Ask an Expert: What does the porting process look like?
Here at CallTrackingMetrics, innovation is – and has always been – a core part of our overall company philosophy. As the months go on, our call tracking software gets more and more advanced. And as we expand the feature set of product, there are inevitably more and more questions to answer.
This is the reason for our new Ask an Expert series, a weekly endeavor in which we consult with different members of the CallTrackingMetrics team to get answers to various questions — questions both easy to answer and those higher on the difficulty scale.
One topic that we get a fair amount of questions about on a consistent basis is porting numbers — bringing already-in-use phone numbers into the CallTrackingMetrics system.
Kevin Knapp is one of the foremost porting experts on our team, so it was an easy call to look in his direction this week. I recently sat down with Kevin and ran through a series of porting questions that cover the topic from top to bottom.
If I port my number to CTM, will I still be able to send and/or receive calls and text messages during the transfer?
This is a great question and it’s one that I get often. The answer is quite simply, YES. During the porting process, the number should remain active with it’s current provider through to the date that the port is scheduled to complete.
Our focus is on the customer experience, so it is our goal to provide a seamless transition from the previous provider to ours. Typically customers will see the number appear in their CallTrackingMetrics account prior to the scheduled port date. We do this to give administrators the opportunity to configure the number with a tracking source, receiving number and a target number where appropriate, so that when the porting is completed, the number just jumps to life in their account.
How much does it cost to port a number to CTM?
For numbers that reside within the United States and Canada, the cost is included as part of the monthly subscription. With international numbers we do often incur a greater cost, thus we do often need to pass some of that cost on to customers.
If a customer should ever want to port numbers away from CallTrackingMetrics, there is also no charge. It amazes me how many of our customers are surprised when I tell them this.
Can I port my international numbers?
Yes, yes you can. We are, of course, limited to a set list of countries, but that list expands from time to time. Through our port numbers page of the CallTrackingMetrics app, you can port U.S. and Canada numbers. For other international numbers we facilitate the process via an e-mail exchange. Of course, anyone should check with us directly if they have an international porting request so that we can guide them through the process. The best way to contact us is right here on our contact form.
What does the porting process look like?
Wow, this is a question with a big answer. Overall we advise that the process typically takes 2—4 weeks to complete. This range increases to about 4—6 weeks in the case of international numbers.
The length of time to complete is fairly indicative of the many steps involved in the process. The reality of porting is that there are a lot of moving parts that go on behind the scenes, with interactions between providers and carriers. We strive to keep the process as streamlined as possible, so from a customer perspective it can be broken down into a few simple components.
When a customer starts a porting request with us, we need some information about the setup, so that we can assign the appropriate receiving number, tracking source and account (in the case of agency-level users). Once we have a list of numbers to port, we need a name, company name and address to produce a Letter of Authorization (LOA) document.
In the case of mobile numbers, we may also need the account number and the PIN. Our application will give customers the option to then sign the LOA form, or they can e-mail it to an authorized signee to complete. This is probably one of the biggest possible pain points, because this document is provided to our carrier, and then submitted to the current provider of the number. The providers place a lot of value in the information on the LOA, and can reject the request if any information is missing or doesn’t match their records.
Once we have a signed LOA, we ask for proof of ownership. Often this is simply the most recent bill, or a receipt of purchase. If the customer is coming from another call tracking service, a screenshot of their tracking numbers list in the application can sometimes suffice.
We submit these two documents to our carrier with a porting request, and await a scheduled date for the port to complete. In the case of a rejection, we update the porting request with instructions to resolve for the customer and await the response. Once any rejection reasons are resolved, and the scheduled date is received, we update the porting request in CallTrackingMetrics and schedule the completion date. Our customers should receive an email at the address of the user that submitted the request, and prepare to start tracking calls in style!