TUCoPS :: Phreaking Technical System Info :: scam_2.txt

More Commercial Phone Scams

Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: USA Today Bills For Those 'Free' Calls We Made!
Organization: TELECOM Digest

Remember back in September/October when {USA Today} was having
"network problems" on its 900-555-5555 line so that it was accessible
via 800-555-5555?  Remember how we speculated what, if anything, would
happen with the charges?  Wonder no more!

I just received my November bill with the calls detailed as "USA Today
900-555-5555" at $.95 per minute.  *And* I have 900 blocking on my

Luckily, AT&T provides the billing, so I called 800-222-0300 and spoke
with Barbara there who was somewhat surprised by my story.  She was
very cooperative and agreed to remove the charges ("one time only") if
I agreed to call Bell of PA to verify the blocking.  She also offered
some interesting advice: 900 blocking should be requested for both
outgoing *and* incoming calls!  I asked her what that was all about,
since I don't operate a 900 number.  She told me that incoming
blocking would prevent an IP from converting a non-900 call to them
into a 900 charge on my bill.  This I had never heard about.  Is
anyone else familiar with this kind of sleazy operation?

What about the ethics of this situation?  After all, we discussed, at
length, the fact that the recording on 800-555-5555 clearly stated
that the service cost $.95 per minute.  Despite that notice, I (and I
assume others) knowingly used that service, firm in our technological
belief that our dialling "800" instead of "900" superceded the terms
stated to us. {USA Today}, having fulfilled its IP responsibility by
clearly stating the cost of the service, used its technological
prerogative to gather the ANI data on the 800 number in order to
recover that which was due them.

Having already claimed my credit, I stand by the "800 Protection"
viewpoint, but to me it doesn't seem that {USA Today} is entirely in
the wrong here.


--- Fred-Uf 1.8(L)[BETA]
 * Origin: Megabyte BBS, UUCP, Fidonet, IMEx, total messaging (1:340/201.0)

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