GrandCentral Switches Some Phone Numbers

    August 20, 2007

After Google acquired GrandCentral, about a month and a half of reliable telephone service ensued.  But some GrandCentral customers have now been informed that their numbers – which were supposed to be good “for life” – will be changed whether they like it or not.

To be fair, GrandCentral is giving its customers an array of options when it comes to getting a new phone number.  GrandCentral’s also making the adjustment in the name of quality, and the service was clearly marked as a beta version.  Still, Judi Sohn wrote, “I knew what I was doing when I put such faith in a beta service, but then again how long has Gmail been in beta?  How would you feel if Google changed your email address on you, beta or not?”

Sohn received notice of the number change on August 17th, by the way.  The change will go into effect on the 25th, which gives her just one week to alert all business and personal contacts.  Other GrandCentral customers, such as Troy Schneider, were given an equal (lack of) time to respond.

Google can’t be blamed for this, though, and neither, from the looks of it, can GrandCentral.  “There are 434 users affected by this change and unfortunately we would have had the same issue had Google not acquired GrandCentral,” wrote Vincent Paquet, a co-founder of GrandCentral, in an email to Om Malik.  “One of our pre-acquisition underlying carriers stops providing services to certain areas and this does affect a few of our users.”

These users appear to be clustered in Virginia – the only affected area codes that I’ve seen are 703 and 434.