Area code switch looming

Courtesy illustration

By Tony Gutierrez: CNJ staff writer

As the new area code’s implementation approaches in October, local business owners have mixed reactions to the change.

Permissive dialing begins Oct. 7, allowing callers to dial either the current 505 area code or new 575 area code, giving them a year to adjust.

“It will give folks a year to change stationery (and) inform relatives,” said ENMR-Plateau CEO Tom Phelps. “Hopefully that will give them time to notify whoever they need to notify.”

Blanca Rios, owner of Blanca’s flower shop, said while she has customers in Texas who have to dial 505 to call her, she doesn’t think the change will be a big deal.

“For a while people won’t know what numbers to dial, but for people that really want to get ahold of me, they’ll do it,” Rios said. “I don’t think it will affect me very much.”

Carolyn Spence, president of 505 Realtors, Inc., said the company hasn’t decided what to do about its name. She said they are considering changing to fit the 575 area code, maintaining 505 and capitalizing on it, or changing the name altogether.

“Since everybody has an expense, we’re not going to change it until everybody agrees what to do, and yes, it is very annoying,” Spence said.

From Oct. 5, 2008, to Jan. 11, 2009, callers who dial the 505 area code will hear a recorded message telling them to redial the number with 575. After that, telephone companies will be allowed to assign the same seven-digit telephone numbers in both area codes, which could lead callers to be connected to an unintended party if they don’t dial the right area code, according to a Public Regulation Commission press release.

The northwestern part of the state, including Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Farmington and Las Vegas, N.M., will maintain the 505 area code.

Clovis Qwest customers will have to dial the 806 area code when calling Farwell beginning Sept. 12 in preparation for the area code change, according to a letter sent to customers. Starting today, callers have the option of using 806 until then.

A call to the company for details was not returned Tuesday.

Phelps said ENMR will not require people in its coverage area to dial the area code for Farwell, and residents don’t have to dial the area code when calling locally.