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callisto
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks, Otaku.
I appreciate your search for a non-800 number. The one I am trying to reach is 800-290-5000. The 510 area code number you mention is the corporate office of Kaiser Permanente in Northern California (Oakland). This is a separate entity from KP Southern California. However, I intend to contact KP on Monday to alert them to the fact that customers switching to Voip will give up easy access to Kaiser.

Just to put this matter in perspective: I was attracted to Vonage because I spend around half the year in Mexico where I have a house. The thought of being able to take the router with me to plug it into the internet there and have my local San Diego number was appealing. Critical to my needs is staying in touch with various business interests back in California. I shall still use Vonage for many purposes but the 800 Catch22 means that I have now also subscribed to Cingular's North American plan at around $60 a month so that I can dial any numbers that Vonage will not allow me to reach.
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dabones
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

callisto wrote:
Thanks, Otaku.


Just to put this matter in perspective: I was attracted to Vonage because I spend around half the year in Mexico where I have a house. The thought of being able to take the router with me to plug it into the internet there and have my local San Diego number was appealing. Critical to my needs is staying in touch with various business interests back in California. .



be carefull taking it to Mexico, there was a few posts a month or 2 back that the Mexican Internet Providers were all blocking the ports for VoIP.. I am not sure if anythign was every fixed, but do a search for mexico on the board and see what comes up.. just warning you before you go there and find yet another problem for you with VoIP..

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scerruti
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Joined: Feb 05, 2005
Posts: 1424
Location: Carlsbad, CA (finally)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for posting the number you were having problems with. It did appear to be more difficult to find a response than I imagined.

I have not tested it, but the number you posted was for the appointment center and I would guess that you could reach it by calling the operator for the Clairmont Mesa Medical Offices at (619) 528-5000.

I have another thought that might save you some money. You can get a calling card with Southern California local access numbers. If you could dial the toll free number using the calling card service it might be cheaper than paying the charge for the cell.

Here is one: http://www.phonecardsavenue.com/details.asp?product=945

I am not recommending this card. I don't know what the rates are and the restrictions on the card appear draconian to me. I am just saying for $5 you could try it and see.

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callisto
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks everyone. I talked to Kaiser this morning and they reluctantly provided me a regular number to contact their office with and make appointments etc. If anyone else needs it, it is 619-590-2501.

I will, of course, be careful taking the equipment to Mexico. I also had heard that Telmex was systematically blocking Voip ports - there is a good reason why they are one of the richest and most hated companies in Latin America - their rates are astronomical. Even good friends of mine that work for Telmex are ashamed to tell the neighbors who they are employed by.
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m_jonis
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Let's see, in NY, I cannot dial Time Warner Cable: 866-321-2225
or the NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles: 800-225-5368

I'm pretty sure I can find a few more (but those are the ones I've tried repeatedly to call and cannot access).
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otaku
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2005 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

m_jonis wrote:
Let's see, in NY, I cannot dial Time Warner Cable: 866-321-2225
or the NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles: 800-225-5368

I'm pretty sure I can find a few more (but those are the ones I've tried repeatedly to call and cannot access).


Call each number and inform them you need the local number to get into their phone systems. Tell them you are not able to dial toll-free numbers, and need the long distance number.

You may need to call them from a cell phone, but they will have an alternate phone number for you to use.

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sluscher
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:34 pm    Post subject: 800 Number Challenge MUST be addressed Reply with quote Back to top

The situation that we're in re: 1-800 numbers is a major crisis for Voip and must be addressed.

The challenge facing the engineers is that of recognizing the origin of the call, and making sure that wherever the call pops up onto the analog network, it's recognized by the 1-800 recipient as originating from that calling area.

I am a customer with Vonage Canada, and as of yet can not call the CANADA REVENUE AGENCY. This is a massive problem. I can not communicate with the tax office because they do not HAVE a local number where they can be reached, only a national 1-800 number.

What are our options going forward? This problem is a major threat to the viability of Voip. I can't go to a payphone every time I need to discuss sensitive tax information with the government.

Steve...
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callisto
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I wholeheartedly agree with Steve. I have survived so far by cajoling non-800 numbers from the places that I have been doing business with. But whenever I come across a new business that uses a local 800 number, I have to pull out my cellphone to make the initial contact.
Since Vonage has my location information from my 911 registration, it would seem to be a straightforward process to associate my subscriber phone number with a particular city. In addition, I would have thought that my caller ID could be used as an "overprint" on whatever New Jersey exchange number Vonage sends all of its 800 traffic from.
Tony
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scerruti
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Joined: Feb 05, 2005
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Location: Carlsbad, CA (finally)

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

m_jonis wrote:
Let's see, in NY, I cannot dial Time Warner Cable: 866-321-2225
or the NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles: 800-225-5368

I'm pretty sure I can find a few more (but those are the ones I've tried repeatedly to call and cannot access).


Time Warner Cable
Quote:
For new services, change of services, technical support or general questions, please call:
Toll free 1-866-321-2225
Outside of service area 1-518-869-5500


Search time 30 seconds (second entry when number is googled).

NYS DMV
Quote:
From locations outside the State of New York: (518) 473-5595


Search time 1 minute (7th entry when googled).

Certainly finding a number for Kaiser was more difficult, but I just am not convinced that finding the alternative to a toll free number is all that difficult and that this is a major crisis for Voip since Voip users have broadband connections.

The need for toll free numbers disappears with Voip. If we are convinced that the paradigm will shift away from POTS towards Voip then we should be looking at how Voip providers can add new features not complicate their systems by trying to shoehorn them into the old model. In other words it would be "nice" if toll free numbers worked seamlessly, but if it takes resources away from developing other features then it doesn't rank in the top 5 of my list.

However, Vonage is not a pure Voip carrier, Vonage has placed themselves solidly as the transition carrier between POTS and Voip. From that point of view Vonage should correct not only toll free calling but toll calls (900 numbers, 976 exchanges) as well. However, if we agree that E911 is a major crisis (and not everyone on these forums will agree to that) then can you really consider toll free calls at the same level of importance?

Oh and
slusher wrote:
and as of yet can not call the CANADA REVENUE AGENCY


Canada Revenue Agency
Quote:
Calls from anywhere in Canada and the United States
Individuals
1-800-267-5177
Non-resident corporations
1-800-561-7761
Ext. 9144
Non-resident corporation accounts
1-800-561-7761
Ext. 9155
Non-resident trusts
1-800-561-7761
Ext. 9150

Calls from outside Canada and the United States
(we accept collect calls)
Individuals
(613) 952-3741
Non-resident corporations and corporation accounts
(613) 954-9681
Non-resident trusts
(613) 952-8753


Although these numbers are for the International Tax Service Office, I believe that they can be used for normal contact based on language on the web site.

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m_jonis
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for providing me with the #'s. Just out of curiosity, do you just google for the 800#? Or how did you go about finding those numbers out?

Usually I just use: www.superpages.com or the actual website (which is sometimes very difficult to find a "contact us" section with local numbers)
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