My assistant, Marge Geyer, and I have been on the phone the last few days trying to arrange phone service for an elderly client who has entered an adult care facility. She's nearly 100 years old, and for the last 60+ years has lived in the same home and had the same phone number. With today's hotly competitive phone market, it seemed like it shouldn't take much for my client's phone number to move right along with her.


Multiple phone calls to her incumbent carrier, Frontier Communications, were met with patient explanations of the impossibility of keeping that same phone number. You see, Penfield (where my client lived) and Fairport (where she has moved) have "different central offices" according to the folks at Frontier. I suppose that has to do with the legacy of the copper wires that still connect many homes (mine included) to wireline phone carriers like Frontier. And I understand that the average centenarian may not want to adapt to an iPhone or droid, preferring to keep that large plastic phone on their desk or nightstand. But my client also prefers to keep her phone number, in case a friend should call. What to do?

A call to Verizon provided one option: stop by any retail location and they could provide my client with phone service and allow her to keep her long-time phone number. But Marge and I are busy enough without running down to Verizon for a visit. Next call was to AT&T. No problem, the agent said. They would ship a device into which my client may plug her 30-year-old phone and begin making calls immediately, all while retaining her original phone number. Mission accomplished.

A quick glance at the share prices of each company ten years ago vs. today:

AT&T 2002: $24 2012: $36

Verizon 2002: $28 2012: $42

Frontier 2002: $8 2012: $4

Go figure.


(This article contains the current opinions of the author but not necessarily those of Brighton Securities Corp. The author's opinions are subject to change without notice. This blog post is for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product. References to specific securities and their issuers are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended and should not be interpreted as recommendations to purchase or sell such securities).