What is a RespOrg? Learn about RespOrg, the purpose of RespOrg, and much more.

What is RespOrg?

Phone number porting is where a number is transferred from one telecom provider to another.

Responsible Organizations, or RespOrgs, control and maintain toll free numbers. To become a RespOrg, businesses must go through a certification process to be allowed access to the 800 number database. RespOrgs can check number availability and reserve numbers for customers. Meaning, if you own a toll free number, you also have a respective RespOrg.

Before 1993, telecom carriers were responsible for their own set of toll free numbers. In today's telecom, toll free numbers belong to customers, not their telecom company. If you choose to port a toll-free number to a new service provider, your current carrier must authorize releasing the number to your new carrier’s RespOrg.

When you port your toll free number, you’ll need to submit a Letter of Authorization with service address information that matches what your carrier has on file, and your new carrier will work with your old carrier to ensure the transfer is processed correctly.

How do RespOrgs work?

Let’s say you own a business and you decide it would be a good idea to have a toll-free number for your customers to call. The first thing you would need to do is find a company that provides toll-free numbers. Finding a company and having a number assigned to your business can be a fairly simple and quick process. However, it helps to know some of the details of what is happening behind the scenes – primarily the RespOrg process.

The company you approach could be a big corporate entity or a smaller independent provider of toll-free numbers. According to SMS800, there are approximately 400 RespOrg providers. Since portability commenced in the early 1990’s, the market for RespOrg has grown exponentially. Unfortunately, the rise of the internet has increased this growth yet again and given birth to many fly-by-night RespOrgs that can look very slick online but have very little substance when it comes to delivering service.

How to change RespOrgs

To change carriers with a toll-free number registered with a RespOrg, you must send the new carrier a Letter of Authorization (LOA) signed by an authorized representative of your company. This will allow your new toll free carrier to work with your old carrier to have your number released and ported to your new independent or carrier reseller organization.

How fast are RespOrg?

After submitting the RespOrg form, it usually takes anywhere from 5 to 30 business days for a toll-free number to transfer to a new provider, depending on the type of toll free number.

How to find the RespOrg for a toll free number

RespOrgs are certified by Somos, Inc., administrator of the toll-free number database. You can contact any RespOrg if you want to obtain a toll-free number. If you need help locating a RespOrg, visit

Who is my RespOrg?

You may be charged a porting fee by some companies, but you can negotiate to try to waive any fees. If you request service with a new provider, the old provider cannot refuse your request regardless of whether you owe a balance or termination fee.

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