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Charges for conference call numbers

  • 17 October 2017
  • 18 replies
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I am a new T-Moble customer as of August.  Today I received a rude shock when I learned that some conference call phone numbers (in the US) are "out of plan" and that T-Mobil will charge me extra to make what have been routine calls with other carriers.  For a plan that is advertised as covering all of the US, Canada & Mexico this seems like a "bait & switch" policy.  Does anyone else object to this?

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Best answer by tidbits 17 October 2017, 01:21

Ok here's what is going on and what they are trying to stop.  Traffic pumping

AT&T actually started blocking people from connecting to these numbers and continue to add to the list.  There is a legal battle going on over it.

AT&T/Cingular blocks cellular customers from free conference call services | Ars Technica

Verizon has been rumored to start charging or cutting off depending on the outcome of the verdicts.

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It's been know those "free" conference call numbers actually charge the provider for it.  T-Mobile said that's enough and stopped paying those fees.  Other carriers are not "out of plan." I don't know where you got that information from.

Out-of-plan phone numbers

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TMobile recently did start charging their customers for these types of calls. They are not the only carrier that does this. The problem is that these services are not free. They charge the carrier a termination fee when you call one of those numbers. This is the carrier passing that charge onto the consumer.

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Ok here's what is going on and what they are trying to stop.  Traffic pumping

AT&T actually started blocking people from connecting to these numbers and continue to add to the list.  There is a legal battle going on over it.

AT&T/Cingular blocks cellular customers from free conference call services | Ars Technica

Verizon has been rumored to start charging or cutting off depending on the outcome of the verdicts.

I have just read through all my documents and searched the entire T-mobile site for information on this extra charge for conference calls and found nothing, other than this chat. I was really hoping to find a company that didn’t have hidden charges. I thought I was going to be lowering my bill by switching from ATT but with all the conference call charges I will be right back where I started. For modern people that work from home and/or have conference calls as part of an independent study group this just doesn’t make sense. I hope T-mobile comes into the 21st century soon or I will be switching again. Will be warning others who may be considering t-mobile  as I don’t know anyone who doesn’t do conference calls other that my grandmother.

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danceordie11 wrote:

I have just read through all my documents and searched the entire T-mobile site for information on this extra charge for conference calls and found nothing, other than this chat. I was really hoping to find a company that didn’t have hidden charges. I thought I was going to be lowering my bill by switching from ATT but with all the conference call charges I will be right back where I started. For modern people that work from home and/or have conference calls as part of an independent study group this just doesn’t make sense. I hope T-mobile comes into the 21st century soon or I will be switching again. Will be warning others who may be considering t-mobile as I don’t know anyone who doesn’t do conference calls other that my grandmother.

It's been around for years.

Here's the one that has been updated when the forums got updated.  Out-of-plan phone numbers

As been mentioned all carriers are starting to charge for these, or blocking them outright because of how they are structured.  They may appear free for you, but they are not free to the carrier.

It's an obscure issue, and I assume that T-Mobile has no other way to deal with it financially, but the company gets an F for communicating this issue with users.

My plan description simply says I can dial any US number.  Granted, the 32-page Terms and Conditions legal document states that "You may have to pay extra for calls to some numbers (e.g., conference & chat lines, broadcast, calling card, international, 900 or 976 calls, etc.)", which allows the treatment/charge legally, but there's no excuse for not explicitly informing users of the matter.  Without this information, my job was placed in jeopardy (and I was professionally embarrassed) when I was unable to dial in to a conference call this morning with a dozen people representing a US Gov't client.  (The automated voice announcement that the call could not be completed due to insufficient funds in my automatically prepaid account didn't help, either.) It wound up being a twilight-zone episode when I had to make multiple calls to customer support to try and figure it out - not one of the four agents I spoke with had a clue as to what was going on.

For the record, I've called the same conference line many times before (checked my usage log) and never encountered the problem of not being able to get on the call, nor was I charged the nominal penny-per-minute.

Abysmal communications, poor service management, and incompetent support - not a good report card for T-Mobile.

To avoid the extra charges, I use an app that gives me a second phone number. There are several apps available - the one I use is called "2nd Line" and is free. It also lets me pick a phone number from any area code I want. I can make/receive calls and send/receive texts using the new number just like usual. The difference is that these calls and texts use my data plan rather than my cell minutes, and if I am connected to a wifi network it will use that. Since it does not use cell minutes, TMobile does not charge extra.

PS - these apps are typically "use it or lose it" and will take away your number if you don't use it every few weeks (you can always get a new number but that is bad if you have given out the old one to friends). I simply send a text from my main number to the app number every week or so to keep it active (I also don't give it out).

T-Mobile - looks like this has been a long-term issue. What’s the fix? It’s been about 2 years since it was first reported here. If my boss is already paying for the conference line, how can YOU or any other entity charge additionally?

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This is a 2+  year old thread.  Every carrier charges for these premium calls.   Or blocks them.  I assume the VOIP operators do as well.

 Many years ago, there used to be “premium phone numbers starting with a/c 900 or “local” 976 numbers.  They were/are very expensive. Sex lines, maybe some CS lines.  These premium lines you are talking about charge 1 cent/min.

Yes, I’m aware of the thread age as I stated it in my post. Yes, I’m aware they charge, I said that too. I just switched from AT&T and they do not block conference lines, and this particular company uses a 515 area code. Can someone with updated information please reply with a response why this is happening on this carrier and how to fix it. 

This just happened to me out of nowhere, I have had T-Mobile for years and have been calling into my company’s Join.me numbers for years as well with our plan and today it started telling me I was going to be charged. I was able to call in on Monday with no problem, so I am confused on why/how this happened randomly this week with no changes to our account or acknowledgment of it. 

Ok here's what is going on and what they are trying to stop.  Traffic pumping

 

AT&T actually started blocking people from connecting to these numbers and continue to add to the list.  There is a legal battle going on over it.

 

AT&T/Cingular blocks cellular customers from free conference call services | Ars Technica

 

Verizon has been rumored to start charging or cutting off depending on the outcome of the verdicts.

I had no problem with AT&T with Fre Conference Call voice meetings.  But am being charged by T-Mobile.  Trying to find a way around it. Anyone have any success with a work-around?

Yes, I’m aware of the thread age as I stated it in my post. Yes, I’m aware they charge, I said that too. I just switched from AT&T and they do not block conference lines, and this particular company uses a 515 area code. Can someone with updated information please reply with a response why this is happening on this carrier and how to fix it. 

Yea, I’m looking too!!

To avoid the extra charges, I use an app that gives me a second phone number. There are several apps available - the one I use is called "2nd Line" and is free. It also lets me pick a phone number from any area code I want. I can make/receive calls and send/receive texts using the new number just like usual. The difference is that these calls and texts use my data plan rather than my cell minutes, and if I am connected to a wifi network it will use that. Since it does not use cell minutes, TMobile does not charge extra.

 

PS - these apps are typically "use it or lose it" and will take away your number if you don't use it every few weeks (you can always get a new number but that is bad if you have given out the old one to friends). I simply send a text from my main number to the app number every week or so to keep it active (I also don't give it out).

Thanks so much!  Will try!

To avoid the extra charges, I use an app that gives me a second phone number. There are several apps available - the one I use is called "2nd Line" and is free. It also lets me pick a phone number from any area code I want. I can make/receive calls and send/receive texts using the new number just like usual. The difference is that these calls and texts use my data plan rather than my cell minutes, and if I am connected to a wifi network it will use that. Since it does not use cell minutes, TMobile does not charge extra.

 

PS - these apps are typically "use it or lose it" and will take away your number if you don't use it every few weeks (you can always get a new number but that is bad if you have given out the old one to friends). I simply send a text from my main number to the app number every week or so to keep it active (I also don't give it out).

Thanks so much!  Will try!

To avoid the extra charges, I use an app that gives me a second phone number. There are several apps available - the one I use is called "2nd Line" and is free. It also lets me pick a phone number from any area code I want. I can make/receive calls and send/receive texts using the new number just like usual. The difference is that these calls and texts use my data plan rather than my cell minutes, and if I am connected to a wifi network it will use that. Since it does not use cell minutes, TMobile does not charge extra.

 

PS - these apps are typically "use it or lose it" and will take away your number if you don't use it every few weeks (you can always get a new number but that is bad if you have given out the old one to friends). I simply send a text from my main number to the app number every week or so to keep it active (I also don't give it out).

Thanks so much!  Will try!

2nd line is not free- $8mo

To avoid the extra charges, I use an app that gives me a second phone number. There are several apps available - the one I use is called "2nd Line" and is free. It also lets me pick a phone number from any area code I want. I can make/receive calls and send/receive texts using the new number just like usual. The difference is that these calls and texts use my data plan rather than my cell minutes, and if I am connected to a wifi network it will use that. Since it does not use cell minutes, TMobile does not charge extra.

 

PS - these apps are typically "use it or lose it" and will take away your number if you don't use it every few weeks (you can always get a new number but that is bad if you have given out the old one to friends). I simply send a text from my main number to the app number every week or so to keep it active (I also don't give it out).

Thanks so much!  Will try!

To avoid the extra charges, I use an app that gives me a second phone number. There are several apps available - the one I use is called "2nd Line" and is free. It also lets me pick a phone number from any area code I want. I can make/receive calls and send/receive texts using the new number just like usual. The difference is that these calls and texts use my data plan rather than my cell minutes, and if I am connected to a wifi network it will use that. Since it does not use cell minutes, TMobile does not charge extra.

 

PS - these apps are typically "use it or lose it" and will take away your number if you don't use it every few weeks (you can always get a new number but that is bad if you have given out the old one to friends). I simply send a text from my main number to the app number every week or so to keep it active (I also don't give it out).

Thanks so much!  Will try!

2nd line is not free- $8mo

Burner is $5 mo or $60 yr

This is a 2+  year old thread.  Every carrier charges for these premium calls.   Or blocks them.  I assume the VOIP operators do as well.

 

This is 100% wrong. Why would you post wrong information when you don't know?  

The only mobile carrier that charges is T-Mobile.  

AT&T does NOT charge or block. 

Verizon does NOT charge or block. 

 

 

 

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