kc9pke

Getting a postpaid calling card in 2016

22 posts in this topic

Am I fighting a lost cause? I'd figure AT&T et al would be fighting a war of attrition against users of "legacy" services. 

Have they actually discontinued them? I can't get a clear answer out of them

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MCI certainly has, anyway. Their access number, (888) 624-8000, just goes to about 20 seconds of faint ticks, and then disconnects (to the local ACB recording on my landline).

 

As far as AT&T goes, their operator services site still exists, and it's still got a come-on for AT&T calling cards, but actually clicking the link just bounces you over to their long distance plans. On the other hand, if you dig down into the tariff—sorry, service guide (Word document)—you eventually find a rate table (Excel spreadsheet) for intrastate calls that was updated this last June 1.

 

It gets even more confusing: they've issued notices that they're discontinuing certain calling card billing, but they also still list OneRate calling card service among their available services. If you've got AT&T as your presubscribed LD carrier, I guess you can call them up and ask for the OneRate Calling Card Plan (UID CRD01002DD), and see what they make of that.

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I have AT&T as the preferred interstate carrier for my home landline.  Last year I called them up and asked for a calling card.  I believe it was the same line that I called to order my service in the first place.  The operator knew exactly what I was talking about and didn't have to transfer me to anyone else.  A week or two later I got an orange calling card for 1-800-CALL-ATT.  It's a real thing and it exists, the card number is my NPA-NXX-XXXX + YYY (where YYY is something seemingly random), and the rate is around $1 per call + double my normal per-minute rate.

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2 hours ago, chronomex said:

I have AT&T as the preferred interstate carrier for my home landline.  Last year I called them up and asked for a calling card.  I believe it was the same line that I called to order my service in the first place.  The operator knew exactly what I was talking about and didn't have to transfer me to anyone else.  A week or two later I got an orange calling card for 1-800-CALL-ATT.  It's a real thing and it exists, the card number is my NPA-NXX-XXXX + YYY (where YYY is something seemingly random), and the rate is around $1 per call + double my normal per-minute rate.

800-288-2020? None of the reps I end up giving know what I'm talking about it seems

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Maybe talking to the 101-0288-0 operators would be a good idea? They have to accept the cards, so I'm assuming they know where to get them.

 

EDIT:

 

Quote

Their access number, (888) 624-8000, just goes to about 20 seconds of faint ticks, and then disconnects (to the local ACB recording on my landline).

 

Did you notice the bitrob noise between the ticks? I wonder if it's trying to seize some sort of non-SS7 trunk and listen for a wink or something.

 

For what it's worth, Windstream seems to operate a postpaid calling card platform of some sort. It sounds like it's running on some sort of Dialogic hardware; http://www.windstreambusiness.com/resources/user-guides/international-calling-card . On what terms they'll sell it to you is anyone's guess, though.

 

I'd figure AT&T et al would be fighting a war of attrition against users of "legacy" services.

 

That's definitely true of AT&T and Verizon. They seem to be trying to transform themselves into some sort of software defined cloud as a service company that they're not particularly well equipped to try and be, especially against people like Google and Amazon in an already over-saturated market, and certainly not in the timespan they're expecting. Sort of like a 50something Wall Street middle-manager waking up one day and deciding he wants to be an overnight hip hop sensation.

 

Some of the other companies like Centurylink and Cincinnati Bell I have more sympathy for. They seem like they've just historically followed the market leader, and facing some pretty nasty times, just aren't sure what to do.

 

Thankfully, they're not (or at least I don't think) all that way.

Edited by ThoughtPhreaker
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Just got a notice today from AT&T. They are discontinuing post-paid residential calling cards effective October 1, 2016.

 

I've had a post-paid calling card with them for a number of years, as a great way to test OSPS to see if they've programmed it correctly. (The late Mark Cuccia and I used to see which OSPS would get new area codes entered first, and which ones we needed to get on AT&T's butt to get entered!).

 

Sad that in the era of unlimited long distance that another relic of yesteryear is about to disappear!

 

See attached notice that I got.

discontinue calling cards.jpg

Edited by dmine45
adding scanned pic
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54 minutes ago, dmine45 said:

Just got a notice today from AT&T. They are discontinuing post-paid residential calling cards effective October 1, 2016.

 

I've had a post-paid calling card with them for a number of years, as a great way to test OSPS to see if they've programmed it correctly. (The late Mark Cuccia and I used to see which OSPS would get new area codes entered first, and which ones we needed to get on AT&T's butt to get entered!).

 

Sad that in the era of unlimited long distance that another relic of yesteryear is about to disappear!

 

See attached notice that I got.

discontinue calling cards.jpg

 

 

Well, that's sad. Not profitable enough for them? The rates are spectactularly high for this day and age

I did request a card online a week ago, haven't gotten anything yet... a few months ago I kept trying it and trying it and I just kept getting canned emails 3 days after submission telling me the order couldn't be processed because the order was "received at the wrong department"

 

Interestingly enough, I haven't gotten one of these stonewalling emails this time around! Maybe the order got lost in a black hole this time, maybe they're *actually* processing it, who knows...

 

Whilst I'm at it, I'd like to see what the card actually looks like (sans any identifiable information, of course)

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38 minutes ago, kc9pke said:

 

Well, that's sad. Not profitable enough for them? The rates are spectactularly high for this day and age

I did request a card online a week ago, haven't gotten anything yet... a few months ago I kept trying it and trying it and I just kept getting canned emails 3 days after submission telling me the order couldn't be processed because the order was "received at the wrong department"

 

Interestingly enough, I haven't gotten one of these stonewalling emails this time around! Maybe the order got lost in a black hole this time, maybe they're *actually* processing it, who knows...

 

Whilst I'm at it, I'd like to see what the card actually looks like (sans any identifiable information, of course)

I'll have to see if I can find my card. I ordered my card back in 2004. If I can find it, I'll give it a scan (minus the number, of course.)

 

p.s. I see you're also a ham radio operator. Plan on getting your General soon? :)

 

 

Edited by dmine45
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Just now, dmine45 said:

I'll have to see if I can find my card. I ordered my card back in 2004. If I can find it, I'll give it a scan (minus the number, of course.)

 

p.s. I see you're also a ham radio operator. Plan on getting your General soon? :)

 

 

Maybe once I get my life straightened out yeah. I've lived in poverty all my life and one of my friends is going to change that, he offered me a well paying job in the IT industry, so maybe I'll have some cash to blow on nice analog equipment!

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Now that I'm home ... my card has an access number of 1-800-CALL-ATT.  On the card it lists the same number for customer service.  On the pamphlet (zine? brochure?) that was shipped with it, they list customer care as 1-800-222-0300, from overseas 1-800-331-1140.  Or to set up conference calls, dial 1-800-232-1234.

 

The PIN at the end of the card number is four digits, not three.  So my card number is NPA NXX XXXX YYYY.

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6 minutes ago, chronomex said:

Now that I'm home ... my card has an access number of 1-800-CALL-ATT.  On the card it lists the same number for customer service.  On the pamphlet (zine? brochure?) that was shipped with it, they list customer care as 1-800-222-0300, from overseas 1-800-331-1140.  Or to set up conference calls, dial 1-800-232-1234.

 

The PIN at the end of the card number is four digits, not three.  So my card number is NPA NXX XXXX YYYY.

Wouldn't be able to scan it would you? I'm all about telecom ephemera

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On 7/25/2016 at 9:02 PM, kc9pke said:

Wouldn't be able to scan it would you? I'm all about telecom ephemera

 

I'll see about remembering to do that, some time or another.  I'll have to redact it, and that's kind of a pain because it has my name or phone number in like eight places.

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On 7/25/2016 at 2:49 PM, dmine45 said:

Just got a notice today from AT&T. They are discontinuing post-paid residential calling cards effective October 1, 2016.

 

I've had a post-paid calling card with them for a number of years, as a great way to test OSPS to see if they've programmed it correctly. (The late Mark Cuccia and I used to see which OSPS would get new area codes entered first, and which ones we needed to get on AT&T's butt to get entered!).

 

Sad that in the era of unlimited long distance that another relic of yesteryear is about to disappear!

 

Well that's very interesting indeed.  I have not received any such notice, hmmmm, and my calling card still works.

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5 hours ago, chronomex said:

 

I'll see about remembering to do that, some time or another.  I'll have to redact it, and that's kind of a pain because it has my name or phone number in like eight places.

Cool.

In the meantime I managed to successfully place an order for one!

The Indians @ 800-288-2747 couldn't tell me whether or not my order for the thing went through

Called up the office of AT&T's president and got someone with executive support to check everything on my account for me, she informed me it was mailed out on the 5th (I ordered it on the 2nd, tried twice before and the orders didn't stick), and I'm still here waiting on it. I also asked when they'd stop sending them out, she said it looks like they'd stop doing it by the end of this month. Sad indeed...

 

 

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I ordered mine exactly two weeks ago and surprisingly enough my order didn't enter a black hole! Woohoo!

Don't have a scanner, but do enjoy the (arguably shitty) image I snapped with my phone:

The card number format is the same as what chronomex mentioned, and there's an insert with international numbers with the old card design from around the turn of the millennium, that insert itself has a copyright date of 2006 printed on it.

 

Kinda sad the card is just flimsy paper though :/

IMG_20160816_114443 - Copy.jpg

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I know this is a thread on Post-Paid, but the pre-paid business is still apparently alive and well. Not sure if there's a real difference traffic-routing wise.

 

Also don't know how reliable they would be, but there's a metric fuck-ton of pre-paids available through eBay. Heh.

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On 11/15/2016 at 2:36 PM, JCSwishMan33 said:

I know this is a thread on Post-Paid, but the pre-paid business is still apparently alive and well. Not sure if there's a real difference traffic-routing wise.

 

Also don't know how reliable they would be, but there's a metric fuck-ton of pre-paids available through eBay. Heh.

 

It's strange, really...

It was a massive pain in the ass for me to get my postpaid card (now shut off since they discontinued the service on Oct 1st) but you can find prepaid cards in brick and mortar shops still even

 

Off-topic, but why's the 800CALLATT number still have the calling card IVR up?

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Maybe if you have AT&T as your LD carrier you can still have a post-paid card?

 

Mine was turned off mid-October. (It was a direct billed to a credit card since I haven't had AT&T as my LD carrier for... 15 plus years!)

 

I've had a calling card with AT&T for probably 20 years. Sad it was finally deactivated. :(

 

Edited by dmine45
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Off-topic, but why's the 800CALLATT number still have the calling card IVR up?

 

All the discontinuance notices specifically mention residential accounts. I'm guessing they have some large corporate customers who like this sort of thing for overseas travel and such.

 

Most of the prepaid calling card market are bottom of the barrel providers like IDT, but there could be some good ones out there. I might make a post about this at some point if I can find something that's across the board good.

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I would figure that AT&T's pre-paid would be of similar quality to their post-paid option? Maybe the same routings?

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On 11/22/2016 at 10:10 AM, JCSwishMan33 said:

I would figure that AT&T's pre-paid would be of similar quality to their post-paid option? Maybe the same routings?

 

Not sure what they use as their platform, but it's not the traditional OSPS that we've been used to with the post paid platform.

 

 

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4 hours ago, dmine45 said:

Not sure what they use as their platform, but it's not the traditional OSPS that we've been used to with the post paid platform.

 

Of course it's not, because that'd be too simple for AT&T to do. Heh.

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