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What you need to know about Jamaican number portability

Published:Monday | July 13, 2015 | 7:00 AM

If you are among the many persons contemplating porting your telephone number, here are a few facts that you need to keep in mind as you decide.

Is my former service provider allowed to try to dissuade me after I've decided to switch?

No. Your former service provider is barred from contacting you with the intention or effect of encouraging you to return to them for re-sign up for their fixed or mobile telephone services after they have been notified of your porting request and for a period of 90 days following the completion of the porting process. However, your former service provider can contact you to recover outstanding payments.

What about voice mail, email, or other services that I have currently?

You will lose your old voice mail, including messages and ancillary services. You will need to set these up again with your new service provider.

What about refundable fees I would have paid to my initial provider? Will I lose them? Will I be able to transfer them? How soon would my previous service provider be required to refund those moneys to me?

You should examine carefully the provisions regarding termination of your service. Terminating a contract and porting your number should not be treated any differently than ending your contract without portability. Number portability is not a reason for your previous service provider to fail to honour its contractual obligations. All contractual arrangements with your previous service provider are based on your service contract.

Who do I contact if I have a problem with porting?

If there is any problem while porting, or for any other query during or after the porting process, you should contact your new service provider, who will coordinate the complaints process. This should be done even though the problem may not have been caused by that provider.

Will any unused pre-paid call credit from my old provider be transferred to my new provider so that I may use it up?

No. Unused call credit will be lost at the time of porting your pre-paid fixed or mobile number.

How will I know my final bill so that I may pay it and ensure that my porting request will not be refused?

Ask your current service provider for a statement of all your charges to the current date.

After I have submitted my request to port my number, can I continue to use the service of my existing provider?

Yes, but this could prevent you from porting if the charges incurred during this period are more than your deposit.

Does having a credit advance/loan product with my provider prevent me from porting my mobile number?

No.

Do I need a new SIM from my new service provider?

Yes. Your new service provider will issue a new SIM.

Do I need new instruments for fixed or mobile when I decide to port my number?

It depends. A device may be:

n Locked to an operator's network, or

- Dual banded, which may not work on the new service provider's network. Check with your recipient service provider.

Where can I get more information about number portability?

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has information on its website at www.our.org.jm. You may also visit the website of any service provider for information on number portability.

Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR):

3rd Floor, PCJ Resource Centre

36 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10

Telephone: (876)968-6053 or 1-888-2255-687

Email: consumer@our.org.jm

Website: www.our.org.jm

Service providers' website links:

Digicel: www.Digiceljamaica.com

LIME: www.lime.com/jm

FLOW: www.discoverflow.co/jamaica

IslandNet Jamaica Ltd:

www.islandnetjm.com

- Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson is director, consumer and public affairs, at the Office of Utilities Regulation. She chairs the Number Portability Working Group Sub-committee on Public Awareness.