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#91257 by turbo9
Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:31 pm
Before I start, I'm wondering how difficult porting my number from Bell Canada will be. Of course, for me, it is easy - I fill out a form and wait. But I can't imagine the process in Canada with regard to number portability is the same as the one in the US given the successful laggard strategy the incumbents tend to use - they fought number portability as hard as possible and still might claim they are "unable". I can't see how claiming you are incapable is an acceptable excuse to the CRTC (think FCC), but it tends to work for them an awful lot, so they keep using it.
#91764 by turbo9
Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:04 pm
The number port is complete. No issues.

The entire process just took 10 days. Bell held onto the number until about 4PM on a Friday and then Ooma got started with their part of the job which was complete about five hours later.

Be warned that during the day of the port, Ooma calls the number about every hour starting about 8AM to determine if the incumbent is still routing the number. You might not get to sleep in if your phones are still plugged in.
#91927 by turbo9
Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:43 pm
Went to complete the last step - calling Bell to cancel my service as per Ooma's process. It was already cancelled with an effective date of Jan 1, 0001. I look forward to the refund for 2011 years of service.
#92097 by turbo9
Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:14 am
I've been asked a few questions not in the forums.

I was not using DSL. Cable Internet is so much better in my part of town.
#92371 by EX Bell
Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:52 am
I've been researching this and grinding my teeth over the exact process for weeks, but now that I've done it I have to say that so far it has gone really smoothly. My transition from landline to VOIP is specifically a single landline with grandfathered Bell Highspeed Unlimited ADSL. My move is to Ooma inc. for VOIP, so your results may vary if you've found this post by searching and you are using another VOIP service. I'm also not under a contract with Bell, so be warned you might not get out unscathed if you're currently in a contract.

Now before anyone chimes in about how stupid I am for keeping my Bell Highspeed Internet and not going with the competition, believe me, I've considered the pros and cons of the alternative choices. Yes it cost more for a slower connection, but I personally have had the following experience and consider the slight extra cost to be insurance money well spent. At least until they either force me out or price me out, but as it stands today, I'm staying with the internet service.

A. I've had my Bell Highspeed internet for 12 years and have had only one issue with faulty modem hardware after 8 years of using the same modem. The original modem was switched out when I moved to a new house further from the switching station at the time. So that's only 3 modems in 12 years.

B. I can only remember a handful of outages that never lasted more than an hour (other than the Great East Coast blackout). In the last two years, uptime has been 100% during my waking hours and my wife and I are occasionally up until 4am.

C. There's been some rough spots when I did speak with tech support in India, but the resolution has always been fair and swift.

D. Two years ago, I not only got a new modem that boosted my speed, but I also got a new line from the pole and a proper demarcation point. I took the opportunity to run new wiring from the demarc directly to my modem. My speed on a 5Mb/s plan is 7Mb/s and 600kb/s up, consistently. I stream 80% of the video I watch on two TVs and it is no problem at all. Video streaming even passes through a second modem that connects to Strong VPN. Netflix starts playing in 5 seconds or less and high def content on Apple TV starts in less than 1 minute. I don't need faster.

E. There are no blocked sites I've encountered (other than USA content when connecting direct), no DNS blocking that I've encountered, and I don't have to reboot the modem if another MAC address connects directly to it, unlike Rogers users.

F. They are not being investigated for user complaints regarding throttling by the CRTC like Rogers currently is.

Anyway, enough about the ISPs, here's the the steps I followed exactly. Be polite, don't punish the average peon for the polices of the corporation. Besides, you'll just make the process more difficult if you're rude or short on patience.

1. I phoned 310 BELL at approximately 9:30am EST on Monday morning so I could speak with a Canadian. By the way, if you think you may not be speaking with someone in Canada, ask where they are located. Companies that do business in Canada must let you speak with a Canadian the first time you ask.

2. When you get "Emilie", choose "Landline phone service" and then "Moving your phone service" from the prompts.

3. I told the rep who answered the call, "I will be porting my phone number to another landline service provider, but I have Internet service connected with the phone number and I don't want the change of one to cancel the other. Can you please tell me the proper order to do this?"

4. The rep told me she would transfer me to someone in customer loyalty. I thought, hear we go again…but as it turned out, the person who answered didn't try to sell me anything. I explained to him again exactly what I was trying to do, in exactly the same way. He put me on hold while he asked his supervisor what to do. When he came back on the line, he said he would just need to fill out an application for the change and when my number "transfers-out", the line will switch to a dry loop. He asked for the reason why, and I told him price and features. I started to explain that I've already spoken with other Bell reps and they couldn't even come close to the price, but he said, "I just need it for the form". This was clearly just a kid doing his job, not interested in selling me anything.

5. Next he asked me for an estimated transfer date to the new carrier. Based on the other report from this thread's parent post by turbo9, I told him it would likely take two weeks, but it could be as long as one month. A few minutes of silence as he finished filling out the form and he gave me an order confirmation number.

6. I confirmed the order number by reading it back to him and asked for him to confirm that this would not disrupt my current internet plan. He said it would not and that once the port was completed my phone service would cease and the internet would continue automatically. He said call 310 BELL if there's any issue with internet service after the port date and give them the confirmation number I just received. Once I receive a Firm Order Confirmation from Ooma, I plan to contact Bell again, give them their the work order confirmation number and an update to their records with the exact day my number will port.

YOU MUST KEEP YOUR LANDLINE SERVICE UNTIL THE PORT IS COMPLETE. If you cancel landline service before the number ports, then you'll lose your number and likely will have a miserable time getting it back.

7. Next I sent Ooma an email confirming I wanted to take advantage of the $99 Premier service special they offered me in response to an email question about number porting. I sent the email at 10:02am EST, they responded at 10:54am EST that is was done and I would not be billed for porting my number. Done, 6 minutes before they open for regular business and technically they didn't have to do anything until then, but they did. That speaks volumes with me. I went to my online account and it was done, showing the renewal date after my trial period expires. So far, all good.

8. As per their instructions in the email, I added the number port to my shopping cart, checked out and followed the recommended steps. You have to choose the $40 option online, but I have multiple email from Ooma assuring me I will not be charged for the number port if I purchase an annual subscription to their premier service. To assist Ooma and help prevent delays, I uploaded my online Bell bill. However, you need to blank out your Bell internet b1xxxxxx and Internet Pin numbers BEFORE uploading a PDF of your Bell One Bill. This is a very important step to protect your privacy online. They occur on the first page where the internet bill amount is and on my personal bill it is shown again on the last page, just above the total where the service, modem lease, credit and tax are shown. On your bill it might be different if you have other services on your One Bill, but it's there twice, so look for it. Print the pages with the numbers, blank them out with a black marker and scan them back to PDF for upload to your new provider. Don't rely on covering numbers in PDF files with boxes, they're just layers that are easily deleted with tools like "Pitstop", which will then reveal the number underneath.

I hope this helps out those of us that have Bell phone and internet, but are not dissatisfied with the internet portion and want to keep it without adding a new line or disrupting their grandfathered plans. Now it's wait and see. I'll update with the progress and any issues I may encounter.

Remember, CRTC rules state you cannot be denied the right to move your number to another local carrier as long as your bill has been paid in full to date of the requested move. Additionally, Bell's own website states that you can change local phone service and keep your current internet service without interruption. They do say you don't have to do anything, but I don't think I would trust that statement unless you don't intend to port your number. In that case, you would then just call them, cancel the phone service and let the number go. Also, if you're not porting your number, be sure to opt for the extended Telo warranty instead of the free number port.

More info:

"Local phone service enables you to call people or businesses in your local calling area without paying long-distance charges. Typically, you pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited calls to phone numbers within your local calling area.
While the CRTC no longer regulates areas with local service competition, it did set some requirements and rules that companies must meet for your benefit and protection:

• you must be able to transfer to whichever local phone service company you prefer
• you can keep your phone number when you transfer to another local phone service provider, as long as you stay in the same exchange (typically a community, town or city)
• you can change to a new local phone company, usually without any effect on your other communications services (long distance, Internet or wireless). Internet access and television services may depend on how these services are provided by both your current and new service provider"

"If your local telephone service provider is one of the original phone companies that existed prior to today's competitive market (i.e., TELUS, MTS Allstream, Bell Canada, or Bell Aliant), and it has disconnected or is threatening to disconnect your local service for unpaid long-distance charges, the CRTC-approved terms of service ensure that:
• your local service cannot be disconnected if you have paid for the part of your phone bill that covers local service, 911, call display, and other calling features you may subscribe to
• if you disagree with charges on your bill (e.g., long-distance, Internet, or wireless charges), follow the telephone company's dispute procedure; but you must still pay the undisputed charges of the bill
• the telephone company may limit your long-distance calls, or use other legal means to try to recover outstanding amounts, but they cannot cut off your local service"
Last edited by EX Bell on Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
#92373 by turbo9
Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:49 pm
Nice detail EX Bell. Hopefully, between you and I, we can help out our fellow countrymen.

It sounds like you have a great DSL connection. Bell charged me for 5 Mb/s, but shaped me to less than 1 "for quality reasons". They did this for years until I caught on, so I moved to Rogers cable. I am just moving to TekSavvy, but right now, Rogers is selling me 12 Mb/s down, 0.5 up and I was getting 17 down and 0.5 up. It was like that every time I ran the test. Regardless, I look forward to my 24 down, 1 up (with a 300 Gb download limit) starting next month. While this solution will be cheaper, I was interested in the 1 Mb/s to ensure high quality VOIP.

While you will not receive a final Bell bill, I should. I received another bill just like nothing had happened asking for payment beyond my service date. I will give them credit and suggest that they generate bills way in advance and don't react fast enough to put out a final bill (which Roger's did for me).

I called 310-BELL (which does not work on my Ooma phone - I have yet to report this on my open ticket related to toll free numbers viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13047 - I called random Bell numbers and ExpressVu transferred my call). Bell is having some trouble calculating exactly what that final bill will be and could not tell me. They did confirm that I no longer had service, but could not predict when the bills would stop. We agreed that I would not be charged any interest while I waited for them to tell me the final amount owing.

I helped another person dump Bell, and I have seen some similarities. Bell kept his number until about 4 PM on a Friday as well, so you should expect the same. But, Bell called him on that final day and asked him to stay offering to knock $25 off his bill. He had a pretty full set of features, so I guess Bell could afford this. They never called me, but I refused to pay their price for any of their features.

By the way, are you having trouble dialing Canadian terminated toll free numbers? If so, follow my other thread. I find US terminated toll free numbers are fine. You might have trouble calling 310-SURF and Sympatico does not seem to publish any other number to let you get hold of them.
#92390 by EX Bell
Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:40 pm
Thanks turbo9. You helped me, and I just want to help others as well. Searched for hours, but couldn't locate any posts with details regarding my specific scenario.

I called 310-BELL (which does not work on my Ooma phone

Not surprised these special numbers don't work. Can Rogers home phone users dial them? Never thought about it before 10 digit dialing came in and after it did, I assumed they were proprietary numbers to Bell's system since I don't have to dial an area code to use them. I haven't called any toll free numbers in Canada so far. My wife has used some toll free, but they're all in the US and as you wrote that's no issue (a nice side effect as you also pointed out). I did read before signing up that some were an issue, so I'm not surprised. Could have been your post, I don't remember for sure. I've researched this choice pretty carefully and as such, I'm not expecting a traditional phone service. Some calls won't be perfect and some calls might not work at first (or ever), but I'm getting a heck of a lot of great features I've never been willing to pay for in the past and I'm getting them at a price that no one can touch for how polished they are, and how well they work.

I used to have a great Bell service call Single Number Reach which I'm sure you are familiar with. It has great features that even Ooma doesn't have, but it is intended for small to medium businesses and Ooma is not intended for businesses at all. SNR was $25 before tax per month for the basic service. The two best functions for me as a sole proprietor at the time was the voicemail as attachements and fax to email. The amount of forwarding numbers and simultaneous ringing (think Multi-ring with many more than two numbers). I forget what the limit is with the basic service level A. Six maybe. It's been four years since I had it and don't have a user guide anymore. It's a really good service for a small business and Ooma could really do well to replicate their fax to email feature if it's technically feasible. I know very little about telecommunications technology, so I only saw how good the result was, not how difficult it was to get there.

Anyway, my point is for $15 a month, I'm getting a fantastic feature set, free Canada and US long distance and a second number in the US which can be expanded to multiple numbers in the US with Google Voice. Ooma filed for an operating license with the CRTC on October 11, 2011 and was approved on December 9, 2011 after proving that they met the 911 requirements for VOIP providers in Canada.

911 requirements satisfied
License issued

A few hiccups at this stage of operations in Canada are OK with me as long as the company is proactive, addresses them in a reasonable manor when notified of the issue and with the appropriate resources available to a company of their size. They're not the giant machine that Bell was and still is, so I don't expect them to be able to throw a massive amount of resources at every level of issue that arrises.

By the way, I did try calling 1 800 310 BELL after reading your post. It gave me the errors you stated before, but after hanging on for a while, it oddly connected me to AT&T's automated call answer service.

How to reach a Bell operator from a non-Bell phone
#92508 by EX Bell
Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:13 am
Porting status updated on February 2.

"Information verified: Your porting info was verified on Jan 30, 2012"

A bit odd to wait two-three days to report the information submitted on January 30 was verified on the same day, but OK. It's moving forward at a swift pace, that's what's important to me.
#92511 by EX Bell
Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:01 pm
Another status update arrives.

"Port initiated: Number port is estimated to complete on or before Feb 29, 2012"

It's working. I hope that estimate is over conservative. I'm anxious to get on with it, but also about the issues I might encounter with my DSL once the phone service is automatically disconnected with the completion of the number port. Will Bell get it right and only shut off the phone service or will they cut all service to an over-paying internet customer? The proverbial "Cash Cow".

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