Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dial "1" For Long Distance

For about a year and a half, I've been receiving voicemails on my cell phone from somebody in the medical field. They contain extremely personal, confidential, detailed and in some cases embarrassing medical information meant exclusively for the patient. A typical call might be outlined by the following: "Hello, X, we have a dose of Y for your problem Z. We need to fill out the insurance form A by Tuesday so you don't end up with a B that will require a C." On and on. These calls don't come every day so I'm not completely insane, but they come often enough that it's annoying. They always come when I'm not connected to my cell phone for some reason.

I've called the medical lady back several times telling of the wrong number. I even talked directly to her once saying that she keeps calling even though I've left messages before and to update her records. Well, today we played phone tag with me explaining yet again the wrong number problem. Finally, she called when I could answer. I diagnosed the problem while we were on the phone. All this time she has been calling a real number in a different area code without first dialing a "1".

Back when cell phones were gaining popularity, the phone companies decided to use what used to be exclusively area codes as the new cell phone prefixes so they wouldn't run out of numbers. A long distance call would now require a "1". But if somebody calls a long distance (123) 456-7890 without first dialing a "1", the local number 123-4567 will be reached, with the last three numbers making no difference. My prefix is also an area code so my number is the first seven of their ten digit long distance number. So, I hope she knows to dial a "1" now, or if the number was programmed somewhere maybe she can fix it. I hope nobody I know ever has to deal with X, Y and Z and have it end up in somebody else's voicemail.

1 comment:

  1. You need youmail. Check out - you can assign numbers to get custom voicemail based off the numbers so if somebody keeps calling you - you can give them custom messages like "this number is no longer in service" and you never have to answer it again.