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phonetrovert

AT&T discontinuing collect calls, call interrupt, etc.

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1-800-OPERATOR has all the details..

On or after March 18th 2016 busy line verify and interrupt, collect calls, person to person calls, bill to 3rd number, international directory assistance services will be discontinued by AT&T, unless a sufficient amount of people complain to the FCC.

Edited by phonetrovert
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The loss of collect calls isn't exactly heartbreaking, but you could definitely create a plausible argument that the loss of busy line verify and interrupt would jeopardize safety in some cases. There's definitely no comparable service, and even they call it emergency interrupt.

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Probably, yeah. Jman and I talked about this a few nights ago, and we came to the conclusion that they're probably trying to get rid of the operators on the AT&T Long Distance side.

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Probably, yeah. Jman and I talked about this a few nights ago, and we came to the conclusion that they're probably trying to get rid of the operators on the AT&T Long Distance side.

Holy shit.

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So they're just going to scrap the 4e's? Or sell them ?

Edited by phonetrovert
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By operators, I mean like the people that pick up and answer your calls. They may not even get rid of the OSPS system that answers 800-CALL-ATT; especially since it handles things like ITFS. They didn't say anything about getting rid of postpaid calling card service.

 

With the timing though, you've got to wonder if this whole thing had anything to do with the FCC capping prison call rates. That has to be the vast majority of collect traffic they handle. In 2012, I got bored enough to ask them how much a prison call would be, and it's about as bad as you'd expect. $15 for one minute, and $1.49 each additional minute.

Edited by ThoughtPhreaker
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They didn't say anything about getting rid of postpaid calling card service.

Because the 800CALLATT postpaid cards already have been discontinued. I tried to get one in August via web, got a canned email telling to to call CS, called them, they dug deep, informed me the cards are discontinued. Tried putting in an order again only to have the same thing happen.

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Do MCI or sprint still offer post-paid calling cards? I don't even know if sprint still operates a long-distance network.

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For what it's worth, both the Sprint and MCI calling card platforms are still up. Getting a card might be easier said than done, though.

 

I'm not sure Sprint still offers long distance service, but the network itself shows no signs of being shut down. Earlier this year, JCSwishMan and I noticed they started sending mobile traffic there again, and last I checked (granted, this was about a year ago), companies like Consolidated still used Sprint switches for at least some of their traffic. It'll probably be around for at least the lifespan of Sprint as a company. Not that that's saying a whole lot.

Edited by ThoughtPhreaker
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Luckily I still have an AT&T post paid calling card that still works. I make a call on it every once in a while (one that doesn't supe) just to keep it active.

 

Not surprised they're getting rid of collect, but getting rid of busy line verification is interesting. Maybe you can only do it through a local operator, not AT&T LL?

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The AT&T-LL operators will do busy line interrupt for you via 101-0288-0. That's one of the things Jman and I looked at.

Interestingly, I have on good authority that from an AT&T toll switch, if you were to dial 121 or NPA-121 straight into it, it would route you to an OSPS operator in the inward position instead of a LEC op. They removed the translation for it in 2014, but at the time, if you were to ask an OSPS operator for an inward routing, they'd give you one of those NPA-121 numbers you could only hit from an AT&T toll trunk.

 

Anyway, even if we can't convince the FCC not to let them turn off call intercept, I would really, really, really love to get an SS7 capture of the call setup data from an intercept/verification call.

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Anyway, even if we can't convince the FCC not to let them turn off call intercept, I would really, really, really love to get an SS7 capture of the call setup data from an intercept/verification call.

 

So does this mean capturing data from an incoming call intercept on a VOIP/asterisk setup or some other PBX level setup? Or if not I wonder how else would a SS7 capture be doable since it's out of band?

Also, is call intercept allowed on any number? The only number I know of that still accepts collect calls in my area is the elevator in the verizon building. Anything with a cable package or fios (almost everyone at this point) wont take collect calls, and wont give me access to long distance carriers through 1010 codes, etc. So it'd be cool if call intercept still worked.

 

Call intercept is something I've read about on old files at textfiles.com, I didn't know it was still around in any capacity.

Edited by phonetrovert
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So does this mean capturing data from an incoming call intercept on a VOIP/asterisk setup or some other PBX level setup?

 

Probably not, no. Most PBXes don't support SS7 signaling, and standard SIP and q.931 don't carry anywhere near the same amount of fields,

 

Also, is call intercept allowed on any number? The only number I know of that still accepts collect calls in my area is the elevator in the verizon building. Anything with a cable package or fios (almost everyone at this point) wont take collect calls, and wont give me access to long distance carriers through 1010 codes, etc.

 

Keep in mind that being on fiber doesn't necessarily mean being relegated to "digital voice". Part of the requirement for them being able to decomission the copper plant is providing POTS service over fiber. That doesn't seem to include allowing collect billing, though. I tried making a collect call to a few Verizon served phone lines - some served over fiber, some not, but none of them being Digital Voice accounts. None of them would allow it. Maybe someone can speak up here, but I think they only allow it on an opt-in basis now.

 

But anyway, the bill is delivered to the calling party, so as long as the switch has a trunk group that supports it (my experience with inward ops is it generally only applies to ILEC switches), you should be able to request whatever number you want.

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In my Verizon-served area, you have to opt-out of collect calls, 3rd number billing, etc.

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For what it's worth, both the Sprint and MCI calling card platforms are still up. Getting a card might be easier said than done, though.

 

MCI stopped issuing post-paid cards a while back. They apparently took them out of the General Service Agreement on June 1, 2015. They've also just announced that they're shutting down the access numbers and the remaining cards on January 16, 2016.

 

Verizon was actually still issuing MCI calling cards not that long ago. I got one with a Verizon cell phone. The idea was to use it to get through to customer service while in a foreign country. It has the same access numbers as my landline calling card, but charges to some Verizon customer service number, I guess (and I would assume is restricted to calling customer service, though I haven't tried that). I have no idea whether they'd keep that specific use alive, or cut the ex-CC access numbers directly over to VZW customer service, or what.

 

As far as local operator service, AT&T Illinois just announced they're cutting off third party, etc., on March 18 as well. I don't know whether that means the ex-Ameritech area was effectively subbing out their local operator services to Long Lines, or whether it's just a corporate-wide decision.

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As far as local operator service, AT&T Illinois just announced they're cutting off third party, etc., on March 18 as well. I don't know whether that means the ex-Ameritech area was effectively subbing out their local operator services to Long Lines, or whether it's just a corporate-wide decision.

 

Thanks for the heads up. Did they give you an FCC proceeding number or anything? For the life of me, I haven't been able to find anything on this.

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As far as local operator service, AT&T Illinois just announced they're cutting off third party, etc., on March 18 as well. I don't know whether that means the ex-Ameritech area was effectively subbing out their local operator services to Long Lines, or whether it's just a corporate-wide decision.

 

Thanks for the heads up. Did they give you an FCC proceeding number or anything? For the life of me, I haven't been able to find anything on this.

 

Nope. All they did was slip a note on the bill, in between "Hey! Didja know we got an app?" and "The Universal Service Fee is increasing [but we won't say by how much]". I've checked the FCC site for anything, with no luck, but if I find anything (for either AT&T or MCI), I'll report back.

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800-225-5288's menu now only offers credit card and calling card calls, although pressing 2 still gets you to the collect call option.

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Here's a quick recording of making a collect call over the system. My phone patch isn't really the best, but it gives a good idea of what's going on.

http://thoughtphreaker.omghax.ca/audio/OSPS_collectcall_22k.flac

EDIT: So I gave the FCC a call today. It looks like the lack of their response means the proceeding was allowed to auto-grant, despite what everyone had to say.

Edited by ThoughtPhreaker
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My 1-800-CALL-ATT postpaid card still works great.  I just used it for like the second time since getting it years ago!

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