Porting Your Number Into MagicJack…
First, a word of advice. Don't port your number into magicJack until you've tested the service and you like what you've seen. It could be a nightmare to lose control of a landline number you've had for your house or your business for many years!
Once you're favorably impressed with magicJack to make phone calls, you may decide it's time to cut the line to your old phone company. This shouldn't be a huge step at this point, assuming you've already put magicJack through its paces with no major hick-ups. Actually porting your number to magicJack is relatively simple, and the rewards begin to pile up immediately after you pay your last telephone bill.
First, however, you need to make sure magicJack will accept your number. Go to magicJack's home page and put your phone number into the “Keep Your Number” section on the right side of that page. It appears either Canadian or US numbers can be ported, provided your existing phone company will allow the port. Good to go? Read on.
Starting the Porting Process
The first step in porting your number is to login to your account, hover over the “Phone Numbers” tab, and select “Transfer” from the drop down list. On the screen that turns up next, click on the “Port to Device” button next to the device where you'd like to assign the device and click “Next”. Note that the next screen indicates there is a one time charge of $19.95 to port your number. If you are porting a Canadian number, it costs an additional $10 per year to keep that number with magicJack.
Is Porting Worthwhile?
Bottom line: you have to ask yourself if you want the extra bit of hassle and expense to keep your old number, versus getting a new unpublished number that is (for the moment) unknown to telemarketers. A new number from magicJack remains unpublished at no cost to you. In fact, there's no easy way to get your magicJack number published. Take note if you intend to use magicJack for a new small business – your customers will not be able to find you using directory assistance!
If you feel the fee is acceptable, click on the green “I understand and would like to change my number” to initiate the porting process. Note that it takes about 10 business days to complete, so schedule accordingly. Canadian numbers may take a while longer. While your phone number is being ported, your old phone company will continue to provide service, but it might be wise to keep a cell phone handy while the porting process is underway. Normally the porting process is entirely invisible. One phone call is handled by your old provider, and the next time the phone rings magicJack is handling the call. All you have to do is ensure your magicJack is registered and plugged in!
Note that the process is handled entirely by the ‘destination' phone company (in this case, by magicJack), so your current phone provider doesn't need to be part of the process – in fact, magicJack says you “should not contact your phone carrier to disconnect the service“. Just wait patiently.
… and Porting Your Number Out of MagicJack
There is another side to this coin. You may want to port your number from the magicJack system to another phone company at some point in time. The magicJack FAQ indicates that “… requests should be initiated by your new service provider, who will coordinate the transfer”.
In days gone by, magicJack charged their customers to port their number to another phone company. Note that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) says that “your old company may not refuse to port your number, even if you owe money for an outstanding balance or termination fee” [Emphasis: FCC website]. Read through the FCC page yourself and determine how you'd like to proceed if magicJack indicates a fee is involved. The good folks at phoneservicesupport.com seem to feel payment isn't necessary (see their forum posting on the matter).
Good luck, and welcome the the world of VoIP phone companies.
Questions or Comments?
Do you have a question or comment about porting your number into (or out of) magicJakck? Drop a note in the comment box below and put it out there for all to see! You may find the answer you're looking for – or perhaps you'll hear from another sympathetic user.