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Moving Your Phone System  

Moving is a pain; we know, we moved in August 1998 and it was monster job. Moving was nature's way of telling us that we had way too much stuff.

Saving money on your move:

Many times you are moving into a space that was occupied by another business. It is easy to say "Use the same cable for this new phone and put the control unit in the same place as the previous control unit." That is just a start!

If a company is currently occupying the space you will be using, ask if you can "supercede" some of their lines. A company may have ten lines in rotary (or hunting as some call it) and will be moving to a location where they can't take that primary advertised number with them. They can put a referral or call forwarding on the one main number for a time until all their customers know how to call them at their new number, and let you "supercede " the other nine lines.

When you can "supercede" lines that are already in place and working, you save a bundle. Your local phone company faxes an agreement to the current user of those phone lines and requests permission to assign those lines to your company on a specific date. The departing company faxes back the signed permission letter to the phone company and on the date they move out of the office they are no longer responsible for payment on those specific lines. Instead of paying the phone company the entire cost of "installing" new lines for you, all you pay is an administrative fee for switching the billing on those lines to you. You can supercede just some of the lines if you don't need as many as are working and will be available.

If the other company is paranoid, won't listen and can't understand supercedure, ask them to call the phone company and get a list of the "binding post numbers" that their current phone numbers come in on now. If they give you that list the day that they have their phone numbers disconnected, your installer can easily find where the main dial tone connection lines are at as they come into your building and then go to your new office. You save you a bundle on installation time as your installer does not have to do as much searching for phone lines to your office.

Remember, most of the time your local dial tone provider is not your friend. Phone company employees working on commission have no incentive to save you money by recommending the reassignment of numbers currently in use by a customer who is leaving that space. The phone company service order writers may be polite, but do they want to save you money on installation or make a commission? There is most certainly a risk when the person who takes your order for installation of phone lines receives a commission.

Stuff you really, really need to do:

  1. Make sure you have a one nanosecond surge protector. We use surge protectors made by EFI that stop harmful over voltages in just one millionth of a second. The surge protectors you buy in many stores for ten or fifteen dollars will protect some consumer electronics such as an iron or hair dryer, but do not give adequate protection to electronics such as a computer or phone system. One service call costs more than a one nanosecond surge protector.

  2. Make sure you have a dedicated electric outlet for your phone system. Please don't think it will be fine if you plug in a heavy duty copier on the same circuit. You are asking for trouble, especially if you did not buy the one nanosecond surge protector. If you have a lot of extra accessories such as modem transformers, you may want to put in a wall mounted outlet strip that hard wires into the electrical system and has an outlet every six inches. Many electric strips with a plug in cord have no room to plug in more than two or three transformers as there is not enough space between the outlets.

  3. Most often you will be requested to have a 3/4 inch plywood backboard for mounting the phone system on the wall along with the cross connection blocks. The size may vary from 4 feet by 4 feet to 4 feet by 8 feet depending on how much equipment there is to mount.

  4. Write the users name and extension number of each phone on an 8x11 sheet of colored paper and attached it to the outlet area of the wall with removable tape. Add extra sheets for the locations of fax jacks, modems, answering machines, etc. If you leave large clear instructions for the installers, the odds of getting everything right the first time approach 100%.

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