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Area Decoder - Helpful Hints and Frequently Asked Questions

The AmeriCom Area Decoder provides users with current information related to area, city, and country telephone codes. This information is gathered from a myriad of sources, checked for known anomolies and inconsistencies, and compiled for distribution via the AreaDecoder.com website.

Understand that AmeriCom does not currently provide white pages information, postal code lookups, or reverse phone number lookup. If you are trying to enter any of this information, you will not necessarily get the results you are looking for.

Questions:

1. How come I don't get what I'm looking for?
2. How can I better optimize my searches?
3. Why doesn't AmeriCom provide more information?
4. How come the information is incorrect?
5. What can I do if I have an idea or suggestion?
6. Why does my search take so long?
7. How can you tell which part is the country code and which part is the city code?
8. Why is the AmeriCom site changing so much?

Answers:

1. How come I don't get what I'm looking for?

You are probably entering in too much data (i.e. part or all of the phone number instead of just the country, city, and/or area code) or entering data that is irrelevant to the search.

Each phone number can be broken down into three parts: the country code, the city or area code, and the actual phone number. In addition, each continent and/or country has different rules for placing national and international calls. Quite often leading numbers, such as 0's and/or 1's, are misconstrued as being part of the country or city code, when in fact they are not. These numbers are used by the local phone company to place long distance calls within the country or international long distance calls. For example, 011 is the US code for dialing internationally, and will not return any values if you include in the phone number.

Other cases include the way a particular region delimits (seperates) the parts of a phone number. Some countries use dashes (-), some use periods (.) or commas (,), and some use slashes (/). The Area Decoder uses a plus sign (+) to represent the country code (i.e. 1 for the US, Canada, and Carribean countries), and dashes to seperate the country code from the city code and phone number.

Last but not least, the system will try to "guess" which city, state, and/or country you are looking for if the spelling is incorrect. Because we use the American English spelling for most countries, native language spellings will most like produce errors or approximate lookups. Cities, on the other hand, may be in the native spelling as well as (or instead of) the English spelling. Trying both is your best bet.

2. How can I better optimize my searches? (continuation of #1)

In the case of a US phone number 555-1212 in Utah, you would dial 1-801-555-1212 from within the US. The general international form would read +1-801-555-1212. To use this information in a lookup, you would type +1-801 in the Simple Search field, or 1 in the Country Code field and 801 in the City or Area Code field of the Power Search section. (The Simple Search defaults to US area codes if you only type in three digits: "801" typed alone in this case would return Salt Lake City, Utah.)

International numbers may be a little different. If you're in Holland, for example, you would dial a "0" (zero) for long distance calls. In the case of a phone number in The Hague, The Netherlands, a national long distance call would be read as 070.555.5555. The international form, however, would read +31-70-555-5555 (notice the dropped leading "0" in front of the 70). For a Simple Search lookup, you would therefore type +31-70 to get the city information. On the Power Search section, you would type 31 in the Country Code field and 70 in the City or Area Code field.

3. Why doesn't AmeriCom provide more information?

AmeriCom has specialized in accurate area code information on the Internet for the past 5 years. Until recently we have not needed to provide more. However, due to overwhelming customer response, we have decided to expand our services. Keep an eye out for future development and expansion.

4. How come the information is incorrect?

We gather our information from multiple sources across the globe. Because the telecommunications industry is growing and expanding so rapidly, it is difficult to keep up with all of the changes. Additionally, the data is not always correct at the source. Our thanks go to the many customers who help us update our information and keep it as correct as possible.

5. What can I do if I have an idea or suggestion?

We have a feedback form that you can fill out and send to us. We use the information to determine where our efforts would be best spent. We also correct our data according to the changes you submit. Click here to send feedback to our staff.

6. Why does my search take so long?

If your search does not match a unique city, state, and/or country name exactly, the system will do an approximate search or a duplicate search, returning multiple values. This second and third pass can take a couple of seconds longer, especially under heavy system load.

7. How can you tell which part is the country code and which part is the city code?

There are a few rules that country and city codes follow that will help you determine where you are calling, and can make your searches more effective. All international country codes are one, two, or three digits long. North America is generally 1 (excluding Mexico), European countries generally have two digit codes, and smaller countries three. Area codes are three digit codes used primarily in the US and Canada. City codes are non-US city or area codes that are generally two to four digits long, depending upon the native phone company's coding system.

8. Why is the AmeriCom site changing so much?

We are preparing to bring on new data and a simpler format for searching for and displaying that data. Over the past few months we have tried different looks and interfaces to streamline our site and improve service to you. If you would like to see features or have layout ideas implemented, please send us feedback.

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