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BT's Anti-Rogue Dialling Measures

Posted: 15th Mar, 2005 By: MarkJ
BT has begun trialling two new initiatives to tackle rogue Internet diallers. The new methods are designed to alert customers when their computer connects to a dialler and when there's a dramatic increases in their bills:

Both products have been undergoing successful trials in Northern Ireland and it is planned to make them available to all BT customers by May.

BT Modem Protection is a free software download, which will stop a customer’s computer dialling higher-cost premium rate or international numbers, even if dialler software is present. Customers will be warned if their modem begins to dial any number other than a list of ‘approved numbers’, such as the national call and freephone numbers used by Internet Service Providers. Some customers have been surprised at how much these calls can cost and this new software will help them make informed choices.

The other groundbreaking measure is a new early warning alert for customers affected by diallers. If a customer’s bill rises dramatically above its usual pattern in a day or a call is made to a destination suspected of operating unregistered diallers, they will receive a warning alert from BT. A text message will immediately be sent to the customer’s landline, alerting them to the sharp increase in their bill. Customers who do not have a text-enabled handset at home will receive it as a voice message.

Customers worried about their bill will be given a BT number to call. If they have connected to an internet dialler and want to stop it happening again, BT will be able to immediately place a premium rate bar on the line or suggest options such as international barring.

This announcement comes at a time when almost two million customers are now using call-barring tools from BT. A million take BT’s free premium rate barring option, 900,000 use customer-controlled barring, which allows them to choose the calls they wish to block, and 55,000 have the premium and international bar, costing £1.75 a month.
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