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How to get Free Phone Calls
It's one of those things, almost like a modern day alchemist's dream, finding some cunning way to get free phone calls, and talk to people on the phone without having to pay any money for the calls. It's in a set along with such things as how to make diamonds, how to escape from the earth and travel in space, how to get rich quick, how to do magic, how to construct a stealth tv set that can't be detected by tv detector vans / stealth car that can't be detected by police radar traps, etc. The intellectual enquiring mind instinctively seeks answers to intriguing questions. Such a hacker mentality typically would love to know how to open a safe, but has no intention of stealing any money!
The "How to get Free Phone Calls" notion initially comes from the curious idea that you are supposed to pay money to make phone calls, quite a lot of money sometimes, and yet it's really only an established convention, because the actual calls themselves don't really "cost", as you're only really borrowing a piece of connection and afterwards putting it back, leaving it intact. With such moral arguments, it's often not a simple "all or nothing" situation. You can see a similar balance of ideas in the matter of recording copyright music off the radio
On the free phone calls, some of the methods were legal. For example, what if you used only freefone (toll free) numbers? These are public knowledge, and you are allowed to phone them. If you were shopping around for car insurance, you could go through the phone book and look at the many insurance companies, but if there were some that had a free phone number to call, like free phone Swinton, that would be preferable to paying for expensive 0870 numbers. Free phone numbers in a book? Someone thought this was such a good idea that they created a freefone telephone directory, which sounds good, until you realise you were expected to pay for the directory! I'm not quite sure what happened in the end about freefone phone books, but I seem to remember the phone company British Telecom tried to have them banned, like books on the banned books list! This was a long time ago, at a time when reverse lookup area code books were considered illicit material.
There were also illegal ways of getting free phone calls. The following method is such a thing, but it is such a long time ago now that it's long gone and therefore safe to tell about! The method involved exploiting a security weakness in public payphones, and was discovered by a phone engineer who knew about how these things worked. To make a free phone call, the method involved dialling "9" , which would put the payphone into free mode for emergency numbers, and then, instead of dialling the phone number using the payphone's pushbuttons or rotary dial, the phone number was typed on a portable tone dialling unit which could easily be carried about in secret. By the time BT managed to bung up the security hole by modifying all of the public phone boxes so the technique no longer worked, they were saying it had cost them millions of pounds in lost revenue.
Some of the things that have been tried in the quest for free phone calls are naughty, and you can see it's a bit like those cases of someone being caught running the electricity in their home or business by plugging into a streetlamp! They might get away with it for a while, but the persistent misuse results in eventual detection and capture. Judges tend to punish the guilty party to an extreme, to make an example of them, and the media gives the story extra coverage. This helps to deter other people from trying the same trick.
There was one attempt to get free phone calls which I'll document here as it is so thoroughly bad and disreputable and has such sheer gall that it beggars belief! It was one of these show off "look! I can get free phone calls!" ideas, to which the response is with some doubt "...oh really?". The character proceeded to demonstrate as I observed with some astonishment. He phoned the Operator and asked for a reverse charge (collect) call. But when the Operator asked him what his name and phone number were, he lied and gave the name and phone number of the vicar. This was especially bad as the poor reverend was now paying for the rogue's phone call and was also paying the exorbitant fees that the phone company charged for reverse charge calls! You may be interested to hear that the iniquitous sin was short lived, suggesting that sometimes there is some justice. After a few minutes the call was abruptly stopped and the line held at the exchange so the phones could not be hung up. Clearly the scam was very easily rumbled, and the engineers at the exchange soon traced the call. Just before the call ended I could hear telephone company officials intercepting the call and starting to quiz the character involved in a telephonic equivalent of a "what's all this then?" style!
Some other attempts to make free phone calls have been more subtle. One technique I heard involved dialling into an exchange, then dialling some special codes, and then dialling out of the exchange to the destination number.
Much of this is historical, and there is now (2007) a new development which makes a lot of this obsolete. It is largely because of this fact that I can tell you about the old stuff. The fact is that now we have the Internet, communication has been revolutionised, and there is a way of getting free phone calls which works, is free, is legal in all but the most oppressive countries, and means you can now make international calls as well as local calls FREE. It's termed VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), and works by turning voice sounds into digital data which is then sent and received over free channels in the Internet. It's a telephone equivalent of the idea of sending typed e-mail messages at no cost even though a long time ago you'd have to pay to send a telegram.
One of the VoIP providers is Skype, although not the only one, and there are others. See the VOIP page for a list of a few of them.
Although there have been attempts to ban Skype, in the long run such VoIP systems are here to stay, and there's no going back to the bad old days when you had to pay for phone calls.
So, if you would like to get free phone calls, without ending up in trouble, you might like to look further into Skype and VoIP
On a Vonage VoIP phone, you can get free phone calls, and, miraculously, you can relocate a telephone which had a BT phone number to somewhere else in the world! This is given a customer testimonial at the Vonage Customer Testimonial
Also see how to avoid paying tax, by means of Tax Havens !
Note: If you are looking at this in the Network Quality department of some affiliate marketing company and wondering if you should have this site expelled from someone's affiliate program because you think I'm encouraging people to do illegal things, READ THIS PAGE AGAIN, CAREFULLY! I am not suggesting participation in any illegal activity. This page is telling people about historical things that used to happen. If your company isn't giving you enough time to judge things properly and make decisions professionally, you should ask for better working conditions!