Shana Macey, Crown Point Telephone president, and Tony Macey, Crown Point Telephone vice president of operations, are frustrated by “failure to complete” issues experienced by some customers. The problem lies with long distance service providers, not Crown Point Telephone.
Crown Point Telephone customers are frustrated. So is the company.
Phone patrons are reporting problems receiving long distance calls to the company — but the issue isn’t a local one, according to Shana Macey, president of Crown Point Telephone.
“When people can’t call into Crown Point via a long distance provider, it’s not Crown Point Telephone that’s failing to complete the call,” Macey said. “That call is being dropped before it ever gets to us.”
Rural telephone consumers across the nation are reporting problems receiving long distance or wireless calls on their landline telephones, Macey said. The issue is known as “failure to complete.” Problems include incoming long distance calls not connecting or, if they do connect, poor voice quality.
If a person has a working landline phone — they can make calls and receive local calls — but learn that long-distance or wireless callers have been unable to reach them the issue is likely “failure to complete.”
Macey said the problem lies with major long distance carriers who are attempting to save money, especially in rural areas where expenses are higher, by sub-contacting services with third-party internet companies. The practice is called “low-cost routing.”
“That’s the problem we’re having,” Macey said. “We understand it’s becoming increasing frustrating for Crown Point Telephone customers. We’re very frustrated ourselves, but we’re not the carrier with the problem.”
“Failure to complete” symptoms include:
— long distance or wireless callers repeatedly hear nothing for 10 seconds or more after they dial a number. If they stay on the line, the call may seem to be dropped or they may eventually hear a busy signal;
— long distance or wireless callers repeatedly hear prolonged ringing on their end after they dial a number;
— long distance or wireless callers repeatedly hear prolonged ringing, but the phone actually rings only a couple of times before being answered;
— long distance or wireless callers repeatedly hear a recording such as “The number you have dialed is not in service” or “Your call cannot be completed as dialed” despite having correctly dialed a number; or
— poor call quality.
Macey said many of these third-party internet long distance companies do not provide reliable service.
“There are solutions, but people need to report the problems they’re experiencing,” Macey said. “Unfortunately, Crown Point Telephone can’t help. People making the calls need to complain to the Federal Communications Commission.”
For the FCC to take action on a complaint, a phone customer must provide the caller’s number, the called number and the date the attempted calls or problem calls were made. If possible, people should also identify the telephone service provider that serves the caller and provide the time of the calls. Complaints can be filed online at http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/rcc/RCC_Form2000B.html
The FCC is aware of the “failure to complete” issue and is working to address it, Macey said. The agency adopted new rules last December to deal with the problem and in February warned long distance providers that they may be in violation of the federal Communications Act.