So we moved recently.
Among the many things we had to switch to our new home was our cable TV connection which also includes our internet connection. Since the cable provider is the same where we moved it would only be a matter of letting the cable company know about the new location so they can send a technician to set everything up.
When my wife called up the cable company the salesperson offered a cable/internet phone line as part of a package with cable service and the broadband internet which would save us money on our phone bill. Sounded good and we would also get a few months free of premium channels. We were also told that we would get to keep our old phone number which is what really sold it for us. We didn’t want to have to change our number if we could avoid it.
The technician comes on the day appointed. He did a great job putting in the new cable line and setting everything up, especially since we had boxes all over the place.
As he’s testing the phone line he tells me what the new phone number will be….WHAT?!? We’re not supposed to get a new number. Tech guy says there’s nothing he can do and that I would need to call the cable company. Ughh.
I call up the cable company.
At first they don’t even see on the order that we were supposed to have our phone number ported over. After much complaining I’m told that I’ll be put on with a supervisor who may be able to help. Let me pause for a sec – ever notice how some companies have the worst music while you are on hold? And it just repeats and repeats to the point where it’s stuck in your head the rest of the day? Anyway, 10-15 minutes later I’m still waiting for someone to pick up the line. I’ll hang up and call back going through the entire process again. This time I get to speak to a supervisor who tells me that my number can’t be brought over because it’s in a different rate center. I let her know that if we had known this we would not have signed up and that the salesperson should have told us the details. She tells me there may be something she could do but she would have to speak to her tech team and call me back the next day. It was well past five at this point so I said ok.
The next day comes and goes and I get no call from the cable company. I would have called them in the afternoon but things were hectic that day.
The next, next day I call back and go through all of the phone choices and salespeople again. This time I’m put through with a person in the tech area. This person again explains that they can’t transfer the number because it’s in a different rate center (can someone tell me what a rate center is?!?). The number is available to transfer but the phone company is not allowing it.
Ok, this is a little more information. Maybe we’re getting somewhere? He also suggests that I try to have the phone company transfer our number to our new home first. If we could do that there may be a better chance that the cable company could transfer the number to their service.
So now I’m calling our phone company.
We didn’t cancel our service yet because we expected it to be taken care of by the cable company. I give the phone associate my information and that we would need to have our number transferred to our new location.
She looks up the information and then tells me the number can’t be brought over because it’s in a different exchange area. You know in a phone number, 555-1234, the 555 part is the exchange area. Where we moved to has a different exchange area so they can’t let us keep the old number. Ahhh, this makes sense now. Why couldn’t the cable company explain it this way?!?
OK, we can’t keep the number.
I cancel our phone service with the phone company. At this point we’re keeping the cable phone number since their service will save us money and we would have to get a new number anyway.
After many phone calls, many days, and a whole lot of frustration were back to square one but at least now I know why. The cable company could have prevented a lot of this frustration by being more upfront with the possibility that we would get a new phone number and by better explaining why we couldn’t get our old number. Really, they could have explained the whole situation to me in five minutes.
If you are considering changing your phone service make sure you know all of the details! If you are in the same home then you wouldn’t encounter the same issue I had with a new number but if you are moving you should find out whether your number will change.
So far we haven’t had any problems with our new phone service. I have to admit though that we have been using our cell phones a lot and not many people know our new number yet.
One interesting detail is that when someone calls the number appears on the television as a caller ID. It’s a strange thing to hear the phone ring and see a number pop up on the TV!