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October 22, 2012

Rural phone customers face failure to connect

Customers of rural firms may face failure to connect

(Continued)

MacConnell said it also affects businesses, especially those in rural areas that rely on tourism. If someone is unable to contact them to make a reservation or get more information, the potential customer can decide to go somewhere else.

WHAT TO DO

People who experience the problem can call their local carriers and provide information that will allow them to advocate on their behalf. They should also urge the original caller to do the same.

That information includes your phone number, the caller’s phone number, the name of the carrier used by the caller, the date and the approximate time of the call. 

Macey said the Federal Communications Commission started to investigate the issue about two years ago. She said local phone companies were asked to help with that in May.

People who experience the issue can also file a complaint with the FCC at transition.fcc.gov/eb/rcc/welcome.html. There is a link to online form 2000B under the “How do I report these problems” heading.

They will need to provide the same information required by the local phone companies. 

Forcier said it takes a lot of their resources to track down the necessary information and contact the original phone company. 

“We are smaller companies with fewer staff. But, we still need to serve our customers,” he said.

MacConnell said that if the problem continues to increase exponentially, it will put even more pressure on their staff. That is why they will continue to pressure the FCC to address the issue and use their industry trade groups to make elected officials aware of the problem.

Email Dan Heath

dheath@pressrepublican.com

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