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switching a number (different exchanges)

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎14-09-2018

switching a number (different exchanges)

So, I just wondered if Plusnet could assist in any way. 

My mother of 88 has had to move into sheltered accommodation, as she has dementia, and I've been told she cant keep her number, because its a different exchange (but its only a 15 minute drive!!). She on the wirral, and apparently theres no redirect  service for landlines. Can I push this request back anyway. her old number was cancelled a week ago, today, and her number came on line Wednesday,  and I was notified today, they couldn't move the number today ? 

I would like her to keep her number, as we're unware who calls her, and who would have her number. I appreciate they can have technical issues, but I'm able to port my mobile number between mobile providers

any help would be great 


Plusnet Help Team
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Re: switching a number (different exchanges)

Hi @etrautenbach.


I am really sorry but I'm afraid that as the new address is connected to another exchange, we cannot transfer the number.


I'm sorry for the inconvenience this may cause and appreciate that it may only 15 minutes away but regardless of distance, if it is connected to another exchange it would not be possible to keep the number.

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 Lauren Barry
 Plusnet Help Team
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Re: switching a number (different exchanges)

Don't think you will get anywhere with this, if it's a different exchange you will get numbers allocated to that exchange. Mobile numbers are a completely different situation and can be ported.

Seasoned Hero
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Re: switching a number (different exchanges)

@etrautenbach wrote:

...because its a different exchange (but its only a 15 minute drive!!).

Depending on the population density, it's possible in some areas to drive from one exchange area to another, traversing a third.

I can appreciate your concerns, but it's a fact of life that exchange areas are, figuratively, set in stone.

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Re: switching a number (different exchanges)

The only way you could have achieved this would be to port the number to VoIP (which would then allow her number to be used wherever she was in the world).  Then at the new accommodation you set up a VoIP telephone adaptor to connect her old familiar phone to the broadband router.


I believe to achieve this you would have had to:

a) Order a new broadband service at the new address

b) Arrange for the number to be ported to VoIP which would have ceased the original line

c) Configured the VoIP adaptor on the new broadband service 

Now the number has been released back to BT I suspect you might struggle to get it back.  It might be worth ringing a VoIP provider such as Voipfone and asking if they can get back a released number and provide a service.  I suggest you do it quickly as I believe the numbers are in quarantine for a while, but after that they can be recycled/given to a new customer. 


You may also want to check if any 'living aid' type devices she may have are compatible with VoIP lines - as I know some emergency call devices aren't.

Community Veteran
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Re: switching a number (different exchanges)

I don't think it is possible, as has been said I'm afraid.

A friend of mine told me you can only transfer landline numbers if you are connected to the same exchange and that is obviously out of your control really.

Where I live there are two exchanges - I know where they are as I have been past them. They are about the same distance apart I think. The one I am not connected to would give me a London 020 8 number, but the one I am connected to gives me a Dartford 01322 number.

I am right on the border as you don't have to travel far to see the 020 8 numbers, especially on shop signs locally, etc.

Community Gaffer
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Re: switching a number (different exchanges)

Hi Carl.

If a VoIP provider isn't able to use a ceased number, I'd be happy with temporarily making the number active by restarting the phone line at their old address which should happen within 1 working day.

From there a VoIP provider should be able to export the number to their network, automatically ceasing the phone line.

Please let me know if you'd like to go ahead.



This is assuming the number hasn't already been picked up by another provider at another address. There's also a time limit, I believe after a few months, system records won't show a recently used line, so this option won't be possible if that happens. @Darkfire has kindly corrected me. There’s no time limit per se, but if the line we had active at their old address is used to connect a service up to that same address or another property, then the record of the recently used line won’t be available.


Hope this helps though.

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Anoush Mortazavi
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Re: switching a number (different exchanges)

@Gandalf that is a really nice gesture - I can't imagine many CP's would go the extra mile and make a offer like this.


@etrautenbach - I run VoIP at home, feel free to send me a Private Message and I can talk you through what you need to setup VoIP if you want.