I am a Virgin Media customer and account holder and have an ongoing complaint with them as they did not request my landline phone number to be ported from John Lewis Broadband back in January which has led to an issue with BT refusing to cooperate with Virgin to reactivate my number.
After many phone calls during the last 5 months, with under-educated and unsympathetic Virgin customer service agents, I have been advised by one of the managers to request the number be reactivated in writing, so I can email this to Virgin as evidence to BT that they agree to reactivate my number and Virgin can apply for the number to be ported back to them.
I have already called John Lewis Broadband, BT and used the virtual assistant at Openreach to ask for my number to be reactivated on the 29th April 2020, but all three stated that it is Virgin who need to request it.
Could I please request that my original phone number be reactivated so it can be ported to my Virgin Media account and that someone from the BT porting team can message me so I can provide them with the number?
I hope someone can help as I have been without my number during the entire lockdown period when family, friends and work colleagues may have needed to contact us.
If your number was originally issued to you by BT Retail, then it would have been returned to them once you ceased your contract with John Lewis, as they did not own your number, so they could not port it to Virgin Media.
The only way to get your number back, would be to return your landline service back to BT Retail.
You may be able to cancel just the phone part of your Virgin contract, however if the phone number is that important, then simply place an order for a BT phone line. BT do not use any of the Virgin network, so the existing BT socket in your house will be re-activated.
As there is an existing old route, there may be a reduced installation charge.
The new line will not affect your existing Virgin Media phone line as they use a totally different network.
Once the phone line is active with BT Retail, this can be checked by dialling 150 and getting the welcome to BT message, then that will be with a temporary number to start with.
You can then request a renumber back to your original number.
This is a very common problem, and has been posted many times on this forum. You can only port your number out once, to another provider. After that, it will return to the original owner of the number.
Thanks for your reply and the links to similar problems. I can understand the legalities of ownership of numbers by BT but I am annoyed that this is the way the telecoms industry operates as with so many contacts these days changing your number is going to be a pain, or the other option of going to BT for the landline incurs another cost each month whilst losing the deal agreed with Virgin.
Virgin have today admitted it is their mistake made in January by not requesting the number be ported back from John Lewis (Plusnet/BT) and have offered a £200 credit, but I still feel it is not the best customer service by VM and that BT should authorise porting as it is another case of bad management from telecoms providers.
Yours and other experts contributions on this forum are excellent in explaining the issues, and I am grateful to you for that.
Its not just BT Retail that own numbers. Each provider has their own allocations so that its fair to everyone.
If you have a quick look at the OFCOM website :-
and download the spreadsheet that contains your local number range (note the numbers exclude the leading zero). The line in the spreadsheet will show to whom the range is allocated.
When BT port out a number, there is an ongoing cost for them, as a routing has to be build on the OLO (Other Licenced Operator) interface, so incoming calls are routed to the new provider, which would have been John Lewis.
Once your JL contract ended, that routing would be removed, and the incoming calls returned back to the original BT exchange building, and would remain as available for re-allocation, some time in the future.
To be brutally honest , as you are a VM customer , and VM admitted that they messed up the port from John Lewis, ( leaving you without a number you were expecting to keep) but non of this is anything to do with BT ( apart from the number is from a range that is allocated to BT ) , and as BT don’t ‘owe’ you any assistance as either a new or recent ex customer, then no assistance will be forthcoming.
It must be frustrating, the only solution has been suggested ( using BT as your provider ) but you don’t want to go down that route , so hard as it must seem , BT cannot assist.
It would appear your only solution is to stay with VM with whatever number they gave you, or move again , but accepting that you will get another number from this new company.