Phone Number For Life? Not Quite

[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.

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