Verizon Extorts Users with Fee to Keep Landlines Unlisted

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    I haven’t had a landline in a while and can’t remember if this was on my bill, but Verizon has been charging its users $5.25 to keep their landlines unlisted. The author, who is a victim of this “scam,” talked with some professionals who reveal the obvious: Verizon charges the fee simply because they can and nobody can stop them. If you don’t pay, “Your number will get published.” Thanks to Kyle for this one.

    "The cost charged to offer unlisted phone numbers is chiefly systems and IT based. Specifically, the costs we incur and factor into the monthly charge involve three things: quality control, data integrity and the interface we have with other carriers and directory publishers. These activities help us protect the feed of customer information we have, and must protect, when customers request that their telephone number remains private when requested."
     
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  2. Setiri

    Setiri n00b

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    Well, it isn't necessarily a scam... but I'm not on their side either. Legally they're allowed to publish your name and landline number. That's oooold though, nothing new there. Back when pretty much everyone's number was published in the phone book, it wasn't hard for telemarketers to get numbers (just buy a phone book, done). These days, there aren't really phone books anymore, so telemarketers and others DO want that information and are willing to pay for it. Verizon, and I assure you every phone company, is happy to sell it to them because they can. If you want to opt out, they'll let you do it, but they'll charge a fee. It's been that way forever... in the 80's and 90's, you were "cool" if you had an unlisted number. Though I will say it cost about 1-2 dollars back then, but with inflation that's probably on par with the 5 something mentioned for today.

    So, yeah, it's not a scam, but it's lame way for them to make money considering that you're paying them for the service in the first place. It's like their way of making bonus money... either sell your info, or make you pay to replace the money from not selling it.
     
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  3. vegeta535

    vegeta535 2[H]4U

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    I wonder how many people even have/need a landline anymore. I been living in this house for 10 years and never had a landline to Verizon and Comcast dismay. They always tried to get me to sign up for one.
     
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  4. Axehandler

    Axehandler Gawd

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    millennials who are entitled
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  5. mynamehere

    mynamehere [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you need a landline, get an Obi or similar VoIP box and Google Voice.
     
  6. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris [H]ard as it Gets

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    Verizon has charged to keep your landline number unlisted for as long as I can remember, like 20 years back at least.
     
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  7. dvsman

    dvsman 2[H]4U

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    They've been doing that since before the internet in the phone books. If you want your number to remain unlisted, you pay. Otherwise, white pages you go. I didn't think people weren't aware of that fact.
     
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  8. Mohonri

    Mohonri [H]ardness Supreme

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    Oh, it's been around way longer than even that. It used to be a fee to keep your phone number out of the paper phone books that people used to use. I'm not sure why this is suddenly an outrage...

    ...well, I can make some good guesses: A) (some) people care about privacy, B) it's good clickbait.
     
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  9. Shotglass01

    Shotglass01 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Same. I've been paying a small monthly fee as long as I've had it.
     
  10. griffinhart

    griffinhart [H]ard|Gawd

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    This has been the case as long as I can remember. I remember paying for being unlisted 25+ years ago, and I'm fairly certain my folks paid a fee for 25+ years before that.
     
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  11. Fifliffl

    Fifliffl [H]Lite

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    This is standard for all landline providers. That price is pretty steep though compared to the average
     
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  12. nightfly

    nightfly 2[H]4U

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    Steep? I believe it was $4 a month back in the seventies when I got my first land line (I think it was $2.75 back in the late sixties). So, adjusted for inflation, the actual fee for an unpublished number has gone DOWN. Doesn't matter anymore; if you have a single credit card, your bank has probably sold your phone number to some marketing company, so your number is all over the place anyway.
     
  13. Fifliffl

    Fifliffl [H]Lite

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    Most companies I've worked with recently are in the 1 to 2.50$ range
     
  14. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Back in the 70-90s, you paid to have your number unlisted, so I'm not sure why this is a big deal.
     
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  15. hardboner

    hardboner Limp Gawd

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    ATT has been doing this shit forever, and the price for this has steadily gone up over time.

    I think it used to be just 25 cents at the turn of the century, and now it's over $2.

    They can't sell your number, so they charge you a bullshit fee for it.
    $60 a year is better spent on burgers, but I know from personal experience that you get more telemarketing calls if your number is listed, even if it's on the donotcall list.
     
  16. Dalexx

    Dalexx Limp Gawd

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    Depends on your cell coverage. I finally kicked my Landline to the curb simply because it was up to $168 a month for two lines. I miss the superior call quality, but not $175 worth. But I did have to pay $200 to get a Micro tower from ATT because I can only get 1 bar at best in most of the house. Since I work from home, that just doesn't cut it.

    On topic, to have a unlisted number has been an additional fee for many years now (like 30) under both ATT and Verizon. (was Bell South and Bell Atlantic back in my day). The story I was told (by an ex eompoyee) is the fee was to cover the loss of income of telemarketing calls
     
  17. Teenyman45

    Teenyman45 2[H]4U

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    I know some people who have or had unlisted numbers. I thought there was the option of a one-time fee to have number removed from public listings.

    Our office pays about $215 a month for two copper landlines plus DSL. We keep an alternative internet service for those times when our primary provider goes down for minutes / hours / days at a time (though the days timeframe was only an issue with Comcast). The copper landline is good in the event the power goes out. The redundancy more than paid for itself when the power went out on the same day some documents crucial documents needed to be e-filed; the battery backups kicked in, I switched the router over to the DSL modem, and the documents were timely filed.
     
  18. chenw

    chenw 2[H]4U

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    Canada's Bell also has this IIRC, not sure if they still do, but it was baffling to me that I must pay them to save them some toner...
     
  19. Riccochet

    Riccochet Off Topic Award

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    It's a big deal to millennials that expect everything for free.

    ZOMG they're charging for a service that they've been charging to utilize for 50+ years. How dare they!
     
  20. haste.

    haste. [H]ard|Gawd

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    Extort is the keyword here. Let's tone the ol headlines down a bit...
     
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  21. mdburkey

    mdburkey Limp Gawd

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    Exactly how is this news? At least on AT&T, Frontier, etc. in this area, an unlisted number has ranged from $2-$5/mo for at least the last 40+ years.
     
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  22. EODetroit

    EODetroit [H]ard|Gawd

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    Welcome to 40 years ago?
     
  23. mdburkey

    mdburkey Limp Gawd

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    I suspect that part of the problem may be that too many millenials have no clue as to what charges are typical with a landline and have never seen a physical phone book.
     
  24. Clovis559

    Clovis559 [H]Lite

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    Why can't I pay for my cell to be unlisted, take my money...
     
  25. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Millennial have a land line? What science fiction movie is that from? Seriously, Megalith posted the article (I doubt he's a millennial). Kyle pointed out the article to him (we know he's not a millennial) and the author of the article has a picture at the top, and he's not a millennial either (though maybe his kids are).

    That said, they have been charging for unlisted numbers for decades.
     
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  26. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    AFAIK, cell phones are unlisted by default.
     
  27. The_Heretic

    The_Heretic Certified [H]

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    Nothing new, at least back when I had a Verizon home phone through FioS they charged 5.00 for it to be unlisted.
     
  28. Merc1138

    Merc1138 2[H]4U

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    Uhh, in the US your cellphone number isn't listed in the phonebook.

    Yes, a phonebook. Those things that get dropped off on your doorstep once a year still in some areas that people will use as a doorstop. Sometimes they're at grocery stores in piles. A long time ago, before the internet they used to print a huge book every year with every phone number listed, including your name, street, and phone number. Since not everyone wanted to be in it, phone companies realized they could charge money to not list you in that annual book.
     
  29. Clovis559

    Clovis559 [H]Lite

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    Well shoot, i'd hope it'd stop the calls... if that was a service I'd pay for that...
     
  30. katanaD

    katanaD [H]ard|Gawd

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    one thing that always cracked me up with unlisted numbers were when you called them some people would get all bent on how you got their number for a sales call. Very few could understand that the numbers were called in order, aka 467-0001, 0002, 0003 etc

    gawd i hated that job.. hahaha
     
  31. rezerekted

    rezerekted 2[H]4U

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    We had to pay $2.00 per month to keep our number unlisted too but they have now stopped that practice.
     
  32. That_Sound_Guy

    That_Sound_Guy 2[H]4U

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    Well that job doesn't exist anymore. Multiple companies for hire now with hammer dialers spamming entire NPA ranges with a prerecorded sales message. VoIP changed that landscape. $0.01 a call versus $.1 a call over toll lines.
     
  33. Ur_Mom

    Ur_Mom I'm Not Serious

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    Yea, it's always been that way since I've been around and know of.

    Although, I didn't think it was $5.25. That's a bit much. I thought it was a dollar or two back then...
     
  34. Noghri2

    Noghri2 [H]Lite

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    Maybe their next article should be "Hey remember when everyone had landlines?"

    I cancelled mine about 5-8 years ago and haven't looked back. My parents finally got rid of theirs after 35+ years. Their phone number was never listed either, so I'm sure Verizon got their monies worth out them for not being listed for all those years.
     
  35. Exavior

    Exavior [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Like everyone else has stated that isn't anything new. That has always been that way.
     
  36. BiH115

    BiH115 Gif Guy

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    [​IMG]

    This was the only thing a landline was good for. You could slam the shit out of your house phone in anger. No way I'm doing that with my $800 smartphone. Who has a landline now anyway?
     
  37. Merc1138

    Merc1138 2[H]4U

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    Umm, no it didn't stop calls. It simply stopped your phone number, name, and address from ending in a book published and dropped off at every business and residence in the county. Had absolutely nothing to do with stopping junk sales calls.
     
  38. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I don't know about your place, but I did some telemarketing in the 80s and the lists were not from a phone book. I don't know where the numbers came from, but they were typically pre-qualified to have a CC.
     
  39. nilepez

    nilepez [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I don't know what it cost, but if it cost a buck in 1977 that's roughly 4 bucks in current dollars, so 5 bucks is only a slight increase. Considering how much the increased cost for a landline, that's probably a bargain (I know land line in 2002 was double what it was in 1997)
     
  40. DocFaustus

    DocFaustus 2[H]4U

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    Meh, its a land line.... Here is what you do:

    Call Verizon and demand they drop the fee or else you will drop the land line completely and they will receive no money. Of course, the person on the phone will say they cannot do that. So you in turn drop the land lane.

    Why? Because its a fucking land line. The only thing it is needed for is your home alarm system, and if you don't have a home alarm system, then you don't need the land line.