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Just been visited by a client who has recevied a phone bill of £300+. This is due to a downloaded dialer (she had no idea what it was untill we told her) Now she has rung BT and they say she has to pay, they have also told her to contact ICSTIS.
Does she have any grounds not to pay??
As johnnyrocker suggests, the response from phone companies does seem to be 'tough' and some would say rightly so. She's made the calls, that isn't the phone companies fault.
There must be many cases where people claim calls were made without them knowing - children ringing the talking clock/friends playing jokes etc but thats not the phone companies fault.
She may be more successful in trying to negotiate some discount on it.
There is an article in this months magazine regarding just this (pages 16/17).
The Gentleman who wrote the letter , said he had been charged "20.95 for a 14 minute phone call , the response he got from BT was "sorry you must make sure you take adequate security measures before surfing the net".
The same Gentleman went on to say that he phoned BT again to get an "access block" to premium rate numbers on his line , apparently this service is free.
I really have no idea what her legal status regards her bill is , and i realise the above info is a bit like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted , i felt it worth while mentioning though as possible future protection for others who may read this thread .
There has been a couple of press reports recently of people who have been let off charges of downloading indecent images , stating it may be due to an unamed Trojan Horse , if someone can get away with criminal charges maybe the same defence could be used (doubtful).
If your client can prove to BT they have a paid for ISP subscription , and would have no need to use a pay as you go connection , it might be a start .
I said this months magazine , that would be issue 102.FEB 2004 .
I have been having a look at the spywareinfo forums , there are a few posts from the UK , they recommend contacting ICSTIS , armed with the offending phone number .
I have phoned BT and asked for an "access block" to premium rate numbers on my home line , it is indeed free of charge , and was promised to be in force by the end of the day.
While i had BT on the line i mentioned i had read this might stop premium dialers , the Lady i was speaking to told me it would not stop phone numbers being dialed from a computer only from a hand set , now i`m confused , or the BT lady is .
I assumed a blocked number is a blocked number , whether i use my PC , analogue phone or digital !
Asking further , BT suggested that any inquiries regarding "dialer" Bills , should be taken up with your own ISP and the web site the dialer came from , they also suggested ICSTIS click here .
One last thing , whether the premium rate block works or not , a lot of dialers will use international numbers .
Sorry for waffling on , i`ll shut up now .
"the Lady i was speaking to told me it would not stop phone numbers being dialed from a computer " - purest poppy-cock! The phone can't tell if a computer modem or a fax machine or phone is dialling....
If its dialling a premuim rate number it'll be blocked...
The phone EXCHANGE can't tell if a....
1) contact ICSTIS.
2) try to negotiate with BT (as its a big bill they may be willing to talk)
3)get premium rate blocking (the bit about pc's not recognizing this is B****cks!)
4) get "ZoneAlarm" free from Zonelabs.com this will ask you if you want apps to access the internet (these things are usually called dialler.exe and can be stopped)
5) Make sure that in your modem settings you disable "reconnect if line dropped" in xp or the equiv in the os you are using.
Always remember that for these things to work they need to disconnect the line to redial the premium rate number so be suspicious if you are disconected while surfing.
Belt and braces I know but I have suffered like this myself when my son downloaded a dialler and it cost £80 for a 5 min connection.
I assumed a blocked number is a blocked number , whether i use my PC , analogue phone or digital ! only reporting what i was told :o(
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