May 28, 1997
After June 1: 973-649-2279
NEWARK, N.J. - Starting Sunday, June 1, New Jersey will have two new area codes: 973 will serve the western portion of the 201 area, and 732 will be the new code in the southeastern half of the current 908 area.
To make the changes more convenient, Bell Atlantic has set up a six-month grace period during which customers will be able to dial either the old or the new area code to reach people who have been assigned a new area code.
A call to Newark, for example, will be completed if the caller dials either the new 973 or the old 201 area code followed by a seven-digit telephone number. Similarly, callers may dial either 732 or 908 to reach exchanges in Lakewood during this grace period.
Beginning Dec. 6, calls to the new 973 and 732 areas no longer will go through if the old area codes are dialed. Customers who try to reach the new area codes by dialing 201 or 908 after Dec. 6 will hear a recorded message instructing them to dial the correct code.
For the next six months, New Jersey's residential and business telecommunications customers can adjust to the new area codes. Next week, Bell Atlantic will send another round of informational pamphlets to residences and businesses in the 973 and 732 areas. Customers in the affected areas received a first round of mailings in February.
The pamphlets will list telephone exchanges included in the new area codes. Customers can check the lists to find out if they're in the new area codes simply by locating the first three digits of their seven-digit local telephone numbers.
In addition to the mailings, Bell Atlantic will launch two informational advertising campaigns. One will start June 2, and the other on June 23. The company conducted a similar campaign last December.
Bell Atlantic also offers customers a toll-free area-code hotline (1-800-409-8773) that takes calls Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Bell Atlantic Area Code Internet Site (http://www.bell-atl.com/areacode) is available around-the-clock, seven-days-a-week. It features a wealth of information about area-code changes in New Jersey and across Bell Atlantic's mid-Atlantic region.
Between now and Dec. 6, customers should make several changes to make certain they have no problems when the old area codes no longer are available in the 973 and 732 areas:
- Reprogram telecommunications services and equipment to include the
new area codes. These include computer modems, Call Forwarding
(including Ultra Forward® and Select Forward), Call Block,
Priority Call, Bell Atlantic® Easy Voice, Call Gate, Special
Delivery® service on Answer Call, pager notification on voice
mail services including Answer Call and Home Voice Mail Service.
Also, speed-dialing lists - particularly those on office phones,
cellular phones and fax machines.
(Bell Atlantic automatically will reprogram or modify the following services: Centrex and Centrex Extend services, Foreign Exchange Service, Remote Call Forwarding, Call Restriction, directory listings and numbers blocked at the customer's request.)
- Notify people who call you regularly. Tell friends, relatives, customers, employees, local affiliates, business associates, suppliers, others.
- Make certain the new area codes appear in ads and promotional materials. Print ads, radio and TV spots, Bell Atlantic Yellow Pages advertising, classified ads, signs, Internet sites, recorded messages, trucks, billboards, mugs, keychains or anything else that displays your area code and telephone number.
- See that the new area codes appear on printed materials. Stationery, business cards, invoices, purchase orders, brochures, catalogs, product packaging, internal records, checks, company directories and labels.
- Check with suppliers to make sure telecommunications equipment can
accept the new (973 and 732) area codes. Burglar alarm systems and
PBX exchanges may need to be reprogrammed.