Microsoft Teams – Is Microsoft’s New Commerce Experience (NCE) Falling Short on Toll-Free Numbers?

While deploying a toll-free phone number for one of our customers using Microsoft Calling Plans, we noticed that the number always gave a busy tone. This customer is using New Commerce Experience (NCE), a platform for Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) that offers per-seat licensing.

NCE has the following characteristics:

  • Monthly and annual subscriptions (the monthly subscription is more expensive than the annual one)
  • Once an annual subscription has been activated, it can only be cancelled or reduced within 7 days of activation (upgrades or quantity increases in subscriptions are still possible even after the 7 day deadline)
  • Clients will not be able to cancel subscriptions or change CSP transaction partners during the agreed to term

The calling plans available in the NCE are Pay-As-You-Go Calling Plan . As outlined in the New commerce overage for telco pay-as-you-go post, buying Calling Credits is no longer an option. Instead Overage is used (and we had both the Subscription and the Overage enabled)

The Pay-As-You-Go calling plans include unlimited minutes of incoming calls. However, this makes sense for a standard users. What happens when you need to configure a Toll Free Number (where actually the incoming calls have a cost on who receives the call?)

Well, on that one looks like the NCEs are not working as expected.

The only solution we found was to buy  Communication Credits outside the NCE agreement (so the credits have to be bought directly from Microsoft).

As soon as we added the credits, the Toll Free number began working as expected.

It looks like there’s a missing piece in Microsoft’s NCE, and the documentation doesn’t mention it either.