BINGHAMTON, NY — Beginning Monday, May 24, 2004, wireless customers in the Binghamton area can switch wireless carriers and keep their existing wireless phone number. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated local number portability (LNP) take effect in all wireless markets nationwide on May 24. LNP was implemented in the nation's Top 100 markets in November. LNP gives wireless customers unprecedented freedom in a competitive wireless industry.
Switching carriers and keeping a wireless number is a two-carrier process and both carriers need to be prepared for the process to work. To help consumers understand local number portability and the steps involved in keeping their wireless number, Verizon Wireless offers the following tips:
- Do not cancel your existing wireless service if you are planning to change carriers. Cancelled numbers cannot be transferred to another carrier.
- Not every wireless number may be switched. Check with your new carrier to determine if your number is eligible.
- Switching a number from another wireless carrier should take from two to 24 hours, but it could take longer if information cannot be verified. Switching multiple numbers may take longer.
- When you contact a carrier, have your existing wireless phone bill handy to ensure you provide accurate data.
- Only the authorized account holder can switch a number; e.g. if the service is billed to a parent, the child cannot request the change.
- If required, carrier follow-up may increase the overall time required for completing the transaction.
- You may need to purchase a new phone when you switch carriers if your existing phone is not compatible with the new carrier's technology.
- Read your existing contract carefully. Early termination fees and other contractual requirements will apply, but should not delay the process.
- Customers who switch to Verizon Wireless may need to use both new and old handsets until the activation is complete. Until the switching process is finalized, the new phone will make, but not receive calls, while the old phone will still do both. Notably, 911 call backs by emergency personnel will be routed to the old handset.
- Customers can inquire about the status of their request by calling 1-800-2-JOIN-IN.
- Customers who wish to switch to Verizon Wireless may do so at company stores, authorized agents and retailers or by calling 1-800-256-4646.
- Beginning May 24, porting requests can also be handled online at www.verizonwireless.com.
- Business customers should contact a Verizon Wireless account executive or call 1-800-577-6820 to schedule an appointment to switch carriers.
*Landline numbers also may be switched to wireless carriers. Customers should check with their local telephone service provider to determine steps necessary for transferring a landline number.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 39 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.####