Having your state, local, or national hotline going down temporarily can be very very scary. The reality is that it can take a long time to figure out what’s going on or why the hotline is down, but you need to get it up now. If you’re experiencing hotline outage and are being intimidated by a 3rd party please know your rights:
Will I Get Something Useful From This Article?
We’ve heard of several cases where an agency’s hotline went down, and ended up staying down for a prolonged period of time because hotline leadership did not know their rights or have the correct resources to handle the issue. If you’re in that position or want to be prepared with best practices so this doesn’t happen to you then you’re in the right place. If you need immediate assistance with your hotline please call us.
“Once you request service from a new company, your old company cannot refuse to port your number, even if you owe money for an outstanding balance or termination fee.“—Federal Communications Commission Consumer Guide
If you are a HelplineSoftware.com customer, and your phone provider is having an outage please call our emergency line. We can quickly set up a workaround for you and even take over management for your hotline number if you’d like (this process is called porting in).
Why Did The Hotline Go Down?
There are multiple reasons your hotline could go down, but in our experience, one of the biggest is that someone didn’t pay the phone company — usually for a while.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Does this really happen? Isn’t it easy to pay the phone bill?
Yes! Unfortunately, this issue is more common than you might think, and solving it isn’t always just a matter of entering your credit card information somewhere — it can result in days, weeks, or even MONTHS of hotline downtime. Eek!
Best Practice: Please be careful, especially if your organization experiences a lot of turnover at times. For example, in accounts payable.
Question: My organization is huge — we’re not going to have this problem — right?
I’m really sorry, but unfortunately yes, it’s still possible. We’ve heard of the hotline going down for 10+ days due to a phone company issue at a large organization with $10M+ (Million) in annual revenue. That agency ultimately decided to port their number (good for them!).
Big or small, know your rights.
A Tale Of Two Agencies:
Last year we saw this happen in real life. The phone company for one of our customers (not us) turned off their phone number (because of lack of payment). Surely the agency was notified, but the notification didn’t make it to the right person and the bill remained unpaid. The consequences were disastrous.
Agency 1: Our Customer
- Within 3 minutes we responded. There’s a reason our customers say “… customer service is responsive, honest, articulate, … it’s top-notch …”.
- Within 15 minutes: we had a proposal out to the customer explaining how we could set up a backup hotline so that callers could get through.
- Later that day: Our customer had some internal meetings, realized that the phone issue was a tricky one, and they asked us to set up a backup hotline for them. They called our emergency line and we had a backup hotline up and running for them within minutes.
- Months later: The phone issue was still not resolved, but because this organization worked with HelplineSoftware.com their community was still able to access the services they needed.
Total Impact On Community: Hotline down for hours
Agency 2: Not Our Customer
What happened to the other agency? They hadn’t heard about us at the time, and their IT folks had to use a port-in process to get the hotline back up and running. Their hotline was down for about 10 days.
Total Impact On Community: Hotline down for 10 days
- Make sure that someone is responsible for paying the phone bill, and that you have a process in place if that person leaves the organization.
- If your hotline is down, know your rights around porting.
- Want superior protection from outages for your community? Reach out and join us.
If you need help with your hotline please reach out. We provide fully customized white glove hotline management services at prices that nonprofits can afford.
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