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Vonage I have explained this many times before in other postings. Now that there is choice

I have explained this many times before in other postings. Now that there is choice among who you can choose as your phone service provider, there is going to be a difference in the display of the CNAM. So if you go from Verizon, SBC, AT&T, etc ... to Vonage or another Voip provider such as your own cable company, you may experience some differences on what you see on your caller ID display as well as what others may see when you call them.

When you were with and only had the choice of your local phone service provider, you got used to what was in stored in their CNAM database and since this was the only one you have used since caller ID was introduced, it became the norm for you. Humans are creatures of habit and do not like change which is going to have to be accepted if you leave your local phone service provider to go elsewhere.

The reason for the change is because everyone uses a different database to dip into when querying for CNAM. These databases are owned an operated by separate entities therefore are not always in sync and can vary in what they will display. The change from Wireless Caller to City / State is acceptable by industry standards because the value of City and State represents a display of the calling number's origin when the database dipped into does not have name for the number.

The way caller ID works is that the receiving carrier does a dip into a CNAM database. Just like how you would look up a number by name, this does the opposite. When a number does not exist in the database or the number does not have a name, the receiving carrier will populate the name entry with Unknown, Unavailable, City / State, or another acceptable value. These cannot and will not be changed to a name by Vonage's providers. These are also different from Private or Anonymous which have a restricted presentation(number being blocked) in the passing SS7 signaling.

So when a call is placed to a Vonage customer, Vonage will dip into their CNAM providers database and the provider will pass what they have stored. If nothing is in their database, the provider does an external dip into another database to retrieve the data being requested and pass it to Vonage. In some markets, Vonage is not even doing the dip. It is being passed to them from the interconnecting LEC carrier.

There are other issues that may occur as well such as wrong name. Wrong name will happen if there is a stale record in the CNAM databse being queried. The database may have the name of the person who prevously leased that phone number. In this case, it can be corrected by calling Vonage. Vonage would have to open a ticket with their provider who then has to verify the name that is being requested is valid for the number in current time. This could average about 7 days to correct.

Now if you experience a problem with your outbound caller ID not displaying correctly, depending upon what it displays will determine whether or not Vonage has the ability to correct it. For the most part, there should be no names stored for Vonage numbers however, Vonage's number are sold to them in bulk and the provider selling the numbers at one point in time put Vonage Holdings as the name for all the numbers. If this is what displays, Vonage can tell the provider to remove it. But once again, if the receiving carrier has stale records in their database, it wont matter what Vonage's provider changes. It will show wrong name. Mostly the person you call should see Unknown, Unavailable, City / State, or your number for both name and number.

So until the FCC makes a CNAM standard that all CNAM providers must replicate data, there will always be some discrepancies from what you have been accustomed to.

Read The Full Thread:

Caller ID Different from Competitor

With my local telephone company when someone would call it would come up with their
Landline calls should should display the callers name and number regardless
Should I contact Vonage Technical Support?
Yes, I would.
Thank you. I will let you know how it goes.
Well I called them and the representative tried to give me some type of explanation.
Thank you for helping me understand this. I have one more question about the
Yes. Read the last full paragraph from previous post. It does cover your outbound
Thank you very much for your replies! I now understand how it works. I didn't know

VonTechMgr posted "I have explained this many times before in other postings. Now that there is choice" on 10/26/2008

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