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Coopersburg, PA 18036

Phone: (610) 282-0160
Fax: (610) 282-3955

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Emmaus, PA 18049
Phone: (610) 965-5830
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Red Hill, PA 18076
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Harrisburg, PA 17120-2131
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Simmons Seeking Legislative Fix to Phone Snafu
9/21/2016
HARRISBURG – A problem during a recent telephone town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton) that affected a number of customers has led him to seek a legislative solution.

On Aug. 31, constituents were invited to take part in the telephone town hall meeting with a recorded message from Simmons that appeared in their Caller ID function as the number of his district office in Coopersburg. However, the number of a local business appeared on the Caller ID of many constituents instead, leading to confusion and complaints.

“In the days that followed, the House Republican Caucus IT team and I worked on a solution with the local telephone service providers that resulted in our Coopersburg office being assigned a new number,” said Simmons. “All parties involved are confident the problem will not reoccur.”

The two service providers, Frontier Communications and Service Electric Cable TV and Communications, investigated the problem and, in concert with Rep. Simmons’ office, determined as follows:

“While we are not in a position to pinpoint the cause, it is apparent this was not the result of any action taken by Representative Simmons. We have determined there was an error in the information being transmitted through the national database. The Caller ID information associated with Representative Simmons’ office number was not transmitted properly or in a timely fashion.

“This was not intentional, it was simply an error. Once the providers involved were informed, all efforts were taken to quickly correct the information. As far as we know, everything has been fixed.”

As a result of the incident, Simmons is working on legislation that would help to prevent the problem from happening again to consumers, businesses and nonprofit organizations which pay for the Caller ID option.

His proposal would require telecommunications companies to update the information they provide as part of their Caller ID service at least every 10 days. It would also empower the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of Attorney General to enforce the requirements.

“We discovered the problem is actually bigger than the one that occurred with our office,” added Simmons. “I plan on introducing legislation to make sure the databases which phone companies are using have updated Caller ID records.”

Simmons expects to introduce the legislation in the coming weeks and is currently circulating a co-sponsorship memo, which is available at https://goo.gl/AqQ2f0.

Representative Justin Simmons
131st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
717.260.6474
abriggs@pahousegop.com
RepSimmons.com / Facebook.com/RepSimmons
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