Keeping your old cell number not always easy

August 6, 2010 7:26:52 PM PDT
More and more consumers these days are using cell phones and giving up on traditional landlines and that makes it all the more important to know that your cell phone will work.

Lots of us are shopping around for the best deal on cell phones. One problem with switching to a new carrier is notifying everybody about your new phone number, so many people bring their old phone number to their new cell phone carrier. However, one woman found out it's a lot more trouble than she'd ever imagined.

Meredith Axelrod makes her living as a singer of old American folk tunes. Jobs can be hard to come by, however, so Axelrod relies on her cell phone to receive calls from potential clients. That's why it was so troubling when suddenly nobody could reach her.

"I had no operating voicemail, no nothing. They'd call the number and get one of those messages like, 'This number is no longer in service,' which just looks bad," said Axelrod.

This happened when Axelrod switched from an old provider to MetroPCS because it offered a cheaper plan. She was told she could keep her old cell phone number so clients could still reach her. However, when Axelrod changed phone companies, the phone number didn't follow.

"I could make outgoing calls, but not receive incoming calls or text messages," said Axelrod. "The people texting me had no idea that I would never receive the messages. They could have thought I was ignoring them."

MetroPCS told her it was having problems transferring her old number onto her new phone. It promised a solution within two days, but weeks passed, then months. Axelrod went on tour in Australia and came back to find her phone didn't work at all. Still, she was getting billed for phone service, while possibly missing out on jobs.

"My housemate actually told me I should contact 7 On Your Side," said Axelrod.

7 On Your Side called MetroPCS. It looked into the case right away and within hours, her phone came to life.

"The day 7 On Your Side got involved my service got restored 100 percent. Suddenly, they had the knowhow and the technology to fix my problem immediately," said Axelrod.

Not only that, MetroPCS refunded Meredith $270. The company said, "It is our policy not to comment on specific customer situations. Customer service is a top priority for MetroPCS, and we strive to answer customer questions and resolve inquiries in a timely manner."

Now Axelrod is happily reconnected.

"I'm so grateful to have my phone right now...I think it was fantastic," said Axelrod.

Axelrod says despite the hassle, she is glad she kept her old number. Once her service was restored her calls and texts began pouring in. Best of all, she says, she is indeed saving money on her monthly bill.


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