With hundreds of Hosted PBX or Hosted VoIP providers in the industry, several are going out of business each week. Some will give their customers anywhere from a few weeks to more than a month of notice. Others will shut down without any warning. Your business may get through the transition with little to no effects with immediate action. Otherwise, catastrophic problems may result.
If immediate action is not taken that insures a smooth transition, the company will experience many significant problems. Porting telephone numbers may take several weeks. If not done in time, your company will have its published numbers disconnected. When callers call, they will hear that the number is disconnected leading many to believe your company is out of business or has not paid its phone bill. Worse, there may be no quick fix.
Recovering these numbers from the telecommunications black hole caused by a vendor going out of business is difficult. Recapturing numbers can take weeks or months, if ever. In the interim, employees will spend time, effort and resources communicating new numbers to the public in addition to the lost advertising promoting a telephone number that can not be answered.
Losing a published number may not be the only problem. Employee productivity will be hampered when they do not have a communication system to perform their duties. Faxes may not get through and voicemails that contain important information could be lost.
1. Take quick action! Select a new provider and start the porting process immediately. If you can not decide on a new provider rapidly, then go to the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) which is the incumbent landline provider for your area. Have them port the number as a business line. Do not put the number under contract with the LEC as this will create more problems once you have selected a new Hosted VoIP Provider. At a minimum, you can hook an analog phone to it until you can decide who your new provider will be.
2. Get all of your company’s important information off the failing provider’s system. This includes listening to any voicemails on their system and writing down any numbers or other information that is needed. Also, retrieve any speed dials that are stored on their system.
3. There are many quality Hosted VoIP providers. Do not pick another provider that may go out of service. In other words, have your next Hosted PBX service supplied from a company that has been maintaining customers for at least 5 years.
4. This is my most important tip! If there is any risk that your number(s) will not be ported in time, pick a Hosted VoIP provider who has recovered lost numbers in the past. Recovering lost numbers is a frustrating process littered with many brick wall obstacles and people who do not care. Your Hosted VoIP provider must have “pit bull” employees who will go above and beyond the call of duty and will not accept “No” for an answer.