How To Avoid Downtime When Changing Providers

The prospect of changing VoIP Providers holds a deep fear for many users. It is a legitimate fear, not an irrational phobia or fit of hysterical anxiety. We could call this fear ‘Number Phobia’.

 

Anyone who has considered a change of VoIP Provider can suffer from it. Bouts can come on suddenly, and disappear, or some may suffer from recurring episodes for many years.

 

‘Number Phobia’ is characterised by one single, overwhelming fear – the fear that your phone number might suddenly stop working. The number advertised for years, the one known by all your customers, might, one day, just stop working.

 

This phobia can be brought on by switching VoIP Providers. Some say it can even be brought on by considering switching VoIP Providers.

 

Horror stories abound of unwitting companies finding themselves missing important calls, orders being unfulfilled and clients being lost. Just by considering switching from one Provider to another.

 

There is a cure for ‘Number Phobia’ however. It is called ‘Number Porting’.

 

Number Porting allows you to transfer your number between Providers. No Provider can prevent you from moving your phone number from one Provider to another as you wish.

 

No-one can take your number from you. No-one can stop your number working, or use it as a bargaining tool to prevent you moving to another Provider.

 

Number Porting, in simple terms, means that all Providers agree to accept phone numbers from other providers if customers wish to move to them. Providers also agree to release numbers if they have a customer who wishes to move away.

 

It means customers who need no longer fear losing an existing phone number. Number Porting means an end to Number Phobia for ever!

 

If you are currently thinking of moving VoIP Providers, we have a handy Whitepaper which walks you through the process of evaluating potential VoIP Providers. Just ask and we’ll be happy to send this out.

To discuss Number Porting with us just get in touch.

 

 

 

The Top Three Concerns People Have Over Moving to VoIP

Many people are considering the move to VoIP, but as with any unknown there can be some concerns.

As a VoIP Provider dealing with the business end of the market, we recognise that not all our customers or potential customers will have the same level of knowledge or passion for the subject as ourselves.

After dealing with many customers wishing to move, but holding back due to a perceived doubt or concern, we decided to compile a list of those which have been most frequently raised.

 

Concern #1: Inability To Retain Existing Numbers

The most raised concern we hear relates to retaining existing phone numbers. People are often concerned that they will lose phone numbers which they have had for years.

Solution

Number Porting. The process termed ‘Porting’ allows numbers to be moved from any Provider to any other Provider. The process is regulated at a national level by the industry overseeing body (Ofcom).

This alleviates any concerns regarding retaining a number. The Porting process ensures that existing customer-facing numbers, or in fact any numbers the customer wishes to retain, can be moved with the minimum of effort.

The overseeing body also offers the re-assurance of having recourse should anything untoward happen.

If, for instance, the customers existing Provider should decide to cancel numbers when the contract is ceased, then the customer has the overseer on-hand to fight their corner.

 

Concern #2: Service Quality

The second most raised concern relates to service quality. To a surprisingly large number of people, VoIP relates only to a well-known proprietary system. Said system is not renowned for its quality, and this perception has overflowed (perhaps stained would be a better word) the VoIP industry in general.

Solution

Not all VoIP Providers focus on the consumer end of the market. A reputable business-grade Provider, with appropriate infrastructure and investment, can give a communications service with call quality far superior to any available previously.

 

Concern #3: 999 Emergency Access

A lot of people are worried about 999 Emergency Access. Many people are under the impression that, because VoIP means phone calls from the internet, there is no way to connect a caller or phone to a physical location.

Solution

Again, this is another concern we can easily alleviate. By choosing a reputable Provider 999 Emergency Access can be easily provided, in exactly the same way as a traditional landline. We recommend that all potential customers looking for a VoIP service ALWAYS check that this feature is available before signing up.

 

We have a handy Whitepaper which walks you through the process of evaluating potential VoIP Providers. Just ask and we’ll be happy to send this out.

To discuss any concerns you may have, just get in touch.

To see the infrastructure behind the scenes that powers SureVoIP see here.

 

 

Porting Trade Secrets

Anyone who has dealt with their office telecoms will probably have heard the phrase “Number Porting”.

 

However, unless you are a professional in the field, you may not know much about it.

 

 

This brief guide will give you some pointers.

 

However, if you are in the middle of a number transfer and need advice please get in touch.

 

Some may use the term “Transferring” or “Number Transfer”, but the subject is just the same. Number Porting is the process you

will need to undergo if you change telecoms providers, and wish to keep hold of a pre-existing number.

 

The process for changing provider generally follows five steps:

1) You decide to change your telecoms provider, and contact some for quotes

2) You decide on one supplier that you think meets your requirements and ticks all the boxes

3) You sign to their service

4) You realise you need to keep the number which you have advertised for years and is known to your customers

5) You request your new provider to 'Port' this number to your new service.

 

So far so good – your new service is up and running, and your old number is following along ready to be used.

 

Unfortunately, there are issues which can catch out the unwary.

 

As business telecoms specialists, we deal with these requests day on, day out. We have seen the pitfalls which catch customers

transferring over to ourselves, and have come up with some ingenious solutions.

 

These tips are not normally available to those outside the telecoms industry (unless you are a SureVoIP customer and have

benefited from us assisting you).

 

 

The First Trap To Avoid!

 

The first trap which can catch the unwary is having the existing number tied to their broadband contract. Did you know that if you choose to transfer a number with broadband attached, your broadband will be ceased? We have tackled this issue with customers, and have found the best way to proceed.

 

Trade Secret: Place the Porting request, and then request the internet connection is renumbered, thus allowing the number to be transferred. The existing number can shift to the new provider, and the broadband will remain active.

 

 

The Second Trap To Avoid!

 

Another potential pitfall comes from the number being ceased by your original provider. This can happen due to unscrupulous companies trying to make your life difficult because they know you are moving to a different company.

 

Trade Secret (2): We strongly advise only dealing with companies who are Ofcom regulated. In our field (VoIP) we also have the advisory body 'The Internet Telephony Service Providers' Association'. We would strongly recommend looking for their Quality Mark when checking new providers.

 

 

See here for more Porting information. If you are porting a number, or thinking about porting a number, and need specialist insider advice, feel free to contact us for a chat.

 

 

How To Move Office And Take Your Phones With You (The Easy Way)

Moving office is a stressful time. You have decorators to arrange, furniture to move, files to transfer, and all while keeping your customers happy.

VoIP users have the flexibility to take their telecoms set up wherever they go. As long as they have an internet connection, all the phones will just unplug from the old office, and plug in when in the new one. As the provider has all the details of the system (extension numbers, call routing etc) then the system will behave exactly the same in the new office as it did in the old one.

Where your phone is physically based makes no difference to the system (we like to call this a platform). After all, your LinkedIn account doesn’t care where you are – you just log-in from any internet connection. A VoIP system is just the same.

All users of a Hosted (‘Cloud-based’ is just another way of saying ‘Hosted’ by the way) VoIP service can take advantage of this. Many people change where they work on a day-to-day or even minute-by-minute basis. Need to work from home for the rest of the afternoon? Simply unplug the phone from the internet, and plug in at home (although you can use a smartphone app, or buy two phones, if you want to save the hassle of carrying a phone with you). It is this flexibility which makes VoIP so appealing when it comes to managing an office move.

If you are considering relocating your office, then moving to VoIP would be an ideal starting point. You can transfer existing numbers to your new VoIP account (termed “Porting”), and acquire new numbers with your new area code.

We assist our customers in any way we can, including assisting with the transtition to a VoIP system, and helping to move and relocate existing equipment. We have also helped by specifying, supplying and setting up new equipment. Obviously, we can only provide this level of service to customers who are physically located near us, but we are happy to offer the benefit of our experience to customers based anywhere.

To read more about SureVoIP’s experience with Porting numbers, please see our Number Porting article.

As the UK industry regulatory body, Ofcom offer their own advice on Number Porting.

Is your telecoms provider holding your number hostage?

Have you ever wanted to change telecoms provider but been unable to because they have your number hostage?

Anyone with an existing number will be rightly worried about losing a number their customers have known for years.

‘Number Porting’ is the phrase you need to remember. Under Ofcom regulations, all telecom providers must allow you to move your number to a new provider (to ‘Port’ your number). This process is lead by the gaining provider, and your old provider has to allow it.

Porting can prove useful in a number of scenarios, including:

  • To allow you to make use of the savings and increased functionality offered by a VoIP service. Keep your advertised number and move away from old-school phones and phone lines
  • Port over to a VoIP provider and keep your existing number, even if you move geographical area. BT will not allow you to retain your number if you move from your current exchange. Porting to VoIP will allow you to move wherever you want (down the road, working from the pub, the Bahamas, anywhere!)
  • Switching telecoms providers – take your number with you if you switch providers but need to keep an existing advertised number
  • Larger organisations looking to consolidate resources – moving communications to a central office but keeping contact details for pre-existing regional depots
  • Elderly parents going into a Care Home – all their friends and family will be able to reach them on the number they have had for years.

For more info on Porting generally, please see our website pages:

http://www.surevoip.co.uk/products/number-porting

and

http://www.surevoip.co.uk/help-support/faq#n78

As the UK industry regulatory body, Ofcom oversee all porting regulations. Their website gives advice on the process. For further information, please see:

http://ask.ofcom.org.uk/help/telephone/switching_provider

and

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/telecoms/numbering/guidance-tele-no/number-portability-info/

Black Friday – Free Number Porting and 10% off all orders

SureVoIP is joining in on a popular one-off yearly event in the UK called Black Friday. This is traditionally a US event, but has proven a success over here.

Therefore, on Friday 27th November 9am – 5.30pm, any number porting orders placed will be free of charge. Also, any new orders for our products and services or hardware will receive 10% off.

Enjoy!

Free number porting for anyone experiencing issues with other VoIP Providers

For this week only (ending Friday 24th August at 5.30pm) we are offering free number porting for any customers, resellers or partners that are experiencing issues with other VoIP Providers and wish to move to SureVoIP.

We don’t want VoIP to get a bad name!

This is extremely valuable if you are looking to become a SureVoIP partner or reseller in order to restore faith to your customer base.

If this is of interest then please contact us.

Thanks.