Whether you’re switching your personal cell phone service from one carrier to another or your entire practice from an old-school phone system to a Voice over Internet Protocol, the question that’s top of mind – and most frequently asked – is also the most basic: What happens to my phone number?
The question and concern make sense. After years of patients and fellow professionals memorizing or adding your number to their speed dial, will they need to learn a new number? Will you need to spend money having business cards and advertising, and web content reprinted and revised?
The good news is that with RingRx, you can keep your existing number and the process – known as porting – is easy and free. It’s part of the service we provide, along with all the other benefits and features that are part and parcel of switching to RingRx.
Let’s take a look at what porting is, how it would work for your practice, and why you don’t need to worry about losing your practice’s phone number.
What is Porting?
Porting is a technical term for moving your phone number from one carrier to another. You may not realize this, but your phone number – whether personal or professional – does not belong to the phone company or your service provider. It is owned entirely by you, and as its owner, you have the right to use it with whatever company best meets your needs. When you choose a service provider, they just assume the number management for you, and you can move it around whenever you want.
That’s a good thing. Whether landline or mobile, our phone numbers have become our most basic and shared identifiers. Parents’ phone numbers are among the first things that children are taught, along with their address, and they’re one of the first things exchanged between people who want to reconnect in the future.
From a business perspective, your practice phone number is how patients, fellow providers, medical facilities, and suppliers connect with you. No matter how efficient a new communications system would be, it might not be worth the switch if it meant educating your vast network about changing your phone number.
What is the Porting Process?
The most important thing for you to know about the porting process is that while we’re taking care of the particulars, your patients and colleagues will still be able to call and text the business number that they’re familiar with (and that’s included on your website and other promotional and professional materials) without experiencing any disruption. For them – and for you – the process is seamless.
As soon as you sign up for RingRx, you’ll be asked to fill out some paperwork, providing information on your practice name and contact information; the number (or numbers) that need to be ported into the new system; and details regarding your current carrier account, including a recent copy of your most recent statement or account summary. You’ll also need to sign a Letter of Authorization. This may seem like nothing more than an administrative step, but it’s actually the first step in an official legal process regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
As long as your current phone provider is within the same geographic region as RingRx (the United States), the FCC requires your carrier to comply with the port request. We’ll alert your current company to the fact that you’ll be switching. You don’t need to do anything – not even canceling your current service. That step comes last and should wait until we’ve confirmed the porting process is complete. The whole thing usually takes 7 to 10 business days.
Though in almost every porting scenario, there is no disruption in your communications, forwarding your existing number to a temporary RingRx number in some situations may make sense. We’ll let you know if that’s true of your situation while the process is moving forward.
Porting a Mobile Phone
Some practices have added cell phones to their existing system. If that’s the case for your office, porting is still a simple process, but there are some minor things you should be aware of. Most importantly, you’ll still have your cell phone service, but once you’ve ported that number into the RingRx system, the phone won’t receive any inbound calls or texts unless you ask your cell phone provider to give you a new number. The smartest thing to do is to do that before the porting process is complete. Of course, if you don’t need a new number on that phone, you can call your service company and cancel your contract with them entirely.
Ensuring a Seamless Porting Process
We know that ensuring a seamless transfer of your phone number from your existing carrier to RingRx represents one of the harrowing aspects of making a switch, and we want to ensure that the process is easy and successful every time.
Problems with porting are rare, fixable, and generally preventable. When they do occur, it’s usually for one of the following reasons:
- Clients have jumped the gun and canceled their current service in anticipation of the porting process. Only active numbers and in-service can be ported from one service provider to another, so make sure that you maintain your current phone service until porting is complete.
- The information submitted on client porting paperwork is incorrect or incomplete. One of the most common problems arises from spelling or account number errors or when there’s a difference between the contact information on the current service provider’s existing account and the contact information on the RingRx account. Those two names need to match.
Losing the phone number you’ve always had would be a nightmare. The good news is that with RingRx, the process of porting your existing number is not only uncomplicated but also free. As you switch to our innovative services, including HIPAA-compliant communication solutions, rest assured that your familiar phone number can seamlessly accompany you on this journey, ensuring uninterrupted connections and a hassle-free experience.