Phone numbers and e-mail addresses

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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kh_design
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Phone numbers and e-mail addresses

Postby kh_design » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:33 pm

Phone numbers and e-mail addresses need to be associated to the individual NOT household associated. Phones are changing to cellular phones, each spouse having a different phone number, anymore land lines to house are not being installed.

This has likely been requested many times.

SR Ward Clerk-p40
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Postby SR Ward Clerk-p40 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:44 pm

I thought I saw this suggested several months ago, but it never got into MLS 2.7 or 2.8. It would be extremely useful to have this in the program.

Very few husbands and wives in my ward share one e-mail address, for one thing, and if there are adult children living in the home, that adds to the need. For instance, one family in my ward consists of a husband, wife, and an adult son. The husband is a high priest, the wife is in Relief Society, and the son is an elder, waiting to leave for his mission in June. Each of them has their own cell phone (no land-line for the house), and their own e-mail address. I had to use the e-mail address box in MLS as the son's cell phone number, and the phone number boxes don't allow enough characters to identify whose cell phone number each one is.

Is a solution to this issue being considered by the programmers of MLS?

Thomas_Lerman
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Postby Thomas_Lerman » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:19 pm

I agree with more than one telephone and e-mail. For ward lists and other reports, it may need to display more than one number, a default family number, or some kind of rules to decide which number to display.

Another thing that I have noticed that would be very helpful . . . it seems that other things, such as the new FamilySearch gets information populated from the membership record, such as the address, telephone number, etc. A common problem that I see is that the area code is not consistently included. Then, the area code does not exist in the new FamilySearch. It would be very helpful if a default area code could be set, then it would be automatically propagated. OR maybe the area code could be required. Obviously, this probably would need an international solution.

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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:06 pm

Thomas_Lerman wrote:I agree with more than one telephone and e-mail.

I will add a resounding "me too" to the list of those seeking this addition. An interesting thing that came up during a recent emergency drill held during the middle of the day, was (of course) many people weren't home and sadly very few people knew anyone else's cell or work numbers.

Thomas_Lerman wrote:A common problem that I see is that the area code is not consistently included. Then, the area code does not exist in the new FamilySearch.

Interesting. Our unit does not include area codes and I often wondered if there were any repercussions to this. Now I know at least one. :o
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

SR Ward Clerk-p40
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Postby SR Ward Clerk-p40 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:09 am

When I was called as ward clerk, the phone numbers had no set format, so some had area codes, some didn't, some used area code [hyphen] phone number, some had the area code in parentheses, some had the area code with no separator anywhere in the number. I hated seeing that on the ward phone list, because it could be difficult to read a ten-digit number with no separator, when you don't need to dial the first three digits in the first place, especially if the prefix is similar to the area code!

So, a few days after I was set apart, I went through all 200 families and standardized the 300 or so numbers amongst them to area code [hyphen] prefix [hyphen] last four. I told my membership clerk, who was called two weeks after I was, that I didn't care if we used hyphens or parentheses, as long as we had a standard format and stuck to it. We agreed on the hyphens, which worked out well, because I ended up buying a Palm Treo, to which I downloaded all my ward members' numbers (as did my bishop with his phone), and it can read that format.

I made sure to put it in the default MLS formatting also, which has been very useful when new move-ins arrive with different formatting. We get a lot of people that move from another ward in our stake, or an adjacent stake, and they keep their existing phone number. If the MLS default formatting is set the way you want it, you'll save a little time with each move-in.

We don't have to use area codes for 99% of the numbers in the ward, but some people do have cell phones with numbers based in another county or state, and my obsessive-compulsive disorder makes me want to have all the numbers and addresses formatted the same.

Besides, again with the thing about having the ward phone numbers downloaded to your cell phone: when you leave our county, you're either in Utah, Arizona, California, or one of two other Nevada counties. No matter which, you're in another area code, and you'd have to dial in the whole number manually if the area code wasn't automatically there.

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Postby jbh001 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:39 am

SR Ward Clerk wrote:We don't have to use area codes for 99% of the numbers in the ward, but some people do have cell phones with numbers based in another county or state, and my obsessive-compulsive disorder makes me want to have all the numbers and addresses formatted the same.
I agree. Having a standard format that includes the area code is better even when the areas code seems superfluous, and it makes for cleaner reports and printouts. Besides , I think the average member knows when an area code is or is not needed in their given calling area. Cell phones seem to be requiring area code regardless; I know I get unpredictable results when I try to place a call on my cell phone without using the area code.

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Postby Thomas_Lerman » Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:51 am

When I was in a position to get the telephone numbers and addresses all consistent, I made sure it happened as well. However, I have not been able to do such with the current clerks even though they said they would. As you noticced, I too, may have been OCD about the address. Some put "N", "N.", "North", "No.", etc. all for the same street or get the coordinates switched. However, I realize that this can be much harder to enforce in MLS. As it is, internationalizing the rules for the telephone number may already be hard enough.

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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:16 am

Yeah, it sure would be nice if in the OPTIONS area you could select a pre-made phone template localized to your area. One selection would be free-form (like we have now) in case your region does not have a template on the list yet.

This would direct most units to adhere to a common standard.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

rexgj
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Postby rexgj » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:10 am

As you all probably know, you can now carry your cell phone number with you, even when you move, or change providers. So people may live in a 435 area code but have a cell number with an 801 area code. And even moving out of state, you can still keep your prior cell number, and many people do. So, the area code is critical, and MLS needs to allow for this reality.

More and more people are eliminating the land line phone, and going strictly with cell phones, and some married couples have phones with different area codes.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:41 am

And then there's the matter of 'overlay' codes, where the new area code was simply dropped over the old one, and only new phones got the new code, or if you had to c hange your phone number for some reason, you got the new one.

Utah's 385 is now going to be more prominent, they have a few cellphones now and some large businesses, but this year we'll see more phones with that area code, and overlays are the wave of the future when an area code runs out. Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles (some areas), Portland, NYC, etc., all have overlays as well.

While working at Sears around 2000 or so, I heard of one family in Houston who had one phone in the 713 area code, one in the 281 area code, and one in the 832 area code, so it is important to be sure you can get everything into MLS that applies.


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