I love technology. I may not always be the first person to try the latest gadget or service, but eventually curiosity gets the better of me or I decide it's cost effective to move from the old to something new. That's exactly what I tried to do beginning in June, 2008. I decided to change my home phone service to a company that provided more features at a much lower price. Thus began my journey to port the New AT&T telephone number I have had for 10 years to a new service provider (hereinafter for simplicity to be referred to as 'NSP'). Here are the steps:
Day 1: I contacted the NSP and applied for service. It was a quick and simple process and the representative was courteous, knowledgeable and eager to answer my mundane questions. As part of their service to new customers, they handle the request to port my number from the New AT&T.
Day 3: I received my router from NSP which was easily installed as an extension to my existing broadband connection (you must have a broadband internet connection to use this service). Immediately I had a dial tone and thought I was in business! I was so excited I contacted family in the UK and talked for an hour.
Day 5: I received an email from NSP informing me that my request to port my number could not be completed unless I obtained stand-alone (or naked DSL) service from the New AT&T. (Yikes! I called the UK and talked for an hour using the New AT&T. Oh well, live and learn, I thought.)
Day 5-6: I searched the New AT&T web site for information on their stand-alone DSL product. Naturally, I could not find anything, so I was forced to contact the New AT&T
via phone. I was transferred to no less than 5 different 'specialists' who tried to assist me with my request. After at least 45 minutes, I successfully submitted my order and was given a new DSL phone number which would be active in 7 days once a service technician came to my home to rewire my jack. I was told there would be a $57.00 charge on my next bill from the New AT&T for this service. If I wanted an additional jack rewired, it would cost another $25.00. I agreed to the terms because I would make that expense up making free international calls with NSP.
Day 13: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. I waited at home during this time period for the technician to arrive.
Day 13: 2:00 p.m. I contacted the New AT&T to inquire as to his estimated time of arrival. I was informed that my appointment was scheduled, received an apology for his delay, given the explanation that sometimes technicians are caught in traffic, and assured he would arrive before 6:00 p.m.
Day 13: 6:00 p.m. I contacted the New AT&T again. This time I was told that it was not necessary for a technician to come inside my house and that the work order had been completed. (Thanks New AT&T for providing this bit of information after I've waited at home all day.)
Day 13: 7:00 p.m. I lost ALL internet service but I did have a dial tone. I called the New AT&T customer service number but unfortunately the center was closed. This was Friday night. Luckily, I thought, the customer service center opens at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Day 14: 8:30 a.m. I contacted the New AT&T customer service center. I was told that there was a hold on my service for some reason. I was transferred several times and eventually told that the work order had not been completed yet. I was assured it would be complete within 24 hours. When I asked 24 hours from what time, I was told 24 hours from now! I complained about having had to stay at home all day on Friday waiting for a technician and was given an apology and assured my internet service would be active within 24 hours.
Day 15: Twenty-four hours after my last call to the New AT&T customer service center I did not have any internet service. Believing the New AT&T customer service center hours to be the same as they were on Saturday, I called again. Alas, the center was closed until 8:00 a.m. Monday morning!
Day 15: As a review: No internet service since Friday evening, but I did have a dial tone.
Day 16: 8:00 a.m. Monday morning. Believing my new DSL # was active I called and provided this phone number as the one I was calling about. I spent over 1.5 hours holding, being transferred, talking to different 'specialists' and was told that service would be completed by 6:00 p.m.
Day 16: 6:00 p.m. I still did not have DSL service so I called the New AT&T again. I was told that the number I was giving was not in service! I knew I had a dial tone. What was the problem? After again holding and being transferred, I finally reached a 'specialist' who had the correct information. I was told that in order to have stand-alone DSL service, my old number would have to be ported first. And in order to have that number ported it must be active. And if the number to be ported is active, I can't have the new DSL number active on the same line! I was also informed that it generally takes 10 days before a number is ported.
Day 16: 7:00 p.m. I contacted NSP and inquired as to the status of having my old number ported. I was told that the New AT&T had a hold on it and they could not predict a time when it would be ported.
Day 17: 8:30 a.m. I contacted the New AT&T and was told there is no way to expedite the porting of a phone number and I'd have to wait on NSP to do their job. I was so frustrated by this time. I use the Internet to earn money from home and had not been online for four days! Enough was enough. I told her to put everything back like it was. She told me I would have Internet service restored on my OLD number within 24 hours but that sometimes the system makes the change in 2-4 hours.
Day 17: 12:00 p.m. I contacted the New AT&T and inquired about the status of my Internet service being reactivated. It was not active yet, but if I called back at 2:30 p.m., I could request expedited service and it would be active within 2 hours.
Day 17: 2:30 p.m. I the New AT&T and requested expedited service. No such luck. I would have to wait until the following day.
Day 18: 8:30 a.m. I still do not have Internet service! I'm going crazy and losing more money all the time. I contacted the New AT&T and after an hour working with a specialist and rebooting my router several times I finally had Internet service again! Ta-Da!
As you can see from the above steps I followed, porting a number from the New AT&T is only possible if your Internet service carrier IS NOT the New AT&T. Otherwise, you will experience an interruption in Internet service of at least 10 days. Based upon my experience it will be MORE than 10 days.
But what about NSP? I still have the service. I have a new number to use. My plan is to subscribe only to BASIC telephone service and DSL Lite from the New AT&T (for in order to have and DSL service from the New AT&T, you have to subscribe to basic telephone service. I'll use NST for long distance. What a complete waste of time and hassle. The lack of customer service and complete misinformation I received from the New AT&T is inexcusable.