Google Struggles with Phone Number 'For Life'

GrandCentral, which Google acquired last month, had to change about 400 of the supposedly perpetual numbers it had assigned to clients. The numbers had to be changed after a "local carrier partner" recently notified Google it would stop its service and thus would be unable to connect calls to the GrandCentral numbers issued in its coverage area. Google has contacted the affected customers and set up alternative numbers in the same area code. The old and new numbers will work until August 30, 2007, after which only the new numbers will remain active. "We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and worry this has caused, and we want to reassure all of our users that we remain committed to providing 'one number for life' that they can count on," said a Google spokeswoman.

GrandCentral bills itself as a free provider of voice communications management services. It lets people integrate their phone numbers and voice mailboxes into one account, and manage their calls and voice messages online. For example, customers can obtain a number from GrandCentral and set it up with their phones so that all, some or none of them ring, depending on who is calling. In addition, people can get a central voice mailbox. This way, phone numbers can change, but people can avoid the hassle of notifying friends and associates about the change and reprinting business cards and letterheads.

News source: PC World

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