Changes are coming to how you make calls
By Taylor DesOrmeau | firstname.lastname@example.org | Mlive.com Posted Apr 01, 2021
Dialing a phone number without including the area code won’t work for many Michiganders starting later this year.
Anybody with a 616, 810, 906 or 989 area code will need to start using the full 10-digit number when making local calls. Starting Oct. 24, seven-digit numbers without the area code won’t work.
The change is coming because of a new three-digit dialing code coming for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline starting in July 2022. People across the nation will be able to dial “988″ starting next summer to reach the 24/7 hotline. For now, people must dial 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the free, confidential hotline.
Those four Michigan area codes are in the Grand Rapids, Flint, Saginaw and Port Huron areas, northeast lower Michigan and the entire Upper Peninsula.
Callers in other area codes can continue dialing seven digits for local calls, because those area codes don’t have any active phone numbers that start with “988.”
A “permissive dialing period” starts April 24, meaning people in the affected area codes are encouraged to start making the change. But seven-digit calls will still go through until Oct. 24.
“A smooth transition will help ensure customers stay connected while getting ready for the ultimate enactment of 988 as an easy number for people struggling or contemplating suicide to connect to resources and help in a crisis,” said Ryan McAnany, acting director of the Michigan Public Service Commission’s Telecommunications Division in a news release.
The change doesn’t impact the price of calls. A local call still counts as a local call, regardless of how many digits are dialed, per the MPSC.
Residents in the select area codes should check medical alert devices, security systems, fax machines, speed dialers and contact lists to make sure the area code is included, or they may stop working.