How to avoid paying for 30 days of service when porting a Rogers/Fido mobile number in Canada

TL;DR: When you port a mobile number from Rogers or Fido, they try to charge you for 30 days of service beyond your port date. Here’s how I avoided paying this “port fee.”

This is a longish post, but I’m hoping it’ll be helpful for anyone who’s planning to port their number from Fido/Rogers, and wants to save a few bucks.

Recently, I ported my mobile phone number from Fido to voip.ms. When I called Fido to verify that there was nothing on my account that would prevent a port, they told me I’d have to pay for 30 days of service after my number was ported. Here’s a transcript of my online chat with Fido representative Jennifer:

FidoANSWERS! Hello Daniel Misener, my name is Jennifer, and it will be my pleasure to assist you today. Please allow me a moment to answer your question. Thank you for your patience.

Daniel Misener says: Hello, Jennifer.

Jennifer says: I’m sory to hear you are thinking of leaving Fido, may I ask why ?

Daniel Misener says: I’m leaving the country, moving to France, and need to port my Canadian number to a VOIP service.

Jennifer says: To answer your question, you have no active contract, therefore there would be no penalty if you ported out your number. You would be charged 30 days of service however.

Jennifer says: I see!

Daniel Misener says: Why would I be charged 30 days of service?

Daniel Misener says: If I port my number, after the port is successful, shouldn’t the amount I owe Fido be pro-rated?

Jennifer says: This is part of your service agreement with us, we ask for 30 days notice to terminate your service.

Daniel Misener says: May I give my notice now?

Daniel Misener says: With an end date 30 days from today?

Jennifer says: With a port out, the notice is the port itself. It would begin on the day the number leaves Fido.

Daniel Misener says: Right. My question then is, if I give my cancellation notice today, then port the number before the 30 days are up, will I still be charged 30 days after the port? Or 30 days after today?

Jennifer says: You cannot give your notice today and port your number because if there is a scheduled deactivation, your number will not be able to be ported. So for porting, the port itself is the notice and the 30 days start from that day.

Daniel Misener says: That’s a shame.

This, of course, seems crazy. Why should I pay for 30 days of service that they’re not actually delivering? Some quick Googling turned up this RFD forum thread, and this post at RogersWatch, which explains how to avoid paying for these 30 days. It seems that the CCTS (The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services) has recognized this 30-day “port fee” as an issue. If you complain to the CCTS, you can avoid paying. RogersWatch’s advice:

  1. go ahead and do your port whenever you darned well feel like it
  2. after it’s all done promptly call Rogers and tell them to reverse your 30-day fee because you ported out, or else you’ll just file a complaint with CCTS about it (and CCTS will force Rogers to reverse the charge if you file a complaint)
  3. if Rogers doesn’t co-operate then either escalate to OoP or CCTS (I recommend CCTS) per this Rogers complaint escalation flowchart

So then, after my port was completed, I called Fido, asked them to reverse the charges. When the Fido representative said she couldn’t, I went to the CCTS website and registered a complaint. It’s simple, and only took a few minutes. For reference, here’s my complete complaint:

Details of the contract dispute: I ported my Fido telephone number to a VOIP provider. The port became active on January 3, 2012. I telephoned Fido on January 3, 2012 to confirm that there would be no further charges on my account. The Fido representative (“Molly”) said that I would continue to be charged for 30 days of service beyond my port date — service that I would not receive, a sum of ~$44.

Date the contract began: [I lef