TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: "All the President's Men" (Still More Movie Phone Trivial)

Re: "All the President's Men" (Still More Movie Phone Trivial)

Dave Garland (
Fri, 22 Jun 2007 07:42:09 +0000

It was a dark and stormy night when wrote:

>> Not quite _that_ unlimited, said Miss Prissy, the service rep when she
>> caught us by trying to call him on his new unlimited unit phone line
>> one day. You cannot have two phones in the same house, one unlimited
>> calling and one with a tiny, 'regular' package of units, she warned.

> That seems strange as I have that very arrangement right now. I use
> one line for outgoing calls and the other line for incoming calls.

I had the same arrangement when I had a BBS in the late '90s. At the
time my phone was "measured [outgoing] service". Whoever the telco
was at that time (NWBell? USWest? Qwest?) told me that I couldn't have
one "unlimited" line and still keep measured service on the other. It
didn't become an issue until I added another line for the BBS, and had
"forward on busy" to a third BBS line. The first phone bill was a
shocker, I was charged outgoing charges on line#2 (the BBS line) for
every call that got forwarded to line#3 (the second BBS line).

IIRC the solution (arrived at with a cooperative "home office" rep) was
to go to unlimited service and drop the (extra cost) "forward on busy"
option, replacing it with a (no-charge) "hunt group". I don't know what
was technically different on their side, on my side it was exactly the
same, except that calls from my home phone were no longer timed, and the
base bill was a few bucks higher.


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Lisa Hancock is confused on this: She
needs to remember this is 2007 'anything goes with any telco', _NOT_
1974-75 'we run it all' Bell. The service reps in those days were very
explicit: if two or more phones in the same residence, they all had to
have the same type of service. Otherwise, for the subscriber, it would
be 'too easy' to 'accidentally' use the phone line which was more

The same situation occurred for me in 1978: I worked for an apartment
building; the building 'office' had a seldom-used phone which (to save
expenses, etc) had an 'answer only' phone tied into the manager's
apartment phone so he could answer the phone when he was down in the
office (not often). Bell insisted it could not have a dial as an
extension phone and still be on residential rates. It was to be for
his convenience in _answering_ his own (residential rate) phone in his
upstairs apartment only.

We put in an 'Enterphone system' (Bell-supplied front door answering
and opening system. It rang in the manager's upstairs apartment, but
in the downstairs office it only rang; you could not manipulate the
front door from there as a result of no-dial on the phone. I swapped
out that (non-dial) phone for one with touch-tone. Miss Prissy just
about soiled her panties when she heard what had been done; a
touch-tone (gasp!) on a residential-based phone terminated in an
office! Albiet seldom used office or extension phone. She demanded it
be taken out and replaced with a non-dial extension. Telco repair man
told her it was _also being used_ for door answering where phones were
supplied _for free_ as needed in spaces which were not normally rented
to tenants. Miss Prissy, after due consultation, decided that the
'Enterphone' tariff would prevail instead of the 'no dial on an
extension located in a business on residential rates' tariff. This was
1978 after all, Lisa, not 2007. PAT]

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