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Re: Junk Phone Calls, Metered Usage, and Cellphones

On Fri, 6 Sep 1996, Timothy C. May wrote:

> At 6:08 PM 9/6/96, [email protected] wrote:
> >is done because of the Great Drug Hysteria, but I suspect part of it
> >is that pay phone companies don't make money receiving calls,
> >so they don't want to tie up their phones doing that; perhaps if
> >they charged money to receive calls as well as initiate them,
> >they'd be willing to receive calls?
> I am about to start worrying about "junk phone calls" more so than I have
> been. I just bit the bullet and bought a digital cellular phone, with a
> nifty rate plan called Digital Flex: I get unlimited free airtime from 7
> p.m. to 7 a.m. weekdays, and unlimited free airtime all weekend. From south
> of Salinas to north of Santa Rosa and as far east as the Central Valley. In
> other words, the entire Bay Area and outlying communities. I can send and
> receive calls over this entire region, from anywhere in the region (of
> course), without any charges.
> The downside is that calls _from_ or _to_ my phone during "business" hours
> are charged 42 cents a minute, airtime (tying up a channel and all), plus
> whatever other fees may be applicable at each end. Thus, every "junk call"
> I get trying to get me to buy aluminum siding, or to vote Democratic, or to
> switch my long-distance carrier (!), costs me a minimum of 42 cents,
> depending on how fast I can realize who they are and get rid of them ("Let
> me forward you to Jim Bell's AP hotline...").

I suggest doing as I do, that is giving the number to no one at all but
forwarding a public number to the cell phone when you need to.  "Unlimited
forward" allows you to call your own number from anywhere and change
forwarding details.  Quite useful.

> possibilities if this is extended to cover other such areas). The "Digital
> Flex" plan from Cellular One is $20/mo for the basic plan, and then $15/mo
> on top of that for the unlimited evenings and weekends use. (This could
> easily save me the amount I often spend in a month just yakking with
> friends and girlfriends who live over the hill in the Valley.)

Many digital phone have caller ID which you could use to screen for
"urgent" calls when the time is pricy.

You might also consider giving folks a beeper number for "urgent calls"
and you could then call your voice mail from your cellphone to see if you
wish to bother calling back.

This has the added advantage of preventing the tracking of your movement
by determining which "cell" your phone happens to be on at the moment
(phones talk to cells when on but not talking).

> --Tim May

> ---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:---------:----
> Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
> [email protected]  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
> W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
> Higher Power: 2^1,257,787-1 | black markets, collapse of governments.
> "National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."

I hate lightning - finger for public key - Vote Monarchist
[email protected]