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Subject:

Re: British Telecom Premium Call Rate Scam

From:

"Carter, Antoinette (CCM)" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Carter, Antoinette (CCM)

Date:

Tue, 20 Jul 2004 14:54:10 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (103 lines)

In your response you say that "they pay over a very large percentage of the call charge to the communications provider who allocated the premium rate number in question".  I understand that, but my point is that they shouldn't pay them, and then BT would not themselves be out of pocket.  I think it should be up to the premium rate number "owner" to prove that they were operating within the guidelines in order to receive the payment for these calls.  The numbers that appeared on my bill are already registered with ICSTIS as being under investigation, and until their investigation is complete, I don't see why I should pay BT, or why BT is paying them.



-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Mansbach [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: 20 July 2004 13:30
To: Carter, Antoinette (CCM)
Subject: RE: [data-protection] British Telecom Premium Call Rate Scam

It is not often that I feel sorry for BT, but in this instance I may make an
exception. As the principal provider of "last mile" connections and as the
dominant communications provider, poor old BT (oh, how it hurt to say that)
pretty much get blamed for everything. Well, we live in the _blame_ society.
If it's not our fault then it must be someone else's, and who better than
BT. But they may not have been the culprit here.  Since further telecoms
deregulation a year or so ago, there are hundreds of communications
providers out there, many of whom allocate premium rate numbers (not all of
which are for _adult_ lines, nor necessarily at extortionate rates). If your
phone line is from BT and you make your calls over BT's network then they
pay over a very large percentage of the call charge to the communications
provider who allocated the premium rate number in question and who took
delivery of the call before connecting it to the seemingly dubious scammer.
Now, I may not be very popular for saying this but, if you "allowed" some
stuff (the dialler in this case) to be downloaded and installed on your PC -
however unwittingly - why should BT be the responsible party. Regrettably,
it is we who must take greater responsibility and control of our PCs. Heaven
knows what other goodies have been deposited on Antoinette's PC... or indeed
what nuggets have been extracted! Time was when you could go out and leave
your doors unlocked: alas, no more!

Ian Mansbach
Mansbachs
Data Protection Practitioners
[log in to unmask]
phone: 0871 716 5060


-----Original Message-----
From: This list is for those interested in Data Protection issues
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Carter, Antoinette
(CCM)
Sent: 20 July 2004 12:34
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [data-protection] British Telecom Premium Call Rate Scam


This is more of a personal rant but I am curious to know how widespread a
problem this is.  On my last BT bill, I found two premium rate calls, which
totalled nearly 30.00 for two calls, which neither myself or my other half
had made.  When I called their Customer Services number they told me that
they were for "adult XXX" calls and that I should check with anyone who had
access to the line.  It was only later when I read the following piece on
the outlaw.com that I appreciated that this was a problem that BT knew all
about.
http://www.out-law.com/php/page.php?page_id=premiumrateservice1089967539

I really didn't appreciate the implication that my other half might have
been surfing porn sites without my knowledge.  Frankly, I really wouldn't
much care if he had (except that I could rib him endlessly for being so
lame!) but if he says he hasn't, I believe him, and I think that given that
we have held a BT account for the last seven years where not one single call
to a premium rate number has ever been made, that BT should have given us
the benefit of the doubt too.

Now this morning, they have written to me confirming that these calls were
made by an auto dialler from my home PC, but because BT are not at fault,
that I still owe them the 30.00.  Well, I say that I am not at fault
either, and that BT are complicit in what amounts to nothing more than a
scam to extort money from me.

Having related this story to friends and workmates, I have found two others
who have also been a victim of this, which leads me to believe that BT is
full of **** if it reckons that there have only been 19,000 cases reported.
Anybody else been a victim?

Antoinette Carter
Data Protection Officer
Tel: 0207 389 4970


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