Wasted phone books, partially funded through monthly charges for unlisted numbers.
Like many of you, I often find myself helping my less technology versed family and friends with their technology challenges. While sometimes I might be better served to recommend they call for support or buy a new computer, over the years I have warmed to these opportunities to work with internet service providers, managed IT service providers, telephone companies and phone system vendors from the other side of the table. In face rarely does such a ‘service call’ go by without knowledge gained or new perspective acquired.
It was a recent call to our friends at the biggest blue dinosaur of a phone company in Canada to have a number changed from listed to unlisted that surprised me more than usual.
I wasn’t surprised by a lack of customer service or the seemingly endless number of menu options to reach an agent as one might expect from the biggest telephone company in Canada. It was that not only was there a not insignificant one-time charge ($55) for an unlisted number, but also a monthly fee for this ongoing privileged.
After a quick Google, I did confirm residential pricing for this ‘service’ on their website as well. The commercial rate I was quoted was $5.50/month + $55 programming fee and I was allowed to de-list a previously listed number even tho the website suggests this isn’t allowed. Perhaps this ‘option’ is restricted to commercial numbers.
All this got me thinking and wondering about why such a cost would exist. A few searches later and I found that I wasn’t the only one baffled by this charge and that most of the large telephone companies in Canada and the US seem to charge a monthly and one time fee.
This next part really caught my attention, and while I was unable to find a reliable source for this information, it is suggested by several sites that without this monthly cost phone books would no longer be economically viable and so the CRTC has historically allowed a surcharge Of course businesses are not protected by the same limits and so the charge tends to be higher for business lines.
My research suggests the CRTC has a cap on the price that can be charged to residential customers but not a requirement for it.
Of course Versature doesn’t need to help fund the cutting of trees and printing of phone books and so while we do charge a one-time fee for the work to submit a change to CallerID we don’t charge any one time fee and of course there is no charge to have a listing created, updated or removed when a number is ported to Versature as we are already doing the work.
To take this one step further, if a Versature client moves we don’t have any move type fees, simply pick up your phone and move. When you inform of your new address we will happily update your billing and 911 addresses at no charge and only $20 for the address update with the telco.
If you would like to update your listing or change your number to unlisted don’t hesitate to reach out to Versature’s support and provisioning teams.