TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Can I Port an 800 Number Without the Old Carrier's Permission?

Re: Can I Port an 800 Number Without the Old Carrier's Permission?

Al Gillis (
Wed, 20 Apr 2005 18:41:42 -0700

William's difficulties may lie in his remarks in Question #2, below.
He said he'd been paying the invoice on the Toll-Free number since he
"bought the company". It could be that the previous owner of the
business ordered the T-F number (and thus is the true "owner" in the
eyes of Cloacal since they may not have been notified of the
businesses sale). So Cloacal is doing their job, being sure that our
new friend William doesn't hijack the T-F number from the original and
true of the number.

I'd guess William needs to convince Cloacal that he bought the
business and its assets (including the valuable Toll-Free number).
Once that happens they'll probably honor his RespOrg documents.

If this is actually what's in play in this case then Hooray for
Cloacal! They're doing their job, protecting one persons assets from
another who (right now) has no right to take that asset.

Pat's advice to draw Judith Oppenheimer into the fray is great! She,
of all people, will know how to beat this problem into submission!


<william_warren@withheld_on_request> wrote in message

> Pat,

> Please strip my email address and name; TIA.

> Here's a question about 800 number portability which I hope you or
> the other readers can answer.

> I have switched to a small CLEC for my service -- call them ma-pa-telco.

> I told ma-pa-telco that I was unsatisfied with the service I was getting
> from my old carrier -- let's call them "Cloacal" -- so I asked ma-pa-telco
> to take over my 800 line.

> I signed a "Letter of Agency", and thought it was all done. Today,
> however, ma-pa-telco tells me that after seven or eight false starts,
> Cloacal refuses to transfer my 800 line, saying that my signature on
> the letter of agency is "Unauthorized" and that they won't tell me who
> is "authorized" to sign it.

> So, some questions:

> 1. Can ma-pa-telco force a switch? I mean, can they tell the
> company-in-charge-of-the-800-number-portability-database to just
> move the number over?

> 2. Can I force Cloacal to release my 800 number even though they say
> I'm not the "authorized" person? It's my number, right? They've
> certainly got plenty of signatures to check: I've been paying the
> bill for this ever since I bought the company. Can I just tell
> Cloacal to grow up and consider me as authorized?

> 3. Is there a procedure in place to resolve this kind of issue? When
> they set up the 800 portability database, someone must have thought
> of things like a CEO retiring or a company like Cloacal refusing to
> play nice with the other children.

> This has been going on for over a week, and now it's just silly: as
> far as I'm concerned, Cloacal is dragging their feet just because I
> got tired of them acting like Ma Bell's idiot baby bell brother and I
> said so to their face. At this point, the FCC should spank them and
> tell them to get over it.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: For starters, problems like this are
> often times handled very satisfactorily by Judith Oppenheimer, a
> reader here with several excellent web sites (begin your review of her
> work at which is the ICB Consultancy home
> page.) She has successfully cleared up things like this now and then.

> Generally, yes, the _owner_ of an 800 number can take it where he
> wants. One caveat: *who is the owner*? Signing a letter of agency
> does not an owner make, if the true owner has a sticky widget. Think
> back to when you first got the number ... did you sign any papers
> telling Cloacal they were the owner? Did you originally get the
> number from them? Who told _you_ that you are the owner of the number
> (not the user of the number, but the _owner_ of it?) Another caveat:
> do you owe any money to Cloacal on your bill with them? Telcos have a
> right under the rules pertaining to number portability to hold a
> number hostage if you do owe money. Under the law, telco has
> protection to assure they get paid. Still a third caveat: Is the
> number 'popular' or easy to remember, dial, etc? If it is -1212 or
> -2345 or -1234, etc and etched on people's minds and quite 'easy to
> remember or use', if Cloacal otherwise has any rights to the number,
> they are going to fight more than ever. Genuine 800 numbers (as
> opposed to 888, 877, 866 and yes! even 855) are not usually given up
> by their 'owners' without some effort. Ms. Oppenheimer will need to
> know all that in order to help you. But she seems to know her stuff
> and _who_ to talk to. Good luck with your problem. PAT]

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