Buying a Local Phone Number – What Happens After Purchase?
Getting a new local number is exciting. You’ve found the perfect brand asset that’s going to improve your reputation, help your business standout, and increase inbound lead generation. But – what now? What happens after checkout? How do you start to use your number?
For most business owners, purchasing a phone number is something you have never done before. While you now own the number outright, you must take steps to get it fully under your control. We’re going to demystify the process, so you can start putting your number to work for you.
Selecting the Path: Port, Park, Pick-a-Plan
The first step after selecting your number is to decide how you want to start using it. You have three options:
- Port the number to the carrier of your choice
- Park the number with us until you’re ready to use it, or
- Sign up for one of our call forwarding service plans.
Although we ask for your initial choice upon checkout, you have up to 30 days to make your final decision about whether you are going to port it out or not.
After buying your local number, you'll have three options of how to use it.
Option 1: Porting your local number
What is porting?
Porting a number, also referred to as Local Number Portability (LNP), is the process of moving a phone number from one carrier to another. An example would be transferring your number from AT&T to Verizon.
Porting is mandated as an option by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Prior to this piece of telecommunications deregulation, if a business or individual changed provider, they would have to get a new number. In 1996, cell phones were uncommon, and VoIP accounted for less than 1% of all voice communications. Now, the landscape is more complicated and when a number is ported between carriers, it could be going between any combination of wireless, VoIP, or landline providers.
Why would someone port a number?
A top reason someone would choose to port a number is that they want to not only receive incoming calls on the line, but to place outbound calls from that number as well. Porting allows for the number to show up on Caller ID for outgoing calls. Also, if you port a number to certain carriers, it allows for the numbers to become text enabled. Most of all, it gives people more control over their number and their phone service.
How long does the porting process take?
Porting a local number to your chosen carrier typically takes 7-10 business days, which excludes weekends and holidays. However, the exact time can vary based on the specific carrier and their capabilities.
Do you need your number sooner than the expected porting timeframe? In cases where you need the number to be activated immediately, we recommend signing up for a temporary forwarding service to cover the interim. You should still select to port the number at checkout, but then you can reach out to us at [email protected] and we can add on temporary call forwarding.
Do I have to give up my current number to port my new number?
When porting your new number, you need to have underlying phone service to support it. Many people choose to give up their current, generic phone number to do this, but some opt to create a second line. With new apps and technology, it is becoming increasingly easier to house two or more lines on a single device. If carrying a second line is an issue, a call forwarding plan might be the perfect compromise for you.
How does porting happen?
Because you are now the rightful owner of the phone number, the porting process must be initiated by you. But, do not worry! We will be here to help you along every step of the way.
When you select porting at checkout you will receive an email that includes your porting instructions. It will include an account number, the name on the account, PIN code, and service address.
Call your new carrier and inform them you will be porting a number over. They will ask for the information that we supplied. If you need us to resend it, reach out at [email protected]. Once your carrier has all the information for the phone number, they will ping the carrier where the number currently sits and request it. The “losing” carrier will reach out to RingBoost just to confirm that the port request is valid and isn’t a scammer trying to steal a number. We respond to all requests within one business day. After we confirm, you will be assigned an expected port date. Then, it is up to the losing carrier to release the number and the gaining carrier to actively move it over.
Can I expedite the porting process?
While RingBoost supplies the information you need to port your number, the porting process happens between the two carriers at your direction. We are here to guide you and be your advocate – and some times we can gain insight into what is happening if a port is not completed in a timely manner – but we do not have direct influence over the porting timeline.
We recommend staying in close touch with your new carrier to keep the pressure on to get the port completed quickly.
How will I know when the port is complete?
Whenever possible, RingBoost will send a notification of anticipated completion date. When the port is final, you will be able to receive and place phone calls from your new number.
Option 2: Parking your Local Number
What is number parking and why would I do it?
Parking a number is when you own a number but place it in an inactive status. Parking is significantly cheaper than paying for a service plan. You save money, retain ownership, and can turn it back on at any time.
The most common reason people park a number is that they secured it for future use and aren’t ready to activate it yet. Other reasons include traveling out of the country for an extended period or simply needing to put a number on hold for a while.
Can I still receive calls when my number is parked
The short answer is no. In some instances, there may be a prerecorded message, but in other cases the number will ring inactive. If you wish to still be able to receive voicemail messages or texts, a basic service plan may be a better fit.
How do I activate my number
When you are ready to use your number, simply notify RingBoost and either select a call forwarding service plan or request porting information.
Option 3: Pick a Call Forwarding Service Plan
What is call forwarding
Call forwarding routes calls placed to your custom number to whatever ring-to number you have supplied.
Call forwarding plans are popular with RingBoost customers who don’t want to support a second line of service, those who use a custom number for inbound calls only, or people who need time to phase out the current number they are using. We can also set up temporary call forwarding for the time period in which you are waiting for a number to be ported, to ensure your number is active immediately.
What is the difference between plans?
You can see a breakdown of features between plans on our comparison grid. All plans include a number management portal, real time call reporting and analytics, customizable call blocking, call notification emails, Caller ID display, faxing, voicemail to email, and conference bridging.
The main difference between plans are the number of minutes included each month. The higher-level plans include additional features such as custom greetings, call recording, on-hold music and more. For a full comparison, check out the overview of our plans.
No matter what plan you choose, there are no hidden fees, no contracts, and you can switch plans at any time to best suit your needs.
If you aren’t sure which plan is right for you, reach out to us at 1-877-RINGBOOST and we’ll guide you to the best place to start. Don’t forget you can change your plan at any time, once you get a sense of your actual usage.
Can I forward texts as well as phone calls
The ability to forward texts depends on which carrier the number is currently sitting with. Some carriers support the forwarding of texts or the translation of texts into emails.
What happens if I want to change where my number forwards
Your number management portal will allow you to update the ring-to number at any time.
What will show up on caller ID if I call out
When you have call-forwarding in place, the number that is shown when you make outbound calls is the number from which you are calling. Call forwarding is only for inbound communications.
How do I cancel call forwarding
When you are done with call forwarding, contact [email protected] and we will either park your number or deliver the porting instructions you need.
What if I change my mind?
We ask for your initial decision regarding porting, parking, or call forwarding at the time of checkout, so we can service your account as quickly as possible. If you’re porting, we want to get you the information you need right away. If you’re going to forward your number, we want to activate it as soon as possible so you can start getting calls. But there is some flexibility.
There is a hybrid option: As mentioned before, many of our customers select to port their number, but activate temporary call forwarding to be able to use their new number as quickly as possible by contacting us.
If you choose to port your number, you have up to 30 days to activate the port. During that time, you can easily change your mind and sign up for call forwarding or parking, if it better suits your situation.
If you sign up for a call forwarding plan, you can switch between plans on a month-to-month basis.
And if you port your number away, but decide you need to park it, we’ll happily port it back and hold on to it for you.
If you’re unsure of which option makes the most sense for you – reach out to us at 1-877-RINGBOOST or try our online chat. We’d be happy to help guide you to the right decision.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
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