MANY readers will be aware that when using the internet there is a risk of incurring expensive phone call charges by inadvertently downloading a piece of software known as a "dialler" onto a computer. Most diallers are perfectly legitimate. But others can effectively "hijack" a computer and dial premium rate or international numbers without the user's knowledge. Tens of thousands of dial-up internet users have fallen victim this year.
BT is doing everything it can to tackle this menace. In the past three months' we've blocked 1,000 UK and international numbers associated with this problem. We're also e-mailing all our internet customers to warn them and give them advice. Customers can ask BT to bar, free of charge, all premium rate calls: 50,000 customers have taken advantage of this since July. There is also a selective barring service, which includes international calls and costs £1.75 a month.
An explanation of the methods employed to entice customers to download these "rogue diallers" and advice on protection is available at www.bt.com/premiumrates.
The battle is not just BT's. Companies who use rogue diallers lease the telephone numbers from about 70 telecoms operators. BT is legally obliged to pay the operators for calls which our customers make to their numbers. They, in turn, pay the companies, including those who are responsible for the rogue dialling problems.
BT is calling on these other operators to take more responsibility for the actions of the companies with whom they do business.
The regulating body, the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS), is working with the industry to solve this problem. The ICSTIS web site at wwwicstis:org.uk provides details on how to check the nature of a premium rate service call which has appeared on a bill, obtain details of the service provider and, if necessary, make a complaint. .
BT is making no profit from this problem. From every £1.50 of a premium rate call, BT retains only 3p. We are donating all this share of rogue dialler calls to children's charity Childline.
LIzzie Beesley BT South West Regional Director
No replies to this topic
Posted 21 October 2004 - 04:04 AM
This letter appeared in a local paper. It looks as if at least one telco is waking up! The last paragraph is interesting in view of the comments that have been made regarding Telcos profiting from these diallers
Be wary of strong drink. It may make you shoot at tax collectors, and miss!
Please support SWI forum
Please support SWI forum