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#1 Dialtone

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 01:52 PM

I've been interested in the USA AT&T direct number for a bit now, and today I had a bit of time to play with it... Or at least I thought I did. Anyways when I dialed 0800 890 0011 which is on the AT&T website I was disappointed to find it didn't work. I kept getting the standard BT number not recognised message. I read some toll free numbers can be used from direct and that was the idea to play around with them and find out what toll free American numbers I could call. It does say on the AT&T website it is avalible from select locations, but I found there was a Phillipine direct avalible from one of the regular payphones I use to scan which worked. So I guessed if it was possible to use it for a third world country it would certainly work for the US.

Is the USA direct a subscription thing, as I couldn't find anything on the site saying it was and I was under the impression it was a free phone UK number so Americans working away could call back home with out paying international rates? OR am I barking up the wrong tree and what I think is completly wrong?

Another thing I came across while doing a little scan was: 0800 890 114 where I got the: Call cannot be completed in a distinctly American accent, then went quiet and then said 2CU... After a moment of waiting I got some kind of line noise that sounded strange...

I was wondering why I didn't just get the standard BT: "number not recognised, please hang up and try again" message? I was also wondering what 2CU meant?

I look forward to reading what you think!

#2 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:26 PM

Is the USA direct a subscription thing?


Quite the opposite it looks like. If the 1xx portion of my scan is an indication of anything, they scarf up toll-frees like a domain snatching bot.

Another thing I came across while doing a little scan was: 0800 890 114 where I got the: Call cannot be completed in a distinctly American accent, then went quiet and then said 2CU... After a moment of waiting I got some kind of line noise that sounded strange...


2CU is an MCI tandem in White Plains, New York, probably one of their international gateways. If the noise you heard sounded like a burst of static, I think it could've been an SS7 message being sent back. I'm not sure if this is unique to our network or why it happens exactly, but I just tried calling it. and something most certainly did get sent back after the switch was through playing the message. As for why you didn't just get a BT announcement, it might just be because this used to be an active toll-free, and MCI either forgot to or didn't want to disconnect it. This is pretty common in the US; you'll often hear error messages from various long distance providers if you scan toll-frees.

Anywho, thanks for pointing this out. Missed that number.



#3 Dialtone

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 05:47 PM

That was my "limited" understanding of the USA Direct that it was toll free with no subscription so people away didn't have to pay at international rates. And LOL @ domain snatching bot.

Yes, it did sound like some sort of static coming back... when I first heard it I thought it was going to connect me to an operator but there was nothing... anyways, that has enlightened me! I did randomly scan a few numbers in the 890 1XX bracket today and that was one of them (it interested me so much I dialed it when I got home to see if I got that line noise again, which I did)... I went out with the intension of using the USA direct and I didn't have my book to write down the responses.

Thanks :D

Edited by Dialtone, 13 September 2010 - 06:21 PM.


#4 dmine45

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 09:22 AM

Those USA direct numbers for AT&T are interesting. You reach an OSPS, typically NYC or Pittsburgh if calling from Canada or Europe, or somewhere in California (I think San Fran) if calling from Asia.

And calling back to the US is interesting since you don't necessarily know what carrier you go on (AT&T, MCI or Sprint) on any given call. Depending on how SS7 is working, callers could get a locally generated rejection recording or one in the US.

#5 Dialtone

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 05:27 PM

Because of my stupidness, I was dialing the wrong number for USA direct. I have already dialed it in the first 100 numbers of the 0800 890 XXX scan... it is 0800 890 011. I was dialing 0800 890 0011 (because I checked the number on the AT&T website and I read it wrong) so BT was reading it as 0800 890 001 which is not recognised... I'm not usually this stupid, HONEST!

Anyways, while out today I popped into a phone booth and tried the proper USA Direct number with a couple of American toll free numbers I got from a textfile scan. After dialing the correct number it prompted me for the number I was calling, I entered an 800 number and then AT&T asked for a calling card number... now I know not all American toll free numbers would work but I didn't come across one that went through, having said that I didn't try all that many so perhaps I just haven't found one that does. I really did think 90% would be free... I guess it will probably be 10% free and the rest will have to be paid for.

So, I'll keep playing with it and see what I find.

#6 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 09:41 PM

now I know not all American toll free numbers would work but I didn't come across one that went through, having said that I didn't try all that many so perhaps I just haven't found one that does. I really did think 90% would be free... I guess it will probably be 10% free and the rest will have to be paid for.


I happened to be looking at AT&T's website earlier today, and it looks like their prepaid cards are one of the few things in that whitelist (numbers like 888-879-6330, 877-879-1867). I'd expect the rest are things they think they can make revenue from. Since I happen to have an AT&T prepaid card, I decided to make a call to an ANAC through the overseas trunk. Not only did the card platform know that I was calling from the UK, the ANAC read my number off as 199-044-011. I called another phreak to confirm it - that's really what it's sending. We later figured out that the last 3-4 digits are indicative of what number you're calling. When you try calling from, say, +44-800-890-195, your number is sent as 199-044-0195.

So where is the 199 coming from? Here's my guess;

http://www.textfiles...NG/at&tcode.txt
If you get access to a trunk that doesn't filter weird looking NPAs, I wonder if you can dial these things.

And calling back to the US is interesting since you don't necessarily know what carrier you go on (AT&T, MCI or Sprint) on any given call.


I'm willing to bet US-bound international usually defaults to legacy MCI/Verizon on BT toll-frees. I talked to a friend in the UK about this a while back; if you're using a BT landline, calls to the US go over MCI. The Cable & Wireless ones could be a different story.

#7 Dialtone

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 05:27 PM

A little off topic but I read AT&T are rummored to be putting an offer in for the Cable and Wireless business.

#8 ThoughtPhreaker

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 02:13 PM

I wouldn't be surprised. A lot of AT&T call centers in the UK terminate to Cable&Wireless exchanges. If you've never heard +800-CALL-4ATT, that's completely C&W based.




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