AT&T/Cingular Denying Free Conference Calls to Subscribers

Illustration for article titled AT&T/Cingular Denying Free Conference Calls to Subscribers

If you've had to do phone conferencing at work, you're probably familiar with these free conference services that AT&T/Cingular has just decided to block. The company claims that these services, many of which are terminated (the end point of the call) in a call exchange in Iowa that has a 712 area code. The local carriers of this exchange are charging an "exorbitant" amount of money for AT&T to pipe their calls through—enough so that AT&T's even filed sue against them.


What does this mean to you? AT&T's about to cut off your access to many 712 numbers from companies like very soon. This, no doubt, is meant to pressure the local providers to lower their rates or face the fact that AT&T's tens of millions of users will no longer be calling their customers.

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



I have already called AT&T/Cingular to bitch about this - They opened a ticket and said, "We will call youback when this is resolved". I am not holding my breath. However, typically you can "dial around" the problem. My issue was a [] number being blocked - I dialed one number up - 0101 instead of 0100 - and it worked.

If they are starting to block entire area codes and/or prefixes, that should be grouds for contract terminiation for free (no penalty) because you are paying the service provider for access to every telephone number in existence. If they are going to limit the telephone numbers I can dial - then they are breaching their own contract.

The tech I spoke with said that the conf. call services were causing customers exorbitant phone bills and the customers were refusing to pay, as the company was listed as a free conferencing service. I am calling "bullshit" on that. Anyone so stupid would not know how to dial a phone, much less enter a PIN, followed by the "pound" key.