Adding your area code to calls is coming to the 509 soon

FILE: Phone

SPOKANE, Wash. — Things are changing in eastern Washington, and that includes changing the way you dial local phone numbers.

Starting on Oct. 24, there will be no more seven-digit dialing, you’ll have to add the 509 area code to all calls.

The reason for the change is to help keep people from accidentally calling a new emergency phone line coming next summer, TDS Telecom said. Dialing 9-8-8 will connect people to the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Lifeline starting July 16, 2022.

The FCC hopes that a shorter, easy-to-remember number will more efficiently provide people with help when they need it most. Until then, people who are in need of help should continue to call 1-800-273-TALK to reach the lifeline.

Here are a few other takeaways:

  • Your phone number and area code will stay the same.
  • The price for both local and long-distance calling will not change for TDS customers.
  • Long-distance calls will still be made by dialing 1 + area code + phone number.
  • Make sure anything that uses or displays your phone number, or the phone numbers of others is updated to include the area code. This could include any of the following: business stationery and marketing materials, home security systems, contact lists, voicemail services, fax machines, and life safety systems.