TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Giant Conspiracy or Just Rotten Luck?

Re: Giant Conspiracy or Just Rotten Luck?

William Warren (
Wed, 19 Oct 2005 08:59:46 -0400

Gordon S. Hlavenka wrote:

> So, what do I do now? Obviously I'm going to call Qwest back and
> raise whatfor, but then what? If I can't get my LD account "fixed"
> then I'll have to port the 800 number elsewhere; any suggestions for
> cheaply "parking" an 800 number? [snip]

Check out the CLEC's in your area: in your case, the smaller ones are
the best. They'll be able to set up pretty much any arrangement you
want. Don't forget that it's YOUR number, not QWEST's. If QWEST gives
you trouble about a transfer, tell your new provider to force the
change -- there's a nominal fee, but a "force" bypasses the old carrier

> Also, any suggestions as to how somebody could be cramming these LD
> calls onto my account? [snip]

"Cramming" may be the right word: it's possible they're being added in
the data-processing system, either because of a programming error or
due to a mistake by a CO Tech who has set up someone else's number to
bill to yours.

I suggest you take these steps, and ignore any demand that you deal
with only one person and/or agency:

1. File a fraud complaint with the FCC, with copies to your
Senators and Congressman.
2. File a fraud complaint with the PUC, with copies to your
local and state officials.
3. File a fraud complaint with the telco security department.
4. File a fraud complaint with EVERY consumer-help reporter
at EVERY local TV station.
5. File a fraud complaint with the consumer-affairs reporter
at EVERY newspaper that serves your area.
6. Demand to see the AMA Local Usage Detail records from your
central office. Don't let anyone tell you they can't
provide them; they do it routinely for the police.
7. Demand to see a printout of all Call Detail Records
that applied to your account in the billing system(s).
Ditto for these - keep harping on how easily the police
can get them, and remember that these are NOT the
same as the central office records. (This is where
cramming happens).
8. Demand that the cable department check every terminal that
connects to your cable pair to be sure no one is doing
clip-on fraud. Ditto the CO inside wiring.
9. Demand that the Central Office supervisor personally
check your CO translations and certify that no other
dial tone is being billed to your line. Ignore any
assurances that it "couldn't happen", because it
did and it does: the service reps usually have access
only to a provisioning system, not the actual CO

Long story short: make a lot of noise, and do whatever you can to
force the customer reps to deal with other departments and
agencies. ILECs are vertically structured, so it's important to go
both _up_ and _across_ the chain of command: it's harder for them to
cope with inquiries from outside their "smokestack", i.e., questions
from other agencies or departments that cross the boundaries they're
used to dealing with.

1. When you speak with anyone at QWEST or the ILEC, demand to
have the real name and phone number for every person you
talk to: anyone who won't give it to you is a functionary
with no real authority.
2. Demand to speak to the the boss, again and again, and demand
that whomever you're referred to give you _their_ boss'
name, title, and contact number _before_ you'll talk to them.
3. Never take vague assurances that they'll "look into it" or
that they'll "contact their supervisor". Demand a specific
time when you will be contacted, and the name
_and contact number_ of the person to whom the problem is
being referred. Always ask if the contact time is after
the shifts change, and if so, demand to go higher right
4. Consider recording your phone calls: you do NOT need to
have a "beep" tone on the line so long as you tell people
that they're being recorded. This is a double-edged sword,
but it's very effective at getting you out of the lower
echelons quickly.
5. If someone from the legal department calls you, insist on
speaking to an attorney. Don't let them tell you that
a lawyer can only talk to a lawyer.

Keep your eyes on the prize: you want your account flagged with a big
notice saying "Supervisor access only. Legal department must be
notified of any change. FCC/PUC inquiry pending." Your "end state" is
not just to get credit for these calls, but to be someone they want to
keep happy in the future.

Oh, and just to be safe, tell your kids that you're going to do all
this and that they may have to talk to the police, and ask them if
there is any chance they or their friends made a mistake and called

FWIW. YMMV. Don't ask me how I know. :-(


William Warren

(Filter noise from my address for direct replies)

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: "Re: Giant Conspiracy or Just Rotten Luck?"
Go to Previous message: Paul Coxwell: "Re: Note to Drivers: Lose the Phone (and Lipstick)"
May be in reply to: Gordon S. Hlavenka: "Giant Conspiracy or Just Rotten Luck?"
Next in thread: "Re: Giant Conspiracy or Just Rotten Luck?"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page