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)

Sam Spade (
Thu, 21 Jun 2007 06:25:54 -0700

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note:

> 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.
> Furthermore, she noted, the 'company' finds it very questionable when
> you leave your umlimited metro line call forwarded 24/7 to a business
> place in Chicago. No excuses were satisfactory. He told her that many
> times when he was at home, friends of his in Zion would call him and
> they were interested in what I had to say that day, so he would 'three
> way call' so they both could listen to me at the same time. So what
> was the problem when 'he went away to Chicago for the day to visit me'
> if he simply left his phone on call forwarding 'while he was gone for
> the day.' Miss Prissy said she didn't believe a word of it. Then she
> called and gave me hell for it also, particularly after she checked
> with her cohorts in downtown Chicago and learned about the extreme
> volume of inbound calls I was receiving to my taped messages on
> HARrison-7-1234 (six or eight _thousand_ calls arrived each day on
> about a dozen heavy duty answering machines which were wired in
> rotary hunt behind 427-1234, and there were a few times each day that
> all the lines would still be busy. Miss Prissy was shocked when she
> examined my call volume stats and made my friend disconnect his
> 'unlimited metro line', since a couple hundred calls each day were
> in fact coming via the Joliet line.

In the 1970s and part of the 1980s both Pacific Bell and GTE offerred
"ORTS" in the LA/Orange County areas. "Optional Residential Telephone
Service," where you could select one, or more, exchanges within 40 miles
for flat-rate calling at an additional monthly fee. A friend of mine
and I live 60 miles apart so we had a "safe house" phone similar to your

We never heard from "Miss Prissy" but occasionally our CF would be
mysteriously knocked down. ;-)

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Chicago never had ORTS, but the suburbs
had a similar thing called 'Pick a Point'. Under PaP, the suburban
subscribers got to choose one or two telephone numbers which were
otherwise 'coin rated points' _within the Chicago exchange_ and do
unlimited calls to those two numbers for some extra fee per month. But
it was more expensive than 'metro unlimited calling' for some reason
which allowed residences including in Chicago to subscribe but then
disregard unit measurement entirely. A 'coin rated' point which also
applied to Chicago proper was any point greater than ten 'units' away.
And anyway, my phones in downtown Chicago were all 'business' lines,
and 'business' lines got no deals of any kind other than WATS for
long distance calling or IN-WATS (Enterprise numbers in those days)
on incoming long distance. PAT]

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