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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: New N.Y. Law Targets Hidden Net LD Tolls

  • From: Barry Shein
  • Date: Fri Aug 19 15:37:13 2005


Can't one still get minimal phone service which charges a toll on
every phone call? I know this used to cost like $5/mo but I think they
eliminated it in MA a few years ago, or made it hardship-only.

Simple business lines here normally charge for every phone call, 1MB
as they're called, MB = Measured Business tho I guess that's not what
Spitzer was concerned with.

But that's a big part of the problem, the telcos don't make this
information readily available in a form ISPs can use, and even if they
did it'd depend on the specific service option the customer had. In
our experience customers don't generally know what phone service they
have in any useful way (such as the exact name the telco calls it,
circle dialing, metro calling, etc.)

And boy howdy we've tried to help, motivated by the occasional livid
customer who got an unexpectedly large bill. We've had a warning just
like the one suggested on our pick a number since before some list
members here were born.

In my not insignificant experience there's some VP inside every RBOC
cackling madly over the revenues generated by this confusion.

And, no, don't give me the old "don't attribute to malice what can be
adequately explained by stupidity."

Double-digit billion $$ companies don't make universal, big revenue
generating mistakes over a period of probably 50 years with no doubt
millions of complaints (not just ISP dialing) out of "stupidity".

Such confusion is their stock in trade.

And I suspect that's, as Paul Harvey used to say, "The rest of the
story". Spitzer's office must have tried to look into why ISPs et al
can't just make a reasonably accurate suggestion to customers looking
for a phone number and, upon querying the telcos, was met with a big:
hahahahahahaha yeah, right!

It's too obvious to have possibly been missed.

-- 
        -Barry Shein

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