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Sharing my experience porting Eleven year old number from T-Mobile to Straight Talk.
My number originated in Chicago IL and have been carrying with me via different provider across US Cities.
When I bought Straight Talk phone I was told that number porting is easy and take 2-48 hours.

The challenge started when I initiated porting my number (Chicago IL) to Seattle WA location.
I was told that, if I want to keep the number I need to be in Chicago to enable programming on the phone.
However once the number is programmed I can change zip code across any city.

Essentially, its neither practical to go Chicago nor loosing eleven year old number to use Straight Talk.
I finally dropped out of Straight Talk and in the process of returning their equipment.
Straight Talk rep were very cooperative during the process.
They do know this limitation and cant do anything about it.

I appreciate if anyone have success story in similar cases.
Until Straight Talk fix this limitations I hope my post would save time and efforts of fellow members.

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callMeAmit said:   I was told that, if I want to keep the number I need to be in Chicago to enable programming on the phoneDo they mean that your phone needs to be Powered On and in the Chicago area?

If this is true, ST provisioning is in the dark ages compared to everyone else. I have ported at least 5 numbers in the last year and never even had the phone Powered On for any of the ports.

why not port the # to google voice for $20? then one you get some number assigned to your ST phone, install the google voice app and continue using your old #.

Alcibiades said:   callMeAmit said:   I was told that, if I want to keep the number I need to be in Chicago to enable programming on the phoneDo they mean that your phone needs to be Powered On and in the Chicago area?

If this is true, ST provisioning is in the dark ages compared to everyone else. I have ported at least 5 numbers in the last year and never even had the phone Powered On for any of the ports.


Yes, they want me to Power On and Off in Chicago area.

I used to activate Tracfones all over the place, but last year I tried to activate one in Beverly Hills from Michigan, and it wouldn't activate over the air, so I called in and activated manually, but the phone never worked. I was never sure if it was a defective phone or a security measure where the phone had to be initially linked to a tower in the registered zip code, but customer service told me the problem was the phone wasn't physically located in the activation zip code.

Your experience was completely different from mine. While my Dad was visiting me, I helped him port from Sprint to Straight Talk. He lives 1600 miles away and his phone number is from an area code in his home state. But while he was here I was able to buy him a Straight Talk phone, initiate the port request, have it complete, and have him use his new phone with his old number, all before he went home.

I know Straight Talk uses several underlying carriers, so maybe this varies based on which actual carrier you're porting to? In his case, he bought a Straight Talk Android phone that works on the Sprint network, so there was no actual "port" because the number was already with Sprint. Maybe that's why it worked?

Squeezer99 said:   why not port the # to google voice for $20? then one you get some number assigned to your ST phone, install the google voice app and continue using your old #.

I tried porting over a number from T-Mobile to Google Voice, paid the $20 and had an error that the provider had not ported over the number, as there is no live person at Google Voice my number is stuck in limbo as far as the Google Voice software is concerned.

crhptic said:   Your experience was completely different from mine. While my Dad was visiting me, I helped him port from Sprint to Straight Talk. He lives 1600 miles away and his phone number is from an area code in his home state. But while he was here I was able to buy him a Straight Talk phone, initiate the port request, have it complete, and have him use his new phone with his old number, all before he went home.

I know Straight Talk uses several underlying carriers, so maybe this varies based on which actual carrier you're porting to? In his case, he bought a Straight Talk Android phone that works on the Sprint network, so there was no actual "port" because the number was already with Sprint. Maybe that's why it worked?


Did the same thing for my wife's cell, only she went from TM to ST. No problems, no delay and not in original area. CSR roulette, anyone? OP, try again.

The reps on their Facebook page are better able to solve problems like this. They did for me. You must "like" them and then post on their page that you have having a problem.

Been with ST for 2 years or so. Over that time my wife has had her phone stolen and lost a couple times. We are doing the BYOD with the Nokia E71. Long story short we always have trouble activating the cheap dumb phones as our phone numbers are no longer local to where we live. We get the same story as you each time. The Nokia however, never has any issue activating out of area. I do not think it has anything to do with the CS rep but more to do with the dumb phone. Just my experience and 2 cents worth.

Why is this in Finance?

No clue why it's in finance.. but here's a warning about Google Voice.
You wont be able to send any MMS with Google Voice.. and you'll only receive MMS on your Google Voice number if it's sent from a Sprint phone.

cherry3m said:   Why is this in Finance?

because off-topic was full?

If I port a number from T-MO INTO ST how long do I have to wait to port it back out into T-MO? I thought I read they (or T-MO) have some sort of minimum time before porting out and back in.

Squeezer99 said:   why not port the # to google voice for $20? then one you get some number assigned to your ST phone, install the google voice app and continue using your old #. Only problem with that is you can't do MMS messages from Google Voice (unless it has recently changed) and that can be confusing for people contacting you having to deal with 2 different numbers for texts vs MMS..

MisterEd said:   If I port a number from T-MO INTO ST how long do I have to wait to port it back out into T-MO? I thought I read they (or T-MO) have some sort of minimum time before porting out and back in.

T-Mobile said that I was still within reasonable time frame to port back without any charges. I am not certain about actual time limit. They had to re-activate my SIM card and then port number back. It took around 15 hours to complete reporting process.
I would suggest not to wait once you decide to port back.

MisterEd said:   Squeezer99 said:   why not port the # to google voice for $20? then one you get some number assigned to your ST phone, install the google voice app and continue using your old #. Only problem with that is you can't do MMS messages from Google Voice (unless it has recently changed) and that can be confusing for people contacting you having to deal with 2 different numbers for texts vs MMS..We use google voice exclusively and we don't do MMS because that would give out your actual cell number. My son says he can send MMS with google voice using Talkatone.

I just ported 4 numbers from ATT to ST with absolutely no problems. Did all the transactions online at the ST site and everything was ported within two hours. Very satisfied with the process, the price and the service at ST.

jimates said:   MisterEd said:   Squeezer99 said:   why not port the # to google voice for $20? then one you get some number assigned to your ST phone, install the google voice app and continue using your old #. Only problem with that is you can't do MMS messages from Google Voice (unless it has recently changed) and that can be confusing for people contacting you having to deal with 2 different numbers for texts vs MMS..We use google voice exclusively and we don't do MMS because that would give out your actual cell number. My son says he can send MMS with google voice using Talkatone. Not sure how he can do that since GV doesn't support MMS in any way/shape or form. That's well documented. All Talkatone is is a VOIP service and has nothing to do with GV or MMS.

callMeAmit said:   MisterEd said:   If I port a number from T-MO INTO ST how long do I have to wait to port it back out into T-MO? I thought I read they (or T-MO) have some sort of minimum time before porting out and back in.

T-Mobile said that I was still within reasonable time frame to port back without any charges. I am not certain about actual time limit. They had to re-activate my SIM card and then port number back. It took around 15 hours to complete reporting process.
I would suggest not to wait once you decide to port back.


Well, my intent was as follows (for my wife's phone):

1)Port out of T-Mo prepaid (which I really like) to ST or any other prepaid service to "park" her number.
2)Start a new T-Mo account with the prepaid unlimited (5gig) data, unlimited text and 100 mins talk for $30 (which I have on my phone) which costs me ~$27/mo after discounts.
3)Port her number BACK to T-Mo so she can keep it on that new plan since you can only have that new plan as a new signup. They won't upgrade/change an existing plan to that one.

My concern is porting the number out of T-Mo then within 30 days porting it back to the new account on T-Mo if there would be any problem. The fees (if any) wouldn't bother me. I just don't want to lose her number.

MisterEd said:   jimates said:   MisterEd said:   Squeezer99 said:   why not port the # to google voice for $20? then one you get some number assigned to your ST phone, install the google voice app and continue using your old #. Only problem with that is you can't do MMS messages from Google Voice (unless it has recently changed) and that can be confusing for people contacting you having to deal with 2 different numbers for texts vs MMS..We use google voice exclusively and we don't do MMS because that would give out your actual cell number. My son says he can send MMS with google voice using Talkatone. Not sure how he can do that since GV doesn't support MMS in any way/shape or form. That's well documented. All Talkatone is is a VOIP service and has nothing to do with GV or MMS.

I use Talkatone with Google Voice to text from my iPad when I don't want people on Craigslist to have my cell number.



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