I lived at the end of a very long, very old copper BT telephone wire. This line was so bad after every rain storm that it became virtually impossible to hold a conversation due to the crackles and bangs on the line. Combined with this a speed of ½ - 1 mgbs which constantly dropped out meant running my small business became almost impossible.
Three years ago the opportunity arose to connect to a terrestrial wifi broadband system. We opted to port our BT number to Vonage, which worked very well. Both systems were relatively expensive but it meant we could actually use computers and make phone calls once again. Porting the number from BT to Vonage was straightforward and seamless without any interruption of service.
14 months ago we managed to get FTTP connected by BT and part of the contract package was that we ported our phone number back to BT, we were assured it would be straightforward.
For the past 14 months I have been having long, long phone calls with various BT operatives with several different ideas why it has been unable to port this number back, which I have had for probably 50 years.
As I run a small business it is vitally important that I retain this number and there is no interruption of service. I am not prepared to run the risk of cancelling the number with Vonage and hopefully be able to have it re assigned with all the risk and interruption to service that would involve. I need a 100% guarantee of the number being ported back, without interruption of service. This shouldn’t be too much to ask in this digital age?
Various hypothesis’s have been suggested as to why the order keeps failing. Vonage say it should be straightforward and they are certainly not obstructing the porting. They also say on no account cancel my contract with them before the transfer is complete as the number has to stay active to enable porting to take place and there is a significant risk that the number will be ‘lost’ if I do cancel with them before the porting is complete.
Another idea was that because my number was a business number before I left BT there was a ‘shadow record’ retained on BT’s system which was preventing the transfer.
Another thought was that it is incompatible to transfer a number held on a VOIP platform to the digital voice platform used by BT. I find this difficult to believe as when BT were designing their system they must have been aware that there would be a significant requirement to port numbers back to BT from other providers. The apparent solution here was to create a temporary number, port my number onto this old format and then port it across to the digital platform. So far this has also failed. There has been talk of reinstating the old copper cable connection and using this to accept the porting before transferring it to the digital platform but this seems an extremely convoluted option.
I have lost count of the number of calls I have made to BT, the hours that have been wasted and so far with no results.
The two good things that have come from all this is that I have a good internet service and had many conversations during and since lockdown with really nice, helpful people, who seemed genuinely to want to fix this problem but the ‘improved’ technology has frustrated their well-meaning efforts every step of the way!!
I have lived at the same address for 40 years, with the same BT number. Please, please, if you can shed light on a solution to this problem and come up with a failsafe way to fix it then I would really appreciate it.
Solved! Go to Solution.
If it was a business number, then this residential forum cannot help, as BT Business are totally separate.
Try asking on the BT Business forum. This is the BT residential forum.
You would need to have a business account, as you are not permitted to run a business on a residential account.
Many thanks for the information - there may still be light at the end of the tunnel! I was supposed to get a call back today from a 'manager' at the 'fix the digital problem' team - but you guessed it? I will give it a couple more days to see if I do get a return call - after all he/she may be working hard on my behalf to resolve the problem!! If that doesn't happen then this sounds like the next course of action. K.B.O. as Churchill said! (look it up if you don't know what it means!)
Thanks for that. I am not sure if the type of service is actually specified on the original contract I have. I did point out at the time the installation contract was drawn up that I run a small business from home. I am not sure that having the number designated as residential or business will make any difference regarding the inability of BT to port the number back.
If anyone else is having problems porting their number back to BT from Vonage – do not give up!
After almost 15 months we have success.
After spending hours and hours on the phone without a result I eventually got so frustrated I complained to ofcom. I was immediately contacted by the BT Exec team (Nicci) who have been great. They have returned calls and texed with progress and yesterday – as predicted – my number magically came back to BT.
As I said – do not give up hope – you just have to find someone within the BT organisation who has the knowledge to be able to fix the problem.
Of course I am very happy for you eventually getting the result that you were after, but! shouldn't we be curious about just what were the exec team able to do in such a short space of time that you were not able to accomplish in many months of trying?!
Could it be a lack of product/procedures knowledge from the advisors that you had previously spoken with? If yes then this certainly indicates that training within BT needs to be looked at.