I’ve got 3 analog lines, 555-1111,1112, and 1113. The way the system is setup, outgoing calls use line 3, then 2, then 1.
The problem is that I want 555-1111 to be the main number for our customers. However, when I call out, 555-1113 shows up on the other end’s caller ID. Then, when they call the 1113 number back they get a busy if someone in our office is calling out.
Because the lines are analog, I don’t think there is anything asterisk can do. Is that correct?
I called ATT to see about changing the caller ID on all three lines to display 555-1111 and they said I needed a hunt group and that it would cost me $150 a month. Does that sound right?
A hunt group, yes. For $150 a month no. Call them back and double check. The $150 might be the cost on your first months bill which will mostly be setup fee’s, account changing fee’s, etc.
Verizon charged us $5 a month I think for the hunt group when we had analog lines. That was a while ago then when we outgrew the number fo lines we had we upgraded to a PRI (and changing to a cheaper provider in the process).
You need to call back and speak to a different CSR. Heck, I’d try telling them you want a hunt group for free or you’ll consider taking your business to a CLEC (competitive local telephone company) that actually wants your business, since they obviously don’t. Keep in mind it doesn’t cost the phone company one thin dime to set up a hunt group - it just involves typing a few lines in a computer. You might not actually get it for free, but if you threaten to leave they may transfer you to a retention specialist that has the ability to hand out freebies. And if they won’t budge, there ARE both CLEC’s and VoIP providers that would love to have your business, and that may be able to port your existing number (unless maybe you are in some backwater place served by an independent telco, which AT&T is not).
I agree with above postings: My guess is $150 is the one-time set-up charge, plus a few $$ a month. However, I have a question: If you do not have a hunt-group now, doesn’t any caller get a Busy calling in to 555-1111 when you already are on a call on that line? (the two methods to avoid that are “busy call forwarding” or a “hunt group”, which are almost the same thing.)
The cheapest solution is to get a VOIP provider for outgoing calls, and select one that you can set your caller-ID to 555-1111.
Using FreePBX, with your POTS incoming lines working, VOIP outgoing can peacefully co-exist. (That is actually how some of our lines work now.)
You would need a dedicated DSL for this, or some such to get good quality VOIP calls.