Customers regularly ask if we can transfer their existing 1-800 number. The answer is YES! This process is actually called RespOrg. Here’s some additional information that may better explain.
RespOrg is short for Responsible Organization. Newton’s Telecom Dictionary defines RespOrgs as – “telecommunications providers that have responsibility for obtaining 800 service numbers from the Service Management System and building and maintaining customer records.” Before 1-800 number portability started in May of 1993, major telecom carriers were each responsible for their own set of 1-800 numbers: 1-800 999 XXXX was always MCI and 1-800 542 XXXX was always AT&T and so on.
Things have changed! 1-800 numbers are now owned by end-user customers, not telecom carriers. Due to the popularity of US toll-free numbers, 1-800 service was expanded to include 1-888 numbers (April 1996), 1-877 numbers (April 1998) and 1-866 numbers (later in 1998). We can expect to see 1-855 numbers when the current supply of numbers is exhausted. To address the growing complexity of 1-800 number portability, the old Bellcore (Bell Communications Research) built a 1-800 database, a Number Administration Service Center (NASC) was formed and endorsed by the FCC then transferred to a independent third party called Service Management Systems (SMS). SMS now runs the complex 1-800 number database.
Under today’s rules, the telephone company that carriers the traffic (minutes) on a specific 1-800 number cannot stop a customer from “RespOrging” – transferring responsibility for – that number to another carrier.
The RespOrg process occurs between the two carries, lending a sense of ease for the customer. The only requirement from the customer’s end needed is their billing details and authorization for the number transfer. The RespOrg process typically takes about 3-5 business days. If for any reason the number is not able to be transferred, the previous carrier will inform the new carrier within that time frame. A common reason for the inability to transfer would be “UBR” (unsatisfactory billing relationship), meaning the end user has an outstanding balance with the associated number. However, in most cases, this transfer is a seamless transfer of responsibility.
When a carrier will not release a 1-800 number, a “NASC” of the number becomes necessary. A NASC is a forced change of RespOrg ID. The new carrier submits paperwork to SMS and for a fee the number is moved without the cooperation of the current carrier. Many companies will only RespOrg and not NASC a number. CallForwarding.com – which is a member of the SMS database – will RespOrg or NASC numbers for customers.