A new, ambitious $200 million plan aims to connect residents of New York City’s five boroughs to free, fast public Wi-Fi by replacing the city’s old pay phones with high-tech hubs.
When a Michigan man’s traveling parents called him collect from a payphone a couple hours away, he expected to see a couple bucks on his next bill for the call he says was anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds in duration. But he definitely wasn’t expecting to be hit with a charge for $37.66.
Mike’s mom is one of the fifteen people in the U.S. who doesn’t have a cell phone, so she called him collect from a pay phone in California. Mike and his mom didn’t know it at the time, but they fell into the sarlacc pit that is Custom TeleConnect, a creature that hides in payphones and charges $20 fees for less than half a minute of talking.
Reader Victor wrote to alert us to NCIC payphones which are charging outrageous rates and fees in various airports across the country. At first, Victor used some spare change in an NCIC payphone and received a reasonable long distance rate of about $1 for 4 minutes. But Victor ran out of change and used his credit card to make 3 more quick calls. When Victor received his bill he discovered that he’d been charged $11 per call. He directed us over to ripoffreports.com and as far as we can tell, he got off easy. We read numerous reports of customers being charged exorbitant rates for local and long distance calls. The amounts that their customers are being charged vary so wildly that we’re not even sure what NCIC’s rates are supposed to be. Victor’s letter, inside…
The number of payphones in West Virginia has decreased 44% since industry deregulation in 1998, according to reports by the state’s Public Service Commission.