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Help - may lose our phone # which is on all print material

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ctavakoli
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Help - may lose our phone # which is on all print material

Postby ctavakoli » Mon, 14 Jul 2008 8:56 pm

Hi everyone,

I own a Pte. Ltd. in Singapore, and we are currently customers of a virtual office service provider in Singapore. Through virtual office company we subscribe to a phone number that is held by a partner of theirs. This number is directed to ourselves, however the number is owned by a customer of Starhub, and this customer is the partner of our virtual office service provider. This partner has advised our virtual office service provider that they are closing their business and at the end of July our number will be terminated. This is a huge problem for our company as we have much invested in print material that has this number printed on it - the material has been distributed across Australia, Indonesia, North America, Europe and Singapore.

I have contacted Starhub and the people there were very helpful, yet they're still not sure if we can be assigned this number, even though the current holder of it has requested it's termination. They're going to get back to me, but I know telcos sometimes have much difficulty re-assigning numbers and this might especially be the case here because the current owner of the number holds thousands of numbers through some kind of digital telephony service, whereby they forward calls directed to a number to a number we nominate.

We are happy to pay for any migration or new setup fees that may be encountered - the only important thing to us is that we retain this number. We've made it clear we're willing to sign up with Starhub in order to be allocated the number.

Can anybody suggest any other avenues we can pursue if Starhub for some reason can't give us the number.

Many thanks,

Ct

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Mon, 14 Jul 2008 10:25 pm

I should look closely at your contract with the virtual office, legally speaking I would expect the virtual Office to be liable for any change in telephone numbers, that effect your business.

After all what is a virtual Office without a telephone number?

Although that doesn't resolve your problem, but it must be in the virtual office owners interest to keep these numbers, so I would look into the reaons why the guy with the phone numbers is stopping business.

Providing there is no debt involved, it maybe a god send for the virtual office to over take their partners business of the telephone numbers for a nominal sum. Unless I have misunderstood, what you are saying.

The virtual Office supply a service including your number, they will have to cover the cost of any losses to your business if there is no exclusion in the contract, that gets them out of it.

You do need to contact the line supplier, to secure this number, so get what details you can from the guy, who is closing down I believe the telephone company cannot resell the numbers for a period of time after closure, to allow the owner of the numbers time reclaim them, if they want to. Try to work it out with them, before the closure date comes into force.

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Postby ctavakoli » Mon, 14 Jul 2008 11:34 pm

Thanks ksl - after reading your post I've emailed the VO company requesting that firms name and contact details..

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Postby ksl » Mon, 14 Jul 2008 11:52 pm

ctavakoli wrote:Thanks ksl - after reading your post I've emailed the VO company requesting that firms name and contact details..


I've been looking at some of the packages of virtual office, some packages come without dedicated phone line, although I presume your package offered you a dedicated telephone number, so it appears, the VO may have to foot the costs of all brochure materials, if you lose that number...all depends on the exclusions in the contract.

An example of package is here http://www.virtualoffice.com.sg/new/details.php#phone Though all VO will have their own benefits to offer.

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Postby ctavakoli » Wed, 16 Jul 2008 2:09 pm

Hi ksl,

Starhub said the number is part of a set issued through an ISDN plan.. They said we can aqcuire it if the current owner is willing to transfer it to us, but that we'd need to take a minimum of 200 numbers..

$350 / month for ISDN
$1 / month per number so $200 / month

Total $550 / month

They have other service providers that they're trying to push us onto. They should ask those service providers to host this set of forfeitted numbers to avoid this problem for their clients, then it's between them to share costs, etc.

That's just my thought - would like to know yours.

Yes the link you sent is who we use.

Ct

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Postby ksl » Wed, 16 Jul 2008 6:59 pm

ctavakoli wrote:Hi ksl,

Starhub said the number is part of a set issued through an ISDN plan.. They said we can aqcuire it if the current owner is willing to transfer it to us, but that we'd need to take a minimum of 200 numbers..

$350 / month for ISDN
$1 / month per number so $200 / month

Total $550 / month

They have other service providers that they're trying to push us onto. They should ask those service providers to host this set of forfeited numbers to avoid this problem for their clients, then it's between them to share costs, etc.

That's just my thought - would like to know yours.

Yes the link you sent is who we use.

Ct


I would have thought it was in the interest of the VO, to step in here, if they have been selling a package with a dedicated number, they need to be held accountable for that number.

I'm a little confused with the partner who supplied the numbers in the first place to the VO, was he a VO partner or was it an outsourced party renting the numbers out to VO clients. Whichever method used the VO is accountable, they are the ones advertising the dedicated number service, and mention no 3rd party on their website for numbers that i can see.

If so the weight is on his shoulders to solve the problem, accountability must lie with the VO company to bare the cost, It is my belief that the VO have purchased the block of numbers for their business, and maybe the partner of the business.

I think if you was to work with the guy, who is responsible for giving notice of the shut down, you maybe be able to save the numbers, by getting together with all the others, that have the same problem as yourself. It must be in there interest to chip in and cover the cost, to save the block of numbers, although confidentiality is the problem, so it's up to the guy that purchased the blk numbers to contact all clients, arrange a meeting at the virtual office and some way get the clients and VO to come to some agreement, that satisfy everyone. The numbers can be saved, if there is sufficient client interest to save them

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Postby ctavakoli » Thu, 17 Jul 2008 5:43 am

Hi ksl,

I'm a little confused with the partner who supplied the numbers in the first place to the VO, was he a VO partner or was it an outsourced party renting the numbers out to VO clients. Whichever method used the VO is accountable, they are the ones advertising the dedicated number service, and mention no 3rd party on their website for numbers that i can see.


I agree - I think it's their responsibility too - they seem to think it's not. The GM at VO forwarded me this communication from someone - she didn't state where they're from and it's a gmail address. Funnily he references their vendors - you've gotta wonder how many times it's being re-sold here.

Hi <REMOVED>,

It is an unexpected decision of our vendor who has decided to terminate the services and focus on their other core businesses. It is a business decision of another entity which is not within our control.

We could understand the level of inconvenient and frustration the changes brought to us and our customers. Under this circumstance, we could not hold on to the decision of another entity. However, we have immediately qualified another equivalent vendor to bridge the service. The change would be the telephone number. We have tried to request to transfer the original number but were not successful because they were tied to the infrastructure which is owned by our previous vendor.

Most of our customers who using the similar services would inform their customers of the change of telephone numbers through email or fax. So far, we did not encounter anything major problem. If the numbers were printed on paper materials, it is not within our capacity to compensate the losses.

We apologize for this experience our customers encountered. We are at the upper stream and we suffer much more than our customers. I hope our customers could understand our burden and move on with us and we will continue to provide our utmost support.

Thank you.

Regards,

<REMOVED>


I mean I'm struggling to comprehend why VO would allow their service provider to not pick up this number set. I have written to the guy above and told him that Starhub has told me that they can take over the number set.

ct

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Postby ksl » Thu, 17 Jul 2008 2:38 pm

ctavakoli wrote:Hi ksl,

I'm a little confused with the partner who supplied the numbers in the first place to the VO, was he a VO partner or was it an outsourced party renting the numbers out to VO clients. Whichever method used the VO is accountable, they are the ones advertising the dedicated number service, and mention no 3rd party on their website for numbers that i can see.


I agree - I think it's their responsibility too - they seem to think it's not. The GM at VO forwarded me this communication from someone - she didn't state where they're from and it's a gmail address. Funnily he references their vendors - you've gotta wonder how many times it's being re-sold here.

Hi <REMOVED>,

It is an unexpected decision of our vendor who has decided to terminate the services and focus on their other core businesses. It is a business decision of another entity which is not within our control.

We could understand the level of inconvenient and frustration the changes brought to us and our customers. Under this circumstance, we could not hold on to the decision of another entity. However, we have immediately qualified another equivalent vendor to bridge the service. The change would be the telephone number. We have tried to request to transfer the original number but were not successful because they were tied to the infrastructure which is owned by our previous vendor.

Most of our customers who using the similar services would inform their customers of the change of telephone numbers through email or fax. So far, we did not encounter anything major problem. If the numbers were printed on paper materials, it is not within our capacity to compensate the losses.

We apologize for this experience our customers encountered. We are at the upper stream and we suffer much more than our customers. I hope our customers could understand our burden and move on with us and we will continue to provide our utmost support.

Thank you.

Regards,

<REMOVED>


I mean I'm struggling to comprehend why VO would allow their service provider to not pick up this number set. I have written to the guy above and told him that Starhub has told me that they can take over the number set.

ct
Yes It appears they are trying to fob everyone off! I would suggest you take some legal action against the VO company if they refuse to take over the numbers, it is clearly their responsibility when they are selling a package with a dedicated phone number.

This shouldn't cost an arm and a leg, in the small claims court, and I believe it is a clear cut case...The VO should make everyone aware of the vendor involvement and have had a disclaimer in the contract making everyone aware that the telephone numbers are not theirs. they are selling a product and probably getting commission too on how many clients they provide to the number vendor, They are completely in breech of their responsibilities. I would attempt to trace others in the same position, but take them to the small claims on your own.

1. They make compensate you, before a court case
2. If too many take them to court, they will not have money to compensate everyone, so some will probably not get anything.
3. They give in a pay for the block numbers.
4. I have no idea if the VO is a limited Company or not, if not then the owner of the VO will be panicking, to avoid any claims and would never admit liability, this can only be sorted out under arbitration of the small claims court.

You need to make them aware, that your company have no alternative, but to recover costs of published materials, through the small claims court procedure, when it is a clear trading breach of responsibility on the VO, not to make all clients aware of the Vendor, secondly it is not a virtual Office, without telephone numbers.

The VO service provider should be starhub or another telecommunications provider and not another 3rd party, this is the obvious breach in a Virtual Office setup, they have attempted to cut costs by using a 3rd party involvement, because it is not easy for a startup VO to sell off 200 numbers, until business is well established with a client base.

This is the VO mistake of not informing all clients that the numbers are not theirs. I would go as far to say, they have planned a deception of not informing clients, because it is clear, they would have difficulty to provide a VO service, without telephone number availability.

Due to lack of funds, when starting the business, and/or a planned strategy to deceive clients, so they could sell, their VO packages. it is obvious to an idiot, that no one would rent a VO, because of the risk of changing telephone numbers through a 3rd party.

It's called good old common sense and the small claims court would agree, without doubt.
You can cut and paste what i have wrote to them if you like, but one thing for sure, is they are not going to admit liability, so it must be a court case. to recoup your costs, if you do nothing, then they the VO have decieved many clients by not informing them before sign up.

Best I can come up with! Good luck!

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Postby ctavakoli » Fri, 18 Jul 2008 1:56 am

thanks KSL - i appreciate your input. their partners are at least communicating with ourselves and starhub now and claiming to be trying to identify a solution. in good faith we are giving them time to present to us a reasonable resolution, and at the same time preparing for the worst case scenario.

i agree very much that the premise of a VO is deceptive if they're unable to guarantee the securing of a line which they openly advertise as 'dedicated'.

i will keep you updated as it progresses (or digresses), whichever it may be.

ct

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Postby BESSM » Tue, 23 Dec 2008 11:50 am

Hi there.
Curious to know here. Any further development on your case?


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