[okfn-coord] Large phone bill from Advisory Board Member...

Jo Walsh jo at frot.org
Tue Jan 12 22:26:00 UTC 2010

dear all,

On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 5:31 PM, Jordan S Hatcher
<jordan at opencontentlawyer.com> wrote:
>>> There seems no easy way to compare price.
>> What  I still cannot understand was how he got charged >$3 per minute.
>> The call was no longer than 90m. If with international code etc. I
>> take it the board consensus is for us to pay this in full ...

Telephone billing is a black art. I asked Will about this, as he's
done some telco billing work. >$3/minute is "very steep, though not
out of the range of possibility". E.g. from a Bell Canada landline it
costs 79 cents a minute to call an 0844/5 number, from a mobile

It is worth Peter querying the charge with his service provider - one
possibility is that they mistakenly have one billing rate for 08*
numbers, and 0844 is being billed at an 0870 number rate.

Agreed that OKF should take this one for the team.
Agreed that we should look at new options for conf calling - even at
UK rates we are each of us paying more than we need to call 0845.

It would be great to have an idea of monthly subscription costs for
alternative services that provide toll-free numbers. Are these things
flat rate, does one pay for consumed time or number of users, etc.

Will's suggestions -

This seems counterintuitive, but so does telephone billing - we could
use http://www.freeconferencecall.com/ which only has US numbers - but
depending on your contract, it is likely to be cheaper to call the US
from the UK than to call an 0845 number.

Non-UK people can use a cornershop calling card to call a UK landline.

Or non-UK people can get an account with http://www.sipgate.co.uk/ to
have an originating UK number and pay standard landline rates.

All these displace the cost onto those giving their time, one-by-one,
and if it's affordable and there is enough frequency of conf calls
then a service with free incoming calls would be really great.

We could consider going back to Skype - perhaps I've just forgotten
how poor the quality of Skype conferencing audio is.

I wonder how ORG, for example, do this.



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