30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for May 21, 2012
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Date: 20 May 2012 04:56:43 GMT From: Doug McIntyre <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: 3rd party billing from AT&T Message-ID: <email@example.com> Javier <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: >In the past months I started recieving 3rd party billing from never >demanded services from USBI. The actual company seemed to be Onelink >Communications Inc. It was $6 a month. >After some phone calls to the AT&T customer service they reversed the >charges and told me that they would not allow 3rd party billing to me >anymore. You don't say if this is a POTS or wireless. There was a rash of 3rd party SMS cramming recently to AT&T wireless accounts around the Minneapoils/St. Paul area (enough to make the local news on several stations). Both of my AT&T wireless lines got hit. AT&T instantly took off the charges, and I asked for 3rd party billing blocking on both lines. They assign a PIN and email it out. And the cramming supposedly isn't possible then. Supposedly AT&T will only opt-in cramming on wireline service (although that might not start until August). But AFAIK, wireless is still opt-out.
Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 04:21:15 +0000 (UTC) From: danny burstein <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: 3rd party billing from AT&T Message-ID: <email@example.com> In <firstname.lastname@example.org> Javier <email@example.com> writes: > In the past months I started recieving 3rd party billing from never > demanded services from USBI. The actual company seemed to be > Onelink Communications Inc. It was $6 a month. > After some phone calls to the AT&T customer service they reversed > the charges and told me that they would not allow 3rd party billing > to me anymore. Don't waste any time with AT&T. Send off letters to your State's Public Service Commission, with cc's (not that most will do anything, but it's only 45 cents) to the FCC, FTC, and your State Attorney General. While these "third party" folk may, emphasize "may", have a valid argument that they should be able to use AT&T's billing system courtesy of deregulation, it's been about time, for a decade now, for AT&T and all the others to have a simple paragraph in their access agreement. Something like: "if the billback rate is greater than two percent, then this agreement is null and void." -- _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key firstname.lastname@example.org [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 00:58:27 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Q.: Should jailbreaking ... mobile phones ... be legalized? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> The latest Sophos.com "Naked Security" blog post asks: : Should jailbreaking gaming consoles, mobile phones and tablets be legalized? Rationale for raising the question: | Yesterday US copyright regulators opened up the floodgates for a public | hearing (PDF at | http://www.copyright.gov/fedreg/2012/77fr15327.pdf | ) | of proposals to change copyright law, including authorizing the cracking | of tablets, DVDs, gaming consoles and mobile phones. More at (sorry for the overly long URL): http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/05/18/should-jailbreaking-gaming-consoles-mobile-phones-and-tablets-be-legalised/ -or- http://tinyurl.com/c2wfoyx Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 12:41:10 -0700 (PDT) From: Joseph Singer <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: BillPay Down, Online Banking Customers Crippled, Held Hostage Message-ID: <1337542870.30862.YahooMailClassic@web161504.mail.bf1.yahoo.com> 17 May 2012 00:38:57 -0000 John Levine wrote: > On the other hand, they, you know, mail a check. Surely it is not > beyond the ability of Americans in 2012 to blow the dust off the > checkbook and do it themselves. Sure, we can "dust off" our checkbooks (I'm still required to write only one check a month for my rent check since the entity that I rent from has not evolved into the 21st century) but if you use something to make payments and all of a sudden it doesn't work and as a result of it not working you're going to be assessed late fees or ruin a good payment record you have with an entity. If you can't count on the service working are you saying that we should all abandon banks' e-payment services and regress into sending a cheque (and yes see if you can find a stamp to make payments since that's one of the few times you absolutely need to post something in the mail?)
Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 13:41:38 -0700 (PDT) From: Joseph Singer <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: ("cramming" 3rd party billing from AT&T Message-ID: <1337546498.75231.YahooMailClassic@web161504.mail.bf1.yahoo.com> Sun, 20 May 2012 03:31:40 +0000 (UTC) Javier wrote: > In the past months I started recieving 3rd party billing from never > demanded services from USBI. The actual company seemed to be > Onelink Communications Inc. It was $6 a month. > After some phone calls to the AT&T customer service they reversed > the charges and told me that they would not allow 3rd party billing > to me anymore. > The 3rd party billing stopped for two months. However, this month's > bill comes again with the same [problem], and the company is even > the same: USBI/Onelink Communications. Unfortunately, this is not new and has been a problem for some time. AT&T and Verizon have agreed to stop third-party billing for companies. An article in Consumerist: The federal crackdown on the practice of landline bill-cramming -- the slathering on of charges for often unauthorized third-party services onto consumers' phone bills -- continues, with the Federal Trade Commission accusing the country's largest third-party billing business of attempting to cram $70 million worth of bogus charges down consumers' throats. Full article: http://consumerist.com/2012/05/ftc-goes-after-nations-largest-3rd-party-billing-company-for-profiting-off-bill-cramming.html -or- http://goo.gl/I1bYn Also, if you do a google search there are pages and pages regarding this issue.
Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 13:19:07 -0700 (PDT) From: Joseph Singer <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: We Learn About The Telephone Message-ID: <1337545147.90636.YahooMailClassic@web161505.mail.bf1.yahoo.com> Thu, 17 May 2012 13:50:57 -0500 Dave Garland gave us this link: > 1965 Bell movie for elementary-school audiences: > > http://archive.org/details/WeLearnA1965 > >> Notes: When telephones ring they're all the 302 ringer even when they illustrate everything with a 500 set. When the boy dials "Bobby Martin" you'll notice that he dials the standard Bell advertising number i.e. 555-2368!
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