FreeConference.com Sues AT&T For Blocked Phone Calls

from the need-a-resolution dept

Earlier this month, we were surprised to hear that various mobile operators were blocking phone calls to services like FreeConference.com. When you get phone service, you expect that the phone service will work to any phone number, not the ones that your phone provider decides are okay. Oddly, given the attention the story received, the FCC has remained quiet about it. Apparently, the folks at FreeConference.com got tired of sitting around and waiting and have decided to sue AT&T, asking for an injunction against the company to get it to stop blocking calls to the FreeConference.com service. It's no secret that services like FreeConference.com are costing AT&T money, mainly through ridiculous termination fees set up by regulators protecting rural telcos. However, AT&T should take that up with the regulators, rather than simply blocking access to the service. Either way, it seems likely that both the FCC and the courts will soon be deeply involved in this issue.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 28th, 2007 @ 12:57pm

    It's obvious how the telco's will solve the problem.

    I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they amend their customer terms of service to include small print like "if any call, even a 'free' one costs us a lot of money, we will make you pay for it, after adding our own mark up."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Bill Hawkins, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 2:01pm

    No problem, Bush-appointed regulators always do th

    I'm fully confident this will be resolved to be benefit of the consumers, as usual.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Bill Hawkins is a Moron, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 2:15pm

    eom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    at&t customer, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 2:19pm

    AT&T also blocks

    calls to VoIP phone numbers. I can not call anyone that uses Vonage or comcast. What's up with that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Rick, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 3:32pm

    AT&T also blocks calls to incoming Skype numbers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 4:16pm

    Bill Hawkins is

    correct, since he's being sarcastic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    happymellon, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 4:32pm

    Interesting to see how this comes out

    Since it was the regulators who set this up, or at least from what you mention I have no other sources to base this assumption on, it will be interesting to see how this goes. They seem to give AT&T what they want, all they have to do is stamp their collective feet a few times. So they have quite the dilemma, which makes it all the *not* surprising that they haven't brought this up.
    When you pander to everyones whim, you'll find some conflict somewhere, I am really curious to see how this turns out. Hopefully everyone will get a slap on the wrist, AT&T stop blocking numbers, and rural telcos stop price gouging.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Interesting to see how this comes out

    Hopefully everyone will get a slap on the wrist, AT&T stop blocking numbers, and rural telcos stop price gouging.
    As if though AT&T doesn't price gouge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2007 @ 5:00pm

    From the article, an AT&T spokesperson said of FreeConference: "Their legal claims are baseless and their attempt to portray their fraudulent service as “free” is a sham. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and consumers and business customers are the ones who will be left holding the bag if these types of scams are allowed to continue."

    This is coming from one of those companies that advertises "free" cell phones. So, did they just call themselves scammers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward (profile), Mar 28th, 2007 @ 5:35pm

    Those who claim that we should not have regulation guaranteeing network neutrality say that this cannot happen when companies are provided freedom from regulation so they can serve the customer. I guess the fact that this freedom has been abused to pursue underhanded business practices is a figment of my imagination.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Mar 28th, 2007 @ 5:38pm

    Those who claim that we should not have regulation guaranteeing network neutrality say that this cannot happen when companies are provided freedom from regulation so they can serve the customer. I guess the fact that this freedom has been abused to pursue underhanded business practices is a figment of my imagination.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    A. Nonny Mouse, Mar 29th, 2007 @ 9:12am

    Re:

    "9. by Anonymous Coward on Mar 28th, 2007 @ 5:00pm From the article, an AT&T spokesperson said of FreeConference: "Their legal claims are baseless and their attempt to portray their fraudulent service as “free” is a sham. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and consumers and business customers are the ones who will be left holding the bag if these types of scams are allowed to continue." This is coming from one of those companies that advertises "free" cell phones. So, did they just call themselves scammers?" yes

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    J. Nelson, Mar 29th, 2007 @ 10:54am

    blocking Free Conference Calls

    I have more than an idle curiosity about this kerfuffle. My biggest beef with Sprint and Comcast (my two providers) is that I had been calling a "Free Conference Call Service" for 4 months to participate in a high level coaching clinic that I was paying a lot of money for. They cut me off with no notice so I missed a session I had already paid $250 to participate in. So far Sprint has given me a $25 credit for causing me to miss this conference call. Their response has been pathetic from a customer service standpoint. The kid I've had email contact with is a good guy but this is probably 10 paygrades to low to be handling an irate customer like me with a legitimate beef. The thing that ticks me off the most is to do this to your customers with no notice! Unbelievably bad for cusomter relations.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Brad Templeton, Mar 29th, 2007 @ 5:26pm

    No good guys here

    Alas, both sides are bad guys in this fight. Both sides are players of forced pricing from monpolistic legacy regulation that shouldn't exist.

    Yes, AT&T should terminate calls customers ask them to. But they should not be forced to charge the same price for all interstate long distance when people are going to hook up deliberately to rural CLECs just to exploit loopholes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    farqooq, Nov 27th, 2007 @ 2:17pm

    phones

    hello love i got a nokia 6230 it os blocked by meaning it wont let me phone eneyone it says no network coverage

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    dave, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 6:47pm

    ATT call conference

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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