Fax Number Porting

Many online fax customers find themselves needing to port a number in or out when they change to a new service. Here’s a look at how that works, how much it can cost, and what to expect from different companies.

Porting In

You can set up number porting as you sign up for a new service. It’s worth doing a little research to see which online fax services offer number porting so you don’t end up with an unpleasant surprise. Here are a few services that will allow you to port your number into their service:

The costs to port a number vary; some services offer it for free, and some charge for the service. Prices for number porting range from $15 to $25. Click here for a list of which services charge for number porting and which ones offer it for free.

Depending on the provider, you might be able to sign up with a free trial, or go directly to whichever plan you’ve selected. Either way, you’ll be asked to provide your payment and contact information to get started. Once you’re signed up, you should contact customer support to start the process of porting your existing fax number, either by phone, email, or a chat. Many services will initiate the offer of a chat to answer questions during the signup process.

Let the provider know that you want to port your existing fax number into the service. The representative will request your number and will verify that it is portable before setting up the porting. Usually, in order to port an existing number into a service, you must first verify that the number is eligible for transfer, and that transferring the number won’t affect other services or contractual agreements you have with your current provider. You should always double check this by contacting your current provider as well. Some tools that “verify” your number’s portablity do not take the contractual agreements into consideration (eg: eFax’s numbers aren’t portable as specified by their terms of use, but these tools often claim the are).

You might be asked to fill out a request form, but the new provider will handle the actual transfer. The process may take up to a few days – some services say it can take up to 10 days – after which time you’ll be notified that the porting is complete. And then you’ll be up and running!

Porting Out

If you’re porting a number out of a service – provided that service allows it – your new service provider will handle the transfer. You should keep the old account active in order to complete the port to a new provider.

Generally, if you’ve ported a number into a service, you own it and the company has to let you port it out. However, while the Number Portability Act allows customers to take their existing numbers with them, it doesn’t always apply to online fax providers, since those providers don’t qualify as “local exchange carriers.”

Some services, including eFax and other j2 Global companies, will not allow you to port a number out, unless it’s a number that you ported into their service. If it’s a number eFax assigned you, they technically own it, and you could be subject to a $500 penalty if you try to port it to another provider.

Other services, including RingCentral and Nextiva, will allow you to port out the number that you purchased from them.

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