Cable & Wireless 800 Service

Cable & Wireless 800 Service

Post by Steve Forret » Wed, 08 Aug 1990 19:58:47

Per the Moderator's request, here's the information about my 800

Cable & Wireless - 800/486-8686 (24 hour customer service - they can refer you
                                 to the sales office for your area)

Signup fee:  $0

Monthly fee: $10-15/month (accessible from the 48 contiguous states)
(Everyone at the carrier tells me it's $15, but I have yet to receive
a bill where it wasn't $10)

Canada:      $20/month extra (allows your number to be dialable from Canada)
Hawaii:      $20/month extra (allows your number to be dialable from Hawaii)
Alaska:      $20/month extra (allows your number to be dialable from Alaska)
DirAsst:     $12/month extra, I think (causes you to be listed at

Programmable 800:  $10/month extra

For the basic fee, you tell them what POTS number you want your calls
forwarded to.  If you pay for the "programmable 800", you can call an
800 programming number, enter your 800 number, password, and a new
POTS number, and the routing will be changed.  There's no charge for a
"change POTS number" transaction.

Usage is around $.19/minute daytime, $.13/minute evening, $.11/minute
night/ weekend, or somewhere around there.  The cost is the same no
matter how close or far the caller is (however, there is an extra
charge for Canada, Hawaii, and Alaska originations).  Even intra-state
and/or intra-LATA works just fine.  (In fact, I can call my 800 number
from my main line, and get the call-waiting tone!)

I have had the service since the first of the year, and am very
pleased with it.  The reason I ended up with C&W is that they had the
prefix that the number "I just had to have" maps to.  They had no
problem with assigning me the number of my choice, since it was

Their customer service is *excellent*.  I've called in the middle of
the night, and the person that answers the phone can handle my
problem.  I've even gotten responses such as "just a minute - let me
pop into the other room and check the network programming."  The
front-line customer service reps have both customer service and
network computers at their disposal.  They just started the
programmable 800 service last month.  

I had a problem the first time, and the first person who answered the
phone was able to tell me what POTS number my 800 was currently set
for, through a real-time lookup right from their desk.  Impressive.
(A little different from Sprint, eh John?)  I guess when you call in
the middle of the night (as I always seem to need to), you talk
directly with the technical department.  Calls during the day get more
traditional "customer service" types, but I've had no problems getting
transferred when I needed to.

The only weirdness with the 800 service is that they return answer
supervision to the originating CO as soon as they finish outdialing
your POTS number.  Apparently, they handle regular long distance calls
(if you had them as your primary carrier) correctly, but 800 calls are
a bit strange.  I asked for and spoke with someone in the "800 network
center", who confirmed this.  Apparently, they thought that this would
not cause problems, as the caller is never paying for the call to the
800 number anyway.  Of course, this is not true if you are calling
from cellular, as you have airtime to pay.  Cellular One of Sacramento
apparently pays attention to actual supervision when determining
airtime charges, and not a timeout.  I had called home several times
when I was out of town to check my answering machine (which has
"toll-saver"), and found this out the hard way.  But, not a big deal,
considering everthing else.  It certainly is handy as an anti-COCOT
weapon, to be able to get my messages with an 800 call.

I do not have them as my regular long distance carrier, and they don't
accept "casual calling" through 10XXX unless you have an account set
up in advance.  (Apparently, their switch determines which calls to
let though based on the ANI) The main reason I don't is I didn't know
much about them when I signed up for the 800 service, but may switch
over considering the service I've gotten)

In short, highly recommended!  (You may be surprised, but I've no
affiliation with them, other than as a satisfied customer.  As I said
in a previous posting, this is the only carrier I've dealt with that
has allowed me to *ever* speak with someone that knew how the
telephone network worked, let alone having the people who answer the
main number know!)  If you call the S.F. Bay Area office, ask for Mike
McKenney - he's always handled my account promptly and returned my
calls, even though I don't spend very much per month.


Cable & Wireless 800 Service

Post by DREU.. » Thu, 09 Aug 1990 16:42:44

Does Cable & Wireless 800 Service provide an itemized detail of the
numbers that called you, as do Sprint and AT&T? If so, I'll sign up
right now!

Also, how's the quality of the service? Does it sound clear? How about
connect time, ie, the interval after I dial the last digit until I
hear ringing?

Even if it's not up to AT&T standards, having a system to remotely
change call forwarding bundled together with an 800 number is still
very attractive!

Please do post or mail their number and any other info...




1. Cable & Wireless 800 Service (MCI and Telecom*USA, too)

Steve Forrette mentioned that Cable & Wireless provides 800 service
for rates comparable to U.S. Sprint before they jacked up the price
$5/month.  Plus, they optionally provide remote programming of the
forwarding number for your 800 calls.  I checked C&W out when I was
originally looking into the 800 LDCs, and unfortunately, they only
offer it in certain area codes.  Mine is not one of them. :-( I called
them again today and confirmed this is still the case.  (If anyone is
interested, it is 517; Lansing, MI.)

I also called MCI about their "Follow Me 800" service, but the
representatives did not have any information available at this time,
and said "you will be hearing more about it."  I guess we'll see about
that.  I wonder if this too, will be a "shared" 800 number, or if they
will finally assign you your own number.

Finally, our Moderator's 800 carrier, Telecom*USA, has been consumed
by MCI, and will not allow new customers to add 800 service at the
incredible monthly rate of only $2.75/month.  They direct all your
calls to MCI, where they try to sell you MCI Personal (Shared) 800
with the infamous "personal security code".  I guess Pat is just lucky
he jumped on the bandwagon when he did! :-)

So the search continues for an 800 LDC besides U.S. Sprint.  Any more

I'll keep everyone posted.

[Moderator's Note: Except that *existing* customers of Telecom*USA at
the time of the MCI merger are still being serviced through
Telecom*USA customer service, and they still let us add/delete or
change around our 800 numbers as desired for $2.75 each.   PAT]

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