Cool Solutions

Stupid Phones


February 22, 2007 3:49 pm





OK, so I need to rant briefly, and I am going to precede this with a warning – I am going to probably annoy a load of Americans.  The phone systems in this country drive me crazy.  I am here in Utah and I am dialing Utah numbers, 801 to 801.  Yesterday I called a customer and I skipped the 801, I get a message telling me that long distance charges apply so hang up and try again.  So I hang up and add 1-801 to the front.  I then get another message telling me that the 1 is unnecessary, to hang up and try again.  I DON’T CARE – just put through my call as you obviously know where my call is going to end up.  So, this afternoon I need to call another Utah customer, 801 to 801.  So, I learn from yesterday and dial 801 – that damn woman tells me this is a long distance call and to add a 1.  Aaaargh.  Why on earth is the phone system so stupid that it can know where my call is going but can’t just route it?  And why on earth do we all put up with it?

A whilst I am on the subject – the concept of having to pay for someone to call me on my cell!  Wow, that was a new one on me too.  And after all that, phone service here is so expensive.  Anyway, I live here and I love it here so I’ll just put up with it I guess.

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  1. By:Jim henderson

    You’re not alone in this, Scott – I’ve lived here in Utah for 10 years, and I get annoyed at the “you must dial the area code” vs. “the area code is not needed” messages. I live in SLC and am in Provo a couple times a week, and calling back and forth requires that I put in the area code, but only sometimes. I still haven’t figured it out, and it drives me crazy as well.

  2. By:Dave Johnson

    I’ll rant briefly too. Somewhere I got the idea that GroupWise 7.02 and GMS 7.02 would be coming out sometime in February. So I went to Novell’s download site, and still nothing. Then I went to the blog site, and saw there was a new GroupWise related blog; ‘ah ha!’ I said, Alex Evans must be giving some info about it…. no, he’s just ranting about area codes and his cell phone bill…

    Any word then on GroupWise updates?

  3. By:Dave Johnson

    and why does the first comment often contain 50 lines of whitespace? I sure didn’t put that in there.

  4. Alex, in some ways I sympathize, and in others I just shake my head. Here in Cincinnati Ohio, about 4 years ago NANPA was posting all these warnings about the dwindling pool of numbers, and had most of us spending *a lot of time* getting our phone systems and personnel ready to switch from 7-digit to 10-digit dialing. 3 months before the switchover, they got the LECs to basically compress their number databases and re-figure how much capacity was left. Amazingly, the capacity remainaing went from some low of about 15% up to 40%.

    IMHO, when you have a system with a national or international bureaucracy that is “supposed” to simplify everything, it all just grinds to a halt.


  5. By:Alex Evans

    Very sorry, in the future I will attempt to keep all my posts related solely to the release of patches. So, sarcasm aside, we definitely targetted the end of Feb – Ken Muir has said this in multiple forums, however, a target is not a commitment. We want to be 100% sure that what we release is of the quality that we, and you, expect it to be. We are not quite there but we are not far off.

  6. By:Alex Evans

    And I don’t know the answer, I am assuming that you are using IE and it’s probably some issue with the CSS template as I don’t see it in Firefox.

  7. Alex

    Local Long Distance.. another oxymoron.

  8. By:Dave Johnson

    Thanks for the update Alex. I take it then we’re looking at early March, as the end of Feb is only 3 business days away. Will there be a beta/field test release first, or straight to general release?

    I do hope you took my ‘rant’ with the humor intended.

  9. By:Dave Johnson

    Yeah, you’re probably right. I see the white space with IE7/Vista, but now I’m typing this from Firefox 1.07/Suse 10.0 I don’t see it. It sticks with whatever comment is first; it was on my comment, but now Jim Henderson’s comment is first, so the white space is with his comment. Sounds like CSS hell to me.

  10. By:Rutger

    Use Skype or something!


  11. By:Alex Evans

    We plan a public beta first. Not 100% sure on dates right now though.
    No worries on the rant – I got it 🙂

  12. By:Alex Evans

    Aah the wonders of Skype. My dad lives most of the year in Bulgaria, my mother is in the UK and half my family are in Holland, so Skype saves us a small fortune in phone bills. I don’t even have a home phone as most of my calls are international.

  13. By:Tom

    This reply is a little late for this blog entry but most cell phone providers allow you to do 10-digit dialing for all calls. You do not use the 1 at the beginning. Just the full phone number. You put the full number in your phone’s contact list and you don’t have to remember to all of the area code and dial 1 nonsense.


  14. By:Alex Evans

    Yeah – in fact on my cell I can just dial a 7 digit number if I am dialing to a number in Utah – not tried that when I’m roaming in other states but I will have to next time I am away. In the interim I also got Vonage installed at home and that’s a lot more intelligent than our phones (or exchange) back in the office.