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Re: Massachusetts ISDN users

  At 05:31 PM 4/23/96 -0400, Doctor Who wrote:
  >I am having very bad experiences with Nynex over my ISDN line.
  That much is not unusual.... ;-)
  >When I requested my ISDN line, back in early february, and they finally 
  >got around to taking my order, they asked my if I wanted two voice 
  >channels. I hadn't heard this was possible, but it seemed like a good 
  >idea: maybe there was a way to bond them together and do 112K. But no ISP 
  >supported this yet, but I said sure. Cool.
  >From whom did you order the line?  As noted below, this is not a normal
  capability.  The only place that really takes ISDN orders in MA is one office
  in Boston (Tim Connell and his associates).  
  >Two months later, I finally get my ISDN line. I get my ISDN TA (Bitsurfr 
  >Pro) and I am merrily on my way down the information superhighway, at 
  >56K, just waiting for my ISP to offer me dual-channel. Yippee.
  >Then I get the bill. They've given me 1 Data, 1 Voice channel. That is 
  >bad news. But what's even worse is, the entire time I thought I was using 
  >the voice channel, I was using the data channel. The voice channel is 
  >flat rate, the data channel is measured rate. 
  The problem is that there are not separate "channels".  Each B channel can
  be used either way; you initiate a call to a "Directory Number/Bearer
  Capability" (DNBC) and the CO switch assigns a B channel.  Pricing is based
  on the called DNBC, as well as your line's billing class.  If NYNEX billed
  you for data, then you almost certainly initiated the call with "Bearer
  Capability = data".  This is controlled in the BSP by an S register.
  So you can imagine what 
  >kind of bill I received. Over $700 of usage charges for less than a 
  >month. I call up Nynex's ISDN people and infrom them of their mistake. 
  >First, they claim that such a 2-voice channel configuration doesn't 
  >exist. Then, they claim that it's a special assembly, which will cost me 
  >$50 more for install and an additional $5/mo. That's no big deal. But 
  >they were not offering to adjust the measured rate charges, but the 
  >service representative would check with her boss and get back to me. I 
  >wait and wait, leave many messages at Nynex DSG (ISDN people), finally 
  >get frustrated and call up the regular business office. They say I can't get
  >this 2-voice channel line. So I am up a tree. I can't afford this phone 
  >bill. I won't pay it, they'll have to shut me off. But I'll appeal it to 
  >the DPU before I let that happen.
  They won't often offer the 2-voice-call-at-a-time line.  I don't know if
  the Special Assembly is even offered to flat-rate users; they would have
  no beef with it to measured rate voice (e.g., business) users.  It can't
  be done using AT&T Custom Point-to-Point (1 voice limit), but can be done
  using AT&T Custom Multipoint or either flavor of NI1. 
  If you order the line as "1 voice 0 data", and by your error place the call
  as data, and by their simultaneous error the call goes through, then they
  will not bill you -- their billing computer will bounce the data call
  because you haven't subscribed to the service.  At least I think that's the
  case.  You'd have a strong argument.  But if you order any data capability,
  you can be billed for data bearer calls.
  Now it appears from your introductory paragraph that you *thought* you
  ordered 2 voice + 0 data.  If you have any evidence to that effect (and I
  always fax them written orders, never verbal), then you should NOT be
  billed for the data calls.  They SHOULD drop the bill, and the DPU will
  probably side with you.  But if they convince the DPU that you really
  ordered 1V+1D, then you will have a harder time proving your case.
  Note that if the NI1 switch is a DMS100, then it *WILL* allow 2V, even if
  your line (like mine) is in the billing computer as 1V+1D.  The DMS is too
  stupid to restrict "circuit switched" channels to one or the other bearer.
  You didn't say which CO you're connected to.  But to get 2V, you need to
  order 1V+1D, and you can thus be billed for Data bearer if you use it.  My
  bill last month had 5 data calls on it, totaling 3 minutes, because I was
  testing a new Cisco 753 and somewhere along the line I needed to try data
  bearer to resolve a compatibility problem.  In several months that's the
  only data bearer I've been billed for.
  >I hope Bell Atlantic will fix Nynex, because I have just about had it. 
  You've got to be kidding.  NYNEX ISDN is directed by Mack Sennett; it's
  a remake of the Keystone Kops.  They would be funny if it weren't so sad.
  BA ISDN is directed by Lini Riefenstahl (sp.?), und you VILL like it, 
  schwein!  They take pride (see the Monday Boston Glob) in being the
  "baddest" Bell.  It sounds like their labor relations come right out of J.P.
  Stevens.  I anticipate some personal visits to the DPU to fight them.  They
  intend to blow away NYNEX' flat-rate voice bearer ISDN options.  You want
  high volume, you go Centrex.  Come to think of it, with BA, the answer to
  *every* question is Centrex.  Und you VILL like it, ratepayer schwein.
  Note to out-of-towners on the list:  The NYNEX MA tariff is technically
  quite elegant, if buggy.  It defines ISDN an an $8/month local loop option.
  It can be added to any line class, flat or measured, and allows 1 voice call
  at that tariff's rates.  Thus a 1UR Residence Circle line with ISDN can make
  unlimited free calls for a 20-mile radius.  (1UR is only available in
  scattered COs, a few of which, like Arlington, have ISDN too.)  BUT data
  bearers are governed by the Switchway (Switched 56) tariff, which in turn
  copies the Measured voice rates.  In Boston, measured voice is 1.6c/minute
  within 8 miles, 5.5 c/minute beyond 8 miles, 7x24.  Thus a 9-mile LOCAL call
  on weekends costs MORE than a 100-mile (not many such routes but they exist)
  intra-LATA toll call, since that's only 3.6 cents/minute!  (Toll has a
  higher per-call price tho.)
  Fred R. Goldstein     k1io    fgoldstein@bbn.com   +1 617 873 3850
  Opinions are mine alone.  Sharing requires permission.