TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Foreign Residential Listings

Foreign Residential Listings

Fred Atkinson (
Sun, 19 Dec 2004 12:20:41 -0500

> Can anyone suggest an *easy* way for people to get foreign residential
> or business telephone numbers listed with directory assistance?

Most people who attempt to do this (for example, to get their Vonage
residential number listed with directory assistance) encounter a
bottomless pit of CSRs that don't want to find out how to do it and
just tell them it can't be done rather than deal with it. It most
certainly can. I've gotten my Vonage number listed with directory
assistance. If you don't believe it, call 803 directory assistance
(or Easy 411 or whichever one you use) and ask for Fred W. Atkinson,
III in Columbia, SC. They'll give you my Vonage (803) 233 number. If
you are trying to get Bellsouth to do it, get my number from directory
assistance and refer to it when you call them. Tell them you want the
same kind of account that I have.

I posted my story on the Vonage forum (
Someone else is going through the same bottomless pit of CSRs. With
all the telephone company people on here, I'm sure a solution can be
found. Or perhaps there are or is a representative(s) of a company
that can get these listings made. Certainly one of you can help with
this. Then I can post it on the Vonage forum and we can make it
easier for the other folks. As VOIP service continues to grow, this
will become a bigger issue. We can solve it now if someone here will
be a Good Samaritan and help.

When I finally got it done, I had to have created what is called a
'miscellaneous account' and make a 'foreign listing'. The cost is a
little over twenty-four dollars per year with Bellsouth for a
residential listing. The account number consisted of my area code,
the letter 'M' followed by a series of digits that did not correspond
to my telephone number. They bill annually for the service. If you
do it in the middle of the calendar year, they prorate it for the
remaining months.

But to get it done (because those CSRs did not want to be bothered
with it), I had to call the South Carolina Public Service Commission
and register a complaint. They called some vice-presiden's office at
Bellsouth on my behalf. I was then promptly contacted by a Bellsouth
representative who got it done immediately for me and without any
further hassle.

When the bill came, they billed me for access charges. I called them
back and pointed out that this wasn't telelphone service, but only a
listing. They promptly removed that charge from my bill, as they
should have. But, it was less than a dollar overcharge. It wouldn't
have killed me if I had gone ahead and paid it.

Everyone should have the right to have their telephone number listed
regardless of who is providing the service. That shouldn't be an



Fred Atkinson

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