Porting from Cingular to Verizon

Exactly how long does it take to port a cell phone number from one carrier to another?

After two and a half years, I finally decided to get a new cell phone, the Motorola 815 from Verizon. I ordered it from Amazon and it arrived on Tuesday night. Now it’s Friday afternoon and my old number, from a Cingular phone, still hasn’t ported. The guy on the customer service line said it would take one to five days, perhaps as many as 10 days. And it’s only been 2.5 days. But I’m impatient.

Actually, the first person I spoke to at Verizon customer service – who sounded like a young overweight southern woman with marshmallows in her mouth – put me on hold five times. Five times she’d come back on the line. “Sir?” she’d say. “Yes?” I’d say expectantly. “I apologize, I’m still working on the transfer,” she’d say. “Okay,” I’d say politely, feeling just the tiniest bit more annoyed each time.

The fifth time she told me they were having a problem, and that they would have to send me a letter which I would have to sign and mail back to them before my number could be ported. After some assertive skepticism on my part, I asked if there was someone else I could talk to. There was a short delay and the aforementioned guy came on the line. He told me that they’d sorted things out on their end but that I had to wait to get permission from Cingular, which would take one to five-or-ten days. I asked if I still had to sign a letter. He told me probably not, but that if I got one in the mail I should probably sign it and send it back anyway.

So for the time being, I’m carrying around two cell phones. Annoying.

At least I finally have a camera phone.