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OT: What happens after ditching long distance?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Joerg, Aug 6, 2008.

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  1. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Ok, guys, got another AT&T bill and I just had it. Charged a minimum fee
    for under-usage, plus this, that and the other "recovery fee". IOW
    almost $20 for long distance while no long distance calls where made.
    None! Let's see, how much is that per minute? $20 divided by zero ...

    Not much money but this stinks. We use 1019898 + number anyhow, gets 2c
    to many EU countries and so on. No idea whether it'll last but I bet if
    not there will be others.

    So, what happens after I cancel all long distance service? What if a
    client accidentally picks up the phone and dials out to New Jersey or to
    Asia? Local long distance? Can that result in a humongous bill or will
    the phone just refuse to dial out?
  2. I make most of my calls using Skype these days.

    Dirk - Transcendence UK - A UK political party - Our podcasts on weird stuff
  3. mpm

    mpm Guest

    Well, you could see this coming.
    Personally, I try all avenues to avoid having anything in my life
    Cell phone minutes, time clocks, overdue library books, you name it.

    Of course, in today's world is not that easy to avoid.
    My guess is you signed up for a plan that anticipated use, and then
    you didn't use.
    Take solace in the knowledge that some bean-counter curve-fitted that
  4. T

    T Guest

    Nah, it'll just re-order on you.

    I note you're using PacBell, can you just get net service from them? And
    then hang a Vonage box on it. I love my Vonage service, I get a whole
    host of features that I don't really use except for CLID, Call Wait,
    Voice Mail, DND and Return-Call.

    Their online activity log is fantastic and they also include free access
    to France, Italy, England, Ireland, and Spain. Other countries like
    Israel, Mexico, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, Argentina, Australia and
    China are a penny a minute.

    Germany is 4 cents a minute.

    My Vonage Unlimited account costs about $31 a month once all the fees
    and taxes are added in which is still a bargain compared to anything
    Verizon or Cox could offer me.

    If you do decide to go the Vonage route email me.
  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    That would be ok but when I signed up I explicitly asked whether there
    was a min charge. Because I didn't want there to be one. "No, there
    isn't". Got a record about that here. Today Mr.Smartguy from customer
    service told me that this old plan was grandfathered in and a min charge
    was introduced and that customers were notified. Which we were not. Ok,
    if I have time I'll file with CPUC now and get it reversed. Not much
    money but it's about the principle.
  6. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    About half.

    Only local? Even that's a lot more here.

    Well, yeah, on Skype. I like a real phone an 2c to Europe via a third
    party ain't that bad.
  7. mpm

    mpm Guest

    That reminds me...
    Does anybody know if a Netopia Cayman 3346 router has a QOS port?
    What are you using Jim? Are you happy with it?

    Have cablemodem at the house and looking to add one of these VoIP
    Have Sunrocket now (long story), but not terribly happy with the
    It could be the router though (on that one, it's just a standard 4-
    port Linksys BEFSR41 V2)

  8. mpm

    mpm Guest

    On Aug 5, 7:59�pm, Joerg <>

    I had a similar experience with AT&T changing plans on me a long time
    They had changed something and I ended up paying about $400 more than
    I should have over the course of about a year. They would only credit
    me the last 3 months.

    So, (since I often do consulting work for them), I just tacked on what
    they owed me.
    Two can play that game. :)

  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    What? Can they really do that?

    I don't like VoIP much. A vendor of a client has that and sometimes I
    have a real hard time understanding.

    I get 2c/min to Germany :)

    Well, if the LD goes away AT&T will be under $20 with all the taxes and
    the 3rd party minute fees miniscule. Pretty much 2c/min for most places
    unless you call some tiny island way out there.

  10. That reminds me...
    Does anybody know if a Netopia Cayman 3346 router has a QOS port?
    What are you using Jim? Are you happy with it?

    Have cablemodem at the house and looking to add one of these VoIP
    Have Sunrocket now (long story), but not terribly happy with the
    It could be the router though (on that one, it's just a standard 4-
    port Linksys BEFSR41 V2)

    -mpm VOIP looks interesting. $10 a month.

  11. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    That's very different out here. IIRC only a 12-mile radius is free, give
    or take. Our area code 530 spreads much wider plus some numbers are
    assigned to Davis, clear across on the other side of Sacramento and its
    916 area code. That and much of our area will be toll calls.

  12. Carl Ijames

    Carl Ijames Guest

    I make about 1 ld call a month so last year when all the ld carriers
    went to a $2-4 minimum charge per month I dropped ATT ld on my land
    line. I call on my cell and if the connection is bad I just ask them to
    call me back (or I use a prepaid ld card) on the land line. On the land
    line if you dial any non-toll-free ld numbers you just get a recorded
    message and the call does not go through (and you are not charged).
    Toll free numbers work like they used to.
  13. David Lesher

    David Lesher Guest

    If you cancel, there's no account to run up.

    I use service; no min, no monthly charge. It's <5c/min,
    which sounds high; but I use $25 per year so the lack of fixed charges is

    You call a local # [I use a speed dialer.] and then your #.
  14. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Does the same recorded message come up for local long distance? If not,
    did they jack up your LLD rate? Thing is in our area it's nearly
    impossible to decipher from a phone number whether this will be a LLD or
    local call.
  15. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    We use 1019898, it's 10c for the first minute to connect, then 2c or so
    to many places in Europe. No monthly charge. Intra-US it's roughly the
    same AFAIK but I don't know because there we use CostCo phone cards.
    Sprint, Verizon, whatever is the best deal.

    The audio quality is excellent, definitely not VoIP. I wonder how they
    do that for 2c/min. Sometimes they have specials to Southern Europe for
    0.5c/min. Blows me away.
  16. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    More like 12 miles here :-(

    Question is: Do those minute rates remain the same after dropping LD?

    They are usually disclosed but in the smallest and thinnest fonts they
    can get away with. Like those TV ads that end with a super fast blur
    talker "Special restrictions apply ... bla bla blubb wheeeeee brumble
    bla blubb".
  17. T

    T Guest

    Yes they can. They can just set the COS on the line to no LD/PIC access.
    It'll either jump to reorder or play a message that LD access on the
    line is disabled, to dial 101+ or what have you.
    Interesting. That's going over a VoIP gateway somewhere I'm sure. Vonage
    also has other plans that cover more of Europe for a relatively small
    fee per month of unlimited usage.

    I completely forgot about that.
  18. T

    T Guest

    And the Vonage devices do enforce QOS. I've got a Linksys RT31P2 and I
    can tell it how much bandwidth I want for the VoIP connection. I run
    mine at the full 90kbps and have absolutely fantastic quality on the
    connection. No echo, no compandored sideband sound, it's just like a
    regular telephone line.
  19. T

    T Guest

    That's the thing I love about VoIP. I don't have to worry about what is
    toll and what isn't. Just dial and talk.
  20. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Ah, ok, thanks. I guess that would also mean they can't sock it to me
    just because I drop their LD.
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