Friday, August 17, 2012

Area Codes Matter

Years ago when you asked someone for their phone number, they would just tell you the digits - often just 5.

For the past 50 years or so people have mostly had 7 digits but in some places you could still get by with just dialing the last 5. The first 2 numbers represented a name such as "BRoadway," "FLeetwood," "EMpire," "PLaza," or such and were optional in some areas.

Then came the time when you had to dial all 7 digits. Now, many people have to dial 10 digits - even for a "local" call.

If we don't live with multiple area codes in our immediate area or with different area codes within an hour's drive, we likely don't think too much about the need to request or write down the area code when noting a phone number. We just assume its the same as ours.

Now that people are able to take their cell phone numbers with them when they move, it's not unusual to see an area code from several states away that you must dial just to talk to a neighbor or associate.

Hardly anyone pays long distance charges anymore so having non-local area code is not an issue.

Just make sure to give out all 10 digits of your number when giving it out or leaving a callback (just to make sure) and request all 10 digits when you are getting a number from someone even if you area certain the area code is a local one.

We can't afford to lose contact with someone just because we are missing a 3-digit area code or assume incorrectly that it's the same as ours.

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