How Messy Will The First Switch Day Be?

There have been a bunch of articles talking about what an awful process switching carriers will be once local number portability goes into effect on November 24th. Most of these we’ve dismissed as being propaganda from carriers who don’t want to deal with the inevitable. In some cases, it even seems like carriers are purposely setting up the switch process to make it as consumer unfriendly as possible. However, for some customers the switch will be rocky. In some cases, there will be bugs and in others it’s going to be foot dragging on the part of the carriers. Of course, the foot dragging is likely to backfire, as most consumers will blame their old carrier – and certainly won’t have any interest in ever switching back. I think that many users are going to find that they’re just as disappointed by their new service provider once they move over, and if old carriers don’t burn their bridges in letting people go, they might be able to win them back. In the meantime, I’ve already received a phone call from my carrier offering to cut the price of my service drastically in exchange for re-upping for another year. They were clearly told to offer whatever was necessary, because for each question I asked (all just trying to gather the details of the offer) the guy would make the offer even better by dropping something else. For example, I asked about the price of my data service and he said “Oh, data. That should stay the same. Oh, no, here, why don’t I cut that in half for you?” While I don’t mind lower fees, I’d probably prefer better service. In the meantime, the article also points out something that many people haven’t mentioned: the November 24th deadline is apparently only if you live in one of 100 metropolitan areas. Others may have to wait until the middle of next year to have number portability.

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