My son is 12 this year and for Christmas he got his first mobile phone. It's on the Meteor network as are both his parents phones. All was fine until today when we noticed he hadn't received a text we had just sent him. I tried calling from his phone and it gave an error - "No mobile network" or something like that. I tried to register on Meteor, but it would fail. So, I rang Meteor.
I gave them my son's number and the customer support representative couldn't find him on their system. So, I gave them his sim card id and she was able to locate his account.
Which was closed.
The number had been ported to Vodafone. I enquired how this was possible, since neither he - a soon to be 12 year old, nor his parents, had requested or given permission for such a port.
I was told that the number used to be a bill pay number with Meteor, but the account was cancelled. The number was recycled and given to my son. The previous owner must have requested the port, which should have failed, as his Meteor account had lapsed. She told me that my son's SIM card was no longer valid and she would send me out a new one. I then asked about transferring his original number and his credit. She could not determine his credit balance, as the account was closed, but it was around the €20 euro mark. I was told that this would be credited to his new SIM and that his original number would also be transferred.
I then hung up and started thinking about this other person getting all my sons texts and calls from his friends and family. I wasn't too happy about that. I rang Vodafone and used my sons 085 number to get into the system. I spoke to another customer representative who told me that the account was indeed on Vodafone, it was Bill pay and that the person was not myself or my son. So now a total stranger has my sons number and is getting all his texts.
I was not happy at all, so immediately rang Meteor back, looking to escalate this issue. I wanted to know how this could have happened, and what could be done. The support representative was unable to assist and told me I would have to take this issue up with Vodafone as they had the number. I nearly lost the plot at this stage, so I demanded to speak to a supervisor/manager. I was told about the standard call back policy of 24-48 hours.
So now I have to wait two days, if not more, for a call back. I was given an address to write a formal complaint to and not much else.
My main issues are really this:
1 - how did my sons number get ported without the owners permission
2 - how can I get this resolved quicker so that my sons private texts are not going to a complete stranger
3 - will my son get his number and credit back
4 - how to prevent this from happening again
Looking for any advice on how to proceed.
I would say if you are not happy with the response get on to comreg and log it with them.
I would think that your son is entitled to his number back as it was given to the previous owner in error. However, the longer that the current holder of your son's number uses that no, means that if you get this nunmer back for your son, he will get texts and calls for the current holder.
If it were me, I would call Meteor immediately and ask for an official complaint to be registered - make sure that they give you their reference number.
I would log a complaint with both Comreg and the Data Commisioner - after all, your son's information in the form of personal text messages sent to this number, are now in the possesion of a 3rd party, through Meteor's fault. You will need the Meteor complaint reference number when logging a complaint.
As best I understand the mechanics behind number porting, Meteor still control the 085 number range. When someone ports from Meteor to another network, that number is effectively flagged as "redirected", so when you ring it the call first goes to Meteor who send the connection to Vodafone.
Since this is the case, there is nothing to stop Meteor reclaiming this number.
I wouldn't accept a new number. Meteor's porting process failed to account for this scenario, this is their problem and they have to rectify it.
If Meteor refuse to give the number back, then I would definitely escalate the issue to Comreg.
Ah how the plot thickens. I rang Meteor back and requested an official complaint. Spoke to a very helpful customer representative who listened, once again, as I explained the issue. She spoke to the technical people who reckon a typo was made when Vodafone requested the port. She asked me to ring Vodafone and request a port reversal. She stayed on the line while I called Vodafone.
I rang Vodafone, entered my sons number and spoke to their representative. I asked him to do a port reversal and he said he could not as the details I provided did not match the details on the account. I had to bring a proof of ID and phone to a Vodafone store to prove the number was mine and then they would do a reversal. I asked why the same ID checks had not been used in the first place to port the number over but was given a rubbish answer.
So, now I am waiting for Meteor to email me proof that I own the number and will then have to either fax it to Vodafone or call to Vodafone store.
If the number was ported to Vodafone the error was made on Vodafones side, as the recipient Vodafone are responsible for the Data Protection check to ensure they are porting the correct number., meteor won't verify anything, they are obliged legally to release the number on the assumption the other operator has done its duty.
At this point Meteor really should be contacting Vodafone to arrange a Port reversal which will reinstate your son's account and a fine will be issued to Vodafone.
Thanks for all the replies and advice on this. Meteor said they are unable to get Vodafone to perform a reversal. As the owner of the phone number, I need to get Vodafone to perform the reversal. I'm going to head to my local Meteor store to get proof the phone is mine and then head to the nearest Vodafone store and get the port reversed. Hopefully...
As another poster above said, no harm getting COMREG involved either, the.process is supposed to be straight forward.
Hope you get this sorted.
This is exactly it, this is a Vodafone error. They did not verify the msisdn/made and error when submitting the port. A port reversal should be straight forward enough although I can envisage the fact that it's now billpay adding to complications
Vodafone won't want to upset a new customer by taking this number off them and giving it back to the op but they must and getting ComReg involved is the best way to go.
Could also be a case of the New Vodafone customer not noticing their number is incorrect aswell, "jus sayin"
Called into the Vodafone store on Patrick St in Cork. Spoke to a very helpful gentleman there who took my details. He went off and spoke to his people and came back saying the issue would be resolved within two hours - they just had to contact the bill payer to tell him his number would be changing. Rang the number an hour later and got a message saying the call couldn't be connected - which was a change from the usual Vodafone voice mail. Restarted my sons phone and it registered correctly on Meteor. Also, all the texts came in. Rang Meteor and they gave him his 20 euro credit back as well - as a good will gesture. So, at this stage, all is back to the way it was.
Thanks for the advice from everyone. Talking to Meteor and asking for the official complaint reference number is what finally started getting things moving. Once Meteor were engaged, they explained clearly how I should work with Vodafone to resolve the issue.
You should go back to Vodafone now and get €20 off them to cover the credit they wiped off the account
Im sure you'll be able to find a way to make that happen