Posts tagged “telco”

A gracious good morning to you

From All Things Considered the remote California town of Iowa Hill will finally get land-line phone service. And their cell coverage is spotty, at best. The woman interviewed explains that people in the community have designated areas where there is cell reception as phone booths; a nice colloquialism since we’re likely to envision a purpose-built structure rather than a warchalked wooded area. She also describes the local 911-proxy: fire your gun three times in the air and hope someone comes to your aid.

Rewriting history – a good thing?

This is a new at&t ad (pdf) for the SBC merger/renaming thing that’s going down now (and filling the off- and on-line press with stories about deaths of logos, competition, brand, and the like).

The text in question:
mergers come with a winner and a loser.
This isn’t the last time we’ll rewrite history.

seems pretty messed up. Doesn’t rewriting history mean that one goes back and changes the written record to reflect what is more preferred to think now (wasn’t that what Winston Smith did in 1984)? It’s an accusation of dishonesty when we speak of rewriting history. Yet at&t is proclaiming that they are going to head off and do just that. In some ways, the rebranding is indeed rewriting history, pretending that the split from Ma Bell and all the other mergers and splits didn’t happen over the decades, and that this company you’re doing business with is the same company back in the good ol’ days.

But that isn’t what they mean, is it? I think they mean that they’ll be making history – dispensing with the old truths and breaking barriers and doing great things. Making history, and rewriting history are two very different things.

Is this doubleplusgood quacktalk? Or just really really lazy agency work (and dumb-ass clients)?

Spurious collect call charges – a new scam?

What a freakin’ scam…this just happened to me. This company called OAN (aka Nationwide Conn.) somehow submits fraudulent bills for collect calls that never happened. They don’t bill you directly, they add it to your local bill (Qwest, Verizon, or in my case, SBC). For me, it was $5.41. It took me noticiing it, doing a websearch, then making a couple of calls and spending time on hold (!) to get this taken care of (assuming that it is indeed taken care of). It’s hardly worth it, and yet this company (and others presumably) continue to “cram” – to knowingly bill falsely through the carriers, knowing that most people won’t notice it or have the comfort to dispute it. Which is just so shockingly immoral…the web page I link to shows a huge number of people who have also been scammed and realized it, many who report it to the government.

How come this is allowed to continue? SBC told me they are legally required to pass these charges along.



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