Porting to Google Fi
Thinking about porting that great new number to Google Fi? Great! But there is one glitch in Google’s process that we have uncovered with the painful help of our customers. It’s easy enough to overcome. And you have two options.
THE SHORTER VERSION
You will need to port your new number to a wireless carrier first, before you can port it to Google Fi. This is because of a Google Fi porting bug that they have not overcome just yet. If this page is still standing, the bug is still very much alive.
The Solution – You can port it to a wireless carrier yourself. You can add it to an existing contract account and only need a SIM card for some carriers, or you’ll also need an old phonoe such as for Verizon Wireless. You can also port to a prepaid account.
THE LONGER VERSION
In the over 10 years we’ve been in business, we have never come across a provider (out of over 120 of them) that requires their customers to port their number (business number, home number, a number from us or others) to a cell phone before you can port it to their service – except for one. Google Voice. And now that Google has launched Google Fi, then claim you can port directly from a landline carrier – but you can’t. Not yet.
In short, they have a bug in their communication with the carrier, within Google’s process, and with their communication with their customers.
Many of our customers now want to port to Google Fi. And have had problems. So I finally reached out to the Fi team. And they couldn’t help me while I was on Chat Support. No matter how I tried to address the issue, the representative just wasn’t comprehending the problem.
Then 24 hours later, to his credit, he sent me the email you’ll find below. And in it, it turned out he identified the single problem that has plagued our customers.
They are not giving enough time to landline carriers to complete the port. A landline carrier, by FCC guidance, needs 3-15 calendar days to port a number to a wireless carrier. And Google is giving them only 24 hours.
This is resulting in a rejection from the landline carriers’ porting departments – which Google Fi is interpreting as an information mismatch – when all that is wrong is they have not given the carrier enough time.
Stepping back a bit… every single port request of all types in the country get submitted with a DDD – a Desired Due Date. When the losing carrier gets the port request, they look at that DDD and determine whether it is enough time for them to accomplish what is a complex manual process. If they can, and all of the information in the request matches, they send their approval and a confirmed port date – and FOC Date (Firm Order Commitment Date).
However, if there is not enough time given, they send back a rejection. The expectation is that Google will have someone on the team to recognize the problem and fix it, and resubmit. Unfortunately, what is actually happening is they just resubmit with a new 24 hour timeline. And repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Eventually give up.
Google’s fix is simple. And it will happen. We don’t know when. But it will happen. Google uses the infrastructure and support network of T-Mobile and Sprint (now the same company) in the USA. That’s who you are buying into when you subscribe to Fi. T-Mobile’s porting support people are excellent at this. They have an entire team dedicated to porting a number from a landline carrier to T-Mobile.
But because you are not going to be a T-Mobile customer, you will need to work with a Fi Customer Support representative. And not only do they not have a Landline Casework Department (what T-Mobile calls it), you will not be allowed to talk to T-Mobile’s department directly either.
When submitting a port request to a landline carrier, you must also submit the service address (where the landline number is connected to) in order to do an info match and gain approval of the port request. Google completely misses this in the list of requirements in the above email to me.
The solution is to port your business number, home number or number from us or any other supplier to a wireless carrier first. (See Shorter Version, up top.)
If you have any questions, write to me directly in the Comment Box below.