Must be fun days in NY State with Eliot Spitzer as AG. Lots of
"(mumble) war on cyber (mumble) crime (mumble) national security
Actually, I kind of like the guy for taking some disreputable
companies to task
An AP newswire article by Michael Gormley, via Yahoo! News,
A new law that's apparently the first in the nation threatens to penalize Internet service providers that fail to warn users that some dial-up numbers can ring up enormous long-distance phone bills even though they appear local.
A long distance call even within the same area code can cost 8 to 12 cents a minute, adding up to hundreds, even thousands of dollars a month.
Companies face fines of up to $500 for each offense, and consumers could pursue civil action claiming an unfair business practice.
The National Conference of State Legislatures said it knows of no similar law elsewhere.
aka, make ISPs liable for other people's fraud. What's the thinking here,
Erm... Requiring that ISPs notify customers that phone numbers in the same
area code may not be "local" has WHAT exactly to do with making ISPs
liable for other people's fraud? Sounds like a disclaimer requirement to
me, nothing related to fraud just good business practice. You must be
confusing this with exotic 900# and international locations which are used
to scam people.
If there's a penalty for failing to ~adequately track and notify customers
then that's a liability, by definition.
Seems to me the appropriate response is for the AG office to pursue the
people who are running the toll scams, not to push enforcement out to
uninvolved third parties. Having dealt with AGs in the past, I know that's
just whistling dixie, but still the notion of introducing liability is
kind of spooky.
You mean something like:
"N2Net is not responsible for tolls or long-distance charges incurred
while dialing any of our access numbers. It is the customers
responsibility to verify with their local telephone provider whether a
particular number is a chargeable call.
N2Net can not guarantee that a particular number is local to you. To
determine whether or not one of our dialin numbers is local, dial '0' from
the phone line you will use to call N2Net; give the operator your number,
and give the operator the N2Net dialin number you want to use, and ask if
it is a toll call.
There may be times when a call is billed as a "Local Plus" call or as part
of an extended calling area. In cases like this, while you don't get
charged as much as a normal long-distance call, you still are charged PER
MINUTE by the phone company. Please check with your phone company if you
have questions about any of our numbers."
PUCO (Public Utilities Commision of Ohio) Local Call Finder - Use this
application to help you pick a dialup number, but still verify that the
number is a local call by dialing your operator.