TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Verizon and Caller ID

Verizon and Caller ID

Michael Quinn Michael (
Thu, 17 Nov 2005 18:52:12 -0500

Verizon called my house several times today concerning a fiber
installation scheduled for tomorrow. Interestingly enough, the numbers
from which they called:

(757) 896-6330, and
(888) 223-2355

delivered the numbers but not the caller name (they each showed as
"out of area") to my caller ID boxes and phones. This from a company
that I pay for caller ID service. When I or my wife call from our
office or cell phones, name is always delivered. Strikes me as
curious at best, and hypocritical at less than best; Verizon can't
deliver caller name??. Anyone with similar experiences? No one at
(so-called) "Customer Service" was able to explain why. One
trying-to-be-helpful supervisor suggested the phenomenon would go away
when my fiber service was activated. Jeez.



[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: It _probably_ has to do with the type
of switch or PBX that Verizon is using in that office. Telco also uses
switching gear in their own business office for their own incoming and
outgoing calls, in addition to the central office stuff everyone else
(including Verizon) uses. Some phone setups (like Direct Inward
Dialing for example and some flavors of Centrex) do not do very well
on delivering caller ID period, let alone name with the ID. If every
single employee of Verizon had a phone connected direct to the central
office (with no in-between switches or systems) then chances are
likely your caller ID box would deliver the number and the _name_ of
the person or the department, etc. But every single employee/department
of telco does not have that individual line -- well they do, but they
are routed through concentrators, switches, etc.

Its those inbetween devices or switches or PBXs, etc which are either
misprogrammed (or most likely not capable of correctly rendering the
_name ID_) that are guilty. Since you are purchasing caller/name ID
service, whenever the central office is unable to deliver same, the
'default' is to tell you it is 'out of area' or 'unavailable' or

I'll now tell you (and other interested readers) a story about me in
Chicago calling '611' one day: I have forgotten what the problem was
but I called '611' to report it. Thirty minutes or an hour later I got
a call back from some repair tech to say the problem was cured. The
tech's call came in per _my_ caller ID from 312-525-something, but I
was out and missed the call. I returned as the phone quit ringing and
went to check my caller ID box. I noted the number, and returned the
call only to be greeted by a voice saying 'Ameritech Repair Service,
how may I help you? When I gave my name and number, the tech knew
what it was about and told me what corrections had been made. So far,
so good. Then about 10-15 minutes later, I received a very angry call
from a _supervisor_ in repair who bawled me out good for 'calling in
on our direct line rather than dialing 611'. She told me I was 'never
again to call in to a given tech person on their direct line, I was
only to use the main number of '611'. I told her all I had done was
returned a call showing on my caller ID. "oh ... well ... I will have
to think about that ..." was her reply. Later, she called back to
apologize for her angry call, saying she was unaware that caller ID
boxes were giving out the 'direct numbers' of their employees, rather
than the general incoming number of '611'. So many people at telco
do not know, nor have any real reason to know, how _their own_ phone
system works, nor anything much about the company they work for other
than their own job function. I reported this in this Digest at the
time it happened (early 1990's) and remember someone responding by
saying "Bell got hoisted on their own petard". PAT]

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