John Levine wrote:
> I suspect your calling card was charging you for any call over N
> seconds rather than checking for supervision. I make test calls from
> my landline to my cell numbers in Luxembourg and Switzerland from time
> to time, hanging up once my phone starts ringing, and I don't ever
> recall being charged unless I answered.
No. At that time the Calling Card worked fine on traditional calls,
using supervision. It was going to a cell phone and having the
carrier answer that caused the charge.
I suspect when the carrier answers supervision says the call is
answered, even if it is an intercept recording. The cellphone and
landline world work very differently.
>> And using a calling card from a payphone can be significant these
>> days since the payphone owner can now "legally" extort huge charges
>> from the long distance carrier or card provider, who will then extort
>> those surcharges from us.
> No extortion involved. If someone held a gun to your head or
> otherwise forced you to use the payphone, it would be extortion.
> Since you choose to use a payphone, you choose to absorb that cost. A
> cost, which is regulated, and which helps telcos continue to run pay
> phones at all, since they're not generally considered profitable
> anymore, at least around here.
Utter nonsense. It IS extortion.
When you are in an emergency situation (ie in a hospital) and they
don't allow cellphone use or you don't have one, you indeed are forced
to use their phone and pay their charges.
As others pointed out, all charges the customer pays on a pay phone
are UNREGULATED. The pay phone provider can charge you whatever you
Unlike normal businesses, pay phone providers do not have to tell you
their prices; you only find out a month later when you get the bill.
Imagine going food shopping with the prices unmarked and not knowing
how much you spent for food until the bill comes. Would you tolerate
that? But it's perfectly fine with pay phones.
> (TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: However, considering that a cell phone
> is normally always within its owner's reach (a holster fastened to
> your trousers, in your purse, in a holder near the driver of an
> automobile, etc) it would seem very odd that it had to ring more than
> three or four times, at best, unanswered. PAT]
Actually, it is not always in reach, or the recipient isn't always in
a position to promptly answer. Some people, while driving, prefer to
pull over before taking a call, or our in a critical moment in traffic
(navigating a busy interchange) and don't want the distraction. If
the phone is stored in a purse or backpack, the bag has to be put down
and searched to dig out the phone.
The old Bell System always taught us to allow 10 rings to give someone
time to answer, I don't see why that should be any different for a
I suspect the intercept after three rings is to save them tower and
switch time, and I think it represents too much frugality on their