In the world of telecommunication, competitors are always trying to create new means and ways to convince customers that what they have to offer is better than the other. We have seen this with the ads shown locally from telecommunication providers FLOW and Digicel who are encouraging customers to make the switch. The process involves having their numbers ported but now there are reports of phone numbers allegedly being ported without customers’ permission.
It is something that happened to Bible worker, John Martin who says his phone was ported without his knowledge, after being approached by a representative from one of the companies who handed him a Sim card and asked for his phone.
“In me talking with her and she having my phone the next question was asked, ‘what’s your number?’ and it is like I’m being deceived,” shared Martin. “So, I told her my number and as I told her my number I realised that she was on the phone but I did not pay it any mind. After she handed me back the phone I asked how will this chip work because it doesn’t have a number she said when I go home two hour time this will work so I said oh not knowing that my phone was ported.”
Martin says the realization came when he stopped receiving calls and messages and the provider changed.
“When I went home, I noticed the phone was not ringing so when I checked the phone I realised it said porting.”
A visit was made to one of the mobile stores to have the matter addressed but according to Martin, the information given was not helpful.
“When my phone was changed it was as if I lost a great deal. I had so much information in my phone. Luckily all my numbers was saved to my phone. Other than that everything would have been wiped,” he said. “In speaking to the company they were telling me three months before my phone went back. I said hell no you are going to get my phone up and running back because I didn’t ask you to change my number.”
Under the Telecommunication act, providers can offer number portability but doing so without a customer’s knowledge might lead to legal concerns and questions about ethics. The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has confirmed that it has received complaints on numbers being ported without customer’s permission and is carrying out investigations.