50 Comments

Summary:

[qi:90] Update: A few weeks after Google bought GrandCentral for many millions, there are some changes afoot at the service. There is word that some GrandCentral users who had signed up for a phone number for life are finding out that it isn’t exactly the case, […]

[qi:90] Update: A few weeks after Google bought GrandCentral for many millions, there are some changes afoot at the service. There is word that some GrandCentral users who had signed up for a phone number for life are finding out that it isn’t exactly the case, and are being told that their numbers are going to change on August 25, 2007.

Judi Sohn, who edits WebWorkerDaily and has been a long time fan of GrandCentral got an email from the GrandCentral team letting her know that her number will be changed as of August 25, 2007. She was fuming, but not anymore: Google-owned GrandCentral (GOOG) will pay for reprinting her business cards.

Troy Schneider also had the Google-owned GrandCentral change the number on him. He is not too happy!

I wouldn’t be either. These kind of changes are risk you take when you test out Web 2.0 products, or rely on a start-up that gets gobbled up by a big company. It is also the risk I take when recommending a service to my readers. GrandCentral-Google in their email say only a small number of users are being impacted. Are you one of them?

Update: I accidentally left the comments closed last night by mistake. I apologize for that.

Vincent Paquet, co-founder of GrandCentral emailed and let me know (he wanted to post a response in the comments, but they were closed.)

There are 434 users affected by this change and unfortunately we would have had the same issue had Google not acquired GrandCentral. One of our pre-acquisition underlying carriers stops providing services to certain areas and this does affect a few of our users. I understand those users’s frustration and share it. I know that no explanation will change this, but we have provided each of those users with an alternate number in the same area code and we’re happy to help, like in Judi’s case, to ease the pain of the transition when we can.

Aswath Rao had written about such an event happening almost a month ago.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. haven’t gotten a number resassignement email yet from grandcentral but that would definetly suck. I have referred 3-4 friends so far who have businesses to use Grandcentral specifically because Google was backing it

  2. There’s telecom in my televerse « My Metaverse in the Making Monday, August 20, 2007

    [...] Skype being down for ages and ages and making us Skypers hold our breaths instead of breathing, GigaOM is sceptical about phone numbers for life after the Google’s acquisition of Grand Central – read communique here if not done yet… [...]

  3. There’s telecom in my televerse « My Metaverse in the Making 2.0 Monday, August 20, 2007

    [...] Skype being down for ages and ages and making us Skypers hold our breaths instead of breathing, GigaOM is sceptical about phone numbers for life after the Google’s acquisition of Grand Central – read communique here if not done yet… [...]

  4. Google Decides GrandCentral Number isn’t for Life Monday, August 20, 2007

    [...] (via) [...]

  5. I surmise from Mr. Paquet explanation that at least some of the phone numbers they issue “for life” do not “belong” to the consumers; heck does not even belong to GC; they belong to third party partners. Given that is the case, should they claim that they issue for life numbers? In the wake of Sunrocket shutdown, there were suggestions that GC would have been a safer choice. I hope people revisit those suggestions. The bottom line is any consumer advocate, like this blog, must be very protective of rights we have in PSTN world, even as we migrate to VoIP. VoIP subscribers must get clarification from their providers whether the PSTN number can be ported out. (If a provider allows you to have any number then it is a safe bet that it can not be ported out.) Let us not lose PSTN rights in the VoIP world, lest we give up one master for another.

  6. seems like not a big deal, and a very legitimate reason…people are just looking for reasons to piss on elgoog when there are soooo many better reasons….and how come nobody’s complaining about electric cars anymore? weren’t they gonna run forever?

  7. anyone know what provider it was that screwed them up? CA numbers only? i would be interested in the reason for the provider change.

  8. ACE Computer Services – Blog – » Blog Archive » Lots ‘O Links: 8/20/07 Monday, August 20, 2007

    [...] Phone Number For Life? Not Quite – I just joined GrandCentral myself but my number is not changing. [...]

  9. as om said in the post, it’s a beta. That means, were it software, you shouldn’t be using it in a production environment. i’m not sure about the wisdom of making a beta product be responsible for your business use.

    however, the indsutry is getting itself in a bit of a bind by making things “betas” seemingly ad infinitum. was not long ago that one had to apply and even sign an NDA in order to beta test software – now most web 2.0 betas are public, and joe/jane enduser is not as aware as needed that betas are NOT final released products. it’s the risk you take by being an early adopter.

    very classy of goog/grandcentral to pay to reprint those business cards. much smarter than telling them to go #sand.

  10. Trust – revisited – Our Blog – Kreo Consulting Ltd. Monday, August 20, 2007

    [...] seems like the whole number replacement action wasn’t related to Google’s acquisition and it was [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post