Porting number from Virgin to VoIP (probably Sipgate)

Discussion in 'UK VOIP' started by Mark Rogers, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Mark Rogers

    Mark Rogers Guest

    I have a Broadband+TV+Phone package with Virgin, 13 months remaining under contract, but able to get out of contract because of their price increase (I have until the end of the month to do so).

    What I want to do is keep their Broadband+TV packages but move my phone number to a VoIP account. The reason is that the old Bell Cablemedia exchange kit we're stuck with provides pretty awful facilities (1471/voicemail/etc) and I'm paying through the nose for them all the same, never mind Virgin's call rates.

    The problem is that the best price for BB+TV is a combined BB+TV+Phone package, so ideally I want to come up with some combination that allows me to port my number out and get a new number provisioned at Virgin for a line I'll never use (except to call Virgin customer services I guess!)

    Any advice?

    Aside: My number was originally allocated to BT, ported to Virgin a good while back. Should this present a problem porting it to VoIP? Virgin suggest it will, but I don't trust them!
    Mark Rogers, Mar 21, 2012
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  2. Mark Rogers

    BC Guest

    It should work ok. Mom had a VM number that was on BT and she ported
    that to Sipgate last year. Sipgate has porting agreements with both BT
    and VM so it is possible.

    The only thing that went wrong was with BT. They disconnected the number
    on the morning and by mid afternoon the number was live on Sipgate. It
    wasn't until about a week later that we noticed her online BT account
    was still open. We phoned them to query and they said the number was
    still with them and we did we want to cancel!!! I explained the number
    had ported the previous week and the BT line had been allocated a new
    number (checked by calling 17070 on the day of disconnection) and was in
    soft disconnection status, but they were having none of it. We had to
    agree for them to disconnect an already disconnected line and then fight
    to get the weeks line rental refunded. We put the complaint in writing,
    but even the Customer Relations guy who called me back said they had
    done nothing wrong and the number was still with them until we agreed to
    them disconnecting.

    The only explanation I could think of at the time was the fact that the
    number was originally from VM and therefore VM would have done the
    re-routing necessary to port to Sipgate. Even so, the porting request
    was placed with and accepted by BT (as the number was with them at the
    time), but BT denied all knowledge of a port request ever being
    received. They said the fact that the line disconnected on the day of
    the port and was also allocated a new number was a coincidence.

    We got there in the end, but it was somewhat of a pain.

    As your number is with VM, your number port request will have to show
    them as the current provider, even though the number originates from a
    BT switch.
    BC, Mar 21, 2012
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  3. Mark Rogers

    Mark Rogers Guest

    That's good to hear (and Sipgate have confirmed it too).

    However the bigger question is whether there's a mechanism to do it whilst working around the contract issues with VM.

    I'll give them a(nother) call and see if I can get any sense from them....
    Mark Rogers, Mar 22, 2012
  4. Mark Rogers

    Mark Rogers Guest

    OK, this is what I'm currently being told to do....

    I am about to pay my £20 to request the number port to Sipgate.

    I am to give notice to Virgin in advance of the port taking place once I have a rough date; they will then schedule a number change for me after that date which will keep the line open when the existing number is ported, rather than causing the line to be ceased.

    It will all work seamlessly. (We'll have to see about that!)
    Mark Rogers, Mar 22, 2012
  5. My experience is that if you tell a telco a number is being ported out
    of them, then there is a chance that they might cancel it before the port
    takes ance and thus lose the number. Or they can block the port, but not
    for contractural reasons.

    I've ported several VM (and BT->VM numbers into Magrathea - the people
    behind Sipgate), but have never tried to get a line re-provisioned at
    the same time. It feels like a lot to go wrong to me ...

    Let us know how you get on..

    Gordon Henderson, Mar 22, 2012
  6. Mark Rogers

    BC Guest

    Totally agree. Don't tell VM anything yourself, chances are they will
    disconnect the line and the port will then fail.

    Once the number has ported, speak to VM retentions and negotiate a new
    bundle with new telephone line / number.
    BC, Mar 24, 2012
  7. Mark Rogers

    BC Guest

    Be careful which codec you use with Sipgate, two accounts I set up both
    had problems with G711u; during a call a loud buzzing would block out
    the incoming caller completely. Sipgate's advice was to change codec, no
    problems since using one of the G726 codes.
    BC, Mar 24, 2012
  8. Mark Rogers

    Mark Rogers Guest

    This was my thought too. However:

    Having spoken to VM, they've said that what I should do is request a numberchange at some point in the future past the date of the port. So if my number was being ported a week on Monday, have a pre-arranged change of numberbooked for later that week. When the port takes place, that will prevent the line being ceased and the new number will be applied at that point. (Sounds very sensible and grown-up, not that I trust them!) If there's no number changed lined up then the line will cease.

    However, given that I am still in contract, I'm not sure the line would be allowed to cease, so I would be concerned that not telling them would be the most likely scenario to cause failure. Also I have some recourse against them if I follow the procedure they outline (albeit it that this wouldn't help me get my number back if they messed up, although I might be able to get some compensation out of them, and to be honest the attachment to the number is emotional rather than practical - I get very few calls to it and don't give it to many people).

    I do plan on running through things with Virgin a couple more times over the phone though; if I can get the same answer from several people I'll be much happier...
    Mark Rogers, Mar 25, 2012
  9. My worry would be that there would be some holdup on the port, so that the
    number change you scheduled for Friday happens before the port instruction
    manages to arrive. Can you schedule a number change for 2099 or something,
    so that it's at least in the system but as far off as possible?

    I have no experience of porting landlines, but something I've learnt porting
    mobile numbers is never to have a port go through on a Friday, because if
    they mess it up you're without service until you can get someone to fix it
    Monday or Tuesday.

    Theo Markettos, Mar 26, 2012
  10. Mark Rogers

    Mark Rogers Guest


    My port date is 11th April. Spoke to Virgin today who can no longer do anything on my account due to a pending cease on the line because of the port. Expecting the port to succeed, just no phone line afterwards; we'll have towait until 30 days after the request (so 28th April in this case) before we can request a new line install, which will mean £49.95 charge and engineer visit to the premises.

    Still works out better than not doing it (now that we've spent £20 on theport with Sipgate (actually £25 to keep the DQ listing)), but it looks like I'm going to be in contact with the "Customer Concerns" team as I'm about as happy as I am surprised.

    FWIW I'm told now that the correct procedure would have been to either do as I am now doing, or (ideally) to get the new line in first so there was noloss of service as there will be in this case (probably 4 weeks between the port and the new line being installed). So the install fee and engineer visit was a necessity either way, it's just not what I was told originally. In total the process is going to cost me about £75, which for me is basically the cost of retaining my number instead of telling people to use my Sipgate number (and on balance I would probably have pocketed the £75 instead...)

    Don't really understand how the cease and re-provide actually needs an engineer to visit though. Maybe to go to the cabinet (although even that seems a bit much), but onto my premises?
    Mark Rogers, Apr 2, 2012
  11. I did but with BT, a lot went wrong, but then every time I order any
    service whatsoever from BT a lot goes wrong, so I'm used to it.
    Thomas Kenyon, Apr 8, 2012
  12. Mark Rogers

    Mark Rogers Guest

    A further update:

    My port is due to complete tomorrow.

    I have just had a call from Virgin's Complaints dept regarding the written complaint I sent them. It would appear that it is possible for them to perform a renumber after the port, it's just that there's no process in place to do it. But I'm told it's now in hand.

    I asked (for the benefit of this thread) what the "correct" process would have been, and I've basically been told I followed it: request the port, ring Virgin when I have a date to request that a renumber takes place after the port completes, and then when I'm told that it can't be done write to thecomplaints team who can fix it.

    We'll see how well this all works in practice tomorrow :)
    Mark Rogers, Apr 10, 2012
  13. Mark Rogers

    BC Guest

    How did it go?
    BC, Apr 12, 2012
  14. Mark Rogers

    kashmiri Guest

    "BC" wrote in message /.../
    Sipgate uses G711a, the European version (G711u is a US version of the

    kashmiri, Apr 12, 2012
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