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jcovert
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Caller ID brings another, new element into the equation. Since you've paid for Caller ID service, use of that information is legitimate. This is just like the previous poster taking a short call on his Vonage TollFreePlus service and then calling back. Both of these are legitimate because the charges for each transmission of information have been paid.

However, by placing a collect call, a caller has (according the the laws of both the U.S. and specifically Canada) effected the "transmission, emission or reception of signs, signals, writing, images or sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, visual or other electromagnetic system."

And by not paying the collect call charge to speak to the person who called, but instead to call back at a lower rate, the called party has used the "intelligence of any nature" transmitted during the operator's call in a scheme to defraud the company which originally placed the collect call of their lawful charges.

/john

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Last edited by jcovert on Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
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galion
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
What are your parents' area code and first three digits, and what are your Vonage area code and first three digits?


The area code is the same but the exchange is different. Don't forget it is two phone companies, thus two exchanges. So, legitimately, it falls to the agreements between the companies. My complaint is that you can dial just 7 digits (no 1 / no area code) and still get charged a long distance call. I guess it is something I wouldn't think of unless I were calling some 976 number which I have never done. The other problem is one phone company putting in their directory that calls to the town would be free. But here's the catch. It doesn't show anything about the new exchange (because it is new).

Personally, it doesn't matter to me because I have the toll free number and I could drop the virtual number. Thus I have no real problem with Vonage. I have a BIG problem if our rules and regulations leave the consumer the ability to dial long distance without knowledge. I think it should be mandatory to need at least an area code before the charges would apply. I also have a problem when my folks registered they wanted NO long distance service. That point is where the phone company had to drop the charges. But my aunt paid her charge.

I also have a BIG problem with the FCC complaining to me about getting Voip calls rather than listening or trying to be helpful. I was very friendly and calm. I guess I didn't argue enough. I also don't like a state public service commission saying they just don't know anything about technology in their area.

I had already looked at the website you mention when I was doing my research. Trust me, I looked at every angle which is how I found out Vonage was paying Level 3 for the line. But I do appreciate your advice. Everyone should know that this situation exists whether you are with Vonage or any other Voip. In fact, I could see it happening with a POTS systems. If you do look deep into the FCC website they will tell you that if you decide to go with any company other than the original monopoly company in your area you should review all their policies and agreements because of this mess. So it isn't really an exclusive Voip problem.

I would suggest the following (until Voip overtakes all communications and the old number system is flushed):
(1) Every system move to 10 digit dialing.
(2) Long distance charges apply if you dial a 1 before the 10 digits. I like the old recording, "You must dial a 1 or 0 before dialing this number."
(3) Trash the 976 system. Use 1-900 for all toll charges.
(4) Telemarketers should pay you to make sales calls. (I would then be glad to publish my Vonage number.)

But, in the end the Voip crowd will have the last laugh (or which ever technology grows out of VoIP). Remember, the dialing of numbers is only in place to satisfy the outdated electromechanical systems of yesteryear.

All of my jabber leaves little satisfaction for our friend kmil. My friend you are enjoying the muck of government and paperwork not keeping up with technology. I wish I could tell you something better. But, I haven't given my doctors, etc. our toll free number and I do not have an Ohio number (where I live). I have an Atlanta number. I have been lucky. They don't complain. When everyone has Voip or the phone companies realize they have lost then there will be no long distance charges and it won't matter.

Thanks to all of you in trying to help. That is why this website does well. Everyone pitches in. Hang in there.

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jcovert
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
The area code is the same but the exchange is different


I would really like to look the two places up in www.localcallingguide.com if you'd be willing to share the NPA-NXX of each of the two points with us.

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galion
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
I would really like to look the two places up in www.localcallingguide.com if you'd be willing to share the NPA-NXX of each of the two points with us.


I don't mind. I just didn't want to break any forum rule on talking about a specific company. I guess Mr. Conner can edit my reply if it does. Here they are:

256-275 => Vonage virtual number.
256-359 => Family number that gets toll charge.
256-370 => Family number that gets toll charge.
256-764 => Family number that can make free call.
256-383 => Family number that can make free call.
256-381 => Family number that can make free call.

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jcovert
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

The problem here has nothing to do with Vonage. It's an error in the billing system of the company in Cherokee. It's the standard new code problem, and it happens all the time, no matter what companies are involved.

Calls between Florence and Cherokee, in both directions, are supposed to be local calls.

When Level 3 established the 256-275 exchange, they officially assigned it "Florence" as its rate center. Along with all the Level 3 numbers in the area, assigned to rate centers in

Quote:
Huntsville 270 417
Decatur 274 280
Florence 275 712
Athens 278 867
Red Bay 333
Russellville 460
Town Creek 602
Leighton 661
Killen 664
Lexington 667
Cullman 841


they are sent to Huntsville to be processed.

However, the declared rate center is what determines the charge, not where the calls need to be delivered. The phone company in Cherokee is in violation.

The official dialing plan for the 256 NPA is "7D for home NPA local calls, 10D for foreign NPA local calls, 1+10D for all toll calls." See www.nanpa.com and note well that the 256 NPA is a "toll-alerting" NPA, certainly something your PSC insisted upon and will be willing to enforce. But they'll also enforce the tariffs filed with them by phone companies within the state for the charges they apply to calls to nearby exchanges.

The phone company in Cherokee needs to be forced by the Alabama PSC to complete calls to 256-275 numbers at the same price as to any other Florence numbers. The calls are being delivered to Level III, not to Vonage. There is no Voip involved until AFTER the calls are delivered to Level III. Level III has filed Florence as the rate plan for the 275 numbers.

All that needs to happen is that someone in Cherokee needs to send a bill with a call to Florence and a toll charge on the bill to the PSC and say, "Please have my phone company fix this problem." Rates for calls within Alabama placed by customers of the company in Cherokee are regulated by the PSC, and the PSC can require them to charge only their tariffed rates, which say that they don't charge toll rates for calls to Florence. They will have to fix their billing system, and that will be the end of story.

Theoretically, the company in Cherokee could file a separate tariff with the Alabama PSC for "Calls to Level III numbers in Florence" and if the PSC actually ACCEPTED such a filing, then you'd be out of luck. HOWEVER, then calls would have to be dialled with the mandatory 1+10D dialling, and the PSC would enforce that.

I'm pretty sure there is no such tariff. You should ask to examine the tariffs of the Cherokee company.

/john

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galion
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the advice John. Last time I talked to the PSC the people pleaded ignorance. I think I will try again. I sent the information to my family. I hope it works. I will keep you posted. As always, I appreciate the help! Smile

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galion
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

On second thought, maybe I should just e-mail a link to this thread to each of the commissioners. Of course I don't like to be rude and they may not like my true feelings. I am usually too nice. But, it might be the one thing that tips the bucket over.

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jcovert
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

You've gotta give the commissioners the proper documentation that there is a problem. That documentation is a bill rendered by a company in Alabama for a call from Cherokee to Florence at a charge other than the charges authorized by the rates on file with the commissioners.

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kmil
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Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:59 am    Post subject: Thank you Reply with quote Back to top

Thank you galion and all who replied,

This is very very interesting, I appreciate the detail you went into to explain just how complex this is and I think ,as you said, the biggest problem is that people aren't helpful and even surly when trying to sift through all this mess. The phone companies will have to decide at some point to change their system otherwise the complaints will build up.

I remember when you first got Cable modem years ago and they wanted to charge you for every computer on your home network. Now they realize that most people that have cable modem network and it's useless and doesn't make sense to try to keep track of and calculate that.

I always hated buying a car and negotiating, now we have Carmax. So things can improve.

The toll free number is a good idea, will look into that.
Actually I will ask my doctor's office if they ever got charged long distance for my number. Will check.
Best regards
Kim
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jcovert
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Posts: 153

PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
The phone companies will have to decide at some point to change their system otherwise the complaints will build up.

kmil,

As I said before in this thread), and have said in previous discussions (I don't expect you to have read everything), this really is nothing new at all. It's the "new code" problem, and it has always existed. The system for distributing and implementing the codes is only as good as its weakest link: human nature, and that's really hard to change.

I've been dealing with the new code problem since the days when there was one Big Bell System, and the problem wasn't any better. I could tell you dozens of war stories just like the two discussed in this thread, but my favorite was the situation that existed for several years, even after complaints (which kept being ignored). Customers with 800 numbers in South Carolina could not receive calls from folks just east of NYC. The reason: the folks running the Hempstead, NY toll switch had decided to route the calls to Charleston -- WV, not SC.

Would you please share the NPA-NXX (first six digits) of your phone number and the number of someone who has had trouble calling you. I'd like to see what's in www.localcallingguide.com .

All it SHOULD take to get your problem fixed is for someone who cannot call you to call their local telephone repair and say, "I can't call [your number] from my phone, please fix it." What is REALLY important is to NOT SAY ANYTHING MORE THAN THAT. Don't say "Vonage." Don't say "VoIP". If they want more information, then the ONLY thing you should tell them is "that's a number in <town>, <state>" and you need to give them the town and state listed for the number in www.localcallingguide.com -- not any other town or state.

/john

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