Category Archives: RESPORG

Resporg related items

How much information is really necessary to Port an 800 number?

phone company information for the responsible organization change formIf you were porting a number from AT&T to the company you’re sending it to would they really need AT&T’s name and address etc? They need YOUR name and address and contact information but the only information any phone company needs to port a number is the previous carrier name and their Resporg ID, which in our case is (or is usually also acceptable) and QZA01 which is our ID. Any resporg can look up and get the current contact information for any other resporg with that. The only thing you might want to include beyond that is our fax number 800-FAX-0095.

Some Resporg forms are confusing and make it seem like they need a lot more information. But they’re really not mailing anything to us. The general rule I usually ask a representative who’s questioning something is this. What would you do if you were transferring a number from AT&T? If it were AT&T, would they require an address to put there and what difference would it make if they put the local billing office or the main HQ? At that point it’s usually clear that the phone company’s address isn’t necessary or even helpful. They do need the name and address of the customer though, along with their authorization to take the number. They really don’t need the releasing company to authorize it or very much information about them other than the name (and ID if known).

Potential Hoarding of Toll Free Numbers

Call Source activated 1 million toll free numbers in the past two yearsThe FCC has regulations against hoarding and brokering. Hoarding is defined as taking more numbers from the Available pool than you have a legitimate business need for. Brokering is taking numbers from the Available pool for the purpose of reselling them. I’ve explained why I think the danger isn’t abuse by end users but by phone companies. Plus toll free numbers are also invisible and have no physical presence so very few people ever see how many numbers each phone company has.

For various reasons, the FCC hasn’t been overly aggressive in enforcing this type of abuse, combined with the inability of anyone to see or appreciate how many numbers different companies have, is enabling some companies to take advantage of the situation. I obviously can’t do anything about the FCC, but I can make toll free numbers more visible, and expose just a little of the possible abuses of the system.

I don’t do this to condemn anyone, but with 855 numbers coming out the danger of major abuse will be exponentially increased. In the mean time I’m going to show the volume of numbers activated and controlled by some companies. For instance, the fact that one company recently took over 400,000 numbers at one time, doesn’t prove that they are hoarding or brokering numbers, but at some point it has to be at least a little suspicious. If you’re wondering why we’re running out of toll free numbers, take a look at the amount of numbers activated by Over the past two years the volume of numbers available has decreased by about 3 million numbers, while at the same time CallSource alone, increased by almost 1 million numbers, (from half a million to one and a half million numbers!)

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There's no Borg in Resporg

A phone company sent us a cover page from their “RespBorg” department. It’s an abbreviation for Responsible Organization so it’s obviously supposed to be RespOrg but we couldn’t help picturing what a RespBorg might look like! We’re definitely going to have to use this picture on our Resporg Transfer requests too.

Shared Use by a resporg = HOARDING

Shared use by the resporg is always toll free number hoardingShared Use can be a valid business if it meets a few requirements for shared use. And I’ve written about when shared use can cross the line into Hoarding. But there’s a special case where Shared Use is always, by definition Hoarding, and that’s when they are both the Phone Company (aka the Resporg) and the Shared use company. And just because they set up two different business names doesn’t make it any less hoarding, if they’re controlled by the same people.

Just because shared use is a valid thing to do with a toll free number, doesn’t mean that shared use is a valid reason to acquire toll free numbers and it certainly doesn’t give you the right to grab up as many as you want. This is the very reason that the rules about hoarding were put in place. Just because you call yourself a shared use company doesn’t make you somehow immune to regulations on hoarding or give you the authority to get as many numbers as you want.

Share use by a resporg is essentially the perfect definition of hoarding because it requires obtaining the number before there is an actual end user for the number. A resporg is supposed to get numbers out of the spare pool at the request of end users, not for some future potential end user. One of the best specific examples of hoarding toll free numbers, is Greg Fernandez’s company, The Telco. With virtually no customers and no disernable marketing he has been acquiring hundreds of good numbers from other phone companies acting as both the phone company and the customer. This is clearly what the FCC regulations against hoarding were designed to prevent.

UPDATE: There’s a more recent example of this with a lot of statistics and details Potential hoarding of Toll Free Numbers by a resporg (who also happens to do shared use).

Protecting your 800 Numbers

protecting 1-800 numbersA lot of people have asked me what they can do to protect their 800 numbers better, especially given all of the issues of ownership and lost numbers we’ve been seeing lately. Once you put your number in print and in all of your advertising, it’s clearly very difficult, expensive or even impossible to change your number.

That’s one of the main reasons why customers use our service, so that whoever they use for the service can’t claim because of some technicality or even a change in the fine print of their contract after you sign up. You don’t want to find out that the number you’ve been advertising and promoting for years is suddenly no longer yours and you’re stuck at the mercy of a phone company claiming ownership of your toll free number.

You really should use a separate Resporg

First of all, in case you’re not familiar with the toll free terms, Resporg is an abbreviation for “Responsible Organization”, the term for an entity that has access into the 800 database and maintains the customer records for a toll free number.

The real solution, short of becoming your own resporg is to use an independent third party resporg, rather than simply allowing the phone company servicing the number to be the resporg. The company providing the service has a financial incentive to keep you there. So relying on them for your ability to transfer the number is like relying on your kids to guard the cookies that they want to eat.

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