Knowledge Base

Number Reassigning - How Long?

Started by: k89bpa
On: 08/08/2018 | 17:04
Replies: 14

by: k89bpa
on: 08/08/2018 | 17:04

How long do you leave a number dormant before reassigning it these days?


I've just activated the third number on the SIM I activated in April because I got sick of calls and texts on the other two asking for former users of the numbers. 


Never used to happen on giffgaff back in 2012-2013 and it hasn't happened with Vodafone, Tesco, Three or TPO, (they were all fresh numbers, I did no porting). 


Not gonna lie, it seems like the only way to stop it happening is to go buy a PAYG SIM from another provider and then transfer the number in.


If the reality is as the perception, that needs to be addressed because it's not just the calls and texts, these days all sort of websites want your number so they can verify you are human and recycled numbers my stop people from being able to sign up to such sites and services. 

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Message 1 of 15
by: persco
on: 08/08/2018 | 17:20

@k89bpa if you mean by giffgaff then it’s 6 months of inactivity and giffgaff recycles/deactivates number/sim.


It has always been 6 months as far as aware. I do agree though with so conpanies using the numbers for 2 step Authorisation etc and which creates and inconvenience. Don’t know what networks can do though other than owners updating sites themselves with new numbers or making sure they are keeping their sims active whatever the criteria for doing that may be. 

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Message 2 of 15
by: k89bpa
on: 08/08/2018 | 17:27
No wonder people are still attempting to call/text for the previous owners if they're being reassigned after just six months.

I'd strongly suggest widening the pool of numbers available so they can be quarantined before being reassigned because this is a major drawback from a customer perspective in terms of joining and staying with giffgaff.

If the only way to stop it from happening is to get a SIM from elsewhere and port the number, many might just think it's not worth the hassle and stay with the alternate provider rather than shifting.

Like I said, in my personal experience, this has only happened with giffgaff and only recently, it didn't happen in the past, and it hasn't happened with any other network I've been with.
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Message 3 of 15
by: persco
on: 08/08/2018 | 17:42

Sorry I misunderstood. Period to recycling is the 6months if no activity and it goes in a pool. I think it’s longer than 6 months to reassign to someone else. Not sure of the period if am honest but just 6 months right after deactivating would be unfair. 


Just done a quick google search to see ofcom says about that but no luck yet. 

Please do set BEST ANSWER for posts that help you. Get a free giffgaff Sim
Message 4 of 15
by: ujo55
on: 08/08/2018 | 17:51
I may be wrong but I understood:
A number would normally only be recycled for non use after it was dormant for 6 months.
It would then go into the recycle pool where it would be quarantined for a further minimum period of 6 months prior to it being reissued.

What is less clear is if someone asks for a number change, or a number is no longer in use due to an old number being ported.
In those cases I guess the number will go straight into the pool and be subject to the 6 month minimum quarantine period.
Message 5 of 15
by: k89bpa
on: 08/08/2018 | 17:55
Maybe it's the high churn rate @persco, people taking then dumping SIM cards for various reasons which makes the giffgaff numbers susceptible to this issue.

I really don't know, but when I am on my third number in what, 4 months because of it, (I've never actually given out the numbers I've had in that period, all calls and texts received have been based on the previous owners usage), in an attempt to stop it, there is clearly an issue which needs to be addressed.

If the numbers have also been signed up to the premium rate scams, some people could be in for an even bigger shock when they come to activate a SIM.

It is fairly easy to get around, like I said it's literally just a case of getting a PAYG SIM from another network and using that number, either directly or via porting, but that's not something which people should be having to do and it will put many off joining and staying.
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Message 6 of 15
by: kath72
on: 08/08/2018 | 19:44
Makes me soooo grateful for my ‘virgin’ number which I have had for nearly 20 years

In the family we have 2 gg activated numbers though and have had no problems.

My daughter used to get PPI texts on the number orange gave her on activation

Also recently activated a 3 sim and have had no issuers on there

I think numbers will not have been used for a year (6 months to deactivate from the old account and 6 months quarantined). But that’s not very long is it given that I’m still getting advertising mail from companies I got an insurance quote with 10 years ago
Message 7 of 15
by: k89bpa
on: 08/08/2018 | 22:09
@kath72 that is a hell of a long time!

That must predate the addition of the 7 originally does it?
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Message 8 of 15
by: jeremylalou
on: 08/08/2018 | 23:30
Networks have to "buy" new numbers I believe, so they reassign the ones they already have as fast as possible.
Message 9 of 15
by: woodyuk
on: 09/08/2018 | 07:54

There was a thread relating to this subject last year regarding problems with social media accounts and recycled numbers and the information from giffgaff was that a deactivated number will stay in the recycling pool for a minimum of 6 months before being reissued.


So if a number is recycled due to non use,it will have been unused for a minimum of 12 months,it's worth bearing in mind though that the 6 months of non use before a number goes for recycling only applies to outgoing charges so a member could have been receiving calls and texts from "whoever" right up to the day that the number is terminated.


it was also pointed out in last year's thread that if a number is used for a week for instance and then terminated because of a port in,that same number could be reissued 6 months after that termination date.





Message 10 of 15