Court: Consumers Can Keep Numbers When Making Wireless Switch

Share this content:
A federal appeals court in Washington ruled last week that consumers should be allowed to keep their phone numbers -- even their home numbers -- when they switch to wireless service or change wireless providers.

The change in the Federal Communications Commission's wireless rules, scheduled to take place Nov. 24, has alarmed telemarketers, who fear they no longer will be able to distinguish residential lines from wireless lines. Presently, cell phones are distinguishable from home telephones because they are limited to certain ranges of telephone number extensions.

In addition to causing consumer annoyance, telemarketing calls to cell phones are illegal when made using automated dialing equipment.

Verizon Wireless and the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association sued to stop the change, and in April told the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals that letting consumers keep their phone numbers will increase costs without accomplishing the FCC's goal of increased competition. The court rejected their appeal.

The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association expressed disappointment in the court's decision and said the FCC must have final rules to govern the transition in place by Labor Day or risk chaos in the wireless market.

"This decision increases the pressure on the FCC to do what they have yet to do -- define the implementation of number portability," Tom Wheeler, president/CEO of the association, said in a statement. "There are only 24 weeks between now and the portability deadline, but the basic 'how tos' have yet to be addressed."


Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above