EUGENE, Ore. -- A small tax business met a big problem this tax season when their long-time phone number was disconnected.
The owners of Accurate Bookkeeping and Tax Service said they were never told that their number was going to be taken.
It’s the beginning of March, and while most tax businesses are buzzing with the sounds of busy bookkeeping – Mark and Margaret Innocenti’s tax business is relatively quiet.
Their office is empty. Their phone isn't making a sound. The Innocenti’s said that’s because their clients can't get through.
For the past 20 years, when you call 683-7071, the phone would ring in this office. Not anymore. Nearly a year after moving to a new location, their previous service provider took back the number.
“They pulled the plug on that phone number. Without any notification without any prior warning,” said Mark.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, businesses can't always keep their old phone number when they move.
“We have over 1,100 clients. So they're going to have to go through the entire list - call everybody. Let them know what's going on,” Margaret said.
The Innocenti’s said that they are worried their clientele will go elsewhere if they can’t get in touch with ABTS.
“We've had a few set backs the past few years and we've both stayed positive,” said Mark.
That is an understatement.
In 2010, Mark was diagnosed with cancer. In 2011 he had a stem cell transplant. In 2012, his business when forced to switch locations. "And now this thing with the phone," Mark said.
The Innocenti’s said that they have invested thousands of dollars in signage and advertising with their old number. It's all in jeopardy now.
“There's an ethical responsibility to the people that you’re doing this to. How many other people have they just shut down their phone number?” said Margaret.
The couple is hoping to get their old phone number back. They think it would be a great gesture of good will.