> According to CA Director Ken McEldowney, "The problem we are
> fighting is the use of 800 numbers to bill for 900-type information
> services. There have never been charges for making calls to 800
> numbers. However, in the past month we have heard of phone bills or
> look-alike phone bills for information received over the phone.
Quote:> [one] service promised * conversation at $4.95 a
> minute. Students at some midwestern universities and colleges called
> the service at an 800 number from campus phones. Four months later,
> the schools received charges for the calls on their phone bills. In
> some cases, the institutions did not know who made the calls: in
> others, callers had already left the institution.
So do these schools have any actual legal liability for the calls
placed? My understanding was that, in general, a telephone subscriber
accepts responsibility for the charges incurred for calls placed
through his phone line ... but does this include other goods or
service purchased via my telephone? Am I any more responsible for the
purchases someone makes using an 800 number (and says to bill it to
*my* phone) than Southern Bell is responsible if I go to a Southern
Bell pay phone, place an order, and tell them to bill it to *my*
credit card. It might be argued that someone billing the charges to
my phone is guilty of fraud, just as I would be if I billed something
to a someone's credit card without authorization. But that's a vastly
Quote:> "We are especially concerned about any charges that appear on
> a phone bill," said McEldowney, "because in some states people can
> lose phone service if they don't pay such bills."
Can someone identify the states or phone companies that are still
trying to do this? The local phone companies only have a contract to
provide billing services ... I assume that, by tariff, the phone
companies must provide service to all comers who are not in arrears
*with the local phone company*. If the local phone company STILL
doesn't understand this, then the state public service commission
needs to get involved. If the state public service commission doesn't
understand this, then they need to be booted out.
The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Campus Office for Information
Technology, or the Experimental Bulletin Board Service.
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