Chi's Got Woes in New Area Code

Reprogramming call boxes among problems with new area code

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago's new area code is causing new bank account woes.

    The new 872 area code has been causing problems for the preprogrammed call boxes at some area condominiums, forcing some condo associations to pay to get their problems solved.

    872? That's Not Sexy!

    [CHI] 872?  That's Not Sexy!
    Many Chicagoans seem less-than-impressed with the new overlay area code that takes effect Saturday. (Published Wednesday, Nov 4, 2009)

    In one case, a 13-unit Lakeview building had to pay $1,700 to have its call box reprogrammed to accept 11-digit dialing (1, the area code and the seven-digit number), the Chicago Tribune reported.

    “In days before cell phones, you didn’t have multiple area codes,” Chris Layton, the condo association’s treasurer, told the Tribune.

    The problem with the 872 code is that it is an overlaying number, meaning it could be found anywhere around the city. This makes it substantially different from the existing 312, 773, 630, 708 and 847, all of which can be found inside precise geographical boundaries.

    “For nearly 15 years, Illinois has led the nation in creative and effective methods in number conservation,” Illinois Communications Commission Chairman Charles Box told the Tribune. “Our number-pooling efforts have forestalled the need for the new 872 area code for a decade.”