Sometimes Verizon Doesn’t Get It


Okay, so FiOS has been working out quite well but today I got some disturbing news. We noticed that over the last couple of days that our main phone number (yes, I still have regular phones) was a bit quiet. I then called ViaTalk about it (they’re our VoIP provider) and they informed me that Verizon, on their own, went ahead and just ported my phone number over for their phone service—a service I hadn’t ordered and don’t want.

So now I’m stuck for at least a week. I need to fax in a form to have ViaTalk re-port my number back over to them and that takes 7-10 days during which I’m pretty much without a phone. I’d just forward my calls but that requires a specific service level with Verizon that I don’t have and am not about to add.

Many people suggested that this would not go smoothly and it appears they were right.

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  1. The moral of this story is, when ordering FiOS or any other service from a telephone company (or for that matter, a cable company that offers telephone service), never give them a telephone number you don’t want changed – not as a contact number, or for any other reason.

    Now, having said that, you could try sending your tale to a web site like The Consumerist (maybe put something like “Verizon stole my telephone number” in the subject line). Or you could try calling your state Public Utilities Commission or Public Service Commission – maybe your state’s legislature hasn’t completely gutted the authority of your PUC yet, and if that’s the case they may be able to get action, possibly even within 24-48 hours. You could even file a complaint with the FCC, but they move at such a glacial speed most of the time that it probably wouldn’t help in your situation.

    But really, the lesson here is, NEVER give a telephone company any telephone number that you would not want to see ported to them, particularly a VoIP number. I suspect cell phone numbers may be a bit safer if you must give them something (although I wouldn’t entirely put it past them to port one of those) but when people ask for my phone number and I don’t want to give it to them, I just say I don’t have one (or if I think they won’t buy that, I say I use a computer service to make outgoing calls but they don’t give me a number for incoming calls. Or I just say it’s unlisted and even some of my relatives don’t have it, although that tends to provoke arguments with sales droids who act as though the company is going to give them a huge Christmas bonus if only they can pry a phone number out of me!).

  2. Thanks. I have to agree that I clearly managed to goof on this but it wasn’t in any way intentional and it seems ridiculous that this could happen so easily.

    Live and learn as usual.

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