I have spent 2 weeks going around in circles with a return to BT on 10th Jan after a brief trial with Virgin Media. I left VM when I discovered they had stopped providing an email service.
I initially transferred my BT analogue landline number to Virgin Media. Once I decided to return to BT I thought it would be a straighforward process to retain my landline number, I number I have had for nigh on 15 years.
BT were happy to re-sign me up on a new broadband service but wanted the landline to be on the digital voice service. BT understood I wanted a number port from VM.
As part of my new package I received a DV handset, a new broadband router and an EE back up box. I also received my contract by email. At my switch over day, my BT broadband went live and my phone line with VM went dead. I waited a couple of days and then I contacted BT because I could see from my end that the DV system was completely configured, but the DV service was not enabled.
BT were convinced I needed an engineer visit and would not do anything to investigate the DV non-connection until the Open Reach engineer visit happened a week later. It was a bit of a farce because I could even tell the BT help line my IP address and yet because the computer said I was not connected...
Once the broadband connection had been blessed by the Open Reach engineer visit (well he actually phoned from the roadside to confirm he thought I was connected) I went back to BT to get my DV service enabled. I was then told that I did not have a DV service subscription! It also appeared that BT knew nothing about the EE back up service even though I had received and plugged in both items a week earlier.
I spent a lot more time on the phone to BT but the only way forward was to take out a replacement contract for broadband and DV. I was told that I could not have the EE backup service and would have to arrange that with EE directly. This really felt like right hand and left hand (of BT) not recognising each other.
The priority was the landline so I accepted the new broadband and DV service. 10 seconds after agreeing to my new contract my landline went live - someone had finally flicked the switch! I confirmed again that I wanted my number ported and was told that this would happen over a couple of days. This port never happened.
Several calls later on the 22nd of Jan I was finally told that I could not have my old number - possibly Open Reach saying it was not feasible? I find this mind boggling. How can anyone roll out a VOIP service that results in the subscriber having to lose their landline number? Why was this not declared up front? I was given excuses like "sometimes this is not possible". Well, since I have been old enough to own a phone (I'm 57) and wanted to retain my landline (within a same area) or retain my mobile number it has been possible 100% of the time so I do not accept this answer. I understand that companies may wish to assign blocks of numbers for different allocations for their convenience, but that is not how landline porting is supposed to work - I have checked on the Ofcom website and blocking a number port is not allowed.
Sorry this is a bit of war and peace and a rant, but I think it is important to convey the frustration this has caused and to explain how I have arrived at the situation I am in today, with a number that none of my other general service providers or acquaintances know. It should also be a cautionary tale for anyone being sold a DV sevice.
Can anyone unpick this issue and suggest a way forward where I might be able to retain my original landline number? I am happy to prod complaint departments (eg Open Reach and/or BT and/or their ombudsmans) but if there is a way to cut through the red tape/brick wall I would appreciate any help. I am still within my 30 day window for my old number port but time is ticking by....
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Its probably now too late to get your number back, as it may have been inactive for 30 days.
This is a post from a moderator regarding a 30 day limit.
I think you will find that the port of the analogue line to Virgin would have been the point at which the physical equipment allocation in the local BT exchange would have been ceased. That would have broken down the network routing, and as analogue PSTN lines are being ceased, that routing would have been lost.
Your number would have been mapped to an EN (Equipment Number) in the exchange, and that no longer exists.
So if you count the number of days from when the number was ceased in the exchange (when you moved to VM), you may find that it exceeds the 30 day window.
Just an additional point, BT no longer provide an email service to new customers, so its would be best to use something like Gmail, or similar.
Thank you for taking the time to post about your experience.
I am sorry that we haven't been able to get the number ported across to us. My team can look into this for you but it will take us 1-2 working days before we can at this time. I'm sending you a private message so you can reach us.
Also, thanks @Keith_Beddoe for dropping me a line.