Issues moving users back to on-prem telephony from an expired calling plan license

This might be a unique situation, but I wanted to document it somewhere in case anyone else runs into the same issues.  Here’s the scenario: I have an O365 tenant set up with hybrid voice (SFB 2015 Enterprise on prem), with users homed online.  User line URIs are set on prem, replicated to the cloud, and PSTN calls in/out go via the onprem server.  This is a textbook hybrid deployment, and everything was working just fine.

A few months ago, calling plans came to Canada, and we got involved in the preview, so I assigned licenses to a couple of accounts to test it out.  The online phone numbers worked just fine, and I promptly forgot all about them until the licenses expired, at which point a user with an online phone number that tried to make a call got connected to an announcement service saying that “you are not configured for this calling feature”.  Obviously, at this point I wanted to revert those users back to the onprem connectivity.

Step 1-try removing the phone number from the user in the portal…doesn’t work.  It just informs you that “phone numbers could not be unassigned from 1 of 1 users”.  OK, then I thought maybe I had to remove the calling plan license from the user first.  Tried that, but then still couldn’t unassign the phone number.  I also tried going in and removing the phone number from the phone numbers interface, which gave me the same error.  At this point I decided that powershell might be the way to force the issue, and was able to run Remove-CsOnlineTelephoneNumber to delete the number from the account. 

At this point however, I had a user that had an OnPremLineUri assigned, but no LineUri.  EnterpriseVoiceEnabled was still set to $true (get-csonlineuser), but the user’s PSTN connectivity still showed as Online in the portal, with no apparent way to reset it.  I tried a few different things at this point, with no success:

  • Run a new AD sync: no effect
  • Disable/re-enable EV, thinking it might force it to pick up the setting again: no effect
  • Move the user back on prem, and then online: This actually worked, in that while the user was homed onprem, they could make and receive calls, but when I moved them back online, the original problem returned. 

At this point, I gave up and opened a support ticket, and the best I managed to get from the Engineer there was “wait 24 hours”…

The next day, I checked the account, and lo and behold, the user’s line URI had reverted.  I had to re-enable EV for the user, but once I did (and waited for the provisioning to take effect), everything was back to normal. 

So, lessons learned:

  • It’s probably a good idea not to let calling plan licenses expire.
  • If you do have to move a user from calling plan back to onprem PSTN, it might take a while. 
  • Once you do move them, you might have to re-enable EV across the board.
  • This might get messy at scale, with users unable to make/receive calls for a period of time.

If anyone has figured out a way to get this to take effect more immediately, I’d love to know about it, but in the meantime, if you have the same issue, I suppose the only solution is to just wait it out.

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