CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE
Janice wrote to me about a problem she is having.
“Chris, it all started on July 30th. I began receiving phone messages for someone I don’t know. I was curious, so I started to save the messages and eventually returned all the calls to explain that their messages had been left to the wrong person.
One night I called my cell phone from home to retrieve my messages. The woman (Miss X), whose calls I had been receiving, answered. She said this number (mine!) was now her number. Imagine my surprise.
I called Comcast Business, my carrier, to get things straightened out. Apparently Miss X once had my phone number. She gave it up when she left the United States five years ago. When I opened my business in 2009, Verizon issued that number to me in the name of my business. In April of last year I moved my service to Comcast.
When Miss X returned to the U.S. last month and requested her old number back, Verizon gave it to her.
I have owned the phone number for two and a half years and pay nearly $300 a month for service. After days on the phone with both Comcast and Verizon, I still don’t know if I will get my phone number back. Comcast Business blames Verizon. Verizon blames Comcast. Where does this leave me? I am trying to run a business and having my clients able to reach me is vital.”
I wish I had the answer for Janice. If it were me I would be so angry I wouldn’t be able to see straight. Both of these companies send me junk mail all the time trying to get me to switch my service to them. But situations like this alienate both current and potential customers.
Hey, Comcast, hey Verizon, hey Miss X, can somebody give Janice a break? She’s trying to run a company. If you can help, please e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d give you her phone number, but….
Compassion for the small business owner is a Core Value.