TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Service Providers Recycling Phone Numbers

Re: Service Providers Recycling Phone Numbers
21 Feb 2006 10:20:26 -0800

David Lazarus wrote:

> Would you pay full price for a used cell phone number?

> Chances are, you already have.

> In a little-known industry practice, wireless service providers routinely
> recycle former customers' phone numbers and give them to new customers
> without informing them of the number's history.

Huh? The phone company has _always_ recycled phone numbers. The only
time you got a new one if you're entering a new exchange.

> Cell phone companies say they need to do this because there just aren't
> enough new numbers to go around. A number can be reused within as little as
> 30 days.

It's certainly true that there aren't enough numbers to go around.
Unlike a home phone which tends to be more permanent, cell phone
accounts can be opened and closed repeatedly.

However, I do feel 30 days is not enough delay time. Because one has
to pay for incoming calls, wrong numbers can be costly. Accordingly, I
think a number should lay dormant at least for a year. I also think
they should give 90 days free referral just like a land line phone.

[some techie suprised phone numbers don't last forever.]

> Therre said he called Sprint and was told by a service rep that he
> must have signed up for a premium service. He said Sprint's records
> showed that the text messages were being billed by a company called
> SMS....

Obviously when any business closes out an account, it must close out
everything. This isn't an issue of recycling the number, but rather
failing to close out the account and reset all defaults. Presumably
the man didn't want text messaging so that should've been turned off.
All those text calls would've been rejected. End of trouble.

It appears companies that use new technologies are so quick to start
up and get running that they don't bother to build proper
administrative systems. So garbage like this happens. What is
insulting is that the companies deny responsibility even though it was
their inter-billing arrangements that made it all possible in the
first place. You can be sure Sprint was nicely compensated for its
relationship with the other outfit.

Imagine you sit down at a restaurant and your check includes food
ordered by the previous customer. No one in their right mind would
tolerate that. But apparently when it comes to technology that kind
of business practice is perfectly ok.

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