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Smart Consumer: Since I changed my service provider, my friends can't call me -- why?

Mary Anne contacted Smart Consumer because she says: "I'm at the end of my tether and I was wondering if there's anything you can do at all to help."

She writes: "I ordered a WiMax phone service from Imagine on August 11 and I'm still having problems. I got the hub delivered and set it up on August 25. Since then, I can call out, but people outside Dublin can't call me! Calls from within the Dublin region are fine.

But people have tried to call me from Wicklow, England and Tipperary, and they are told the line is not in service.

"I have lost count of the number of times that I have actually called the helpline. But when I got through to talk to people on the phone, they assured me that the problem would be sorted out. It wasn't.

"Finally, I was assured that I would be credited with the price of the first bill. However, they said there's no technical fault from their end and that I should instruct anyone who wants to call me to contact their individual phone service providers in advance "to make sure they have updated their call lists first, so that the latest numbers (including mine) are registered.

"I wouldn't expect anyone to have to do this, just so they can call me. In the meantime, my problem continues. Nobody can make any calls in to me and there's no sign of a resolution."

Smart Consumer contacted Imagine to find out what was going on.

An Imagine spokesperson explained that some service provider(s) had not updated their switch with Mary Anne's number, and so when their customer dials Mary Anne they can't get through.

"This is not very common," said the spokesperson. "What (normally) happens when a service provider releases a new block of numbers, which is quite frequent, is that we'd send a notification to all other operators in the market asking them to update their switches and records with the new numbers. This is a regulated process which works very well and it's a legal requirement for all operators to update the numbers when they get the list.

"The best advice is: If a person gets a call from someone telling them they have been calling their number and can't get through, they should ask the caller to contact their provider and report the symptoms.

"The Irish operators we contacted have confirmed that Mary Anne's number is in their range and so should now be working perfectly."

Irish Independent