KPRC 2 investigating surprise phone number change
CYPRESS, Texas – These days, wherever you go, you can take your phone number with you, even if you change your phone company. It’s quite common and it’s an easy way to keep in touch with old contacts. That’s why a Cypress man was shocked when his phone company disconnected his number and reassigned it to someone else. The number is essential for his business. He called our KPRC 2 Investigates team for assistance.
An important business phone number suddenly disappeared
Sam Ghalichi has had the same phone for 26 years! It was a landline that he used as his work number and when he no longer needed a physical office or landline, AT&T let him port that number to his personal cell phone for a fee. monthly. That’s why he was shocked to learn that his number was disconnected.
Ghalichi didn’t realize the number was disconnected until his work accounts stopped calling. Then he called the number to verify and this is what he heard:
“We’re sorry. You have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service.
The recording was odd for Ghalichi because AT&T was still charging him $28.44 a month to forward his work calls to his cell phone.
“What happened? What happened to my number?” Ghalichi said.
Loss of number linked to the shutdown of 3G
That’s what he and his wife asked AT&T. Representatives told them that AT&T disconnected the number in May when it shut down its 3G network. All rows that had not been upgraded before this date were rolled back. This is a huge problem for his business.
“If I lose it, I no longer have any contact with my clients. I never call my clients. They call me,” he explained.
Ghalichi was willing to pay to get his number back, so an AT&T rep told him they could make it happen. First, AT&T told the couple that if they switched their internet, cable, and cellular service to AT&T, they could get the old number back. Then they told them they needed their old Southwestern Bell account number associated with the phone number. They found a Southwestern Bell invoice from 1996.
But then they were asked to go to a physical AT&T store. After all that, AT&T told him that he had already reassigned his number to someone to use as MIFI or internet service.
“It just doesn’t make sense. They took my number, gave it to someone,” Ghalichi said.
When we contacted AT&T, within 48 hours the company gave Ghalichi back his landline number. He can therefore resume his activities and ensure that his customers can call him.
AT&T gave warnings to customers ahead of 3G changes
An AT&T spokesperson told me that the company had contacted Ghalichi and all customers for about two years, by mail, email and text, to inform them of the 3G changes and offer new free devices that would work. once the 3G network is installed. close. Ghalichi said he never received them.
If you have a ported or ported number, you can call that number to make sure it’s still working. AT&T lays out 3G Switch FAQs here.
“We are working to resolve Ms Ghalichi’s issues and are doing our best to get her number back. However, his account with us was canceled as the line was not upgraded before our 3G network shut down earlier this year. We’ve reached out to this customer, and all customers, for the better part of two years – sending numerous communications via direct mail, billing messaging, emails and text messages to help them get up to speed, including by offering them new free devices. Unfortunately, Ms. Ghalichi did not improve her service.
AT&T sent this additional information:
“When an account is cancelled, if a customer does not contact us within 60 days, the number will be reissued to another customer. Unfortunately, the customer did not contact us within that 60 day period.
Like others in the industry, we have terminated 3G service so that we can redeploy underutilized and less efficient 3G spectrum to provide our customers with enhanced next-generation technologies and services.
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