[VoiceOps] Main number fail-safe solution for small ITSP

Carlos Alvarez carlos at televolve.com
Fri Oct 12 14:11:13 EDT 2012

On Fri, Oct 12, 2012 at 10:37 AM, Justin B Newman <justin at ejtown.org> wrote:

> Over the years, I've done a variety of things. One that worked fairly
> well was to provide subscribers an alternate "emergency only" #. It
> goes to an answering service 24x7. Completely segregated

As noted in a previous message, we have issues just getting people to call
the main number instead of a sales DID, so I'm not sure how we'd educate
them on this.  I like the idea from a technical level though.

> In reasonably high-end relationships, an escalation list with cell
> phone #'s works. It's generally not mis-used, and if it is, well, time
> to dump the customer.

Our high end customers do have our cell numbers, and they don't abuse them.
 We had one abuser and as you said, we simply fired the customer.  But we
really don't want to give that to all customers because the smaller ones do
abuse it.  Not on purpose, they just go, oh let's call this cell everyone
always answers that.  They end up trying to use it as the first number they
call.  Took us years to undo that.

> I am aware of companies that figure that if their customers can't get
> through on the phone, they should "get the message". Others rely on
> the web, which, if built properly (no shared infrastructure) is an
> easy way to communicate.

Yes, I wish people would look to our help desk first (outsourced) but only
maybe 10% do.  The rest pick up the phone if they have a problem.  Some
time ago we had one major outage and everyone tried to call first, then
were upset that our main number didn't work.  Although we've done a lot of
redundancy improvement since then, I'd still like to have an absolute fail
safe on that number.

> And ... PSTN failover doesn't deal with some failure scenarios inside
> the provider. Even the biggest of the big sometimes have regional
> catastrophic failures.

This is true, but we have our DIDs and main numbers with different
carriers.  When we've experienced an origination carrier issue, people can
get through on the personal contact DID number.

Carlos Alvarez
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