Telecom full of surprises for one ISP director

'Thank you for the recent request for 0867 numbers, I am pleased to advise you that the number you requested 0867xxxxx is available and re-served for you. We are currently configuring the number range for you' Trouble is, the ISP who got this letter hadn't actually applied for any 0867 numbers.

"Thank you for the recent request for 0867 numbers, I am pleased to advise you that the number you requested 0867xxxxx is available and re-served for you. We are currently configuring the number range for you": so begins Telecom's email to Alan Brown, director of Manawatu Internet Services, a local Internet service provider (ISP).

However, Brown hasn't requested one of the new 0867 numbers and is somewhat surprised to be told he had.

"The only dealing I've had [officially] with Telecom over the issue is when Alan Mitford-Taylor [Telecom's product manager] rang me to tell me we'd been assigned two numbers," says Brown.

"I'd like to see any documentation which says otherwise from Telecom, particularly if it purports to have my signature on it."

Tony Ripper, Telecom's customer manager, says that Telecom is reserving "obvious numbers" for its ISP customers based on their location or existing phone numbers, in much the same way that 0800 word numbers are generated.

"They don't have to use the numbers, but they're there if they choose to use them," says Ripper.

On June 13 Telecom sent out a press release claiming 29 ISPs had aready signed up for the 0867 service, but Ripper says the ISPs concerned did sign up for the 0867 service voluntarily.

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