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Volume 28 : Issue 10 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: termination fees, Any user reviews of the Magic Jack? 
  Trying to keep pace with technology
  Re: Payphone Surcharge 

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Date: 10 Jan 2009 16:04:29 -0000
From: John Levine <>
Subject: Re: termination fees, Any user reviews of the Magic Jack? 
Message-ID: <>

>My son regularly uses a pay phone to call me from his school, using
>prepaid phone cards. I have yet to find one that doesn't add a
>surcharge - as much as 75 cents in one case - for any pay phone call,

In the US, the payphone provider gets paid something like 50 cents for
every 800 call, so I'm not surprised.

I have a card with no surcharge, but you have to buy it in Canada.  If
you're ever in the frozen north, drop by a Loblaws (also known as
Canadian Superstore and some other things) and get a Presidents Choice
calling card.  It's C$.04 per minute.  Once you have one you can
recharge it from anywhere over the net.

If he has access to a phone that can make local calls, you might look
for a local access phone card, since those are cheaper and don't have
a payphone surcharge.


***** Moderator's Note *****

I invite responses from Canadian readers who are interested in
starting a cottage industry. I'll be your first customer.

My son's school insists that all calls be made on the payphone, and
when I offered to install a private line for his use, they said they
were going to set one up for all the students to use "soon", but
somehow that hasn't happened. I suspect they're too busy counting the
receipts from their pay phone business.

Bill Horne
Temporary Moderator


Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 14:57:28 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Trying to keep pace with technology
Message-ID: <p062408a3c58ea761f445@[]>

Trying to keep pace with technology

By John Hilliard
Fri Jan 09, 2009, 04:22 PM EST


Do you think teachers still look for kids passing paper notes 
in class?

How very, very 20th century of you.

Now messages - along with photos and other media - are traded with 
cell phones that can make calls, send text messages, take photos and 
surf the Web.

Eagle-eyed teachers not only have to make sure students pay attention 
and follow the rules, but now they must stay up to date on the latest 
Web and cell phone gear.

How good are some teens at this stuff? The best can type a message on 
a cell phone while the device is hidden under clothing, said 
Framingham High School's principal, Michael Welch.

His school doesn't outright ban the devices, but wants them out of 
sight and out of mind for the school day.


< href="">


Date: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 15:15:00 -0500
From: Randall <>
Subject: Re: Payphone Surcharge 
Message-ID: <>

> ***** Moderator's Note *****
> My son regularly uses a pay phone to call me from his school, using
> prepaid phone cards. I have yet to find one that doesn't add a
> surcharge - as much as 75 cents in one case - for any pay phone call,
> so keep in mind that most advertised prices assume you're calling from
> a non-public phone.

When ATT was split up and COCOTs were allowed into the mix, someone  
noticed that his payphones were being used by people to make "toll- 
free" calls and he wasn't getting paid for it, though the owner of  
the "toll free" number was.

The FCC imposed a per-call "dial-around compensation" surcharge to be  
added to the cost of those calls; the "toll free" carrier charges it  
to the line owner for every call which originates from a payphone --  
and the carrier traditionally cheats the COCOT owner out of it. Most  
COCOT owners are small businesses with only a few phones, and it's  
just not worth the trouble for them to chase a dollar or two a month  
per phone.

Enter groups like the APCC, which is an umbrella group that  
represents small payphone owners to even the scales a bit.

They've been somewhat successful at recovering dial-around  
compensation for COCOT owners:


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