Wireless number transferred to another provider without consent

Key Message

  • The CCTS will review complaints about the transfer of wireless service from one service provider to another (known as “porting”) in order to determine whether the service providers followed the industry porting rules.

Summary of the Complaint

Noticing that his wireless phone service had stopped working, Mr. R contacted his service provider and was informed that his number had been ported to a different provider. Mr. R’s provider advised him to obtain a new SIM card and provided him with a temporary mobile number, while it attempted to retrieve his number from the new provider. Feeling that his service provider had failed him by transferring the number without his consent, the customer sought a resolution through the CCTS.

What did the CCTS do?

The CCTS asked his service provider to explain its porting process, from beginning to end, including a description of the information that a customer is required to provide when requesting a number port. The CCTS requested evidence of the information on the account to confirm the customer’s name, account number and address. The service provider was also asked to provide a screenshot of the porting request from the other service provider, to determine if the information in the request matched the customer’s information on file.

Outcome

Mr. R’s provider was able to retrieve his phone number and credited Mr. R for the new SIM card. The CCTS was able to confirm that the information provided by the new service provider matched the customer’s information in the original service provider’s records, thus demonstrating that Mr. R’s provider had fulfilled its obligations, and that both Mr. R and his provider were victims of possible criminal activity. The file was closed, as Mr. R suffered no loss arising from these events.

Key Considerations: The wireless number porting process is done electronically between providers.  A customer approaches the new provider, signs up for service, and asks for their number to be “ported” from the original provider to the new one. When receiving a complaint involving number porting, the CCTS will investigate whether the service provider met its obligations to the customer, as it does in every case. For example, the service provider would be expected to confirm that the porting request is valid and in keeping with the industry process, before porting the number. If we determine that the service provider has failed to do so, we will ensure that the customer receives proper compensation for any resulting loss, damage or inconvenience. If the provider has met its obligations and the port is subsequently determined to have been fraudulent, this is a matter for investigation by the police.

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