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Loss of or access to phone numbers

We can help with your complaint about certain problems with phone numbers, including complaints about losing access to your number because you have lost the rights of use of it or it has been quarantined. We can also help if you have been given an out of area number – that is, a number with an area code different to your actual location – without being told how calls will be charged. To resolve your complaint, we consider the law, good industry practice and fairness.

Types of complaints about phone numbers

We deal with complaints about phone number such as consumers:

  • losing their rights of use of a number
  • having their number quarantined
  • not being told about the costs of having an out of area number.


What you should expect from your provider: the law and industry practice

Your providers should help you to get your number back

Generally, providers should not refuse to retrieve and re-issue a number to a consumer who last held rights of use to it. If this isn’t possible, the provider should explain why.

Your providers should warn you about charges for out of area numbers 

If a provider agrees to issue you an out of area number, they must tell you that calls to the number from geographically local numbers may be charged at non-local rates. They must also tell you that you may not be able to transfer the number to another provider later.

How we've helped other customers

Dr Kumari did not get an explanation for her mobile outage.
After we referred the complaint, Fort Mobile told Dr Kumari a network outage had impacted her town. Fort Mobile resolved the complaint by refunding the service charges Dr Kumari had paid during the time her service was not working.
Telco C credits customers who received high bills after using a ‘pre-paid’ service
We worked with Telco C to help it improve the information it gave customers about possible data charges
This page was last updated on
31st Aug 2021