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Summary:

You may not know it, but VoIP industry is rife with fraud and is destroying little start-ups. LiveVoIP was undone by scams, says Voxilla in an excellent investigative report. The problem is getting only bigger and has now affected non-VoIP players like Western Union.

You may not know it, but VoIP industry is rife with fraud and is destroying little start-ups. LiveVoIP was undone by scams, says Voxilla in an excellent investigative report. The problem is getting only bigger and has now affected non-VoIP players like Western Union.

By Om Malik

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  1. Thomas Hirsch Sunday, July 3, 2005

    Looks like Israel is taking steps to end fraud and mystery in telecom billing:

    Communications Ministry to check phone bill accuracy

    An external company will see if charges are accurate and itemization is understandable. Minister Dalia Itzik wants the process underway in a year or less.

    Guy Hadass 3 Jul 05 18:26

    The Ministry of Communications is about to check whether the communications companies are charging their customers according to the true extent of their use. Sources inform “Globes” that the ministry is currently in the process of hiring an external company to examine calibration of telephone bills sent by various operators – wireline, wireless, and international in order to see whether the bills are accurate.
    This problem has not previously been addressed. No objective and independent examination of telephone bills has ever been carried out, and there is therefore no way of knowing whether the communications companies are really charging accurately for use.

    Minister of Communications Dalia Itzik decided that the examination would begin within a year, but an attempt is underway to shorten the process and begin the examination earlier. At the same time, the hearing granted to the communications companies regarding telephone bills has been completed. It was decided that the rule for phone bill itemization for consumers would be changed within six months. Account itemization must be clearer and easier to understand in order to enable consumers to understand what they are getting for their money, and enable them to compare more easily between companies.

    The Ministry of Communications decided to simplify phone bills after an inquiry found that most phone bills were very difficult to understand, and that various items representing charges were unclear to most of the public.

    The ministry decided to conduct an examination in the matter, and held a hearing for the various companies. Following the hearing, the ministry decreed a comprehensive reform of phone bills, with clear and fixed rules for all companies. The cost of the measure is estimated at several million shekels for each company, since the companies must alter their collection system, and change their bill pages accordingly.

    The Ministry of Communications hopes that the change will increase competition between companies in the market, and enhance consumers’ ability to cope with and conduct price comparisons between communications operators.

    Published by Globes [online] – http://www.globes.co.il – on July 3, 2005

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  2. Companies sell service below cost, go bankrupt. Film at 11. :-)

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