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Bill Quimby, whose company, Toll Free Numbers.com, specializes in helping businesses obtain easy-to-remember digits to connect with customers, said it can be a challenge to find a good match because Prime Tel has gobbled up such an outsized share of the supply.
“They started by getting numbers for phone sex, then getting good numbers in general, then they started taking all phone numbers,” he said.
Capturing callers who have reached the wrong number — whether because they punched an incorrect digit or dialed a number without realizing it had changed hands — is a “big new industry,” she said. That gives it the same power to reserve and assign unused toll-free numbers as big phone companies with millions of customers.
Federal Communications Commission rules say that “routing multiple toll-free numbers to a single toll-free subscriber” is usually considered hoarding.
The FCC has never taken formal action against Prime Tel or National A-1, although federal authorities have expressed renewed interest lately in companies that handle toll-free numbers.
Enter your credit card number now.” Those naughty misdials, and countless others like them, appear to be no accident.
A similar thing happens if you punch in the initial digits of 1-800-Metallica, 1-800-Cadillac, 1-800-Minolta, 1-800-Cameras, 1-800-Worship or 1-800-Whirlpool.
In the fall, authorities sent subpoenas to several, including Prime Tel, asking for information on how they acquire numbers and why.
And in October, federal agents and Philadelphia police spent two days removing records from National A-1’s office suite, although it is unclear if the action was related to the phone business.The man listed on many government records as the top executive at both Prime Tel and National A-1, Richard Cohen, declined interview requests. They wouldn’t have them if they didn’t need them,” Helein said of Prime Tel’s huge pool of numbers.A lawyer for both companies, Charles Helein, would not discuss their business dealings in detail but said Prime Tel isn’t breaking any rules or engaging in prohibited practices such as selling numbers or obtaining ones it doesn’t intend to use. He said the company’s large share hasn’t caused any shortages: “Everybody’s got all the numbers they need.” Helein said the raid last fall was not aimed at Prime Tel. As of March, it administered more 800 numbers than any other company, including Verizon and AT&T. Records obtained by The Associated Press show that over the past 13 years, a little-known Philadelphia company called Prime Tel Communications has quietly gained control over nearly a quarter of all the 1-800 numbers in the U. and Canada, often by grabbing them the moment they are relinquished by previous users.Helein denied Prime Tel was trying to capitalize from misdials or engaged in a strategy to intercept calls made by customers of other businesses.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating