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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another great day in deregulated America

A short while back, we needed to contact the registrar of the internet domain by which people find this site. The registrar is called Melbourne IT, and it is in Australia. (It's a long story.) We tried to conduct the business at hand using their website, but the function we were trying to perform did not work. And so we called them at their Australian phone number -- they don't have one in the United States.

After an annoying wait, we finally got to speak to someone -- in Rangoon, no doubt -- who explained to us the secret method that would get our job done. We tried it, and it worked. The whole call took 10 minutes, counting the wait.

Yesterday we got our long distance telephone bill by e-mail from AT&T. The call to Australia was on there, all right.

The charge?


Comments (15)

You can transfer your domain to another registrar (preferably one in the U.S.). I've never done it with MelbourneIT, but it's generally relatively simple and will only cost you another year's registration fee from the new registrar.

I made the mistake of using my personal phone to call the head office of a Bank I use to work for (Macquarie Bank Limited) which is located in Sydney. That 10 minute call cost me nearly $80.00. After that, I remembered to only call using the company cell.......LOL

The funny thing about it, is my friends in Sydney can call me anytime and they may pay little to nothing depending on their calling plan. How can it be that it is cheaper to call someone in America than it is for someone in America to call anyone else in the world? I know it is not because our dollar is weak.

Why do you still have AT&T?

Man, you remind me of my parents. They rented their Princess phone from Ma Bell or a Baby Bell long after deregulation, spending like $2 / month. I finally bought them a phone, and canceled the bad rental deal.

Hint: Cancel your bad ATT long distance plan.

it's generally relatively simple and will only cost you another year's registration fee from the new registrar.

I know one thing -- if I ever do that, it will be by e-mail!

I know it is not because our dollar is weak.

No, it's probably because the top telecom people are rotten to the core, and they have government at every level bought off.

It sounds so fishy. A cheap cell phone service charges, at max, about $1 a minute. I often call a pal in Brisbane using Virgin Mobile and that's about the rate.

I pretty much never make international calls, but this incident does raise a good question -- why the heck do I deal with farookin' AT&T?

It's time I shopped this long distance thing around. Anybody got a lead on a good service to go with a Qwest land line? Again, I'm not an international guy. We do very little out-of-state calling. Reliable and good customer service are a plus.

Jack, I lived overseas in the early 1990's and would call my mom once per week.....cost me $6.00 per minute. Its not deregulation that is the problem. That has lead to competition that now allows you to get a Nationwide calling plan of about 100 minutes per month for about $30 - unheard of just 5 years ago.

Jack, I assume you have cable, if you do, check out VOIP (i.e.; SKYPE or Vonage)

We got tired of the poor service we get from Verizon and moved our phone to Comcast. Comcast may be a pain sometimes, but they're nowhere near the pain that Verizon has been. Verizon keeps charging us for stuff we don't have and refuses to take the charges off.

Our new Comcast line is great - and I can call my mom in Texas anytime I want.

I'd definitely look at moving that domain, if I were you. You can do it anytime - most registrars will add a year onto your registration as part of the transfer fee.

I use Go Daddy, but have been considering moving them to a company in Vancouver that offers private registration for free. I can never remember their name, though.


not that we're listening in on the conversation ...

It's deregulated, why in the world did you dial through AT&T?

For everyone out there, please spend 5 minutes online finding a long-distance dialing code from any one of about a billion providers that will drop your cost south of 5 cents per minute.

For $20 you could have got a card that held about 1400 minutes of talk time. Even wasting 1390 of that you could have come out $24 ahead. To get your money's worth, you could have just socialized for another 23 hours.

I assume this is a business expense at least!

Actually, that particular move was about the personal side of our internet operations, not this blog, and so no, I won't be deducting that one.

As for using AT&T, I am an idiot. But that is soon going to change.

Don't pick Comcast if you need a digital phone service, it's a rip.

Vonnage is okay, still a bit spendy. But Teleblend has been good to me for a year or so now. Nice thing about net phone service is that you get cool things like listening to voicemails online or attached to emails, getting notified of missed calls via email/txt, etc. etc.

Most of them have very cheap int'l calling plans so that you don't need to bother with calling cards.

Now if I can just get off my butt and switch from this crappy overpriced Comcast internet to DSL or (if only it was available in my area!) FIOS.

Jack, for your limited international calls there are plenty of services you can use that require you to dial an 800 number before the international call, and so require an extra step, but are laughably cheap.

I use one called Gorilla Mobile, which costs $5 a year, but is extremely cheap on a per call basis. (If, like I do, you have unlimited domestic long distance, you call via a 212 number in New York and there is no per-call surcharge; if you call via an 800 number there's a surcharge of something like 10 or 25 cents a call.) The last time I called Australia, I believe it cost me 6 cents per minute.

Gorilla Mobile seems to be targeted to cell phone users, but it works just fine with my land line, too. I know there are other similar services, many of which don't require a yearly fee but may have slightly higher per-call charges.

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