number to another carrier prior to terminating your Account, then following the termination of your Account, your toll free number becomes property of Grasshopper. If you initiate the transfer during a free trial period, you will be required to convert your account to a paid account while waiting for the transfer to complete. It is your responsibility to have your toll free number transferred to another carrier prior to canceling your Account.

Nextiva

Can I Port Out? Yes
Policy:

1.4 Porting. You may be able to take, or “port,” your current number to another service provider. Once your port is completed through your new service provider, you must email service@NEXTIVA.com to cancel your NEXTIVA Service. Until you cancel service with NEXTIVA, you will remain a NEXTIVA customer, and you will continue to be responsible for all charges and fees associated with your Service. If you cancel your Service prior to completion of the port, your Service will not work and your number may not be available for porting. Your account must be active and in good standing in order to port out your number.

Halloo

Can I Port Out? Yes (but you have to pay $50).
Policy:

You understand and agree that you are not the owner of any telephone number assigned to you by Halloo. Ownership of any such phone number is vested solely in Halloo (who will assign or re-assign such numbers to you for your use during the term of this Agreement). In the event that the Service associated with your Halloo number is being terminated, then Halloo will, upon your written request and through standard porting procedures, allow you to move your Halloo number from us to an alternate carrier (and will provide the necessary documentation to support this process), provided that (a) the termination of Service is not due to a default; that (b) all fees and charges for the Services, whether or not then due, have been paid in full; and, (c) a $50 port-away fee is paid to Halloo. This port-away fee may be waived for specific accounts at Halloo’s discretion.

FreedomVoice

Can I Port Out? Yes
Policy:

Can I keep my toll free number if I choose to cancel? Yes, as long as your account is in good standing. This generally means that you do not have an unpaid account balance and have not had service suspended or cancelled for violating our Terms and Conditions (e.g. using the service for fraud). Your new provider will supply you with the necessary forms to have your number transferred from FreedomVoice. Note: FreedomVoice says this policy applies to local numbers as well.

eVoice

Can I Port Out? Not unless you ported it in in the first place. If you port out any number, including a toll-free one, you have to pay $40.
Policy:

YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT YOU WILL HAVE USE OF THE TELEPHONE NUMBER(S) THAT ARE PROVIDED AS PART OF THE SERVICES ONLY UNTIL THE END OF THE TERM OF YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE COMPANY OR UNTIL THE COMPANY NO LONGER PROVIDES YOU WITH SERVICE, UNLESS YOU SATISFY THE PROVISIONS IN SECTION b BELOW.

  1. Non Toll-Free Numbers Provided by the Company May Not be Ported
    THE COMPANY IS THE CUSTOMER OF RECORD FOR ALL NON TOLL-FREE NUMBERS PROVIDED BY THE COMPANY TO YOU AND, THEREFORE, THE COMPANY HAS EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS OVER PORTING SUCH NUMBERS. YOU ARE PROHIBITED FROM AND MAY NOT PORT OUT NON TOLL-FREE NUMBERS THAT WERE PROVIDED TO YOU BY THE COMPANY

IF YOU “PORTED IN” ANY TELEPHONE NUMBER(S) IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE OF SERVICES, THE COMPANY ASSIGNED YOU ONE OR MORE TOLL FREE VOICE SERVICE NUMBERS, OR YOU ARE ENTITLED TO “PORT OUT” A TELEPHONE NUMBER UNDER NON-US LAW, YOU MAY “PORT OUT” SUCH NUMBER(S) IN CONNECTION WITH TERMINATING YOUR ACCOUNT IF, AND ONLY IF, YOU SATISFY THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS: (i) YOU PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE COMPANY OF YOUR INTENTION TO “PORT OUT” SUCH TELEPHONE NUMBER(S) NO LATER THAN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER PROVIDING THE COMPANY NOTICE OF YOUR INTENT TO TERMINATE YOUR ACCOUNT (THE “PORTING NOTICE PERIOD”); (ii) YOUR NEW TELEPHONE CARRIER PROVIDES THE COMPANY’S TELEPHONE CARRIER A DULY EXECUTED PORTING REQUEST PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE PORTING NOTICE PERIOD; (iii) YOU HAVE PAID THE COMPANY FOR ALL SERVICES PROVIDED TO YOU PRIOR TO THE DATE YOU PROVIDE THE COMPANY NOTICE OF YOUR INTENT TO TERMINATE YOUR ACCOUNT; (iv) PRIOR TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE PORTING NOTICE PERIOD, THE COMPANY HAS RECEIVED AN ADMINISTRATIVE FEE TO COVER ITS REASONABLE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH PROCESSING THE PORT IN AN AMOUNT OF $40 PER TELEPHONE NUMBER(OR THE EQUIVALENT IN LOCAL CURRENCY); AND (v) THE COMPANY HAS SUCCESSFULLY BILLED YOUR CREDIT CARD FOR AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THREE TIMES THE MONTHLY RECURRING FEE FOR THE SERVICE ORGINALLY ORDERED.

onebox

Can I Port Out? Not unless you ported it in in the first place. If you port out any number, including a toll-free one, you have to pay $40.
Policy: Same as eVoice. Both companies are owned by J2 Global.

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Christina Sterling

Editor at VirtualPhoneSystemReviews
Christina is the chief editor at VirtualPhoneSystemReviews.com. In her spare time she is also a web developer and a small business owner. She loves camping, traveling, and all things VoIP related.

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