Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Message 1 of 3

yet another 'lost' landline number

I know this kind of question has been posted before, but I'd just like confirmation of my understanding before we proceed any further.

My mother in law had been with the Post Office as her landline provider for at least 10 years, before that they'd always been with BT.

In mid October, we decided to move her to a new provider to give her a cheaper, ore inclusive calls package and a basic broadband service.

The provider we chose was NOW TV. We asked to retain the existing number as that (in various guises) had been with her for around 50 years.

The 4th November changeover date arrived, and the new phone line went active, but with a new number. When queried, NOW TV blamed us for not checking the 'keep existing number' box (which we did) and said that the only way to resolve the issue was to place a new order and start again, which we did. At that point, the phone line went dead, and has remained that way since, leaving a 90 year old with no phone line, and a non functioning emergency call pendant.

The new changeover date 18th November arrived, and the phone line remained dead. NOW TV then decided to tell us the the porting request from the Post Office had failed, and we'd have to start all over again. The Post Office confirmed that they'd ported the number on the 4th and their account was now closed.

After numerous phone calls, it now seems that the reason NOW TV can't port the number is because there's no active account on the porting provider, and they say there is nothing they can do and the phone number must be considered 'lost'. We can proceed with the order, but would be issued with a new number.

Extremely upsetting for my mother in law, and damned annoying from my perspective

Now, from what I've read on other posts, the Post Office wouldn't have been able to port a 'BT owned' number to NOW TV because it's not theirs to port, so would return to BT. Is that correct? Is someone here being economical with the truth?

And, the only potential way to retrieve the number is to go back to becoming a BT customer, taking on a new connection, then requesting the re-allocation of the original number once that service is up and running. Have I understood that correctly too?

Any clarification and guidance on how to proceed would be very gratefully received.

0 Ratings
Recognised Expert
Message 2 of 3

Re: yet another 'lost' landline number

You are correct, the two previous providers have between them have managed to mess up , and as well as trying to blame yourself for not completing the form correctly.

What you wanted to do, ‘port’ the number from PO to Nowtv , that was already ported from BT to the PO is possible , but unfortunately your experience and that of other posters who have had the same issues suggest that they are not particularly adept at doing it, the  number if originally belonging to BT will ultimately return to BT as the number range holder, but you shouldn’t have to go via BT unless you wanted to, but you are where you are, BT are really now your only way of retrieving the number.
Although no guarantee will be given, it does seem that with the correct close management of orders , the number can be retrieved, by ordering BT service, being allocated any BT number , and then ‘renumbering’ this temporary number to the number required, timescales etc are unclear , it could take days or weeks once the BT service is established.

The BT mods on this board seem to have a good record of sorting out this type of issue , but an order needs to be raised to start the process, they can then intervene and manage the rest of the process

0 Ratings
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
Message 3 of 3

Re: yet another 'lost' landline number


What you have been told is correct, the Post Office do not own the number, it belongs to BT Retail, so they cannot port the number to Now TV.

Your mother in law would have to return to BT retail, as a new customer, and then request her original number back.

That would only be possible if she was living at the same address, or an address connected to the same exchange as when BT originally issued her number.

The other alternatives would be to have an extra line fitted from BT Retail, but that would be expensive, but it may be cheaper than cancelling the Now TV contract.

Now TV should however be able to provide her with a working phone line, but it would not be her original number. That would allow the pendant to work, but the alarm provider would need to be told the new number.

As you are probably still within the cancellation period for Now TV, then that may be the best way forward.