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Cloud Voice Express - unable to retain 50+ year BT telephone number


Hi there,


Long story short as nearly all of my dealings with BT are convoluted and painful but I have recently cancelled my order for Full Fibre 900/DV service with BT Residential as they were unable to offer the static IP address they promised half-a-dozen times when I placed my order and have since ordered Full Fibre 900 and Cloud Voice Express with BT Business and my install is due in 10 days.


However I have been unable to retain my telephone number of 50+ years that has been in this same house since I was a child - I am 62 now.


I have been given various reasons that seem to change depending on wind direction and whether I talk to (R)Residential or (B)Business and range from;


No problem - it can be ported across (R)

We can port your telephone number across (B)

It's in a normal PSTN pool (R&B)

It's in an ISDN pool (B)

You should be able to retain your number (R)

You can't retain your number (B)

We can't do anything - you need to talk to Business (R)

We can't do anything - you need to talk to Residential (B)


etc. etc...I'm sure you get the idea.


I find it staggering in this day & age of technology and telephone numbers following you around wherever you go in the country that this particular number (it's nothing special but it's MY number and is still live on the copper network) cannot be ported from BT Residential to BT Business for some unknown and possibly illogical reason.


I have requested that someone from either side of the BT family please give me the reason it can't be done but of course they can't/won't and how could they if they don't even know the reason themselves?


On what was my 4th telephone conversation about this today Business done some top line checks and told me at first there should be no problem porting it across but would do a deeper dive while I was on hold on completion of which was told it now could not be ported across. I was also told it was futile to pursue it further, try to escalate or even make a complaint as his Manager would turn to the same testing that had just returned a 'Computer says no' response and I was in fact already talking to the Complaints Officer and it would go nowhere and just stay on his desk!


Glad I don't run my business like that! 😱


Thinking I can't be the only one to have been kneecapped in this situation (can I?) I am reaching out to those of you who might have been unfortunate enough to have been down this same road before and if so was it resolved or did you lose your number for good and what was the reason given?


My choices seem to be;


1. Cancel my order with Business and go back to Residential Full Fibre 900 and retain my telephone number but no static IP address although I do get 12 months Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Whoopy doo...🙄

2. Continue with my Business order to obtain a static IP address but lose my telephone number.


I can't even ask that the copper PSTN pair be retained purely for voice service as BT have a 2025 cut-off date for copper (yeah...right) and I'll just end up kicking the problem down the road for a few years even if this were an option and so it's not a solution unless BT can pull a rabbit out of a hat in the interim.


Also what did those of you with an analogue PBX do when you went over to Cloud Voice Express? My PBX has a VoIP card that has worked well with 3rd Party providers but not of course the BT proprietary DV/VCE service.


If only BT had not gone with a proprietary VoIP service I might even have been able to use a 3rd Party solution utilising the RJ11 ports on my existing router having ported my number from BT Residential to the 3rd Party VoIP provider which I'm told is possible. But BT Residential can't port the same number to BT Business?


I realise there are two distinct branches under the BT umbrella but as far as the customer is concerned BT is BT isn't it?


Part of me is hoping that nobody answers purely because I feel your pain if this has happened to you but on the other hand I hope I get some replies because I am literally clutching at straws for a resolution here.


Whichever way thanks for listening!


Thanks & kind regards,




Well if anybody else has the misfortune to follow me down this particular rabbit hole here was what finally (nearly?) worked for me to retain my telephone number of 50+ years when moving from BT Residential to BT Business Broadband.


You might remember I was forced to move to Business from Residential as the static IP address I was promised when I placed my order with Residential was obviously not a service that could be offered.


In doing so however I was unable to retain the existing telephone number that has been in this same house since I was a child - I'm 62 now so I was stuck between a rock and a hard place.


After many weeks of being advised to jump through hoops including cancelling existing orders or having them cancelled for me by BT with new ones being placed and speaking to many different people in many departments within BT I was told that if I cancelled what was probably my 3rd or 4th order for Full Fibre, place an order for BT Business to do a takeover of my existing Residential line as is with existing like-for-like service of up to 80MB once that was completed I could then place yet another order with Businesss to upgrade to Full Fibre.


This has been dragging on since 4th Feb but I am pleased to report that I received an email from Business this morning telling me they had now taken over my service and advising me of my static IP address!


So excited was I that I immediately rang Business (on the landline to check it is still working) to place my order only to be thwarted yet again because it seems my original order placed 4th Feb got stuck in the cancelled queue even though the subsequent orders had been cancelled and thus preventing me from placing a new order.


I am hoping that when this order is finally cancelled off the system (3-5 working days) I can then finally place my order for Full Fibre at last.


I am also hoping that nobody else has to endure what I have been through since the beginning of February just trying to upgrade from FTTC to FTTP retaining their telephone number and having a static IP address but I just wanted to say that no matter how many people tell you categorically it can't be done if you are lucky enough to speak to the right person it can be done and this I what worked for me.


YMMV of course...


Thanks & kind regards,