Stuck between a rock and a hard place? Old telecom provider not cooperating and the new telecom provider doesn’t have the details to process your PORT out request? Welcome to the reality of MNP. However, there is the TERM cell. Read on to find out how to have the hassles.
Mobile Number Portability is a scheme introduced by the Ministry of Telecommunications on 19th January, 2011. Under this scheme, the mobile phone users can retain their particular number while changing their service providers. You can stay with the same technology, GSM/CDMA or you can change to CDMA or vice versa. This opportunity can be used by both post paid and pre paid users.
It hardly takes seven working days to port the number from one service provider to another and that too only in Rs. 19. If you all are thinking that you can retain your number in another city, then I’m afraid MNP is still not available across sectors. You can switch to a new service provider only after 90 days from the date of issue of the mobile number.
Working of Mobile Number Portability:
Firstly, you need to send PORT with their respective mobile number to 1900. Then you will receive an alphanumeric code with an expiry date. This is the Unique Porting Code (UPC).
Secondly, you need to approach the service provider you have opted for with the UPC. The new service provider will ask for your address & ID proof/photograph/application form with that particular UPC and mobile number. This process should be completed within the expiry period of 7 days.
Thirdly, the new service provider will take the request to Mobile Portability Clearing House. Then this particular Clearing House will get the number deactivated from the existing provider and activate new one.
Fourthly, you will receive a text from the new service provider in which it would be mentioned at what date and time the phone will go through a non-service period. This is when the switching of service providers will take place. Your cell phone will be out of use for a maximum of 2 hours between 12 a.m. – 5 a.m.
How to file a complaint regarding MNP:
If you are facing problem with the Mobile Number Portability like:
- The existing service provider is not letting you change the service provider.
- The UPC sent by the existing service provider is wrong.
- Your PORT out request by the existing service provider is rejected because of “contractual obligations”.
A close watch is kept on these types of matters relating to Mobile Number Portability by the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) Cells. You can submit your complaint through email, phone call or you can individually walk up to the office and submit your complaint. You will find details of the offices of TERM Cells on http://dotosp.gov.in/OSP_files//termcellContactDetails.pdf.
A Handbook for the Consumers from the Telecom Regulator is a document in which telecom users will find all the relevant details relating to telecom problems, tariff, and new orders from the Ministry of Telecommunications.
If the customer is facing telecom problem other than Mobile Number Portability, you can file your complaint at Personal Grievance Cell (http://pgportal.gov.in/). This is an alternative site which is routed to the TERM Cell.
However, a Supreme Court’s judgment in 2009 has created a lot of confusion on whether consumers can approach District Consumer Forum for telecom disputes. See this article “The mess of telecom complaints in India: A Comprehensive Review.
File your consumer complaint here.