Someone posted a message to this newsgroup detailing the Personal 800
number they just got from MCI. In it he/she noted that one who calls
his/her 800 number must enter a four digit code when he/she hears a
tone after dialing the 800 number.
My question: Does that mean that other people will have the same 800
number as you, and the call will be routed to the correct person
depending on the four digit number they enter?
Or is it a security measure to insure that the person who calls your
800 number is authorized to use it since only an authorized person
will know the four digit code?
And if a person calls your 800 number and enters the wrong code, are
you charged for the connect time still?
[Moderator's Note: I know there will be corrections sent if I am wrong
on this. Although MCI is promoting it as a way to insure that you only
get calls from people you have authorized to call (by giving them the
PIN) the actual circumstances appear to be that several subscribers
share the same 800 number with the PIN being used to route the call
accordingly. By promoting the story that 'the PIN is your security
against unwanted calls' MCI seems to be saving face while operating a
less than professional looking 800 service and skimping on the
quantity of 800 numbers -- admittedly soon to be in short supply --
that they hand out. One problem with their system is that unlike a
more common 800 number, callers from rotary dial phones have no way to
insert the PIN. I don't know how they get through, or if they do. I
much prefer having a regular 800 number -- albiet with no line
termination; Telecom*USA's switch just accepts the call DID-style and
outdials to my home phone number on the 'distinctive-ring' number --
and taking my chances with calls coming through I did not authorize.
And yes, with any style of 800 number you pay for the calls whether
you wanted them or not. PAT]