Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Problem With Monopolies

I received an e-mail today from FreeConference that was quite disturbing. Apparently, "the new AT&T", Qwest and Sprint are blocking the use of select conference numbers provided by FreeConference.

For those of you who do not know what FreeConference is ... basically the name says it all. FreeConference is a way for people to organize a conference call over the web, utilizing a free call-in number. This works out great for Boy Scout groups, Church groups, and group projects for students who don't have a lot of spare cash to throw around, as most services charge by the minute or number of users for a conference call.

Here is the text of the e-mail, with links for you to take action yourself. Please help with this effort, as it is a completely asinine thing to do:

Dear FreeConference User:

AT&T/Cingular, Sprint, and Qwest Are Blocking Your Conference Calling

As of Friday, March 9, it's come to our attention that Cingular Wireless has begun blocking all conference calls made from Cingular handsets to selected conference numbers. If you call our service, you receive a recording that says, "This call is not allowed from this number. Please dial 611 for customer service".

Earlier this week, Sprint and Qwest joined in this action, blocking cellular and land line calls to these same numbers. This appears to be a coordinated effort to force you to use the paid services they provide, eliminating competition and blocking your right to use the conferencing services that work best for you.

Don't Let AT&T/Cingular, Sprint, or Qwest Take Away Your Right to Use the Conference Service of Your Choice!

We Need Your Help! Please Take the Actions Below:

Whether you are one of their customers, or an organizer who is being impacted by these uncompetitive actions, please file a complaint with the FCC or send an email to your State Attorney General to complain about this monopolistic practice to limit the choices of consumers.

You can also let these companies know how you feel about their attempt to block competitive services:

  • Sprint Customers can click here or dial *2 from their Sprint Phone

  • Cingular Customers can click here or call 1-888-333-6651

  • Qwest Customers can click here or call 1-800-860-2255

Your FreeConference Team remains steadfastly committed to bringing you simple, convenient and reliable conferencing services at the lowest cost possible. We appreciate your support in this endeavor.

Your FreeConference Team

No comments:

Post a Comment