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BT Winning -vs- Rogue Internet Diallers

Posted: 27th May, 2005 By: MarkJ
BT claims to be winning the fight against unwanted Internet diallers on two fronts by giving customers free software to protect themselves and issuing early warning text message alerts:

Since BT launched free software on May 3, which warns customers if their computer dials a premium rate or international number, a massive uptake of up to 2,000 customers a day have downloaded it for free and protected themselves.

BT Privacy Online[1], which has been promoted with adverts in national newspapers, warns customers immediately if their dial-up modem attempts to dial any other number than a list of ‘approved’ numbers, such as their Internet Service Provider’s national call or freefone number.

BT also launched a text message alert service at the same time. A text message is sent to the customer’s landline if a call is made to a suspect destination, such as Tuvalu or Sao Tome, or if their bill rises sharply. Customers who do not have a text-enabled handset at home receive the text contents converted to a voice message.

BT have been alerting an average of 304 customers a day using the new text to landline technology, which gives them the chance to prevent further unwanted charges by acting as an early warning system.

BT has received more than 80,000 customer complaints to date about unwanted internet diallers, and has been successful in its calls for the premium rate regulator, the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) to introduce tougher penalties for service providers.

The company is urging all its dial-up internet customers to download the software for free at http://www.bt.com/btprivacyonline
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