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We're pleased to report that as of Friday, customer record updates (required for service changes for toll-free numbers) are once again being processed through SMS/800, the central administration system for the toll-free number industry.
SMS/800 had announced Nov. 30 that requests from Resp Orgs would not be handled until after Dec. 8. However, on Dec. 1 SMS/800 sent out an second announcement saying that it would resume handling customer record updates on Dec. 4.
Both the original long delay, and the later short one, are of great concern to us. Customer record updates are required before service changes, such as the re-assignment of a toll free number to a new customer, or to a different account, can “go live.” As a rule, these updates happen so quickly that our customers think of them as almost automatic.
According to the original announcement from SMS/800, the processing of service changes was being delayed so that four service control points in the AT&T system could be decommissioned and replaced by new service control points. The means, essentially, that AT&T was replacing older, less reliable systems with new systems.
“We’re deeply concerned about any halts or slowdowns in the industry infrastructure that could affect our customers and the quality of the service we provide to them,” said Chris Rugh, CEO of Custom Toll Free. “This is a particular problem if the halts are not announced in advance.”
“I’m glad to say that service is now restored and customer record updates are being processed speedily,” Rugh said.
He added that Custom Toll Free is looking at the steps it can take so that it, and other Resp Orgs handling toll free numbers, will be notified well in advance of any activities that might cause future delays.