netTALK Appears To Be Refusing To Port Phone Numbers Out Of Their Service

Over the last year and a half or so, I’ve been tracking an issue where netTALK seems unable or unwilling to release phone numbers to be ported to another service. Over the weekend, I had someone by the name of Laura Vogel reach out to me on Twitter:

I reached out to her and she sent over some communications between her and netTALK. I have to admit that I’ve seen some bad and brutal customer service, but this is the worst that I have ever seen. Based on the emails that I read, netTALK goes long periods of time without responding to queries. And it seems that she had to complain to the FCC to get any response.

The problem is that she seems not to be alone. A quick perusal of Twitter shows that this problem has existed for at least a year a half. Here are some examples:

Now why would they be basically holding phone numbers hostage? Well, I think that this highlights something that I said here. netTALK has never, ever made money. Thus you could make an argument that they’re trying to lock their customers into their service by holding their numbers hostage. After all, your phone number is often part of your identity. So if you can’t port your number off their service, you keep paying them. If that’s true, that’s pretty cynical. There may be other reasons behind this as well, but when I reached out to netTALK on Twitter to find out what their side of the story is, they chose not to respond. I think that tells you all you need to know about netTALK.

Here’s the bottom line. There’s a reason why netTALK is one of two companies that I pulled my recommendation of their products in the history of this blog. In short, this company doesn’t pass the smell test. The fact that they aren’t letting people port their numbers off their service should be a major red flag for anyone thinking of doing business with them. Now, if you’re one of the people that are in this situation, I would recommend filing an FCC complaint if you’re in the US, or a complaint with the CRTC if you are in Canada. Why go this route? It’s simple. netTALK doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and deserves to have a very uncomfortable light shown on their behavior.

I will continue to follow this story and report on any developments.

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