1. If I relocate can I keep the same number?
You can keep your phone and fax numbers if you are moving to a location serviced by the same local Telephone Exchange. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that because the old and new offices are only a few hundred meters apart that they must be off the same exchange. It is technically possible for buildings that are next door to one another to be serviced by different telephone exchanges. The best way to check this is to contact your phone company.
2. If I can’t keep the same number when I relocate, what are my options?
If you aren’t able to keep the same number once you relocate, there are a number of options that allow your customers to contact you via your old number(s).
- Call Forward – Transfers calls from your business number to your mobile, pager, answering service or new phone number. This is a temporary solution and can be turned on and off easily using your phone at the old premises.
- Number Redirection: Sets up a permanent diversion of calls from your old number to your new one. Number Redirection gives you the option to notify callers of your new number before being put through.
- MessageBank: Set up a personalized message attached to your old number to tell callers about your new contact details.
Whenever you have calls diverting you will be charged for the diversion -in other words you will be charged to receive calls. If you don’t want your customers to be inconvenienced and you want them to get through to you transparently then this is a cost of relocating outside of your local Exchange area that you will have to incur. If you are happy for your customers to receive a message with your new contact details then have to hang up and call back then you will not have to incur costs for calls received.
3. How much notice do I need to provide my supplier with before I relocate?
Most phone companies require a minimum of 5 working days to install a P S T N analogue phone line in a metropolitan area, 10-15 working days to install an ISDN2 service and around 30 days to install an ISDN10/20/30. Your phone company will be able to provide a more accurate estimate – ask them if they have a Service Level Agreement (SLA) for provisioning new services. The more reputable companies will provide financial compensation in the event that they miss the SLA however, be sure to read the small print! Many SLA’s start from the date of order acceptance which doesn’t help you much if it takes them 2 weeks to accept the order! If your new building doesn’t have any or enough existing telephone cabling then the delivery time may extend to several months if building contractors are required to dig trenches and lay cables.
4. What questions should I ask myself when relocating a phone system?
There are 4 key points of interest:
- Is there a working phone system in the new premises? If you are moving in to an established building with an existing phone system then it is just a matter of ensuring the system works, has enough extensions and has sufficient line cards for the type and number of phone lines you require.
- Do I need to cable any points in the new premises? It is best to confirm that there are sufficient phone points cabled in the new building and that they are in the right place. Your phone system installer should be able to carry out a site survey prior to the move to ensure the cabling is up to scratch and to add any additional points if necessary.
- Will my current phone system allow for any growth in the new premises? Before going through the stress and expense of relocating your old phone system, find out whether this system is going to support you for the next couple of years. If not, it may be cheaper in the long run to upgrade now.
- Don’t forget diversions: If you are planning to set temporary diversions from the old premises make sure you do this before the phone system has disconnected and put in the back of the truck!
5. What common mistakes should I avoid when relocating a phone system?
There are a number of common mistakes that are made during relocation that can be easily avoided:
- Am I moving to the same Local Exchange area? Do not make the mistake of assuming that because the old and new offices are only a few hundred meters apart that they must be off the same exchange. It is technically possible for buildings that are next door to one another to be serviced by different telephone exchanges. The best way to check this is to contact your phone company.
- How much notice to I need to provide? Look out for companies that quote their provisioning times from the date of order acceptance this wont help you much if it takes them 2 weeks to accept the order!
- Don’t cut off the Internet: All DSL based Internet services such as ADSL, SHDSL, ADSL2+ use a standard phone line to deliver the service. If you cancel or relocate a phone line with a DSL service on it, the Internet will not be relocated it will just die.
- Are there enough phone points? Make sure you confirm that there are sufficient phone points cabled in the new building and that they are in the right place. Your phone system installer should be able to carry out a site survey prior to the move to ensure the cabling is up to scratch and to add any additional points if necessary.
- Don’t forget to divert: If you are using a temporary diversion on the day of the move, make sure you set the diversion before the phones are removed.