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Crooked Business

So, I happen to look at the details of my phone bill, a luxury I don’t often make time for, and discovered that Integretel 800-736-7500 has billed me on behalf of Residential Voicemail 800-331-0641 whose automated operator is quick to state that “as you know, setup fees are not refundable.” They go on to state “due to hurricane conditions in Florida, our offices are closed on Friday, August 13th.” Fortunately, Bellsouth has a couple of blocking services that, due to regulation, they are only allowed to mention if I bring them up first.

The first is called “pig blocking” which is to prevent the “slamming” that MCI was notorious for. Slamming is when a long distance carrier solitics you and when you say “no” they switch your service anyway. Pig blocking requires your phone carrier to confirm a long distance service change or other toll charge changes by calling you directly before instituting the change.

The 2nd is “3rd party billing blocking” which simply doesn’t let any 3rd party such as AOL or these assorted evil voice mail companies (usually associated with dating services btw) bill directly to your local phone bill. It means instead you get an additional bill and lose a little convenience. Well, if you didn’t want the service in the first place then they aren’t providing you a convenience are they?

Bellsouth was kind enough to put the charge under investigation and sent it back to the company “Residential Voicemail.” Of course, the block will prevent them from further billing. Where did this come from? I saw an email sent to Tommy explaining he had signed up for a voicemail service. I suspect that to be the source.

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