Porting a Phone Number to 8×8
Porting a phone number to 8×8 is the process of moving the number from the current carrier (losing carrier) to 8×8 (winning carrier). This is not the same thing as call forwarding – where an inbound call is simply forwarded to a different number. With porting, the number becomes part of the winning carrier’s network.
- – Gather current account information for where the new number is right now.
- – Submit that information to 8×8 online through their Number Transfer interface.
- – Wait about 3-8 business days for the number to start working automatically.
- o Carrier currently holding the number
- o Account number
- o Account PIN (not your voicemail pin)
- o Name on account
- o Address on account, including zip code
– You do not need to bring in any documentation for a local number. Just the information is sufficient for 8×8. However a toll free number will require a copy of the phone bill.
Submitting the Porting Information Online
– 8×8 uses an online port submission process take takes several pages to complete.
– You will find the Number Transfer Request pages under Phone System (in the top red bar after you log into the Account Manager), and then selecting the Number Transfer menu item along the left side of the resulting page. Then click on the Submit Number Transfer button in the center and middle of the page.
Introductory Page of Questions
The first page asks several Yes/No questions. They are as follows.
- – Are the phone numbers you are transferring active with your current provider? (Note that the number or numbers must be active in your current carrier’s account for them to be ported. You can be late on your bill there, and you will still be liable for the amount due, but you will still most likely be able to port the numbers as long as the numbers themselves are active.)
- – Are you transferring a number to the 8×8 Virtual Contact Center service. (Note: This is a completely different service of 8×8 and requires a different porting process. Please contact 8×8 Customer Support if you want to transfer a number to this 8×8 service.)
- – Are you porting a United States local or toll-free number? (Note: 8×8 currently only allows for US based local and toll free phone numbers to be ported to their platform.)
- – Do you know your BTN? The Bill Telephone Number is usually the primary telephone number on the account and is a required entry for porting purposes. You will be prompted to enter this information. (Note: The billing telephone is often the very first phone number assigned to your current carrier’s account if you have more than one number on the account. But it is worthwhile asking your current carrier what the BTN is on your account for sure. Your port request will be blocked if you have submitted the wrong one.)
- – Do you currently have DSL service on any of the phone numbers you are transferring to 8×8? (Note: You cannot have any other service such as DSL on the number you are transferring. That service would be cancelled if the number were to port, and your current carrier may block the port request.)
- – Do you have any of these features on the numbers you want to trash: Centrex, Distinctive Ring, Ring Mate, Hunting, CustoPAK or ISDN? (Note: Any of these will disallow a number from being ported.)
- – Have you recently requested any new services or features with your current provider? (Note: Enabling new calling features or services will most probably block a port from being approved by the current carrier.)
Service Address Locations
– On the next page, you will be asked how many service address locations you have for the numbers being submitted for porting. If you have more than one number, you might have multiple service addresses. A service address is the actual physical location of where the number is being used or the billing address. Ask your current carrier which address they have on record as the service address. If you have multiple numbers that have 2 or more service addresses collectively, you will be prompted to input the different numbers and the corresponding addresses. Each number will only have one address.
Address and Service Provider Information
– On the next page, 8×8 asks a series of questions.
- – Is this location a business or residence? (Note: More to the point, the correct answer has to do with which name the account is under, and not the address. If it is a business name, you will be prompted for the name with one field. If it is a residential name, you will be prompted for the name with two fields.
- – How many providers are there for this location? (Note: The answer needs to be 1.)
- – Company Name if business (or Authorized First and Last Name if residential)?
- – Service Provider? (Note: This is a drop down box listing 7 of the leading telephone carriers, plus Other). If your carrier is not listed, select Other. There is a field underneath the drop down box where you can type in your carrier name.
- – Billing Telephone Number (Note: This is where you enter the BTN. Enter it as one ten digit string, without the 1 and without any spaces or punctuation marks.)
- – Address (Note: There are ten fields for the address. They break down the address into its component parts. Have the full and complete address ready.)
Numbers to Transfer
– 8×8 provide a large field to list all of the numbers you want to transfer. Use one line per number, if you are transferring more than one number per service location. Enter them as ten digit strings, without the 1 and without any spaces or punctuation marks.
– The next page asks for the type of number (or carrier) each number is that you want to transfer.
– If it is a Standard/Fax number (landline or VOIP or fax), select the first option, then select the temporary number to replace from your account. (Note: Whichever number you select will be fully replaced by the number you are porting in. You will lose that number once the port is complete. If you want to retain the number, ask your 8×8 Account Manager to add a temporary number to your account – either an Extension or a Virtual Number will work. Note also that an Extension will require a 2 year commitment to 8×8.)
– If it is a Toll Free number, you will be required to print a fax cover sheet (link to cover sheet provided on the page) and fax in the cover sheet and a phone bill.
– If it is a Wireless number, you will also have to provide either the last four digits of the tax ID (SSN or EIN), or the Account Number or PIN. If both are on the current carrier account, we recommend the Account Number and PIN.
– Hit Next, then Next again to confirm, and that’s it.
– 8×8 does not charge a fee for porting a new number in although if you set up a new Extension for the temporary your ported number will replace, you will be committing to a 2 year service contract.. Otherwise, if you are porting your number over an Extension that is part way through a contract period, your contract will not be extended. Virtual Numbers are not under contract.
Waiting for the port process to complete
– 8×8 will send out an email confirming the submission of the port request, usually within 1-2 minutes.
— You will get a second email, normally within a couple of business days, containing the FOC Date (Firm Order Commitment Date, aka Port Date) – although it may take up to a week to receive.
– And finally, you will get a third email on the FOC Date once the number has been ported and has replaced your temporary number.
Dual or Mixed Service may occur for a short period following a port
– This is something 8×8 rarely tells you but is important. Sometimes during the 24-48 hour period after a port is “complete” some inbound calls may still get routed to the losing carrier even while outbound calls will be functioning normally. This period is called a Dual Service or Mixed Service period. It can happen because it may take a day or two for all of the primary switches in the telephone network to be reset so that all inbound calls get routed to the correct carrier and handset. This rarely happens, but, unfortunately, it can happen while the change works its way through the multiplicity of carrier systems involved. There is no benefit to contacting 8×8 about this problem unless it lasts for longer than 2 days.
Porting the Number Back Out of 8x8
– If at some point you want to port your number back out of 8×8, your service address will be the same one you used to port the number into 8×8. This is regardless of the billing address or apparent service address being used on your 8×8 account. This is because Level 3, the underlying carrier for 8×8, stores the address you used to port the number in as the service address for the number. 8×8 currently offers no ability to change this entry.