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T

New Member

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4 Messages

Thursday, December 17th, 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.

ACE - Scholar

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1K Messages

3 years ago

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

3 years ago

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)

ACE - Scholar

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1K Messages

3 years ago

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

3 years ago

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.  

ACE - Expert

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64.7K Messages

3 years ago

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.

ACE - Scholar

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1K Messages

3 years ago

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

New Member

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4 Messages

3 years ago

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?

Tutor

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18 Messages

3 years ago

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.

ACE - Scholar

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1K Messages

3 years ago

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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118.2K Messages

3 years ago

@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. 

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