TRI-CITIES, Wash.--Cell phone provider, U.S. Cellular, is making its customers push more buttons when calling.
As of Wednesday, May 7th, 2008, customers with a 509 area code must dial it before making any local calls.
U.S. Cellular public relations staff say the company is preparing for the day 509 numbers run out. That's not expected to happen until 2013.
When that happens, new customers will get a new area code.
"What this is doing is that its standardizing it anywhere in the 509 area code," says Bruce Kehe, public relations counsel, U.S. Cellular. You're going to have one dialing procedure, or you know, you're going to dial 10 digits."
Here's an important note: you can call 9-1-1 **without** using an area code.
Only dial 9-1-1 in case of an emergency.
If consumers have complaints about having to dial the 509 area code, please contact The Washington Utilities & Transportation Commission at (800) 562-6150.