Qwest: The Phone Line We Installed In Your Father's Nursing Home Never Worked, But Pay Us Anyway

Qwest: The Phone Line We Installed In Your Father's Nursing Home Never Worked, But Pay Us Anyway

My father grew up in Ottawa, a small Midwest town in Illinois. For the majority of his life, he had 2 full-time jobs. He was the receiving clerk for a hardware store and he was also a house painter. He went to work between 3 to 5 AM and rarely got home until after dark, 6 days a week. He was very active and self-sufficient so when in 1992 he was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive case of multiple sclerosis, he was devastated as was my entire family. His MS never went into regression and within 5 years he was wheelchair bound, in a nursing home, and very reliant on others.

Best Internet, TV, Phone Service Providers

Best Internet, TV, Phone Service Providers

Lots of companies are pushing deals for their bundled internet, tv and phone plans, but which are best? Consumer Reports surveyed its readers and here’s how they ranked the service providers:

Qwest Wants You To Know Macs Work On It

Qwest Wants You To Know Macs Work On It

Even though some Qwest employees told our reader that Qwest wireless wouldn’t work for her because “Macs are practically an obsolete system,” Jon Lentz, Qwest director of network operations, wrote to inform us that Qwest, does, in fact, support the use Macs on its network:

Qwest Can't Get Wireless Working Because Macs Are "Practically An Obsolete System"

Qwest Can't Get Wireless Working Because Macs Are "Practically An Obsolete System"

“This year I moved in May 2007. My new housemates and I decided that we wanted to share wireless internet in our house. We order Qwest wireless the first week of June 2007.

http://consumerist.com/2007/10/18/wired-is-assembling-a/

Wired is assembling a list of where each senator stands on the issue of granting immunity to phone companies who participated in wiretapping—which could be decided as early as today. The list includes phone numbers so you can call if you don’t see a response for your senator. [

Senate On Verge Of Agreeing To Immunity For Wiretapping Phone Companies

Senate On Verge Of Agreeing To Immunity For Wiretapping Phone Companies

Yesterday, the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee “reached a tentative agreement… with the Bush administration that would give telephone carriers legal immunity for any role they played in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program.” The senators who have been reviewing classified documents related to the phone companies’ participation in the program are now saying that they believe the companies “acted in good faith” and “that they should not be punished through civil litigation for their roles.”

Qwest Launches Customer Internet Protection Program

Qwest Launches Customer Internet Protection Program

Qwest would like you to know they’ve launched some fancy new “Consumer Internet Protection.”

Beware Of DirecTV's Auto-Renewing Sports Packages

Beware Of DirecTV's Auto-Renewing Sports Packages

Reader Ted writes to us about DirecTV’s auto-renewing sports packages, specially NFL Sunday Ticket. He says his subscription was automatically renewed even though he canceled.

Which ISPs Are Spying On You?

Which ISPs Are Spying On You?

You know, the cynic in us says that the answer to the question “Which ISPs Are Spying On You?” is “all of them,” but Wired actually bothered to ask the 8 largest ISPs about their data retention policies. The sad part? Only 4 responded.

FCC Chairman Orders Telecoms To Restore Access To Free Iowa-Based Conference Call Providers

FCC Chairman Orders Telecoms To Restore Access To Free Iowa-Based Conference Call Providers

The Chairman of the FCC, Kevin Martin, has issued a stern rebuke to the telecoms that blocked their subscribers from accessing free Iowa-based conference call providers. Quoth the Chairman:

We actually contacted the companies that were listed in the press [reports] and said our rules prohibit you from blocking consumers’ access to any of the service providers… One had stopped blocking, but we heard complaints the next week that they were restricting access, sort of narrowing the pipe. We called them back and said, no, no, you can’t artificially degrade [service] either.

We think you should celebrate this reversal with your friends on a free Iowa-based conference call. If the service is blocked, or in any way degraded, don’t hesitate to fill out the FTC’s consumer complaint form. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Want To Cancel Your Internet? Here's Your Early Termination Fee

Want To Cancel Your Internet? Here's Your Early Termination Fee

Not all ISPs charge ETFs. Here’s a list of different providers and their fees:

Cingular, Sprint, And Qwest Block Access To Free Conference Call Services

Cingular, Sprint, And Qwest Block Access To Free Conference Call Services

Cingular blocked access to free conference call providers; Sprint and Qwest found Cingular’s chutzpah inspiring, and followed suit. At issue is a charge Iowa-based companies pass along to national carriers.

The 712 area code used by these services allow the local carriers to charge a number of subsidies to those carrying the incoming calls due to the location of the tiny, rural exchange. These fees are split between the local exchange and the “free” conference call company, which allows them to make a pretty penny. The fees for these calls made into 712 are higher than those charged by other exchanges, and AT&T/Cingular has in fact filed a lawsuit against these Iowa-based telcos for what Cingular claims are violation of a number of laws and FCC decisions.

Reader Mike asked Cingular to explain their action. Their response, inside…

After Seattle Storm, Comcast And Qwest Shine

Recent storms ripped through the Seattle area, downing powerlines and cutting cable and phone access for thousands of citizens.

Search and Destroy Hidden Phone Charges

Search and Destroy Hidden Phone Charges

Hidden, fraudulent, charges on your phone bill could end up costing you big over time. Inside, we’ve got a guide to spotting and rectifying this fee-skimming.

HOWTO: Drop Landline, Keep DSL

HOWTO: Drop Landline, Keep DSL

Man gets rid of his landline, or “snail phone,” but maintains his DSL service, saves money, lives to tell the tale.

DirecTV: Not Ready for Some Football

DirecTV: Not Ready for Some Football

Reader Brandon had emailed with a dilemma. He lives in an apartment building that provides his cable via Qwest and DirecTV. After dropping $100 on a DVR, Brandon was informed that the dishes on his building were too old to receive local channels, which is the whole reason he bought the DVR in the first place. To add insult to injury, Qwest decided Brandon wasn’t paying a bill they never actually sent him, so they cut him off and are demanding $65 bucks.

Telcos: We’re Down With P

Telcos: We’re Down With P

And that stands for privacy.

Telecoms Cram Customers

Telecoms Cram Customers

Consumer Affairs has an article up called “Florida Opens Cramming Probe.” They’ve got that the order jumbled up. Let me give you the advice my father gave me: “Son, first you probe, then you cram.”