Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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Cell Phone Portability: Transferring your cell phone number

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the regulator of cell phone portability and offers considerations to ponder when switching. First, carriers may charge a fee for the portability service. Verify if a fee exists, how much, and try to negotiate having it waived.

If you wish to transfer your cell phone or home phone number between local providers, you should contact your current phone service provider. After receiving your valid request and confirming your identification, your current phone provider must begin the transferring process. A phone service provider is not permitted to deny your valid transfer request for any reason other than lack of confirmation of your identification.

Your valid transfer request does not absolve you from any existing fees or obligations owed to your initial phone service provider. In addition, you should be aware of any contractual fees or obligations you may incur when requesting your number is transferred.

Some carriers, in addition to wireless to wireless porting, amy be able to port from a wireline to a wireless phone. Keeping the same phone number is the purpose of portability, retaining the same handset may not be likely since not all products work on other networks. Review details with the carrier before you switch.

If you have any questions regarding number transfers, you can contact the Office of Attorney General at 1-800-441-2555 or visit our website at www.attorneygeneral.gov. You can also learn more about transferring your cell phone number by contacting the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 or by visiting their website at www.fcc.gov.