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Wireless Networking Hardware

Cell Numbers To Be Added To 411 315

darthC0der writes "Looking for a friend but don't have her phone number with you? For now, you can call directory assistance for her home number, but her wireless digits are off limits from 411. Not for long. The cellular providers are now getting close to making the cellluar numbers available to 411 callers. Here's the link to a CNN article. I don't about you guys but I personally do not want my cellular number to be made available so easily."
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Cell Numbers To Be Added To 411

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  • God No! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ken@WearableTech ( 107340 ) <ken@@@kenwilliamsjr...com> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:10PM (#5562379) Homepage Journal
    The only number telemarketers can't call me at. The article says telemarketers will be banned, but they are one industry I don't trust.
    • Re:God No! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Daveman692 ( 558544 )
      [sarcasm]Honostly think telemarketers call 411 just to get numbers?[/sarcasm]
    • Re:God No! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by K3lvin ( 624437 )
      You are right. It happened in Finland already. Young people (like me) don't have landline at all, so they call to your cell phone. Just yesterday some prick called me about some f*cking cd-rom dictionary! You don't have no idea how irratating it is when you are in bus or just paying your shoppings and then some idiot calls you and tries to sell you magazine subscriptions or something. Christ I hate telemarketers.
      • Re:God No! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by The Mayor ( 6048 )
        At least you don't have to pay for that call you receive. That's the real kicker here--in the U.S. the mobile phone owner has to pay for both incoming and outgoing calls.
    • Re:God No! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Hatechall ( 541378 )
      I wholeheartedly agree. However I disagree with the modding. Not trusting the telemarket industry is hardly insightful!
    • Re:God No! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by k-0s ( 237787 )
      Whats even better will be when teenage kids will have their cell phones on in movies (they always do) will get calls for things they won't buy anyways(I'm with you by not trusting the telemarketers, they will find a way to use this) and my movie going experience will be interupted even more frequently.
    • by solprovider ( 628033 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:36AM (#5564145) Homepage
      From the article:
      For example, wireless phone users might choose to be unlisted but willing to receive a short text message, sent through the directory service, from someone trying to contact them.

      I can see this situation:
      411: We cannot give out that phone number because it is a cell phone.
      Telemarketer: But I really need to contact them.
      411: You could send a message to 4841234567@attws.com.
      Telemarketer: Thank you. I will do that.

      The only text messages I receive are from ATT advertising their text services. The only text messages I sent were little romantic sayings to a girlfriend, but they did not do well because she could not discover how to read them. This was not entirely her fault: it was her first cell phone, she only had it one month, and Nokia buried the messages 3 levels into the menus.

      Someone asked why cell phones do not have true caller ID. They only display the phone number, unless the number and name are in the phone book in the cell phone. I had asked ATT about this. They said that Verizon was refusing to let them into the local phone directories. I will believe anything evil about Verizon, but this seems silly:
      1. Verizon cell phone customers have the same poor caller ID as ATT customers.
      2. Every telemarketer, phone book publisher, and 411 operator has access to that list.
      I believe that the cell phone companies are just too lazy to build the system properly.

      And good news for me:
      Verizon turned off my land line on WED MAR 12. On FRI MAR 14, I received a snailmail notice that they would shut it off on MAR 24 if I did not pay the $60 that was 20 days overdue. Today (MAR 21) they are probably trying to leave me a voicemail about the proposed shutoff.

      I warned them last year that if they ever shut off my service again it would not be turned back on. Last year's shutoff was due to Verizon's computer problems. I was on auto-pay at the time, but they charged me to have the phone lines restored. When they would not refund the charges, I turned off one phone line and made the threat.

      So they are permanently losing a customer. No more land lines for me. Yeah!

      The Slashdot quote for this article was appropriately:
      The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.
      I believe that summarizes the entire telecommunications industry.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:10PM (#5562381)
    I think cellular phone users should be required to display their cell numbers on a bumper sticker on their cars so I can call them and tell them how shitty they drive when they cut me off on the Dan Ryan. It would be a nice release for those road rage emotions, don't you think?
    • My father once suggested a paintball system wherein everyone carried a paint-ball gun. If you drive like an asshole, people nail you. If you get over a certain number of hits, and a cop sees you, you get a ticket.

      Of course, paint washes off, and there'd be no way to keep people from abusing the system... but it'd certainly be a great way to relieve the frustration...

      "What's that... on the cell phone...?" ::stomps the gas pedal while rolling down the window::


      • My father once suggested a paintball system wherein everyone carried a paint-ball gun. If you drive like an asshole, people nail you. If you get over a certain number of hits, and a cop sees you, you get a ticket

        Actually, you father is probably misremembering an old Gallagher bit, where he suggested the same thing, except with little dart guns. When a cop sees you with too many darts, you get a ticket for being stupid.

    • Mmm...less people using cell phones. Fewer people driving totally carelessly near me ("Blah blah blah Jean did *WHAT*"...SCREECH CRASH). Fewer people interrupting lectures and movies. Fewer people talking to air on the sidewalk, in the grocery store. Fewer conversations being interrupted by Joe Schmoe answering his cell. More spectrum for wireless networks.

      Hell, I'd love to see jamming devices installed all over.
  • What's that sound?
    It's the sound of billions of trees crying.
    • by Slashdot Junky ( 265039 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:37PM (#5562534)
      Dear World,

      Phone books...man don't get me started. They should only go out to those who specificly request and pay a s*** load for them. I very rarely use a phone book, because I am able to look things up online and call 411 without of killing a tree.

      I hate how it is a huge waste of paper. I also hate all of the junk mail I continuously receive for the same reason.

      Around here, there are area phone books independent of the bigger Bellsouth edition, and we do get all of them. A couple of weeks ago, each house in my neighborhood was left two, not one, two of one of these area books. It must have been 300 pages. Why would any house need two? They both went directly into my recycling bin as I brought in from the curb.

      What a waste!

      -Slashdot Junky
      • Perhaps if people that called me were charged instead of me having to foot their bill. I would go for a setup where telemarketers could call me all they want. I would listen to them for 5min and then my phone bill would be credited $10!
      • Yes, big, thick phone books are a waste of paper in better neighborhoods like yours. To us they are convenient, free booster seats for our children. Further, are handy temporary jack blocks for our trailers.
      • Phone books...man don't get me started. They should only go out to those who specificly request and pay a s*** load for them. I very rarely use a phone book, because I am able to look things up online and call 411 without of killing a tree.

        Someone already does pay a s***load of money for the phone books. Where did you think that big yellow section at the front of the book came from?

        For the record, my home computer has been offline for the last month (too busy to make some repairs) so I haven't been abl

  • Uh oh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirNAOF ( 142265 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:11PM (#5562383)
    One of the nicest things about having a cell is that only the people I give my number to have my number. They say telemarketers wouldn't get their hands on the numbers, but how long would it take before they paid someone off or obtained the list by some other not quite proper way?

    I'll just have to stop answering this phone, too...
    • That's a major bennie to having a cell phone.

      Makes sense to me; I pay for all calls, even incoming ones... only people I WANT to hear from get the number.

      *Sigh* more people calling to waste my valuable time...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:16PM (#5562426)
      Just because your number is a cell phone doesn't mean you're safe. All the marketers need is a prefix (like that's a big secret), then they set their automatic dialers to go down the list, starting with 0001 and on. Didn't you watch "The Simpsons"?
    • Given that most cellphones now have Caller ID, ignoring a unrecognized number should be easy.

      I make it personal policy not to answer an unrecognized or blocked number. If it's important, the caller will leave a message.
      • Unless you have to deal with someone like me. I hate talking to voice mail or answering machines, and I'll neither speak to them nor retrieve messages from them.

        Tough shit if I miss a call, but hey, life goes on.

        Come to think of it, I hate phones in general. But answering machines, they're just RUDE.
    • As much as I like to not be disturbed on my cell phone at times, (a) I can ignore it, and (b) if the various "do not call" lists are effective (and GOD i hope they will be) what's the difference of a house phone?

      I mean - I use my cell phone as my primary phone anyway. I'm used to screening calls with it. In some ways, I would be more accessible (in a good way) if people could call directory assistance and get my number.

      Just a thought. :)
    • Another nice thing about cell numbers is that you can easily change your number annually when your contract expires and you have the option of moving to a different wireless provider with a new number, usually at a better cost benefit too since providers are always competing each other out.
  • by HeathenWolf ( 610546 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:11PM (#5562385) Homepage
    But where I am, this has been do-able for quite some time. It's actually an optional service for which the cellular provider here (yes, that's singular) charges the customer, to the tune of (iirc) $6.95 cdn PER MONTH. I work for a retailer that activates phones for the cell provider in my region, and I can't remember a single instance in which a customer actually wanted this feature.
    • by The Optimizer ( 14168 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:21PM (#5562452)
      The phone companies charge us for unlisted numbers on our land lines. On our cell phones, however, they've realized they have been giving away for free something most people want.

      By switching the system as a so-called "benefit" - allowing people to find out our cells numbers to call us, which we have pay airtime for incidentally, they EXPECT that most people will say "hey! Keep my number unlisted!" To which they will happily say "Sure, we can do that for $6.95 a month." BAM! Instant stealth revenue enhancement in a very price competitive industry.

  • by pneuma_66 ( 1830 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:11PM (#5562389)
    It says, on the third paragraph down:

    The centralized database of wireless numbers would be off limits to telemarketers, and consumers would be able to choose whether to have their numbers listed or unlisted, according to people familiar with the process.

    I think the above makes their intentions clear
  • her (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    >Looking for a friend by don't have her number with you?

    No actually, not. My mom maybe.
  • but what about.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by xao gypsie ( 641755 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:12PM (#5562394)
    family situations? there are 4 of us on one account, all going to onw name. the head of that account is not going to be obvious to all who are searching for you. how do they plan on getting around that....or do they at all?

  • i don't really mind if i'm listed on 411. having switched from my home phone to cell to avoid telemarketers, i would like for others to be able to get in touch with me without telling them my new number one by one. as long as there are laws in place for telemarketers to not be able to spam me with more crap on my cell phone.
  • What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:12PM (#5562403)
    Since cell phone companies won't let you keep your number when you switch providors, this will cause much confusion. It will thus be very hard to keep the directory up to date.
    • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ken@WearableTech ( 107340 ) <ken@@@kenwilliamsjr...com> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:20PM (#5562449) Homepage Journal
      You will have Cell Phone Number Portability once the FCC makes them. I think it next comes under review this fall.
      • Re:What's the point? (Score:2, Informative)

        by BakaMark ( 531548 )
        In .au, the government already forced mobile carriers to allow users to take their mobile numbers between mobile carriers.

        There has been an option for some time now where people can opt to have their mobile number in the phonebook instead of a normal landline.

        Basically directory assistance for us uses the same database as the phonebook. Also if you have your number unlisted in the phonebook, it should not show up in directory assistance.

        But that does not stop the telemarketers. The only times a telema

  • by StingRayGun ( 611541 ) <ryanrray.gmail@com> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:13PM (#5562405)
    So does this mean that I have to now pay a per-minute charge for telemarketers? Who is liable for all the lost minutes that will accumulate? Also, does this mean text messaging will get even more spam filled? It seams that with this, marketing will actually cost consumers, I hope this isn't just the first in a long line of consumer-paid-for advertising. Also, I expect a lawsuit over this, once it's too late.
    • > So does this mean that I have to now pay a per-minute charge for telemarketers?

      what situation would cause that to happen?.....surely you don't call them, do you?
    • In most states, it's illegal for telemarkters to call a cellular phone.

      In my state (Colorado), it's illegal for telemarketers to call me because I signed up (online) for the Colorado no-call list. Check if your state has one. If a telemarketer calls me, they're liable for up to $500. Unfortunately, non-profit organizations and politicians seem to be exempt. I got 5 calls a day in the three weeks leading up to the last election.
  • by Motherfucking Shit ( 636021 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:13PM (#5562407) Journal
    >I personally do not want my cellular number to be made available so easily.

    Which is why the cellular carriers will probably let you classify your cellphone number as unlisted/unpublished once the numbers are available via 411... Though "unlisting" your number carries a monthly charge, of course! Don't worry, the telcos will always find a new way to charge^Wsatisfy you.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As an abortionist and a cell phone user I have had a large amount of stalkers and annoying prank callers all of which would probably like me to die. I can say this is very bad news as I recently disconnected my ground line and was only using my cell. I wish they would reconsider as now I have absolutely no privacy any more.
  • No Call List (Score:5, Informative)

    by p51d007 ( 656414 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:14PM (#5562411)
    Even if they do, luckly in Missouri, we have a "no call list" law that has TEETH in it. In two years, I've had only ONE telemarketing call, and when I filed a complaint, about 9 months later, I received a letter from the Attorney General of Missouri (form letter) stating the amount they had been fined. Once in a while, they come up with a law that works :)
  • by Sargent1 ( 124354 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:14PM (#5562416)

    I don't about you guys but I personally do not want my cellular number to be made available so easily.

    I'm curious to know if you read the article. I doubt most of the respondants here will, either, so I quote for you:

    The centralized database of wireless numbers would be off limits to telemarketers, and consumers would be able to choose whether to have their numbers listed or unlisted, according to people familiar with the process.

    Regardless of whether or not you believe the telemarketers won't get access to it, you can apparently choose not you have your number included. Now, what it doesn't say is if being listed will cost money, as unlisted land-line numbers do now.

  • Pay to unlist? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FU_Fish ( 140910 )
    According to the article cell companies may choose to charge people to have their number unlisted. That sounds like a privacy lawsuit waiting to happen.
    • Re:Pay to unlist? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cymen ( 8178 )
      Except precedent already exists for this. We have to pay our local telco a monthly fee to keep our regular land line unlisted.

      On a side note, if telcos actually had the customers interests in mind, they might consider getting rid of at least the white pages and using the money saved to provide directory assistance at little to no charge. Of course the yellow pages will probably be around forever.
    • Re:Pay to unlist? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:57PM (#5562618) Homepage Journal
      Heard of churn?

      It's what the cellphone industry calls losing a customer. If a customer decides that they need a change of telephone number, say, because their employer got hold of it via 411, walks into a cellphone store and buys a new service, and then disconnects their existing service, this is called "churn".

      Churn costs a lot of money. Virtually all cellphones are sold at below cost. Additionally, commissions are paid to the salespeople, and there's a certain amount per-connection that it would cost a cell company anyway. That's why if you have a compatable cellphone, rather than sign you up for free, most operators will charge you a connection fee, despite the clear insanity of such a policy.

      So, if cellphone companies decide they're going to abuse this service and charge customers for the right to retain their privacy, then cellphone companies are going to find themselves incurring larger costs than they should. In a libertarian paradise, this means cellphone companies will not abuse this service, because those that would would realise the insanity of doing so. In the real world, most companies are run by privacy sucking vampire morons, who don't give a rats arse for the long term consequences of their slimy policies. In the real world, everyone will work the churn into their tariffs and we'll pay for the churn generated by policies designed to impede privacy. In the real world we're fucked.

  • by Robawesome ( 660673 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:18PM (#5562439) Journal
    you insensitive clod!
  • defaults (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trmj ( 579410 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:18PM (#5562441) Journal
    consumers would be able to choose whether to have their numbers listed or unlisted

    The question is, what is the default option? Will we have to tell them we don't want to be listed like we have to do with land lines?
    • Re:defaults (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Palos ( 527071 )
      In fact, you might even have to pay for it to be unlisted. From the article, "Individual carriers would determine whether subscribers would have to pay to be unlisted."
  • In Australia (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StArSkY ( 128453 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:19PM (#5562443) Homepage
    In Australia you have the OPTION to have your mobile number listed. I know a number of people who choose to do this, but the majority do not.

    This is a sensible approach, as those people who want their number to remain private can keep it that way.
  • Ask... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by deadsaijinx* ( 637410 ) <animemeken@hotmail.com> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:23PM (#5562464) Homepage
    yourself this. When is the last time you've ever used 411? I don't think I ever have.

    But I could be wrong. Maybe a lot of people use it.

    • When is the last time you've ever used 411? I don't think I ever have.

      You don't need to use 411 to get a number that is available through 411. When a phone number becomes available like this, you can use websites such as anywho.com, superpages.com, etc. to find these numbers.

    • When is the last time you've ever used 411? I don't think I ever have.

      Actually, I use it all the time, when I'm out driving around and don't have access to a web browser - restaurant reservations, primarily (when I realize it's a Friday or Saturday night, it's the city, and I've got to arrange dinner for three friends and none of us like hour-long waits).


    • I use 411 about once every month or two. I've never used it to get phone numbers, but it's great when you're away from home and you need to know where something is.

      AT&T Wireless's 411 service is really nice. Ask them where some place is, tell them where you are, and then they forward you to an automated direction-giving system that you can rewind and fast forward through to get where you need to go. One time I wasn't sure what a place was even called, and the guy stayed on the line with me for 5-10
    • Last weekend, my wife and I were trying to find a store. After being given the wrong address, we just called 411, got the phone number for the store, and asked them for directions. Very handy.
  • I only have a cell phone - no land number.

    I share a land line with my house mates and only one person receives voice on that line - everybody else has cell service as primary phone.

    While I do like the relative privacy of a cell number, the fact that I have had to promulgate my cell number as my primary number means that lots of people already have it. Given that my alum assoc is begging me for cash on it already, what would be the downside to having some real life person be able to look me up?

  • by tshak ( 173364 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:26PM (#5562481) Homepage
    If Verizon (my provider) want's to put my number on 411, they can pay for all incoming calls (or at least the first minute - Sprint _used_ to do this). I know that there are currently plans (from Nextel I believe) that only bill you for outgoing calls.
    • Several providers used to have a 'first incoming minute free', but it was far too widely abused... Paying for only outgoing calls would be quite a stupid thing to do for a wireless provider, as what people would do, is call person X, say "Hey person X, call me back." then hang up. Person X calls you back, and you've only used a single minute of your price plan. Really not the greatest business decision, as far as revenue is concerned, anyway.
      • You have to pay for phone calls that you receive ???.

        Next thing you will be telling me that you are paying for SMS messages that you receive..

        Probably means nothing to you, but in Australia, unless voicemail is involved, the caller pays for the call.

        A lot of mobile carriers in Australia, charge the caller STD rates (same as calling someone outside of the state) for the call. STD rates are timed. whereas local calls are a flat rate, usually, unless you are using a payphone.

        • Next thing you will be telling me that you are paying for SMS messages that you receive..

          ...um yes. anything over a certain amount (100 I think)

      • Calling party pays (Score:2, Interesting)

        by pablo.cl ( 539566 )
        When this was implemented in Chile, we had an enourmous increase in cellular phones. When calling from a land line, a special rate is used.

        Paying for only outgoing calls would be quite a stupid thing to do for a wireless provider, as what people would do, is call person X, say "Hey person X, call me back." then hang up.

        You can do that only with your close relatives. For example, my wife has a plan at 40 a minute, and land calls pay only 10. We do exactly what you say, but the telephone company still get

    • If my cellphone carrier decides to do this and requires I be subscribed or else pay some penalty, they can pay me for any phone calls I receive, and I'm not talking bundles of minutes of 15c each either. They can also pay me to subscribe to their service. In fact, screw it, they can count me out as a customer.

      My cellphone is with me at all times - when I'm working, when I'm driving, when I'm at a restaurant, a doctor's waiting room, waiting for a movie to come on, everywhere. Further, despite the clearly

    • yes nextel has some plans where you only pay for outgoing calls starting at $60 you can get such a plan, and yes, in this case the tcpa wouldnt even protect you because the call is at no cost to you.

  • by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:26PM (#5562482)
    "I don't about you guys but I personally do not want my cellular number to be made available so easily."

    Since when did what you want/not want become a primary factor with business today? I don't like it either, but I'm not naive enough to believe they have my interests at heart. I'm surprised at your surprise.
  • Money grab. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by grub ( 11606 )

    It's all a ploy to get another 4 or 5 bucks a month out of cell users that want to make their number(s) unlisted.
  • by sheetsda ( 230887 ) <doug,sheets&gmail,com> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:29PM (#5562502)
    I recommend reading this [junkbusters.com]. It is illegal for telemarketters to call any number for which the callee is charged. I've put my cell phone on lots of forms and so forth and never gotten a spam call to it so I suspect the telemarketroids are sufficiently spooked by legality issues to not call it.
    • Actually, I had a telemarketer call my cell phone. I got an "unknown number" thing for the caller id and let it go to voice mail. It was some stupid credit card company soliciting me to apply. Next time they called I answered the phone, asked them if they knew they were calling a cell phone, and said that next time they called I would send them a bill for my time. I haven't gotten a call from them yet (too bad heh)
    • And, In the US, cell phones have their own prefixes, so telemarketers can tell [primeris.com] if they're calling a wireless phone. There shouldn't be a problem.

      (I just used their, they're and there correctly, all in one post. Perhaps this post could be included in some sort of slashdot.org grammar helper??)
  • I'm not too worried (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Adam9 ( 93947 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:36PM (#5562533) Journal
    Verizon has already successfully sued text messaging spammers. I expect calls from telemarketers (if any) would be made during the day, aka peak hours (most expensive). Which carry a higher price (over allocated minutesper month) than text messages. I'd like to assume my cell carrier would bludgeon anyone who started doing unsolicited calls on their network.
  • by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:50PM (#5562588)
    Cell companies have such a monopoly because I can't switch carriers and keep the same cell number.

    I can do this with my residential number though.
    Anyone know if this will be changing in the future?
  • Telemarkters? (Score:2, Insightful)

    It is a bit vague on who could call, I really don't want charities, political organizations or other stuff not technically defined as "telemarketers"calling me everywhere on my cellphone that would be quite annoying.
  • by nlinecomputers ( 602059 ) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:58PM (#5562622)
    To be honest I'm not sure what is required of a prepaid cell phone. They call them disposable phones so do they require your name in order to sign up. If it keeps you off the lists I'd be going to PrePaid.
    • they dont require you to sign anything, simply activate your minutes and go. however prepaid phones carry a much higher cost per minute. as a cell phone user you are coverd by the tcpa [fcc.gov] dont fret.. read the bottom of the page on what info you need to file a report.. keep it handy... $500 for every offense. if its a telemarketing company with any brains they wont be calling cell phones.
  • that's they way it's done in a some of places other than the U.S. (but it requires either an easily distinguished number prefix for the cellulars in the numbering plan, or a special dialtone when you call a cellular phone) This way, you wouldn't be bearing the cost of those 411-originated calls. The thing is, you (the caller) conciously pay a surcharge (to the telco) for the immediate availability of the mobile user.

    BTW, I don't have a cellphone. I hate them, partly because even with people you don't mind

  • caller ID (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ganjasaurous ( 655026 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @12:03AM (#5562644)
    I'm still waiting for my cell phone to get normal caller ID for people who aren't in my phonebook. Anyone know of a provider who offers this, or why no one does?
  • I have had a different cell number every 6mo to a year for the years I have had a cellphone. I rarely if ever get telemarketers or anyone else unsolicited. Between personal contracts and work supplied phones, the number to reach me at changes often.

    The few calls I dont want that I get are people calling for whomever previously had that number. Strangely enough they seem to be non-english-speaking mexicans. Fortunately, yo hablo un poco espanol, so I let them know... spanish in a minnesota accent... Su
  • by jjshoe ( 410772 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @12:48AM (#5562834) Homepage
    i submitted this story [slashdot.org] because my bank wellsfargo [wellsfargo.com] couldnt seem to stop calling me on my cell. i tried in good faith many times to get them to stop. i received over 5 calls from them. when i contacted my cellphone provider at&t on getting help on getting the numbers of the person calling because under the tcpa [fcc.gov] solicitations are not allowed to be made to phones. you guesed it though. att was about as much help as, well, dead flash light batteries when the power goes out.

  • by evil_pb ( 622775 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @12:55AM (#5562858)
    Phone companies sell your numbers en masse. They get put into a big CD and sent out for a fee - this is no big secret. However *they can only charge for numbers that are on the CD!*

    By being unlisted, you are costing them money. They will get it back one way or another. Believe it or not, telephone service among other things is a private enterprise! You don't own your number, you just purchase the right to use it for a time. The phone company actually owns the rights to that number and can do with it as they please.

    I am interested to see what happens when telemarketers call however, since it's true about them not being able to call a number where the called party pays. Either the telemarketers won't buy a shitload of useless numbers, or cell phone providers will start shelling out free incoming calls to everyone since they can sell the number that way. Of course then a telemarketer would know which calling plan you're on which has to be some kind of invasion of privacy... Hmm, very tricky. Watch and see what promo's they come out with...

    In other world news I'm going to copyright my phone number! Unless someone can prove prior art, given the complete idiocy of our patent system I should be able to get away with it. Then under the DMCA, I can sue anyone attempting to use my number by calling it since they would be entering copyrighted material without my permission. Brilliant I tell you... =)

    • Having a company not make additional money off me DOES NOT equal "costing them money".

      Capitalism doesn't mean the right to MAKE money. It is the right to EARN money.

      Following your/their logic, members of the RIAA should go ahead and tax me for not buying their music, since by my LEGALLY not listening and/or purchasing to their stuff I'm "costing" them money.

      I do realize that technically the telephone company does own the phone number which has been assigned to me. However, publishing my name in relatio
  • by horati0 ( 249977 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @12:58AM (#5562877) Journal
    Looking for a friend but don't have her phone number with you?

    "friend?" "her?" This is slashdot, buddy. Our dear readers are gonna think yer talkin' about their moms.
  • by Rumbler ( 598245 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:04AM (#5562903)
    When I worked for a telemarketing company, a regular feature of the sales campaigns was cold-calls to cel-phones. The data-gathering systems they had were crazy intrusive - every last bit of number indicative data buyable or attainable through any method was in the massive databases, and refreshed as soon as a call cycle was complete. I always remember this converstaion I monitored: Sales Rep: Hello Miss, this is Shelly on behalf of yadda yadda yadda Called Lady: You know that this is a cel-phone, right? Sales Rep: I understand that this is a cel-phone, right? And that's why we're calling today with this great offer, RIGHT! Called Lady: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! (hangs up) *Shudder* 411 means nothing, they already have your number (unless you're from Missouri, heh)
  • by sirinek ( 41507 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:05AM (#5562908) Homepage Journal
    In the United States, it is a FEDERAL CRIME for a telemarketer to call your cell phone. Your number being "listed" does nothing to change that.

    This is a "non-issue", at least with regards to telemarketing....

  • by Raven42rac ( 448205 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @04:01AM (#5563161)
    its called prepaid cellular, no one knows who you are, and if you value your privacy, its the only way to go.
  • by FreeMars ( 20478 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @04:23AM (#5563245) Homepage

    For years my local phone company had a policy stating you could _spell_ your name any way you wanted for the phone book.

    So, for years I was listed in the phone book under an alias.
    ...Me: "Here's how I would like my name listed."
    ...Phone company rep: "Um, is that a roommate, or something?"
    ...Me: "Um, yep."
    At least the "or something" part was true. This was quite a deal, since unlisted numbers cost an extra $1.25/month (something like that), but an aliased name was free. Now the phone is listed as [spouse's name] (she wants to be listed).

    The alias method instantly identifies telemarketers, who can then be dealt with as you wish:
    Method A)
    ..."Is this Mr. [alias]?"
    ..."Add this number to your do-not-call list." [click]
    Method B)
    ..."May I speak to [alias]?"
    ..."Oh!" [adopt somber voice] "I'm so sorry, he died a week ago."
    ..."Um -- "

  • by bogomipe ( 78283 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @08:11AM (#5563831)
    You mean to say that cell phone numbers weren't available in directory services before? Why on earth not? Its just a phone without a cable, not some new obscure threat to your privacy.

    Honestly, I don't see what the fuss is about. A telephone number is a telephone number. If its kept secret it should be based on your choice, not on whether speech is carried by method x or y, with cords or without.

    Strange ideas...

    From the old continent,
  • and start billing the caller not the receiver for cellular calls you'll probably get the nice invention called Prepaid cellphones where you pay in advance (usually targets < 18 year olds).
    The best part though is that they sell these contraptions at all stores everywhere (including the likes of k-mart and such) so getting a completly anonymous phone is no problem.
    The chick in the counter at your local supermarked won't be able to tell if your ID is fake (if she even bothers to check it)...

    That's one step for technology, a huge leap for privacy ;-)

  • by DirkDaring ( 91233 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @09:08AM (#5564039)
    "Individual carriers would determine whether subscribers would have to pay to be unlisted."

    There you go. They could have done this article in 1 paragraph.

    "Wireless Execs, looking to fill their coffers with more cash, have decided to make you pay to not have your wireless cell number listed on the 411 directory service. In related news, the sales of multi-million dollar houses in the Bahamas has increased."
  • by Uninvited Guest ( 237316 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @10:43AM (#5564548)
    A friend in the locksmith biz operates almost exclusively by mobile phone. He has a yellow pages ad, of course; it costs him a fortune. The yellow pages company (same as the phone company) won't let him list his mobile number in his yellow pages ad. So, he has to get a (more expensive) business land line, which he forwards to his mobile phone. When he's "closed" for business, he stops the land line forwarding and lets the voice mail answer the business line. After all, he only gives out his land line number, and nobody can get his mobile number, right? Well, now he will (likely) have to pay extra to have that mobile number be unlisted. For essentially the same service, he will have to pay both to be listed and unlisted.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.