From: E Z Peaces on
larry wrote:
> E Z Peaces wrote:
>
>> The AG forwarded my complaint to the phone company, giving them ten days
> > to reply. That was nearly a month ago. No reply.
>
> att (etal) don't reply to complaints, even those from the fcc.
>
> It's much cheaper for them to just pay the fines.
>
> The customer pays those as a cost of doing business ;-)
>
> -larry / dallas

Well, I dialed the number whaa_hoo provided. The URL whaa_hoo provided
says my rebate has been approved and will be mailed about October 12.

Today an AT&T representative phoned to respond to my August letter to
the Attorney General. She said I didn't qualify because it's limited
customers who already had Bellsouth dialup service.

I said the phrase in their Terms and Conditions, "subscribers of AT&T or
BellSouth Dial service," has meant telephone customers for a hundred
years. I said a service accessed by a telephone line, such as internet
access, is a dial-up.

She said I was wrong. Telephone service is not "dial service." She
said she'd never heard telephone service called anything but POTS. Then
she said as a special one-time courtesy my next bill would be credited
with the rebate.

Patents may be the best place to check terminology because patent
lawyers are supposed to get it right. From 1879 to 2007, 579 patents
have called telephone customers subscribers. From 1941 to 2004, 67
patents have called telephone customers "dial service subscribers."
(Perhaps before 1941 telephone service would also accommodate phones
without dials.)

I've found 162 patents calling internet service "dial-up service" and
none calling it "dial service." I've found patents referring to
telephone subscribers with internet access and customers who use the
internet to access subscribed content, but I haven't found any patents
about subscribers to internet access.

That makes sense as a subscriber signs up for published content, not
communications. Telephone customers would be exceptions because the
service includes a subscription to a phone book.

It seems to me the AT&T representative told me I was excluded from the
rebate because they interpret their Terms and Conditions according to
their slang, which may change from day to day, and not the established
meanings of "subscribers" and "dial service."