Problem with disconnected number fixed
I tried to make a phone call to a firm with which I had previously done business. The first time, it was not the party I wanted, so I apologized and tried again. Same result. I asked what number I had reached. The number bore no relation to the one I dialed, so it was not the result of one missed number or transposition of numbers. I apologized once again and said I would try again to be sure. Again, same result. Enough was enough. I called Hawaiian Telcom and was told the number was no longer in their system. I asked why I did not get a recording and the response was to the effect that it apparently was in another phone company's system. No further explanation was given. I would really like to know why a recording was not used instead of connecting me to a number totally different from that which I dialed.
Answer: This was a case of a big "oops."
After further research, Hawaiian Telcom found that the number you called had been "disconnected correctly, but was being forwarded to another number in error," said spokeswoman Ann Nishida.
The problem has been corrected and Hawaiian Telcom's standard disconnect message now plays when you dial that number, she said.
We asked her to explain what happens when numbers are disconnected.
Nishida said that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 ordered "Local Number Portability," which allows a customer to take a phone number it had with one company to another telephone provider.
"A phone number is only considered a 'Hawaiian Telcom number' if we are providing the phone service behind it," she said.
The number you had dialed "is technically ours, even though it's disconnected, until someone requests or 'ports' it out to another provider," she said.
When a business disconnects a number, if it doesn't select the option to forward callers to another number, Hawaiian Telcom's standard disconnect message stays on for about a year before the number is cycled back for reassignment, she said. "This is done to prevent numerous wrong-number calls to the new customer."
The company that had the number you called had disconnected it and "could have chosen to provide a new number where calls were being taken, but this option was not utilized," Nishida said.
In the future, if you feel a problem has not been handled satisfactorily the first time you call Hawaiian Telcom, contact Hawaiian Telcom's Customer Relations Department at 643-3377, or e-mail email@example.com. But this should be a second option, Nishida said.
Q: Has Pepsi Cola ceased sales of its Pepsi One product in Hawaii? It was always a hard item to find, but it seems to have disappeared.
A: Pepsi One is distributed to the major supermarket chains -- Foodland, Safeway, Star and Times -- as well as to Tamura's grocery outlets, a spokeswoman said. It's sold mainly in 12-packs in Hawaii.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers