I purchased an "eCall" 0845 telephone number from eFax (a j2 Communications company) 5-6 years ago, and it has been our company's main telephone number since that time. In late 2008 we renewed the telephone number for another 12 months and paid for the 12 months in advance. Yesterday we received notice that they would no longer support the number and were withdrawing the service with 24 hours notice.
When I called them to ask why they were cancelling they claimed it was a decision by their telco provider to withdraw the service and it was outwith their control. They then directed me to another company called eReceptionist (another j2 Communications company) where they said I would be able to keep the telephone number and transfer it to them. When I pointed out that if I could transfer the number then that number must still under the control of the parent company (j2 Communicaitons) so the decision to withdraw the service was an internal decision. They admitted that it was, but there was nothing they could do about it.
After being a customer for several years with no problems and renewing the contract for another year - with several months still to run - its extremely poor service to provivde 24 hours notice of cancellation. That's bad enough, but we've also spent several years marketing our telephone number to our customers and prospects, and had all our literature and header paper printed with this number, and now all that work will have been wasted as our telephone number is about to stop working because of an internal business decision.
My advice, don't deal with this company. There's too much a stake when they can cancel a contract (and a pre-paid one at that) at any time, and if your business is relying upon the service and your telephone number is widely marketed, you could be wasting a lot of money.