Comcast Makes Me Give Up Phone Number I Had For 24 Years

Doris switched from Verizon to Comcast’s Xfinity phone service, assured she’d be able to take her longtime phone number with her. Comcast being Comcast, this wasn’t so and now all sorts of people, including Doris’s daughter, get a “not in service” number when they try to call her.

She writes:

On the morning of October 31, I picked up my cell phone and saw a text message from my adult daughter. She’d tried to call home the night before, but had received a “number not in service”. Sure enough, I picked up one of my house phones and there was no dial tone; I called my home number from my cell and received the same “not in service” message.

Imagine my surprise and horror when I called xFinity and was told by H (customer service) that xFinity does not service my home telephone number! The phone number I’ve had for the past 24 years is, according to H, owned by “some other carrier”. I assured H that I was holding in my hand a work order and a change in task form, confirming a switch to xFinity and dated 10/15/2010.

Before I switched, I specifically (and several times) asked, will I be able to keep my phone number. I was repeatedly assured, by both the salesperson and the installer, my phone number would not change. I NEVER would have switched had I known the number I’ve had for 24 years, that is associated with my life – family, friends, church, social, business, work – would be lost because of a “mistake” on the part of Comcast. I’ve applied for several jobs, using my home number as my contact.

C was supposed to call me back in an hour to let me know if I can get my old number back, but I guess she either forgot or got busy.

Anyway, over an hour later, I called and was told by C that the number had been “improperly ported over” the first time (on Oct 15th). However, this time, it has been handled correctly. I asked if I would receive my old telephone number and C asked what number is that. By this time, Comcast has lost my trust, so I asked her to read off the number I would be getting. Yes, it is my number. And, it takes four days to get it back…that’s four days without phone service. I didn’t even ask if I’ll also be getting the phone number for my fax line! That number is a much lower priority.

No one should have to go through this! In total, I spent over an hour holding on the phone, not to mention the stress and fear of “losing” my phone number and possibly important calls from family, jobs. I’m advising everyone I know (and even folks I don’t know via the web) don’t switch to xFinity! In 4 days we’ll see if I get my old number back. If I do….even if I don’t…. I’m calling Verizon and begging them to take me back – and praying I’ll get my old telephone number back.

If you’ve unexpectedly lost your number due to a carrier change, how did you get it back?

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Midwest Doc says:

    If I understand, Comcast made an error and corrected it.

    • BannedInBrittan says:

      yup and porting takes time.

      • Dover says:

        re: porting takes time

        Recently effective FCC rules give Comcast, er, xFinity, one day to complete a port. Presumably, the screwup is causing further delay, but I think an FCC complaint is in order regardless.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Perhaps the CSR took the Scotty School of estimating how long till something is done. Say it will/may take 4 days, and when you do it in 2, you seem like a miracle worker.

          • bhr says:

            With comcast software it won’t let you schedule an install until the port period (5-7 days depending on the current provider) is complete. But there is a workaround for people who want service sooner.

            They will schedule an install for your service with a new number and tell you to forward your calls to that number until the port goes through. At which point they can change the number remotely. This requires that 1) the rep explains it correctly to the customer and 2) the customer doesnt cancel their current service until the port is complete.

        • meske says:

          So one day once the port is approved? I was looking to port a number to Ooma, and they still say on their site it takes up to a month. But they also say maintain the existing service while you’re in process. So do you mean that the FCC stipulates that you can not go more than 24 hours without service for the actual change of hands?

        • phonic says:

          “Recently effective FCC rules give Comcast, er, xFinity, one day to complete a port. Presumably, the screwup is causing further delay, but I think an FCC complaint is in order regardless.”

          INCORRECT.

          The FCC has different time tables and rules depending on the nature of the number. Cell phones have a much quicker requirement (generally done in a few minutes/hours). However, landlines for business or residential customers can take much longer. I know this because I work for a VoIP carrier that deals with porting requests all the time. Generally, it takes about two weeks for an FOC date from the date of request. And that’s only if you get the LOA (Letter of Authorization) submitted properly. Any incorrect information, typos, missing fields, etc. and you are back to square one.

          With that said, in the event of errors once the FOC date (date of port) has been issued, you can submit emergency tickets to hopefully clear things up. Including a snapback from the original carrier so the number doesn’t drop.

          It’s not as clear cut as you may think, so please don’t cite official policies based on your limited experiencing porting from one cell phone carrier to another. Phone companies have entire departments dedicated to processing this type of stuff. It does take time, and is prone to human error. People make mistakes, and the companies should be judged based on how they react to them. It looks to me like Comcast is fixing the problem, and the OP is just pissed and whiny.

  2. Alvis says:

    I’ll be more interested in this story in four days.

    • Scoobatz says:

      Yes, I’m looking forward to the follow-up post from Doris outlining the horrors, stress, fear and fees involved in switching back to Verizon. That will make for a better story.

  3. DanRydell says:

    Phil, did you even read the letter before you posted it? They said she’ll get it back in 4 days. Comcast still has the opportunity to screw that up, but as of now they have not made her give up the phone number she has had for 24 years.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      And they really didn’t “make her give it up”, they screwed up. But that wouldn’t be as sensational.

    • PLATTWORX says:

      No, he did not. I take Phil to be a freelancer who is paid by post. Throwing things on the site without reading them, putting up inaccurate headlines, etc is his Hallmark and Consumer’s Union seems to not care enough about this web site to remedy it.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Maybe I misundertood the law, or was told wrong, but I thought there was some sort of portability law that guaranteed you could take your phone number with you if you change carriers.

    Please, correct me and inform the rest if that is wrong. If I’m right, telling Doris where to protest this would be helpful.

    • Dover says:
    • Gramin says:

      RTFA! She’s taking her number and was never told otherwise. There was a porting error but they fixed it. She has nothing to protest other than poor customer service. And Phil needs to RTFA too. His title is completely false.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        True, but she hasn’t actually gotten the number back, officially. Obviously, the 4 day window has already passed in real time, but readers have not been informed of the outcome.

        I was asking for a worst-case scenario situation for her, and for the general public. It would be good for Doris to know where to file a grievance should Comcast fail to port her number.

        • Gramin says:

          Um, only one day has passed in real time. She contacted them on October 31st (aka yesterday) and they said it would take approximately 4 days. Today, in real time, is day 1. Read fail again.

      • c!tizen says:

        Dude, you need to RAPFA (read all Phil’s fucking articles) as titles are of little importance around these parts.

    • phonic says:

      Yes and no.

      The law requires that *MOST* carriers (small rural ones currently excluded) need to ALLOW you to port your number to another carrier. They are not allowed to block the port in any way. However, there is no requirement that every carrier has to be able to port the number in. Obviously they will if they can (for a fee), but it all depends on whether they have a presence in that rate center. For example, Level3 (by far one of the largest carriers out there) has a footprint in about 75% of the country and like 95% of the population (based on the geographic area). Many companies, including Google Voice, use Level3’s services. If they don’t have a presence in your rate center (for example, the entire state of Maine for L3), you can not port your number to them. Landline POTS to POTS is fairly straightforward, as is wireless to wireless. Going from one system to another can have issues due to this presence requirement. They have to be able to get the call off of the PSTN and on to their network.

      Along that same note, while the losing carrier HAS to allow the port out, they can and usually will delay it as much as possible to continue to bill the customer for their services. Especially since if the customer cancels service with the losing carrier before the port is complete, they are SOL. ANY typos on the LOA or port request can delay the transfer. Third party clearinghouses are also involved which can add to the paperwork. It’s far from a point and click change.

  5. Limewater says:

    She lost *ONLY* an hour on the phone in the process of being jerked around and crapped on by Comcast?!? I’m actually kind of impressed with Comcast here. In all my dealings with them, I think I’ve only ever NOT been lied to by about three Comcast employees out of thirty.

    • XianZhuXuande says:

      Their standard screw-ups for my new service (including $300 extra on my bill, an extra week to transfer service, receiving the previous resident’s service because they failed to disconnect it for about that amount of time, six phone calls, five hours, and probably another $300 lost in productivity [self-employed]) is far more interesting than this, but yet it somehow seems so normal to me that I can’t be bothered to share it with Consumerist.

  6. 309east says:

    This could have happened with any phone company. Likely some poorly paid order entry person typed in the incorrect number. Or maybe they outsourced the job to india and the people there don’t know a phone number from an address (nothing against india, but folks with years of experience could have made this problem, and when you outsource you send the job to the lowest bidder, and quality suffers).

  7. pop top says:

    Seriously Phil, did you even read your own article? She has to wait four days to get her number changed over. It’s not even an issue yet! I’m starting to think your only purpose on this site is to make everyone else look good.

  8. johnrhoward says:

    She shouldn’t have been told she could keep it if she couldn’t (although it seems like she can), and they definitely shouldn’t make it such a hassle to do so. But this woman seems way too attached to her phone number.

    • Gramin says:

      Agreed on the attachment. And Comcast never lied to her. They never told her she wouldn’t get to keep her number. An error was made and it was improperly ported. It sucks, but mistakes happen.

    • DancesWithBadgers says:

      If she’s had the same number 24 years and has ‘adult’ children she’s probably retired and most of the people who call her are family or also elderly. You ever try to teach an old dog a new trick?

      Granted, I do question the wisdom of giving out a home phone as a contact when you know you’re going to be changing carriers.

  9. Skellbasher says:

    She did not lose her phone number. Comcast messed up the port, and appears to be trying to fix it.

    Now, it shouldn’t take 4 days, but still, she has not lost her phone number.

    Another A+ traffic driving headline brought to you by Phil Villarreal.

    • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

      Anyone else on a supposedly reputable site with a track record for misrepresentation, inaccuracy, and flawed information like this would be fired by now.

      • ryder28910 says:

        Which makes it rather ironic when Phil points out the incompetence of those he chooses to write about.

        • Phil Villakeepinitrreal says:

          Exceedingly ironic, even.

          Who wants to start a pool on how long before my comment above gets disemvoweled for being “disrespectful” (Read: true)?

  10. MikeB says:

    And one thing to keep in mind when porting, the fact that they state that the port is complete and successful maybe sooner than the port is actually done. I ported from Vonage to ooma and it took about a week before I could call my house from my Cell phone. Had to set up a forward from my Google Voice number to my home number. But this started working about a week later.

    • nybiker says:

      I was afraid that the ‘ooma’ name was some sort of typo, but no, it is a VoIP company. So, how do you like their service? Which package did you purchase? Did you also get their handset?
      Other than the time it took to port, is there anything you wish you knew before you bought it that you found out afterwards?
      How bad are the taxes / fees every month? I have Packet8 (now called 8×8, I believe) and they have the taxes/fees on the yearly plan plus monthly taxes/fees of about $6 (I live in NYC, so yours might be different).
      http://www.ooma.com/

      • BannedInBrittan says:

        I have had ooma for > 12 months and love it. I have the telo unit and telo handset also. No complaints here from me. I paid for the HW and port but have no monthly and just do the basic package and not premiere. I think the taxes will be

  11. convem24 says:

    Porting a phone number is not perfect. The company that you are porting from can cause problems plus errors on the part of the new provider will definitely cause port over issues. If the information you give to your new provider is even off one letter (address or name issues) ports will not complete correctly. I will be honest I would use your cell phone # for job applications. I would not rely on your home phone for this reason. If you want to make sure that a port over goes correctly have your bill from the provider you are coming from and read verbatum the name and address on that bill. Correct info is the key.

  12. FreshPorcupineSalad says:

    I was expecting to read a story about Comcast made someone give up their phone number.

  13. Macgyver says:

    Comcast messed up porting her number. She calls Comcast about it, they found what was wrong, and takes a couple days to do whatever needs to be done. End of story, that’s it.
    In the end, she gets to keep her number, Comcast did not give her a different one, like the headline states.

  14. vizsladog says:

    I’ll bet she gets it back in less than four days. Perhaps Comcast has finally learned to under promise……..Oh wait, that’s all they over did isn’t it?

  15. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    C was supposed to call me back in an hour to let me know if I can get my old number back, but I guess she either forgot or got busy.

    Anyway, over an hour later, I called and was told by C….

    How can you say she forgot when she called you back, albeit a little later than she said she would? Perhaps she was spending the time on hold/with other dept’s trying to fix your problem?

  16. DanKelley98 says:

    Hello Consumerist? The headline doesn’t match the story.

  17. stevenpdx says:

    Horrifying. I can’t imagine a more horrifying experience. The stress must be unbearable. Nobody should ever use Xfinity because of this truly terrible, terrible experience, because of this problem that is on its way toward being solved.

    And of course I have a cell phone, but I’m still horrified that nobody can reach me for four days.

    The stress and fear are unbearable.

    /sarcasm

  18. PLATTWORX says:

    “Imagine my surprise and horror”

    Your kidding me right???

    Having your home number dropped when you clearly have a cell and your family knows how to each you on it (as your daughter did) was a “horror”? I would hate to see what a deady disease or your house burning down would be if a dead phone line is so tramatic.

    I also think there are more important things in life to pray for. Madam you missed your calling as a soap opera actress.

  19. ThomFabian says:

    New Headline : “Comcast makes mistake, Doris freaks out, Comcast says it will fix error, Doris writes Consumerist, Consumerist writes sensational headline, and no one knows if the problem has been fixed”

  20. CartmanPat says:

    I’m sorry, but this is such an old person complaint. It’s cute.

  21. zombie_batch says:

    I worked in the telecom industry and while I wasn’t directly involved in number porting, I did work directly with those who do. Number porting is a slow process, the paperwork has to be submitted ahead of the actual cut-over to the new carrier. Assuming all goes well, then the day of the cut, the number will work on the new carrier, because of scheduling. Unfortunately in this person’s case, there was a problem with the port and so it didn’t happen. It sounds as if they had to re-submit the porting information, and re-do the process. It sucks that this happened, but four days is a quick turn-around for this task, as the paperwork is submitted to NPAC a organization which manages these transfers, so its not just Comcast giving the info to say, Qwest, and they just change their records as to which carrier “owns” the number. Routing and other behind the scenes work has to go on at all the phone carriers, updating their databases with how to deliver the calls, so its a coordinated effort, hence the lag time in porting, and ensures it will work once completed correctly, and ensures it doesn’t affect anyone else.

    • PunditGuy says:

      There are so many ways in which a port can get screwed up, and any glitch along the way can derail the entire process. I ported from Qwest to Vonage years ago and had a devil of a time because the Vonage work order had my address correct but Qwest did not. Oh, Qwest had no trouble billing me at the right address, but they wouldn’t port my number because that particular database said I lived in Alabama and Vonage seemed to be under the crazy and correct assumption that I lived in Minnesota. Qwest is the devil, by the way. What was I saying?

  22. El_Fez says:

    Putting aside the exaggerated headlines and that the phone company already fixed (will have fixed) the problem pretty rapidly – it is just a phone number. Big freakin’ deal if you had to give it up. “the stress and fear of losing my phone number”? Christ, lady, heaven forbid that you actually have a REAL problem in your life – if her house burnt down, her heart would no doubt explode in her chest or something.

    Starving because you cant afford food? Living in a one-room mud hut in a third world country? That shit is worth losing sleep over. Having to memorize another set of seven numbers? Big whoop.

  23. MedicallyNeedy says:

    Comcast did this to my local CVS Pharmacy. It was the main number to call in prescriptions! It took more then 2 weeks to get the number restored. They switched to Verizon.

  24. MedicallyNeedy says:

    Republicans make it easier for corporations to jerk us around and steal. Vote for any party you want but if it’s a republican, your just asking for it.

  25. ryder28910 says:

    If you’ve unexpectedly lost your number due to a carrier change, how did you get it back?

    I waited for more than a few hours from when the problem was brought to their attention, actually allowing them time to fix it.

    And on top of that, the number’s not lost. Doris is just insanely impatient. And seriously? Stress, fear, surprise, and horror? If it took 16 days to even notice, I doubt another day is going to kill her (especially given that she has a cell phone that her family can apparently call her on).

  26. firepup says:

    Sounds like Comcast Failed to do a Third Party Verification Call through the goverment. It’s an agency that the sales person / customer service must call in order to authorise the porting of the phone. In that conversation they will speak with the customer and ask a series of 3 questions to secure account. If this process fails the number could be lost & not transfered. This was place by goverment to prevent slamming (something MCI did a lot in the past). If you decide to come back to verizon it should not be a problem aslong as the porting process completes on comcast end.

  27. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    When I dumped Verizon for Comcast Triple play, it took three weeks for Verizon to get it together and allow my phone number to be transferred. I made three appointments with Comcast to install the service, and three times Verizon failed to do their part and release my number (or whatever the procedure is called), so we had to reschedule the install. Comcast and I were able to keep the fourth appointment and all has been fine since.

    No, I was not horrified, stressed, fearful, or surprised. After all, I was dealing with Verizon.

  28. yagisencho says:

    This happened to us last year when we switched from Clearwire to Comcast. The Comcast phone rep said that she’d handle it. She didn’t handle it. Two weeks and several phone sessions with both companies later, we were left permanently locked out of our old number. Comcast did apologize though, which counts for…something.

  29. TheIrreverend says:

    I used to work in Comcast’s (now Xfinity’s) porting department so let me try and explain how complicated porting a phone number can be. For the record, I am no longer employed with them in any regard, so this is simply an explanation.

    Each provider in the US which provides phone service is provided with a SPID, a Service Provider Identification. When a number is ported to another provider, the SPID is changed to the new provider. This does not change ownership of the number however, simply who is currently administering it. If the number is ever disconnected for ~30 days (depends on the provider), the number reverts back to the original SPID for reassignment.

    A porting request is something that one party involved has very little incentive to comply with. The new provider (in this case Comcast) submits the request to the old provider (Verizon) and has to wait for approval to port the number, usually with a 7-10 day timeline for approval. The old provider, however, will use ANY excuse to turn down the request. Address typos, too many spaces in the form, ANYTHING. At this point a new request has to be sent and there’s another 7-10 days.

    Without approval from the old provider, the new provider cannot legally take the number. Yes, there are ways you can do it, and you can activate the number without completing the port, but if this is done you will only be able to make outbound calls; inbound calls will be routed to the old provider. Porting without authorization results in up to a $50,000 fine to the company.

    Basically, what I am saying is that any difficulty was most likely caused by (in this case) Verizon, (i.e.) always by the old service provider and not the new. The new provider has incentive to resolve the issue quickly as you are a current customer. The old provider knows that you are not a customer and has very little stake in ensuring you have a smooth transition. I’m not saying Comcast is guiltless, but it’s far more likely Verizon is to blame.

    Frankly, this seems like a very basic porting issue. Porting can be much, MUCH more complicated.

    First off, some history. Comcast entered the phone business when it purchased the high-speed internet assets of AT&T. As part of that agreement, it also inherited the old POTS phone service that AT&T provided. This meant that Comcast inherited many of the phone numbers which had been assigned to AT&T. It did not, however, get title to all the numbers. Many of the numbers were actually assigned to a provided called the Teleport Communications Group (TCG). This was a CLEC which was purchased by AT&T prior to the sale to Comcast.

    When AT&T purchased TCG, it did not convert all of the phone numbers assigned to the TCG SPID to one of the AT&T SPIDs. This was not an issue as AT&T administered both SPIDs. When AT&T was sold, however, the TCG SPID was not part of the deal. When the remaining assets of AT&T were finally bought by Cingular (and then renamed into what is now AT&T, a totally different company) they got title to any numbers which had not had their ownership changed. This did not mean that Comcast customers suddenly lost their numbers, but it does mean that when the numbers were disconnected, they fell back to Cingular, a provider they had never been with before. As a company will not approve a port for a number which is not currently connected with them, even a brief disconnection in the porting system would result in a number being lost, even though the number appeared as a native number in the Comcast system. These numbers caused many, many headaches.

  30. Watcher95 says:

    Um, she ended up with her phone number after some problems..
    Not at all what the title of the story says.

  31. NikonGal says:

    Move on folks, there’s no story here.

  32. bassbeast says:

    Oh god, are you serious? No really, are you serious? You spent an HOUR on the phone?! Wow, and I thought my literally four-plus hours on the phone with Dell a few years back (multiple times because they screwed up so much) was rough. But ONE?! And they said they fixed your problem, confirming it with you? And with a TIMELINE!

    *faints*

  33. cardo says:

    I went through this with Charter. They assigned me a new number, told me it would be fixed in a couple days, then gave me a second number at the four day mark, only realized when i couldn’t call home. Their answer was Sorry, we can port numbers in this area. Oh, no further answer on why the second number change too.

  34. Frohlman says:

    yes i know phone numbers aren’t “owned” by the ilec or clec. that being said, anyone who ports their phone number and expects it to be 100% trouble free gets no pity or sympathy from me, especially with with free numbers from google voice and sipgate etc that can now be used as the main “give out” number to friends and family.

    the whole tn porting system is an organizational nightmare and the cell and telcos on both sides routinely screw up the porting it seems just for grins and giggles. anything can cause FOC to not be issued. typos, misplaced commas or fat fingering will cause a FOC to be rejected and the whole timeline starts over from day 1.

    the other posters are right, it always a miracle when a port does go through as scheduled.

    old folks and people who can’t get up when after they’ve fallen should keep their old POTS service. the 911 system was designed to work flawlessly with landline service and in the majority of cases someone with landline service can call 911 and hang up or leave the phone off the hook and cops will be at their door in minutes.

    try that with cable, voip or cell and you’re really on your own.

    so, old lady “renter” of a 24 yr old TN, no soup, or in your case – no TN for you.

  35. Thorzdad says:

    Funny…I’ve gotten the exact opposite response from Comcast, when I ask if I will be able to keep my existing (landline) phone number. They consistently say “no”, I’ll have to get a new number from them. Vonage, otoh, say I can keep my number.

    • TheIrreverend says:

      Vonage is not a phone provider. They operate on some fringe of the telecom world, leasing numbers from other providers. 30 days plus, if it’s available in your region.

  36. yulingo says:

    I’m an avid reader of the consumerist, but I agree that some of the story titles need some more editorial scrutiny. Something like “Comcast lost my phone number for 4 days” seems more appropriate.

    Granted, it’s not as sensationalist as the current title, but at least it would generate fewer complaints about the title.

  37. CSUSam says:

    I work for a Verizon Wireless retailer, and this is not horribly uncommon. Landlines especially are much harder to port than wireless lines, for some reason. Wireless ones typically happen nearly immediately as long as all information is correct, but land lines can take days. You have to go a few days without a land line, but you already acknowledged you have a back up in the form of a cell phone. Mistakes happen, get over it.

  38. JHerrick79 says:

    At my office, three days before our major annual conference (a time when our call volume is highest), AT&T decided to randomly re-assign our office number to someone else. That morning, I called the office, and the phone was answered by a construction worker in a new startup business someplace in our county. That business had applied for new telephone service, and had been given our number, the number we had been actively using for business for many years.

    #1) We were very lucky that other business had not yet printed business cards or distributed their new number. As a result, they were willing to work with us to give it back, and AT&T got it sorted out by the next business day. But what if they hadn’t been willing to give it back? I mean, it wasn’t their fault.

    #2) It was the worst possible time for us to be without phone service for a full business day, when our phones typically ring off the hook from people with conference questions.

    #3) How on earth does AT&T hand out a number that’s already active on another account?

    • Frohlman says:

      your office most likely has DID (direct inward dial) service running over trunk lines delivering phone service to your office.

      there is a quirky thing to DID service. generally DID numbers comes in a block of 20 numbers. For some reason at the telephone company, the computer system that administers the telephone numbers will “forget” a number belongs to a DID block and then reassign that number to someone else.

      not sure why it happens, but the telephone company has the authority to take the number away from the company that got the number in error. if the business office rep or supervisor is feeling particularly generous that day they will refund the charges for business cards and stationary. advertising might be paid for as well but that depends on a number of factors including cost of the advertising, etc.

      an outside possibility is that the new company wanted your number and lied to the business office rep and claimed they were porting or moving your number. all you need to know is the service address of the business really to do that.

  39. Frohlman says:

    your office most likely has DID (direct inward dial) service running over trunk lines delivering phone service to your office.

    there is a quirky thing to DID service. generally DID numbers comes in a block of 20 numbers. For some reason at the telephone company, the computer system that administers the telephone numbers will “forget” a number belongs to a DID block and then reassign that number to someone else.

    not sure why it happens, but the telephone company has the authority to take the number away from the company that got the number in error. if the business office rep or supervisor is feeling particularly generous that day they will refund the charges for business cards and stationary. advertising might be paid for as well but that depends on a number of factors including cost of the advertising, etc.

    an outside possibility is that the new company wanted your number and lied to the business office rep and claimed they were porting or moving your number. all you need to know is the service address of the business really to do that.