I glanced at the prepaid long distance cards in Walmart the other day
and noticed something I hadn't seen before: AT&T cards providing
prepaid 800 service.
It was a bit pricey -- 100 minutes for $10. And there were lots of
surcharges -- 5 minutes if the call originated from a payphone, others
if you wanted sequential ringing to multiple numbers.
Still, I wonder what kind of market there is for that card.
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: As far as being 'a bit pricey' is
concerned, Walmart is like that, all the while telling you their
prices are so good. As to the market for a prepaid 800 number card,
I would suppose the market would be spammers and other hucksters who
wanted a transparent 'presence' at a payphone somewhere or anywhere
else they wanted convenience for the persons calling them without
leaving a big ugly audit trail behind themselves. If I understand
those prepaid 800 number cards, once turned on they give you access
to a voicemail system where your friends and 'customers' can leave
messages for you, or you can direct them to reroute your 800 number
to a pay phone somewhere or a throw away cell phone, etc. And if I
am not mistaken, you do not get a 'real' (as in your own, personal)
800 number, but rather a shared number where the caller has to also
enter an 'extension' number or PIN in order to reach you. A real
bogus system, IMO. I mean, consider the pricing, an hour, 40 minutes
for ten dollars. You won't get a 'real' 800 number for that money
with 100 minutes tossed in. PAT]