Business phone number

Yes, I’ve been researching around, and I realize there are several good options, but my question is this:

Let’s assume that I started with Markate for a CRM and paid the extra $10/month for a business phone number through them. THEN, for whatever reason, I decided to discontinue using Markate,…do I get to keep that phone number? Can I move it to say, Grasshopper or some other service? Or do I lose that number and all the marketing material that it’s printed on?

I would assume that I “own” the number, but I’m trying to sort out whether I need to keep it separated from other things (like a CRM)…?

I doubt you get to keep it. But just reach out to Markate and ask them.

It should be a pretty straight forward and easily answered question. Markate wants my phone number AND email to send the question and Grasshopper expects me to deal with a “virtual assistant”. Corporate, good for them, not me, nonsense.

People with years of business experience know whether or not they lose all past contacts and current marketing material just by changing away from the source where they got their business number. $2K to wrap a truck, but now it’s got a bogus phone number on it, because I switched away from Grasshopper? 1,000 business cards, mailers, street signs and crew work shirts all garbage now, because I switched away from Markate and lost my business phone number?

And direct call to Markate gets me about 8 rings, then a voice wanting a list of info and they’ll call me back within 4 hrs.

First indication that I keep the number: Free Phone Number Porting | Port Local & Toll Free Numbers

So did you leave your info? 4 hours to wait isn’t bad. They’re the only ones that can give you an answer you can trust.

No. I would prefer that their system register the hang up, and there has to be a standard answer…which I seem to have found at the link I provided above. Now I’m just trying to verify that it’s the industry standard and not a single company standard.

Markate - Under add-ons: “Bring your own number” All you need to run your business effortlessly

Appears to be industry standard, which makes the most sense… or maybe not:

From Godaddy Smartline:

Ok. It’s complicated, but I managed to get Grasshopper on the phone. Basically, it is industry standard by law to port a business number to another company. However, some companies have found ways around it. These companies just provide the number, but it belongs to who is paying for it. 1 of the ways around that is that the company owns the number and they just “license” it to you. They “own” it, so they can prevent you from porting it. As long as the company allows you to put the number in your name/business name you can port it to another company. THEN there is the question of whether the company you want to port it to will allow you to do that. Apparently some don’t, but I would guess they are very few and far between.

Regardless, while porting the number (which may take 10 days), you cannot cancel/block or otherwise interfere with the number or you will lose “ownership” of it. You must contact customer service of the company you are leaving and get them to unlock the number so it can be ported out to the new company.

The man at 24/7 sales of Grasshopper was extremely helpful at explaining what is what on this subject. I dialed the number, hit 1 and was talking to someone in maybe 60 seconds. That’s how you do business. :+1:

My take away is to check with your potential new carrier and find out what the deal is before you sign up.

Filled out the contact form at Markate: Name, email, phone # and full clear questions. Clicked send and got:

I ended up emailing them to their SALES department. took 4hrs to get a response:

Customer service from Markate says: “It is not possible to port out a virtual number from Markate. If you have any other questions or if there’s anything else we can assist you with, please let us know.”

This is the company that people across the internet are hailing as so great? Really?

I have responded to their email and am waiting another response from them.

It just keeps getting better:

Are you able to bring a number to them? Why not just use Google voice and keep the number if you decide to move on from them?

Read the last quote. Apparently they only work the “Twilio”. I went to the link they provided, read everything, watched the video, then headed over to Twilio. Twilio website looks like it’s setup for customers like Markate, not for me and you. So, atm I’m still trying to sort out WTF that’s all about. Do I have to get my number FROM Twilio and use their API to get it to work within Markate? Or can I get my number from Grasshopper, sideline, smartline, google, etc and enter it into Twilio? Tell me that this looks like it’s for me and you:

At this point I am not clear, but I think “Twilio” works with “3rd party apps” which I would assume are: Grasshopper, sideline, smartline, google, etc

I was under the impression that twilo is used as a privacy measure for a personal number… think Uber/door dash/etc. People using their personal devices, but with an API set up to “hide” it and display a different number linked to the person using it… im not sure if that’s accurate or how it all works, I don’t use it.

I just edited this into my last response:

At this point I am not clear, but I think “Twilio” works with “3rd party apps” which I would assume are: Grasshopper, sideline, smartline, google, etc.

At this point I’m not even sure how to open a Twilio account unless it’s done within Markate.
That for whatever reason(s) Twilio is some kind of go-between. Not that they provide numbers, but they provide the communication between customers like Markate and “3rd party apps” like Grasshopper, sideline, smartline, google, Uber/door dash/etc

Yes, I believe this is the case

Well, I still cannot sort out where/how to sign up for Twilio. Yes, I see the start for free (meaningless) and the menu (also meaningless). I’m obviously missing something. I’ll just have to keep scratching around. I find it hard to believe that people would sign up with Markate if something as simple as a phone number is this complex.

Ok, so, apparently the “virtual number” within Markate is only used for marketing…meaning: That if I send out SMS messages without a virtual number and the customer responds, that response will just get lost in cyberspace. However, if I have a VN from Markate (or I guess via Twilio) then I would receive the message within my Markate account (not to my phone).

So, I’m thinking now that my actual business number has little or nothing to do with Markate…which seems bizarre to me. If my business number is: 803-345-6789, then that number should be IN Markate and any messages that I send out via Markate should respond, by default, to my business number. So, am I missing something here?

Apologies, but I’ve never had a CRM before, and I still currently do not have 1, so I cannot login and scratch around for insight.

I would never assume such a thing in the business world, and as said the only real solid answer would come from the one you are dealing with (although usually from the one you want to port the number to would be clearest, they should know).

Twilio works in all sorts of scenarios… our SMS numbers in ResponsiBid and both our Jobber accounts run through Twilio.

Usually you can get a free trial, but I doubt it would include marketing and phone portions of the service. I looked into Markate a year or 2 ago, and they were very responsive with a demo call and answering all my questions.

One of the reasons to have a CRM (and other pros handling areas of your business) is to let them handle it while you work on your business. Call them/schedule a call, get the info, and let them fix it if possible. A few hours for a call back isn’t that bad, but most out there have a chat option as well, or email at least.

Apart from the Twilio numbers mentioned above, we have close to 30 phone numbers that we’ve ported around a few times, pretty painlessly. The receiving carrier handles the process, and if the old carrier isn’t playing by the rules they usually can call them out on it. Ours even went smoothly when we were porting out of a failed CRM experiment on very “not so good” terms… About zero issues.

Definitely don’t put it on a truck if it’s a potentially uncontrolled virtual number. But 1 of my 30 numbers is just for the trucks… so that’s not an issue.

One thing you will want to get on top of (or pay someone to do) is the registration requirements that went into effect last year. It takes a solid month in most cases, and if you don’t get it cleared then you can’t text clients on that number.

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Sheesh, Just get a Google number to use for your business. You can direct it to ring at any number of phones. What I’ve always had.


What I’ve come to realize is that my business phone number has little to do with Markate which, again, is bizarre to me. Seems to me that it should be plugged into their system and an integral part of it.

However, whatever messages are sent from within Markate (marketing, on-the-way, arrived, pre/post-pictures, etc) only receive any replies inside of Markate and only if you have a virtual number from Markate or Twilio.

I’m assuming now that the same is true with most, if not all, CRMs. I get it now, but it still seems counterintuitive.

I would reach out to Markrate and see if the number can be ported, then port it over to something more robust like RIngCentral.

If I understand correctly, you have the right, federally, to keep your phone number when switching providers. I’ve ported around a few times over the years and never had too much trouble.

From above: