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February 1, 1999
all started when I moved. A short move–half a mile within the same local phone exchange.
Can I just transfer the phone numbers and services from my old address to my new address
around the corner? No sweat, I thought.
I called US WEST Inc. well in advance to place the order. It took 45 minutes. Why?
Because the billing telephone number (BTN) was the line I used for faxing, not voice, and
I considered it my second line. The BTN also has a custom ring feature that forwards fax
calls from a previously published number.
US WEST considered my voice line the second line. This in itself is not a problem until
you want to move two lines to a home where the second line has not been activated. You
see, the technicians could not be dispatched to my new home until the week after we had
moved in. No sweat, I thought. We’ll just transfer the voice number and we’ll keep
the BTN up at the old address so that the faxes continue to be forwarded.
On the day of the move, we had no phone service at the new home. Well, that’s not
exactly true. We did have service, just not the right phone number. It seems you cannot
separate the BTN from its secondary numbers; it’s all or nothing. We got nothing. No
sweat, I thought. Let’s just forward the old voice number to the new voice number
until the full transfer of both numbers could be made. That would work if the service had
not been disconnected. So, 24 hours later, the service was reconnected at the old address
and forwarded to the new address.
A week passed, and on Christmas Eve, the US WEST technician came to our home (where my
entire family had gathered because of this appointment) and installed the BTN. Now, both
numbers would finally be restored.
But no–it was too much to ask. The original voice number was not transferred with the
BTN. And it was no longer being forwarded to the temporary voice number at the new
address. No sweat, I thought. I’m sure it was an oversight. Yes, the US WEST
customer service rep told me, but since it’s Christmas Eve, it won’t be fixed for two
days. No forwarding, either. No sweat, I thought. We’ll just give out the temporary
voice number to our family until all the numbers can be transferred successfully.
Two days passed; it was now Saturday. The temporary number was disconnected and the
voice number was transferred. If we don’t answer, callers to the voice line hear this
recording: "Don’t hang up. The voice mail system temporarily needs you to enter the
seven-digit number you are calling." When you enter the number, you hear: "That
is not a recognizable mailbox number."
Arggh! How could such a simple change be so difficult? My husband’s unsolicited reply,
"There’s no competition." And no sweat.
Read more about:Agents
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