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A bit of congestion

— Update 9th May 2023 —
We’ve been monitoring this particular situation over the weekend and things are back to normal as far as we can see. Obviously we’re keeping an eye on it while our supplier increases capacity for us.

Many of our customers have been with ParentShield Two or Three years now. In feels like we’ve travelled some distance together. In that time we’ve made a lot of changes to everything and regular readers of the Changes page and various blog posts will know some of the hurdles we’ve faced, and scaled – Do you even scale hurdles? – over the years.

Congestion Rush Hour

While we’re really pleased with progress, it’s not been totally plain sailing and in a business like building a mobile network it’s normal to face the odd hitch here and there. We’ve had power-cuts in our data centre, and been struck by lightning twice, literally, resulting in a growing pile of fried hardware currently waiting to be recycled. A big thank-you to everyone we’ve spoken to who has been so understanding.

Our current hurdle is some insufficient capacity at one of our suppliers involved in some of our voice routing ( That’s making and receiving calls ). It turns our that at their busy times – which is generally over lunchtimes – some of our inbound calls are taking longer to set up than they would normally. Something in the jargon known as PDD – Post-Dial Delay. So you call into a ParentShield number, and if it’s affected there might be a pause before the call reaches us – and typically before you even hear the ringing tone.

If you hold on – there’s a good chance the call will connect, but usually people will choose to hang up, and dial again, with another good chance it’ll succeed straight away.

The same congestion does unfortunately affect some outbound calls, albeit for a slightly different reason, but with pretty much the same result.

We’re working on it as quickly as we can

Our service vendor is aware and has been really helpful working out ways to mitigate the affects until new capacity comes online. One of these will be to play an engaged ( congestion ) tone in cases where a call is unlikely to connect so you would know to quickly re-dial.

It’s not expected to be an issue over the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend as it’s largely business traffic that causes the problem and we’re due an update on the Tuesday after. (9th May). I’ll update and re-write this as soon as we know more.

What to do if you’re affected

If you make a call to a ParentShield phone and the call doesn’t go through immediately – hold on for a few seconds before giving up and retrying. Or Alternatively, give up and retry! In any case the call will go through so please don’t panic. You can always send a text as they’re unaffected. Remember that we don’t have an answerphone facility and this sort of ‘network event’ affects all mobile phones occasionally. You’ll know there are plenty of times when people leave you a voicemail message when you had the phone with you all the time. It happens and comes with the territory.

Thank you for bearing with us

We genuinely do want everything to be as good as we can make it. And wherever we can have backup and standby services and systems we do. Unfortunately, occasionally something can come along that is mostly outside our control. And we’ll always be honest about what it is.

Contact us if you have questions

If you’re unsure about anything, the best thing to do is give us a call: 03301221180 and have a chat. Whoever answers the phone will know what’s what and have access to all the controls and facts and figures. We also have the live chat down below.

Hopefully it’ll be resolved very quickly and we’ll be able to keep preparing for the next lightning strike. We do have suppressors and lightning control fuses everywhere now though. And it never strikes three times. Does it?

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