I'm not a telecom professional but am fascinated by telco engineering and systems. It's frustrating when consumer/retail-level customer service folks aren't educated or have no real systems understanding, so I'm appealing to the pros here for a bit of advice or suggestions.
In the next few weeks, I will be moving to temporary housing several states away, then a few months after that to permanant housing in that same new area.
The first apparent fib I was told by Century Link CS sometime back was the ability to move my current land-line number (have had it for33 years) to a different area code -- and still use the old area code. (There are reasons to keep this number, even in a different location, but I won't waste time on those right now.)
That trans-area code move seemed counter to what I've understood about the "traditional" telco system, but I was assured that 21st technology and systems allowed for this.
Still doubting, I called again a day later and got the same answer from another Century Link CS rep -- no problem moving land line numbers around, even to different area codes.
When I called a 3rd time a few days back to actually do this, I was told "no, sorry, we can't do that."
If that's true, it seems the only option I have is to port that old land line number to a new cell phone or perhaps a VOIP account. I might do the cell phone port while at the temp housing, then move it to VOIP when finally in the permanent housing. (Temp housing internet connection is poor, thus limiting VOIP options. Excellent internet service exists at the permanent location, however.)
I would not carry that new cell phone, it would sit on the desk and be treated as a stationary land-line phone. (I already have a cell and cell number that I want to maintain, and don't want to carry two phones. Cell providers tell me I can only have one number per cell phone.)
I also have a custom ringing number on my old land line account. Inbound toll-free calls are forwarded there. This is perhaps easier, as the toll-free service provider can forward inbound toll-free calls just about anywhere. The ring pattern identifying an inbound toll-free call would be gone, but that's not a serious problem.
It seems that what I really need is the opposite of what google voice provides: they appear to offer one inbound number that can then be fanned out to various numbers. But what I'd like is the ability to collect inbound calls to multiple numbers and forward them one number (current cell, for example), all without the need for a "permanent" account from the likes of Century Link.
Right now, it seems the pragmatic solution is that porting of my old land number to a new cell phone (this can be done for sure). Toll-free calls would be forwarded to that new cell as well.
Fortunately, at the moment, the call volume on the old land and toll-free numbers is light and I can likely do fine with a cheap, pre-paid, non-contract cell.
Sorry to be so long-winded; hope I've made the situation clear.
I'd be most interested if anyone has better ideas about managing this changing situation, and even a final word if it is possible to put any area code in a different area code. (And if yes, what I need to say to a CS rep to make that happen.)
Thanks in advance Frank