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AT&T

AT&T Bills Elderly Customer $24,298.93 For Landline Dial-Up Service 234

Posted by timothy
from the but-it-says-in-the-fine-print dept.
McGruber writes: 83-year-old Woodland Hills, California resident Ron Dorff usually pays $51 a month to AT&T for a landline, which he uses to access the Internet via an old-school, low-speed AOL dial-up subscription.... but then, in March, AT&T sent him a bill for $8,596.57. He called AT&T and their service rep couldn't make heads or tails of the bill, so she said she'd send a technician to his house. None came, so Dorff figured that everything was ok.

Dorff's next monthly bill was for $15,687.64, bringing his total outstanding debt to AT&T, including late fees, to $24,298.93. If he didn't pay by May 8, AT&T warned, his bill would rise to at least $24,786.16. Droff then called David Lazarus, business columnist for the LA Times, who got in touch with AT&T, who wasted little time in deciding it would waive the more than $24,000 in charges.

AT&T spokeshole Georgia Taylor claims Dorff's modem somehow had started dialing a long-distance number when it accessed AOL, and the per-minute charges went into orbit as he stayed connected for hours.

AT&T declined to answer the LA Times questions about why AT&T didn't spot the problem itself and proactively take steps to fix things? AT&T also declined to elaborate on whether AT&T's billing system is capable of spotting unusual charges and, if so, why it doesn't routinely do so.
The Internet

Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine? 276

Posted by timothy
from the esp-heads-the-list dept.
New submitter nicolas.slusarenko writes Nowadays, there is one dominant search engine in the world among few alternatives. I have the impression that the majority of users think that it is the best possible service that could be made. I am sure that we could have a better search engine. During my spare time I been developing Trokam, an online search engine. I am building this service with the features that I would like to find in a service: respectful of user rights, ad-free, built upon open source software, and with auditable results. Well, those are mine. What features would you like in a search engine?

Comment: Re:B0ll0cks... (Score 1) 538

There's a significant difference: CP is alleged to have used a personal account "sometimes." HRC used personal email intentionally and exclusively.

It's a demonstration of arrogance, ignorance, and bad judgement that seriously calls into question her credentials to be the next POTUS.

Comment: Re:Politics aside for a moment. (Score 1) 538

Agreed. To me this is the most over-looked/under-discussed angle on this story: the extreme lack of judgement displayed in making this decision isn't a good sign for someone coyly begging us to give her more power.

This wasn't an accident; she very clearly and intentionally made a reckless choice in placing her own personal benefit over the welfare of the nation.

In the end, I think her calculation was that she could make this choice with no consequences for herself and, sadly, I think she will be correct.

Comment: Re:Well damn (Score 1) 379

by Specter (#48984479) Attached to: Confirmed: FCC Will Try To Regulate Internet Under Title II

Had anyone been interested in solving the problem you describe it could have been done very easily: it's flat out fraud to sell me access to the entire Internet and then go behind my back to the sites I want to visit and demand a ransom for my traffic. If the ISPs were legally liable for that kind of bait-and-switch then the problem would quickly sort itself out.

Instead you've nearly guaranteed that you're going to get traffic prioritized in ways you don't like. The only difference is that now you have absolutely no recourse as the traffic shaping you fear will have been blessed by your well greased and totally captured government regulators. You know, for the children or the terrorists or something.

Comment: Re:Obama (Score 1) 706

by Specter (#48362035) Attached to: President Obama Backs Regulation of Broadband As a Utility

The best of both worlds? Evidently you don't remember what it was like to be a customer of Ma Bell. "We're the phone company, we don't have to care," was a good laugh line because it was true. If you think your current locally regulated ISP monopoly is bad, just wait until it's got the federal government FOAD seal of approval.

"I prefer rogues to imbeciles, because they sometimes take a rest." -- Alexandre Dumas (fils)

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