TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: I am Now a Sage Telecom Customer

I am Now a Sage Telecom Customer

TELECOM Digest Editor (
Wed, 29 Nov 2006 01:38:27 EST

I told you a couple weeks ago that Prairie Stream (a local telecom
service here in Independence) was going out of business at the end of
November. Frankly, that startled me quite a bit; I had thought they
were in better shape financially than apparently they were. Their
owner, and the other half of the business, Terra World (an ISP here)
will be remaining in business. Its just the telephone side of the
operation which is gone. I 'jumped the gun' you might say, and
immediatly set about finding a replacement local carrier; I chose a
company called 'Trinsic', which was a very bad mistake.

First I tried to go with Sage Telecom, but the response I got from
Sage was that they were 'not allowed to swap in customers from Prairie
Stream', that the tariff did not allow it. She referred me to a list
of five different carriers from whom they _were_ allowed to swap
with. One of the carriers was SBC/ATT, (_damned_ if I am going to go
to that bunch again!), four others, and one called 'Trinsic' which
turned out to have rather high rates. Admittedly I did not feel very
well that day, and in a panic to assure I did not lose my service, I
went with Trinsic.

I _assumed_ Trinisic knew what they were doing: they told me they
intended to 'mirror' my account directly from Prairie Stream. I
assumed they knew what they were talking about; when I first called
them the lady who took my order already had my number on her computer
there. She quoted to me all the service I already had and said they
would duplicate it as it was, 'in two or three days'. Sure enough, as
Trinsic claimed, they took over my line and my 620-331 number three
days later. Trouble was, they were missing a few things which I needed
very much: none of my star features were on the line unless I wanted
to pay extra for them (as if $57 per month was not steep enough) and
more important -- the most important of all -- my 'distinctive ring'
line -- (the 620-331 number which goes ring-ring) was missing. Now,
the ring-ring number is important to me; my 800 toll-free line rings
into that; my front door intercom rings into that; my fax machine
responds to that ringing cadence. All of these things would have to
be reprogrammed to whatever new ring-ring number Trinsic wanted to
come up with.

Trinsic insisted that they would have to 'ask SBC for a new number'
for me; and that SBC would not re-assign me the same ring-ring number
I had had all along. I told the lady that my 800 number would be out
of service until whenever, that my front door would be unanswerable
until whenever, and that my fax machine was likewise out. Her response
was 'well I am sorry but there is nothing I can do ... you will need
to call back on Monday' (this was late Friday afternoon when I
discovered things were down) and 'maybe they will be able to help
you.' I got the same song and dance when I called back to Trinsic on
Monday morning. In fact, on Monday morning the woman I spoke with
insisted that my 800 number was a different thing and should not have
been affected. Dumb! However that did not prevent Trinsic from
sending me a bill for about a hundred dollars (based on a monthly
service estimate of fifty dollars from when I had ordered their
service several days earlier).

On Monday morning I also called into Prairie Stream and chatted with a
woman there who told me 'it is true; we are all out of a job as of the
end of November' and when I told her about my experience with Sage
(their claim they were unable to take accounts from Prairie Stream)
she replied that had been true, but as of that same day, Sage had
filed an 'amended tariff' which allowed them to do so; 'try them again
and see what you get now.' My next call was to Sage Telecom in

The woman there (at Sage) typed my phone number into _her_ computer
and said 'yes, we can swap you out' give me four days to have it
done.' I warned her explicitly, 'mirror the account EXACTLY as it
was at Prairie Stream, including the distinctive ring-ring number,
which is 331-xxxx.' I do not want to have to pay to have the 800
number vendor re-program me, nor screw around with my front door
intercom and all that stuff. She assured me it would be done, and
'I am sorry but it will take us a week to do it, Thanksgiving is in
this week, a day lost from work for all our people.' I told her,
that's fine; but do it EXACTLY as it is set up now. Very effeciently
she said it would all work out okay.

True to her word, late Monday I tried 'double zero' as she suggested
and got a 'Welcome to Sage' message. Still unbelieving, I followed up
with a call to 331-xxxx my distinctive ring-ring line, and I tried
calling my 800 number and I sent Raymond out to ring the front door
intercom ... they all worked just fine! Just as they always had back
when Prairie Stream had been my carrier.

So it would seem if I had not been so anxious and jumped the gun to
make certain I had phone service, and waited until Sage got their
tariff in place, the swap-out would have gone as planned. (In fact,
once I made my second call to Sage, it was handled correctly and
quite quickly.)

In addition to monthly rates of $25-$30 for _unlimited_ local calling
service and anywhere from 60 to 180 minutes per month of free long
distance (depending on the basic package you choose) you also always
get to call other Sage customers for -free- at all times. And, every
time you mention you were referred by me, I get a ten dollar credit on
my bill. The way that paragraph reads is this "Tell your friends
about Sage and save even more. We will automatically credit your Sage
bill up to $25 for each new customer you refer. Tell your friends to
be sure to mention _your name_ and _your number_ to get the
credit. They have to use our service for at least 30 days or longer.
Your friends should call 1-888-972-7243."

So, if Sage seems interesting to you, and you must be in the
operating territory of SBC/ATT (which is almost everywhere these days
it seems), then send me an email - - and
I will tell you my home number to use as your reference. Sage cannot
take you if you are not in SBC/ATT local operating territory.


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