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Switching Phone Providers - Understand your legal rights

Understand your legal rights

If you have a contract

If you have a contract with a cellphone provider and want to switch to a new provider, you will need to cancel your current contract. You can cancel a phone contract at any time but you may have to pay an early cancellation fee. The fee will depend on when you signed your contract and whether you received a free or discounted phone, among other factors. For details, see our guidance on cancelling a phone contract.

Keeping your current phone number

You own your phone number. A service provider cannot stop you taking your number with you when you switch providers—a process called "porting" your number. But a new provider is under no obligation to accept it. Most providers are happy to accept a new customer, and so porting your number to a new provider is rarely a problem.

You can port your cellphone number or landline number. You cannot port a pager number. 

If you are switching localities, you may or may not be able to port your number. You should check with your new service provider if you're moving to another city or province. 

Do not cancel your service with your current phone provider before you switch to a new provider. You won't be able to port your current number after your service has been deactivated. It's best to ask your new service provider to transfer your existing services on your behalf.

Who makes the request

Only the primary account holder can make a port request. If you are an authorized user on a shared or family plan, you must establish a separate service with your current provider before you can initiate a port request. 

If you have a company phone, you may not be able to port your number if the service is in your company's name.