BT's Modem Protection software — a bug?

  Jim Thing 15:59 29 Jun 2006

My elderly lady neighbour has an elderly PC (Windows ME) and does her e-mail and a little light surfing via a 56k dial-up. She recently installed BT's Modem Protection software click here and now, each time she tries to access any website, she gets a warning message telling her that her system is dialling a number that is not on her list of approved numbers.

The message also displays the 'suspect' number and suggests that, if she's happy to have her system dial this number without telling her each time, she should add it to her list of approved numbers. However, in her case the 'suspect' number is always 0 (zero) which, to say the least, seems an unlikely number for the system to be dialling. Simply cancelling the message displays the requested website, and all is then normal — until she enters a different URL, when the identical message reappears.

Fifteen gruelling rounds with BT's voice-menu nonsense earlier today eventually produced a polite and helpful Asian chap who seemed to know exactly what I was on about, and who said that the problem could be cured by adding 0,38 to the list of approved numbers. When my neighbour tried to do this, however, the program refused to accept it, saying first that all characters entered must be numerals and then (when she tried again with the comma removed) that each entry must contain at least four digits.

I'm reluctant to engage in another frustrating bout with BT's voice menu, and would welcome any advice that might point me towards whatever is causing this problem — and if possible how to cure it.

TIA. Jim

  Jim Thing 16:18 29 Jun 2006

Re my post above: can anyone tell me how I can get BT to let me talk to a human person about a dial-up problem? I don't recall dial-up being offered as an option by their voice menu.

Cheers. Jim

  Stuartli 16:20 29 Jun 2006

The 0,38 number you mention is used (in the UK) in a broadband modem's configuration to connect to a broadband ISP's service.

You need to check out the configuration for the (dialup) modem involved and ensure that the ISP's telephone number for the service is properly listed.

Go to Control Panel>Internet Options>highlight the ISP>Settings>Properties>General tab>phone number panel.

  Jim Thing 16:32 29 Jun 2006

Thanks for the prompt response. "0,38" isn't quite as far-fetched as I thought then...

I can't get onto my neighbour's computer right now, but I reckon her dial-up configuration must be OK because IE (and OE) work normallyapart from this identical message ("system is dialling zero") which appears every time she wants to look at a different URL. It's not doing any harm as far as I can see — it's just a damn nuisance.

  brundle 16:49 29 Jun 2006

Are the Windows regional settings correct? . If some aspects of ME are still set to US it may be tripping the software up

  Jim Thing 16:53 29 Jun 2006

Many thanks, Brundle. I think she's due back tomorrow and I'll get her to check that out.

  Stuartli 17:22 29 Jun 2006

>>because IE (and OE)>>

OE uses IE's connection configuration.

You may also need to check that the modem's configuration is configured to use the UK telephone service; many modems have the US as the default in the driver and it needs to be changed when initially installed.

  Jim Thing 17:32 29 Jun 2006

Her modem came with her PC in 1900-God-knows-when and has been problem-free since new. Is it possible that the modem configuration could have changed?

  Jim Thing 17:52 29 Jun 2006

Perhaps my statement of the problem wasn't sufficiently clear — if so I apologise.

My neighbour has no problem getting online via her dial-up modem. IE works normally except that the program reports that her system is dialling 0 every time she wants to look at a different website. She's already online so there's no further need for her system to dial anything at all. And the requested website is displayed normally when she cancels the message.

As I said, it seems to be more of a nuisance than a serious problem.

Cheers. Jim

  Jackcoms 17:52 29 Jun 2006

"Her modem came with her PC in 1900-God-knows-when and has been problem-free since new"

Wouldn't it be simpler just to uninstall the new BT software?

It seems that the modem has been perfectly happy to live without it until now.

  Stuartli 17:55 29 Jun 2006


..and it could be because of the BT modem protection installed.

The BT link that you provided states:

"The software is for information purposes only, it will alert you to the fact you are dialling a premium rate number, it will not stop the call, it is your responsibility to cease the call if necessary by disconnecting.

"If in any doubt you should unplug your modem and check your settings before attempting to redial."

There's a very similar freeware utility on the download websites called DialWatcher (or something very similar), which does an equivalent watching brief.

I had it installed on my system when I had a dialup modem.

I would suggest that you uninstall the BT software and that the lady involved requests BT to prevent premium numbers being dialled on her phone system.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Fujitsu Lifebook P727 laptop review

Microsoft Paint set to die after 32 years

Mac power user tips and hidden tricks

Comment désactiver la saisie intuitive et paramétrer votre clavier ?