It seems a correct cost - probably a little more that the fellow on the other end of the line, but he's the one with the money. It also seems very cost-ineffective unless he's a minimum wage employee or very lonely.
After a while that will ebb away and he'll probably do the same cost benefit analysis and go back to hanging up on them.
I bet the first minute is still charged up front though.
If his time is worth that little, he'd be better off getting an entry level retail job.
Factor in the reduced interruption cost of receiving 10-20 fewer calls/month into the cost/benefit calculation. That's one less interruption per 2-3 days.
Bought 750min plan.
Used phone first week to do a few conference calls to a 1-800 number.
next week i was already out of "plan minutes" because i had to 'pay' for the 1800 calls.
not to mention SMS costs, and data being billed up to 3x (actual data plan, smart phone plan ($30), tethering ($25-50), plus tax)
Summary: the problems you're experiencing don't seem to have much to do with what country you're in, so much as your belief that buying a plan with a ton of bizarre extra costs makes sense.
I did enjoy the fact that this simple dumbphone had a very easy-to-use "tip calculator", making it easier to adapt to the local customs :) (until I found out that apparently tip percentage are calculated before-taxes, not over the full bill?)
I'm actually only on AT&T because they scammed me via my employee. They advertise 30% discount. So you go there, sign up for 2yrs. It takes exactly 90 days for a bill to show up with the discount when you have a FAN id (corp discount). why? because after 90 days you can't cancel the 2yr contract anymore, and then you learn that the 30% only applies to voice, for the first line. so you get $6 instead of the $30/mo you were expecting.
i would have gone with t-mobile. and the 2yrs are ending now, so i might switch.
the 700min is already too expensive. $60 + $30data + tax and ridiculous fees (like $4/mo for the ferederal universal access fee. like AT&T even uses that money to give phone access to everyone one...)
US local calls don't have per-minute changes. And cell phone numbering is not using a separate number sequence as in most other countries (e.g. in UK all cellphone numbers start 07x where x is 4 or above, so everyone knows when calling a cellphone).
Because of that, it'd be unreasonable to charge callers for cellphone calls, as people don't have an easy way of knowing if they're making a local landline call or calling someone on a cellphone that's potentially at the other side of the country, or abroad.
Similarly for international roaming we pay to receive in Europe too, as the caller don't know if the cellphone is abroad. Except caller pays whatever their plan would normally charge if the phone was in the country its numbering plan indicates, and the roaming charges covers the rest.
Preferably with an automated message in an overly cheery voice saying "your call is important to us"
FWIW I've set up some disposable number like this guy via Flextel.
If ever I've been looking for a new contract I put a disposable number on my CV. When I get a contract, i disconnect and they cannot call again
Particularly when there are much more effective scripts to use, such as asking where your number came from, and requesting the TM not contact you and pass that request upstream.
Or get a call-blocking app/service / Google Voice number (not that I care to feed Google any more personal data).
"Do you have a problem answering questions from a stranger on the telephone?"
They don't pay as much money though, but some 0871 numbers are free.
I think you can also set a divert on anonymous caller (number withheld)
You might be able to set two numbers to transfer to each other endlessly, unless the right pair of menu numbers is pressed.
I knew a guy who made a LOT of cash by hooking one up to a fax machine and then calling window companies and telling them "I'm about to go into a meeting where we are going to decide which windows to buy for a skyscraper we are building, please can you fax me your brochure immediately". He then gave them the 0898 number to fax the 200 page brochure to...
With the original story there's some feeling of comeuppance, and it's not really a huge financial burden on the company making thousands of calls a day.
In your story—illegalities aside—they're just being a complete asshole.
The remaining premium rate problem in the UK is mainly 070 numbers, which are "personal numbers" used for forwarding services, and while there are some legitimate users, most uses these days are scammers trying to confuse people to think they're cellphone numbers.
The latest scams involve making your iPhone show missed calls even though your phone didnt ring by sending it a really short call attempt. Guess what the caller ID of the missed call is? Premium rate number. The amount of people who ring back these calls is incredible.
When you call the line you hear a long dial tone. You think its dialling the number but its already been answered and is charging you per minute...
Again, I'm not making any representations that these things are ethical, but they absolutely go on today, and these are the only kinds of scams I feel comfortable sharing - the reality is a lot scarier.
I've seen lots of toll fraud at my work. Often a VoIP device like an Asterisk server or a VoIP phone will be compromised and used to send calls to a premium rate number, usually at a very high call rate. This is their downside, they're exploited by people who want to make a quick buck. And carriers are forced to pay them because they have contracts with their toll trunk providers that all calls sent through those trunks are legitimate calls.
jdee, have you ever had any success prosecuting anyone committing fraud? Wonder if that's even possible.
I've not heard of a single case where successful prosecution has occurred. I think OFCOM and the police view these attacks against financial institutions as a 'cost of doing business' - if you dont want fraud, dont run a bank - attitude.
Edit: An obvious hack in the US would be to spoof a bank's caller id and start calling as the "fraud department" ... Leaving the rest to the imagination.
The most interesting thing you learn about these fraud teams is that it is a job to them - meaning they work 9-5.30, dont work weekends or holidays. This is industrialised fraud on an enterprise scale.
If you wanted my advice:
Dont trust any 2 factor authentication system that uses your mobile unless its for a large bank
Dont data roam with your mobile when abroad, better still, leave your mobile at home.
Before doing anything secure with your phone, call it to ensure its not been redirected
Dont say anything in a call that you wouldnt want played back to you at some point in the future...
PLEASE WRITE A BOOK. I would most definitely buy your anecdotes, and even more for anecdotes that motivated this advice to pass of to people.
Also, how did you get into the line of work you are in?
Final anecdote. A certain attack requires the fraudster to call the target's bank and ask a few questions. For some reason in ALL of these calls there is the sound of a baby crying in the background.
Our theory is that while testing the attack vector, the first time it 'worked' a baby must have been crying. The fraudsters think it works as some kind of high frequency disruption to confuse any biometric systems that are processing the call, so they play a RECORDING of a baby in the background of all subsequent calls.
It reminds me of learned behaviour in animals. The pigeon stands on one leg and gets a treat. The pigeon now thinks the one legged approach is what makes the treat appear.
The icing on the cake was when I got a call from a bank asking if there are any biometric systems that can detect the sound of crying babies...
"To paraphrase Felix Dennis, 'It is like watching a millionaire point his finger at the sky, then running out to write books with titles like `How to Become A Millionaire by Pointing at the Sky`, when all along the millionaire was just trying to show people the glory of the sunset."
More reading: https://www.google.com/search?q=free+conference+termination+...
AT&T filed a complaint against Google for this behavior (and lost).
It's funny how clever people can be when they are annoyed by something.
Here is some other coverage:
So if you just send back the empty envelope, it sounds like it will cost the company postage, even if it's less than a brick.
It will. They pay per piece to get each envelope/card back, the rates vary based upon volume (https://www.usps.com/business/reply-mail.htm).
So, if you notice how little they paid to get the letter to you, if everyone returned the empty BRM's, it could easily double or more their cost for postage to have mailed the things out.
Also, if you want to get less junk postal mail, you can opt-out of the vast majority. It's not too hard: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0262-stopping-unsolicit...
2. Why would you try to sabotage a public service?
Where I live we have simple stickers that allow you to pick yes / no for receiving unaddressed mail and free periodicals. We simply slapped a no/no sticker on the mailbox and forgot about the junk mail problem but not every country has a system like that.
So what? So does food that is not eaten and other forms of waste. I don't follow sports but I understand that there is plenty of waste by people who drive to games, consume beer as well as other costs associated with sporting events. There are people who send out "junkmail" who are legitimate and get business from it. And they are selling things that people want. Obviously no marketing campaign is 100% effective (a few percentage points is usually good actually).
"If it was solely good then I highly doubt it would be called junkmail"
There are pros and cons to most things. Giving it a different name wouldn't make it better or worse. People also don't like television commercials or ads on web pages. If you asked them they would like to eliminate those as well expecting everything to be to their liking.
It's probably hypocritical of you to hate on junk mail while working in web development.
And if 20% of people sent bricks in with their junk mail? What do you think the postmen would say?
Not sure what you're trying to say here.
Guess what? Not everyone is annoyed or bothered by junk mail. Not everyone is annoyed by spam either and I'm not talking about idiots who respond to spam or even read it. There are people that get so few emails that if they login and don't see any mail they think the mail is not being delivered at all. So they'd rather have something show up to show that "the system is working".
My argument is not that junk mail is bad, because it annoys some people. My argument is that it is bad, because it annoys almost everyone.
PS - Surely you can think of a better system of informing users their inbox is working than regularly spamming everyone who has an inbox...?
Really? What about the postal service employees?
Or the people (there are a great number of unmarked trucks on the street) that haul postal service mail. Or the airlines that haul postal service mail (of which a large portion is "junk" mail).
Or we could go further into the people who work in the printing industry or paper suppliers or the makers of the mailing equipment or the people who lease industrial space to these people.
"My argument is that it is bad, because it annoys almost everyone."
Disagree. Is there a survey that shows this? And have the people who (if they were surveyed) fully apprised of the benefits of "junk" mail and if so did they still get "annoyed" by it?
Add: One more thing. Where are you getting that the majority of people who send junk postal mail are "dishonest actors"?
Of course, even if they weren't, that's still not a good reason to keep it. If we're going to pay just to keep people employed, there are better holes to dig and fill up again.
Disagree. Is there a survey that shows this?
Why, yes: 81% of Americans support the creation of "Do not mail" lists to reduce advertising on their postal mailbox.
Since you seem unwilling to do any research yourself (while asking a great deal of me for basically a throwaway comment), here are some facts:
1. In 2010, 'advertising mail' (in which junk mail is included) constituted $17 billion in revenue for the USPS, as opposed to $34 billion from first class mail. Direct mail advertising does provide a lot of revenue for the USPS, but not a dominant amount.
2. 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened, and junk mail produces 5.8 million tons of waste in landfills annually.
3. I can't find any statistics or junk mail approval rating, likely because anyone who proposed such a study would get laughed at for trying to answer such an obvious question. I'm not sure what you want me to say here (I'm definitely not going to conduct the survey), but I think that based on the existence of things like spam filters, do not contact lists, and this entire thread that junk mail is not something most people appreciate receiving.
You seem to be arguing in favor of junk mail, because it generates money for certain businesses, including so far, the USPS, other mail delivery services, paper companies, the printing industry, and corporations which use direct mail advertising campaigns. I posit that junk mail is not a good thing, because it harms the environment, consuming over 100 million trees per year in the US alone and contributing to landfills. In addition, it annoys the vast majority of its recipients (even you admitted a successful advertising campaign will convert only a few percentage points of users above). Finally, the industries which you have named are not dependent on junk mail for their survival; even the USPS receives at most a third of annual revenue from the practice, and as I (and several others in the thread) have said, we would be willing to pay more in exchange for a halt to junk mail delivery.
If you have another argument to offer than supporting industry, please share it. Otherwise, I'm finished with this thread; if we're stuck on the basic point 'spam is bad,' we're never going to reach agreement.
Edit: I forgot to include my (admittedly found via random Googling) sources.
Haha, that's such a ridiculously poor argument. Why not just email yourself something or ask a friend to email something? How bewildered by the internet are the people you imagine? "Oh good, 'embolden my penis'. It's still working. I was worried for a second there when I closed all the internets on my screen."
Title: Why Do We Subsidize Junk Mail?
Quote: "So why do we pay 45 cents to mail a first-class letter while direct-mail advertisers pay only 18.5 cents? Can you say “crony capitalism?” Can you say “union busting?” This amounts to nothing more than a very costly subsidy given to the direct-mail industry, at the expense of first-class mailers,"
Title: Snail Mail Spam Subsidies Stuttering Towards A Stop
Quote: "the USPS loses billions of dollars each year so that advertisers can send out billions of pieces of spam at below market costs."
Also in theory you have a greater chance of getting your important mail if you get a lot of mail than you do if you don't get any mail at all. Because there is a bundle of mail for you.
That's not a dumb pipe. ARIN/RIPE or Network Solutions aren't handing over lists of email addresses to spam.
It's been two months now, no more messages from them.
In the U.S., the postage cost is full first class rate plus a service surcharge.
The end-game is that I politely reply to every recruiter who contacts me that I'm not interested. I don't make any money, but at least there's a downside for them to spam a bunch of unrelated accounts.
This where I started to dislike this guy. A deterrent to cold calls is great but tricking the other party to stay on the line is fraud if you ask me.
I suppose this honesty was directed to the initial acquirer of his personal number - bank or utility supplier whatever. Once the supplier had sold his personal details on, presumably without mentioning the problem, to some unscrupulous middleman for personal data, who then sold it on via a black market to various marketing companies... I mean, does it even count as fraud any more?
To me that is a wrongful deception intended to result in financial gain.
1. a representation of an existing fact;
2. its materiality;
3. its falsity;
4. the speaker's knowledge of its falsity;
5. the speaker's intent that it shall be acted upon by the plaintiff;
6. the plaintiff's ignorance of its falsity;
7. the plaintiff's reliance on the truth of the representation;
8. the plaintiff's right to rely upon it; and
9. consequent damages suffered by the plaintiff.
(Yes this is the US definition but it makes it much clearer what kind of threshold you need to throw around criminal words.)
For less than $7/hour? I mean, I guess it's really easy money, and it would be great for the unemployed, but to me, 9 minutes of my free time (or worse, since he works from home, his work time) is worth more than a dollar.
"I'm not sure I get it?"
"How much does this cost?"
"Could you go over the benefits again?"
"You have me convinced, I don't want it. Bye."
It would be funny, if there was an Eliza like program named Elizier
Rather than telling this guy he's rorting the system, we MAKE this the system.
"[T]he right of every person ‘to be let alone’ must be placed in the scales with the right of others to communicate.” - Rowan v. Post Office Department, 397 U.S. 728, 736 (1970)
I should be able to get a number that costs extra to call. My time is valuable and anyone calling me should think twice whether the call is worth his money. And I don't mean just telemarketers — anyone. Getting my immediate attention should not be free or cheap, it should be expensive.
I am willing to share profits with my telco. I think telcos should make this a standard offering and let any number be switched to a premium one, with cost per minute set by the user. To avoid unexpected charges and subsequent problems they should play a recording while connecting (before actually charging for the connection), warning about the costs and explaining that holding will ring my phone and start accumulating charges.
If there was a telco offering that kind of service, I'd switch in a heartbeat.
Now, if he was using 070 numbers it'd be dicier. 070 numbers are notorious - they're basically "follow me" numbers that can be rerouted wherever you want. Except they cost 40p per minute, which means there's whole armies of women paid to hang out on chatlines and dating sites and drop 070 numbers to people because people confuse them with cellphone numbers (07x where x is 4 or above, though there are some other services like pagers too in that range). In fact, the last time I saw a "genuine" 070 number was in 2000 or so.
As for your proposed service: While you can't keep your number, in the UK you can certainly set up your own 09 number at 25p (I think) up 150p per minute, or 07 number at 40p, or the 0871 at 10p. The 09 numbers must play a recording, and most 0871 numbers will also play recordings to be on the safe side. I think that's the closest you will get - in the UK the regulator will not allow premium charges outside of the designated ranges not just because of confusion but also because if you can have premium rates everywhere, then automated blocking of premium rate numbers becomes problematic - you'd have to create an API or something to check the rate, and have everyone who wants to block premium rate numbers update their PBX's, and then it's far simpler to just keep the numbering plan.
I submitted an idea like this to my previous job (phone company) -- it was not popular (what a surprise.)
Apparently toll-free solicitation calling is considered a sacred right in the US. Your inclinations be damned.
When someone calls and is a wrong number (they sometimes launch into an entire diatribe as if it's the first time we've gotten a wrong number like that (it's not)) we should give them a pay number to call where someone will not only listen to them but direct them to the correct place.
We've done a version of this will misdirected emails. We would email back a paragraph stating they are writing to the wrong place and include a list of paid links to the place they should really be contacting instead of us.
I don't live in the UK but I get maybe one unsolicited call per year.
I don't know why really: I'm not on any do not call lists or anything. When I get that yearly-in-the-average call of mine, I just ask if they're selling something and then tell them I never buy anything from a phone marketer which kind of leaves them hanging and soon hanging up.
"You mean Microsoft?"
"So you're from Microsoft then?"
"You know this might be a more convincing scam if you didn't try to make out you're my operating system?"
...and so on...
I thought it was a cool idea but he launched in 2008 just as the economy tanked and he never got any traction.
The only thing is that legitimate mass emails (think mailing lists) will be delayed as well, unless some sort of exception is added.
It uses a crowdsourced list. Firs I set it to only warn my when of thus telemarketers called, but it worked so well that I now just block them automatically. Haven’t had to talk to a telemarketer in 4 month :)
"If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on."
Leave your pay phone number ;)
As a hardcore coder, a workaholic, and someone who came from rags to riches, I find this kind of behavior deplorable