I recently ported a VZW device number to www.numberbarn.com to hold a number for an adult child who is studying abroad for 9 months. The carrier will house a number for $2.00/mo rather than the VZW best offer to provide a 50% discount costing $10/mo for a suspended line. Over 9 months that is a cost savings of $127 (Numberbarn charges a $5 port fee - Verizon will require $30 to reconnect).
I received successful confirmation from the new carrier that the VZW number was ported. I tested it. Yes, it was ported. I accessed the new carrier portal and tracked call activity. I then called VZW customer support on 12/6 and requested removing the device and number from my account. I reported that successful confirmation of porting to the new carrier. I was told that the porting process would take additional time and that I should call the porting department myself. I requested that billing be suspended for services no longer being provided and reiterated that the line had been successfully ported.
Six days later, I reviewed my VZW account to find the device still connected to my account. I called Customer Service and was told that I could not remove the number until the end of the billing cycle, that VZW still "owned" the number, and that if the number was disconnected it would be lost. The CSR did connect me directly to the Porting department. The Porting rep was extremely gracious and immediately confirmed that the number had been successfully ported 6 days earlier - when the new carrier confirmed by email. The porting rep reported she cannot make billing adjustments but offered to reconnect me with the billing department and share my request to make a retro adjustment to the porting date.
The subsequent CSR was apologetic and not only adjusted the account to the porting date but extended an additional billing adjustment and offered to document a request to waive a reconnect fee when my daughter returns to the States.
I do offer kudos for a good recovery with a clear effort to address a dissatisfied customer. The Porting Department personnel were extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and willing to provide clear information as well as advocate for addressing billing concerns. The subsequent CSR went above the requested adjustment to extend a billing adjustment given the undesired experience.
However, a resolution required two calls and consistent misinformation from 2 CSR's about the timeline to remove a device from an account. CSRs do not appear to have available to them a successful porting date. The report that I would have to wait until the end of a billing cycle to remove the number is clearly protecting VZW's financial interests and not mine as a consumer. I don't know if this was CSR misinformation, a failure to follow protocol, or a broad practice that requires persistence to overcome.
In any regard, for those porting out, do call the Porting department at 877-567-4899 to obtain first hand confirmation of the port date rather than rely on CSR's to provide the porting date. Also request support to remove charges subsequent to the port date.
I am sharing my experience for the benefit of other VZW consumers and perhaps an internal review to determine appropriate porting policy and CSR education.