CHARLESTON -- Sometimes, government officials don't think through the implications of their decisions.

Sometimes, they want to do good, make a decision and don't realize the impact that their decision causes.

Of course, I have to feel this is what happened to the PSC when they voted to create a new area code for numbers based on geography.

Say what?

Why not just overlay the new area code on top of the old one?

Is it really going to be THAT helpful to see area code XYZ come up on your phone and say, wow, someone, somewhere north of Flatwoods is calling me, that really narrows it down.

Wait, wait.

Most of you might be saying, big deal, who cares, what's the difference, so what if they change the area code in the northern part of the state.

Well, it's OK -- unless you are a business. Unless you do telephone directories. Unless you have business cards that will now have to be replaced. Unless you are a resident there.

Just think through ALL the places that use our phone number for identification, all the utilities, all the credit card companies, pretty much anyone you pay a bill to… and, now imagine individuals across 28 counties having to make all the those calls and change all those numbers.

It's completely ridiculous and absurd and unnecessary.

It is a nightmare for any business in the new area code.

This is simply not thinking through your decision.

Otherwise, there is NO possible way the PSC could decide to make EVERYONE in a geographical region change their area code.

I'm sorry, but its a very dumb move.

It doesn't affect me or my businesses, thankfully, because we retain our number. But, to think through ALL of the business information that will have to be changed, even for small businesses is nothing less than a… well, nightmare.

The PSC must reverse course. It simply was a bad, bad, bad decision.

Sprouse has served in the Legislature since 1995 and resides in Charleston. He graduated from Penn State University with a Chemical Engineering degree and currently owns and operates several fitness centers in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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