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T

New Member

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4 Messages

Thu, Dec 17, 2020 10:38 PM

AT&T refused to port-out my cell phone number

Calls and texts will randomly take a few days to show up on my phone; calls won't ring but go straight to voicemail.

So after 50 years (literally) of relying on AT&T and the RBOCs it's time to leave - but there's a problem.

Cell phone number - I'm being told it "can't be ported out".

(Edited per community guidelines).

I have had the same AT&T "go phone" / pre-paid cell phone number since they were Cingular.

AT&T tells me the number can't be ported out to another carrier.

Even more bizarre if I switch to an AT&T post-paid plan AT&T says they cannot port my current AT&T number to one of AT&T's own plans.

Anyone have an explanation for this other than "that number can't be ported"?

Why can't it be ported?  Is it just too much work to fill out the right forms and punch in the right codes in the configuration program?

Thanks in advance if you have the real answer to what seems like a provisioning system or process failure.

kevink

ACE - Scholar

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541 Messages

2年前

Are you in an area with other carriers?  Did you get that phone number originally where you live now, or is it one that you got living in another area of the country?

If you are wanting to go from ATT prepaid to ATT Postpaid, it isn't a "port", and you have to go to an ATT corporate store to do so.  If wanting to go to another carrier, by law ATT has to release the number as long as you provide the correct information (such as account number, PIN, etc).  

I've seen issues, I don't know if they are still valid, if you live somewhere else.  Maybe live in an area that ATT doesn't officially cover, they may not allow new service.  Or discrepancy between area code/prefix and the new zip code (NC number in Colorado, for example).  

New Member

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4 Messages

2年前

Got the phone number years, probably in 2000, from what was then Cingular which AT&T bought.  I've had that same go-phone/prepaid phone number, issued where I lived then and still live now.  Details on the account are all correct (just checked them tonight - plus they've been billing me like clockwork every month so I'm gonna' go out on a limb here and say they know who I am) AT&T told me that if I switched to a post-paid plan then the number on the post-paid plan could be ported BUT they would not change my pre-paid number to a post-paid number.  So if I'm going to go through the (Edited per community guidelines) of a new phone number (and my cell phone is my only phone) why  stick with AT&T when they won't even covert my number to one of their portable post-paid plans.  My guess (having worked for AT&T at one point) is that they've got two provisioning systems that 20 years later still can't talk to each other and there's no reason to spend money to integrate them for the few long-term formally-loyal customers when the new pre-paid are going into the new system.  But I also know that if someone at AT&T really wanted to do this they could.  It would take more than just a few keystrokes, maybe even as much as an hour's worth of the right person's time at the provisioning centers deep in the bowels of the back-end of the network.  I can dream I guess...

(edited)

kevink

ACE - Scholar

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541 Messages

2年前

Probably an hours work.  A few years ago I helped my stepmother go from ATT postpaid to prepaid, and the phone was in some strange account type where the rep had to, with help, transfer it to a different postpaid account type before they could then go ahead and moved it to prepaid.  

Your information eliminates several possibilities.  Were you trying it in the store?  Or online or via phone customer service.  Still don't know why certain things can't be done via phone reps.

New Member

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4 Messages

2年前

An hour if that!  When I was with AT&T one of my accounts had a 2,000 node network that we needed to reconfigure.  Normally provisioning would have taken months- did some digging around and found the one guy in all of AT&T who was creating an automated process to do this - but it had never been tried before and wasn't SOP.  Long story short we allocated from midnight to 5AM for the cut over with took 15 minutes.   So I know all things are possible if you find the right person with the right attitude.  The stores are for selling and the phone support is for convincing you it's your problem not their's.   I just need to find one person who knows the real answer to portable or not-portable FROM prepaid and has that one hour to help.  

sandblaster

ACE - Expert

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58.8K Messages

2年前

Who told you the number can’t be ported? The new carrier does the port. Unless they tell you the number can’t be ported, it probably can be.

kevink

ACE - Scholar

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541 Messages

2年前

He was told by ATT that the ATT Prepaid number can't be ported to Postpaid.

New Member

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4 Messages

2年前

AT&T told me

1) my ATT Prepaid number could not be ported to a different cell phone provider

2) I could sign up for an ATT Postpaid account and that number could be ported to another cell phone provider.

3) ATT told me I could not convert my ATT Prepaid phone number of 15+ years to an ATT Postpaid account.

Screwy, eh?

shafted2

Tutor

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18 Messages

1年前

I'm having the same issue, only reversed. Why does ATT for charge so much more for post pay? Paying $140 in postpay, can get better features in ATT prepaid for $70. Had the same number with ATT for 14 years. I can't understand their logic. I'm going to give another carrier a whirl. At least I can port my Number then, And then maybe port from them back to ATT if their service is lousy.

kevink

ACE - Scholar

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541 Messages

1年前

Some of the cost difference goes away if you are part of a large enough group. Also, the extra cost helps pay for trade in deals.  

ACE - Sage

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98.7K Messages

1年前

@shafted2

If you have brought the correct information to AT&T there's no reason they can't Port your number.

You have to bring them your account number, your security PIN code, your port number if you are coming from Verizon, and you have to still have active service on your number with your other carrier. 

shafted2

Tutor

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18 Messages

1年前

Apparently I have to go to a corporate store. They can do more with accounts. Not sure why att support couldn't do it though. After 2 hours the support person says you have to go back to the store so they can scan your license, that has to be done to switch it. Must have been a ploy so they didn't have to try to figure it out. Then I was at square 1 again. Finally located a corp store, 70 miles away, but wife has to go that way sometimes. Called and talked to someone there, said they do it all the time - just have to know how (and that rarely can phone support figure it out). Apparently ATT doesn't like switching post pay accounts to a prepay acct, they lose to much money.

@lizdance40... I buy all our phones outright and unlocked. You can get most of them from the manufacturer websites as cheap as anywhere else. We only buy new phones every 4 or 5 years. Even though I've been with ATT for a long time and you had to purchase contracts many moons ago you don't have to now - unless you like making payments on a phone.... I once paid Verizon $600 to get out of a contract. Kids had thousands of text every month then, and after so many you had to pay for each one. I was getting phone bills every month for $500-$700 with only 4 phones (2 kids texting). I like the freedom to walk away from a company if I want to. 

ACE - Sage

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98.7K Messages

1年前

@shafted2

Preaching to the choir.   I have been buying unlocked since 2014.   Just bought a S21+

Verizon could have added unlimited text for $20, if you asked.  The old unlimited and shared plans were far more expensive than current. 

Make sure your phones will work in At&t.

Unlocked phones that will work on AT&T

(edited)

shafted2

Tutor

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18 Messages

1年前

The best of luck. Messed with this 3 days. Constantly told to call "loyalty dept" by stores. They tell you you have to go to a corporate store. After this runaround I gave it 1 last shot. Closest corp store is over 70 miles. I called and confirmed. Told them what I needed done and made an appointment. "No Problem" they say. Get there the next day. We can't do that, call customer support!! Drove that far so I';; waste the time. Of course I'm told "we can't do it - go to a store" again. I told them I was at the store..but support didn't want to talk to anyone in the store. So then they wanted to put me through to loyalty again. I said no. Well I'll transfer you to the prepaid, they can do it. Turns out you can't talk to a person in prepaid unless you have a prepaid plan already. So called back 1 last time. Started same all over again. I give up. Tank and a half of gas, 10+ hours on phone. Just got the sim cards from my new phone company today. Not going to risk porting problems over the weekend, but first thing Monday am..... I have to say, been with them over a decade and I didn't think they would treat people so poorly. I'll never understand why this is so complicated. Why couldn't this be done in billing department, simply change the account type and then the plan. And to add insult there is this Learn how to switch to a prepaid account if you already have AT&T wireless service It tells you to head to a store and keeping your number is not problem.

New Member

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7 Messages

5分前

I can't believe it has become such a problem to port my ATT number to another service.  First I tried to just transfer from postpaid to prepaid to save money.  Can't do it online; they said go to store.  I did and the agent at the store said it was because I had a discount applied to my account.  OK, removed it and said I would be able to make the change online.   Went home, same problem.  Called ATT:  they said that had to be done in the corporate store!

So, I decided to get service through a MVNO because I was sick of ATT.  Ordered SIMs and selected service.  Easily connected to their network, but ATT says my old numbers can't be ported.  No real excuse other than a bunch of gobbledygook.  I've had postpaid cell service with ATT for over 20 years!!!  Spent at least 8 hours on the phone with these ATT (Edited per community guidelines).

I really don't want to change numbers with my new service, but don't know what else to do.

(edited)

ACE - Sage

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98.7K Messages

5分前

@BillG22

Changing from AT&T postpaid, to AT&T prepaid, is not a port it is a migration within the same business. A migration must be done at a corporate store not an authorized retailer. Depending on what part of the country you are in there may not be a corporate store available to you..

In order to Port your number, which is entirely on your new service provider, you must provide your service provider with the account number and the Port Pin what you get from AT&T by dialing *port.

The port pin is good for 4 days after which you have to ask for a new PIN.

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