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WirelessNotes.org serves as a repository for posts, articles, and newgroup responses pertaining to wireless telephony, roaming and integration issues, traditional landline service, and many other aspects of telephony, with some additional transportation and miscellaneous links. WirelessNotes initially started out as a means to list wireless carrier call drops and to compare the incidence of drops between carriers, but has grown to encompass a somewhat larger scope since the first post sometime in 1997 or so.

While we try to maintain the currency of all articles (as needed), the primary focus of WirelessNotes is to provide a system by system listing of carrier-specific or regional (multi-system) service problems, interesting features, progressive rateplans and items of interest, which will be continuously updated (as work will allow) as problems are identified/remedied, and as services are enhanced or built-out.

We realize this page looks old, is mainly text, doesn't have Javascript, HTML div's with transparent GIFs, or anything other than more or less plain text, but we're not here to look pretty or to drive traffic or log access or market to you. We don't care who you are, we don't look at your cookies or what other sites you've been to -- not only isn't it our business, it really is nobody's business what you do online, but, unfortunately, that's not the way the Internet (nor society in general) is headed these days! For additional details on our Privacy Policy, click here.

Please note the dates of the posts -- some may be old and information outdated and are thus stored here for archival purposes (and no longer updated due to relevancy or other reasons). Additionally, if you have an article or post which you feel would augment or be useful to this site, please contact us!.

  • Bell System Intercept Recording Emulator and 2-Stage Telemarketer Blocker!

The number you have reached...: We've re-created a Bell System AIS (Automated Intercept System) recording simulator which reads back the number you are calling from with the same sounds and in the same formatting which you would have heard if you had called a non-working or re-directed number in the mid-1980's. The Automated Intercept Service, introduced in the early 1970's, used analog audio recordings (eg, "The number you have reached...", "...has been changed...", "...the new number is...", "...is being checked for trouble", "...has been disconnected", "...has been temporarily disconnected", etc.) on a rotating magnetic drum which had strips with numbers and phrases recorded on them, which were played continuously and the approrpiate numbers were selected for the given number dialed -- a pretty sophisticated system for the early 1970s!.

A detailed Bell System Technical Journal article from 1968 covers the Automated Intercept System in detail, with pictures of the drum, operator's console, and other related equipment.

Although AIS-like systems are still used today, they are completely digital, and lack the 'charm' and texture of the initial Bell telephone companies' AIS systems. Over time, the tapes would get run down and the audio files distorted and of variable quality, and, although it was not our intention, as the recordings we used were gathered from different AIS systems and announcements - some old and some new, the simulator actually sounds more like the typical Bell intercept/disconnected recording in the mid-1980s than would one with pristine sound files and/or those recorded from the same source.

To give the system a try, call: (614) 448-1122, without call-blocking so the system can obtain your number. The Wireless Notes Bell Intercept Recording system will play back to you the number you are calling from, in the same manner that is used to announce many types of out of service, disconnected, past-due ("being checked for trouble") calls which were directed to it.

Besides the telco intercept recording, you will initially hear some Multi-Frequency signalling and a SIT (tri-tone), which is also similar to what would have been heard on a typical call. The Multi-Frequency (MF) tones are not Touch Tones, but rather an earlier system of signalling, introduced by the Bell System after WWII, used generally between switching equipment and operators (and Blue Boxing), and transmitted in-band (on the actual voice call), so they were regularly heard during set-up of a phone call or re-direct to the AIS service to provide the AIS system with information as to the number being called.

Feel free to forward telemarketers and other unwanted callers to the number -- no doubt they will be surprised and confounded to hear that their number has been disconnected!

How to use the Wireless Notes Bell System Intercept Emulator to block/discourage telemarketer and other unwanted calls:

(A chart and written details of how the Caller ID Readback/Blocker service functions is available here.)

If you have a GSM phone, such as with AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, Rogers (in Canada), etc., there is an option for "busy transfer" which is rarely used. Normally, when a call comes in, three options are presented, in varying formats: Accept the call (and start talking to the calling party), Ignore the call (and let it ring silently and then go to Voicemail or a specified No-Answer-Transfer number), or Reject the call, where it will go to a "busy number" if one has been specified, or the No-Answer-Transfer number (or voicemail) if not.

The little-used Busy Transfer setting is what will allow you to send calls to the Wireless Notes call intercept system: When a call comes in which you want to send to the intercept recording, hit or slide the "REJECT" button/slider/option on your phone, and the call will be immediately directed to the Wireless Notes Bell System Call Intercept emulator. The unwanted caller will hear their own number played back to them, only to be told that it's no longer in service, certain to confuse and dissuade them from calling your again, and the SIT tone (the three tones up front) may also have automated dialing equipment which many telemarketers use think your number is out of service and remove you from their lists.

Basically, the SIT tones at the beginning of the recording will handle the automated dialing equipment, and if the telemarketer is willing to sift through that and listen to see if anyone still answers, they will hear their own number played back to them and that the number is not in service!. That should discourage even the most brazen of telemarketers from calling again, as they will move on to easier prey!

To set up busy-forwarding on AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, Rogers, or other GSM proiders' phones, you can either go to your phone's "forwarding" settings and enter (614) 448-1122 as the busy transfer destination, or dial **67*16144481122# and hit SEND; you should receive confirmation that the forwarding settings have taken effect. (To disable, dial ##67#.)

Verizon, Sprint, Bell Canada, etc., eg, non-GSM carriers also may have a busy-transer feature, but it often is not a separate entry from the unavailable or no-answer-transer number, so this may not work as well; check with your carrier to see if/how Busy Transfer can be set up and controlled from the phone, and, critically, if it can be invoked separately from No-Answer-Transfer.

  • Test the Voice Delay/Latency of your Voip/Skype, Cellular, or Landline phone!

Telephone Delay/Latency Test: In conjunction with the Cellular, Telephone, VoIP, Cable and FiOS latency page, we have set up a number which you can call to test the latency, that is, the delay (if any) which your landline, cellular, cable/fibe r, or VoIP phone/carrier produces while using their network, and comparing it to other carriers and networks to see which has the least latency.

Call (802) 359-9100, and follow the recorded instructions.

Additional details are available on the Telephone/Cellular Analog/Digital Latency page.

  • Other Free Test Services

Other telephone, fax, and voice test services are also available at the INSI Free Test Services page.

(Note: WirelessNotes does not charge for the use of any of its test or demonstration services. We also do not market to the numbers which call, sell the information, collect data about you or your calling, etc. The INSI Privacy Policy policy applies to the AIS Simulator, Echo Test, as well as all other content on this page. It's a sorry state of affairs that we have to put something like this here to assure visitors that we have no interest in tracking their every move on the Internet, but that's the Internet these days with nearly every site everywhere (except us!) trying to find out every little thing they can about their visitors in hopes of monetizing the information...)

Many of these reports and posts are the results of testing while driving or traveling by train, however, a good deal of the information is gleaned from reports by other Interpage staff members and people who write in to make additions, report updates, submit corrections, etc. We strongly encourage such participation, and will attempt to verify (where possible) and codify all such reports and post them as quickly as possilble.

Other information is obtained from posts to Usenet groups and distributed mail digests, such as the Telecom Digest and its archives. A good source for SIDs for analog systems is located there at:

Note, however, that this is not an official site of any of the carriers noted, but just a series of (hopefully accurate!) observations and comments by myself and others who are interested in improved wireless services and performance from the carriers.

The SID List is mainly a list of systems from around the year 2000 during the introduction of digital service and before most systems were integrated into one large cellular system. At that point, they had been been tested and tried to see differences between systems and service areas, interoperability, etc, with observations listed in the following order:

  • System Name, owner and SID number
  • System Roam Port(s)
  • System outdial ANI (number calls come from)
  • Features that travel while roaming
  • How special calls, like 0+ and 500#'s are handled
  • General Notes
  • Coverage Problems and Issues
  • Other problems and issues
  • CDPD Coverage and Operability (if applicable)

Other specific notes following the SID list (that is, located under the SID list entry on this page) are detailed posts or messages regarding a given system or systems.

For an excellent source of landline/Bell System routing, switching, and general information, including extensive recordings and narration detailing 1970's and 1980's New York Tel, Bell South, Bell Long Lines, and other audio files, please visit Evan Doorbell's page, hosted on the Telephone World site.

Info & Lists:
US Cellular Carrier Comparison
(General overview and comparison of US Cellular Carriers)

Cellular Carrier Comparison/US: A discussion and comparison of the four major United States cellular carriers - Verizon, AT&T Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile, as well as their Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MNVOs)/resellers, with concentrations on call drops/disconnects, coverage areas, data services, roaming, and customer service and billing.

Lists of US Cellular Carrier Drops
(Voice and Data Drops and Inter-system Handoff Issues)

ATT Wireless Dropped Call List: A List of areas, locations, roads, and train routes where AT&T Wireless' (including all of their ex-Cingular, Dobson, and Cellular One GSM markets) service drops, disconnects, or fades out on a regular basis. Started 06/01/2006, continuously updated.

Sprint Dropped Call List: A state-by-state list of areas, locations, roads, and some rail routes where Sprint drops/disconnects calls on its CDMA Network for both Cellular and Data calls. This list includes Sprint resellers and Sprint MVNOs, such as Boost and Virgin Mobile. This list does not cover Sprint/Nextel's iDEN service (see above), nor does it pertain to the Sprint WiMax/Clear(wire) Data network. Started 06/15/2009, continuously updated.

Nextel Repeated Drops: A List of areas, roads, and train routes where Sprint/Nextel's iDEN service (and Boost's/Nextel) drops calls on a regular basis, as compared to other carriers in the same area, which is a particularly frustrating aspect of Nextel's service. Started 03/28/2002, continuously updated (until Sprint/Nextel's iDEN service was discontinued in late June 2013) .

T-Mobile Dropped Calls: A list of areas, locations, roads, routes where T-Mobile drops, disconnects and/or experiences calling problems on a repeated basis. Started 6/2014, continuously updated.

Verizon Wireless Dropped Call List: A list of places, roads, and locations where Verizon Wireless drops calls or experiences disconnects or other service difficulties on their wireless voice service. The list includes an overview and summary of the service difficulties, histories, and current status of noted outstanding/unresolved issues with failures/problems of Verizon's cellular mobile (digital/CDMA) network. Started 06/01/1998 when Verizon initiated digital service, continuously updated.

Verizon Data (1XRTT/EvDO and 4G/LTE) Drop List and Service Difficulties details issues, both mobile and stationary, with the Verizon 1XRTT/EvDO and 4G/LTE data network, including issues, complaints filed, and resolutions, if any. List started 06/1997, and is continuously updated.

Annoying Verizon: An ongoing summary of annoying, aggravating, stupid, customer-shedding practices and policies of Verizon Landline and Wireless.

Specific Carrier Issues: Voice and Data
(from oldest to most recent)

System by System Notes: A list of systems, primarily concentrating on roaming integration, but also including notes, features, etc. Last update: 05/22/2000

Verizon 1XRTT and EvDO Early Implementation and General Issues offers a more detailed history of 1XRTT and EvDO/EvDO Rev.A implementation problems with Verizon's Express Network data services and a chronology of how these issues were addressed and if they were eventually remedied. The 1X/EvDO History/General issues list also contains more detailed articles and posts on Verizon 1X and EvDO issues, some of which are listed below:

  • An update from 06/12/2003 was also posted on how on occassion Verizon's Express Network now also seems to be hanging connections and not dropping them outright.
  • Even worse drops -- ones requiring a complete system reboot -- were noted and discussed in the June 16,2003 Update.
  • Even more problems -- As of Mid August Verizon 1XRTT service drops (hangs) SSH (port 22) and Telnet (port 23) connections which are idle for more than 5 minutes! :( -- and now, in an update dated Oct 14, 2003, Verizon seems to be preventing files which take more than 5 minutes from being sent via FTP!
  • A further update and comments from 10/20/2003 is also available -- some drops have been resolved but overall problems persist and there appears to be no systemic/internal means to detect/resolve these.
  • Progress! 11/06/2003 - Many of the drops as well as Telnet, SSH, and FTP issues seem to have been resolved; more testing is required. See a brief, conditional update which indicates that Verizon is working towards and has had some success in finally resolving some of these issues.
  • Verizon Analog Service Failures in their "A" and "B" block markets, mainly along the East Coast, Verizon Wireless's ex-Bell Atlantic Mobile and ex-NYNEX Mobile properties are at times neglecting their analog service customers by allow long stretches of road to suffer from "analog mute" coverage. In such areas, the cellular channel remains open and strong, but the voice on the uplink and/or downlink is muted and inaubdible. The channel(s) remain open, but no conversation can take place. There is no static since these occur generally in areas of good/strong coverage, and calls will go in and out of "mute" condition as one traverses these areas. The list documents these issues and our attempts to have Verizon correct them. Started 06/15/2005, continuously updated.

    Sprint/Nextel Typical Idiocy in their iDEN shutdown and CDMA migration: The Comedy of Errors and Typical Sprint/Nextel clumsiness, stupidity, and potential theft pertaining to their shutdown of the Nextel iDEN network and their pathetic attempts to convince Nextel customers (as if they weren't disgusted enough already!) to migrate over to Sprint's CDMA (ie, Verizon roaming :) ) service.

    ATT/Cingular TDMA Issues and ATTWS Unlimited For Life": A post from April, 2007, about how Cingular is effectively forcing TDMA customers to migrate to GSM by allowing the TDMA network to degrade to extent that it is increasingly unuseable. Additionally, ATT/Cingular is making no provisions to seamlessly migrate TDMA customers to GSM, but instead is treating them as if they are new customers and forcing them to enter into a new contract and pay fees that they would not have to pay under TDMA, making customers bear the cost of converting to GSM rather than Cingular. Also discussed are AT&T Wireless's Unlimited Off-Peak "For Life" promotions (links to brochures are enclosed) and how this migration appears to vitiate representations made therein.

    Nextel Beats Verizon/BAMS, AT&T, Sprint, and Cingular/SNET to cover CT-34 and I-84 Sections: After years of no coverage and/or drops along CT-34 near Derby, Connecticut, and I-84 southeast of Poughkeepsie, NY, Nextel provides a level of service in these two areas which much older, more established carriers who have been notified of these problems years ago apparently can not. Posted 03/25/2003, updated as conditions indicate.

    Nextel's Poor Customer Service: Reply to a post on alt.cellular.nextel about Nextel's Customer Service. Posted 03/31/2003.

    Verizon/Sprint/Nextel Data Comparison: Response to an alt.cellular.nextel query comparing Verizon, Sprint and Nextel's Data Services in terms of speed, reliability, and service areas. Posted 05/05/2003.

    AT&T's new GSM Service not allowing types of Call Forwarding and other problems with features on the AT&T Wireless GSM product. Posted 10/14/2002.

    AT&T Wireless to Discontinue CDPD Data Service: AT&T announced it will stop accepting new CDPD customers and discontinue their CDPD service by 2003/2004. Posted 10/16/2002.

    Comparison of Bell Atlantic Digital Service: Roaming and Feature integration comparison between CT/A 00119 BAMS Digital Choice phone and Philadelphia/B 00008 Digital accounts. Note: Most of these problems have been resolved as the Digital Choice program becomes more commonly used, but this is left here for reference.

    Gouging Roamer Practices Examples: Response to a post on the Telecom Digest regarding excessive roaming and long distance charges while roaming.

    Response to a post regarding poor coverage and poor seamless roaming in the US as compared to other countries, as well as a brief discussion of problems with call delivery for AT&T Digital One Rate/PCS subscribers, a post from 6/14/99. A related and more recent posting, regaring Verizon/BAMS/GTE Mobilnet/PrimeCo integration failures for voicemail and text notification, is also available by clicking here.

    Response to CDPD inquiry on Cellular Mailing list regarding general questions on wireless 'Internet' services and usage.

    Simple Comparison between BAMS, ATTWS and Sprint in the DC Metro and Northeast Markets. Opened: 01/29/2000 (no disposition required)

    Reply to Post about Sprint Coverage Problems in SF East Bay hills and alternatives with Cell One/SF and GTE. Opened: 01/31/2000 (no disposition required)

    Reply to Post about Sprint Coverage and Comparison with Verizon / Ex-GTE Mobilnet. Opened: 03/21/2002 (no disposition required)

    The Current Use and Utility of Roam Ports: A response to a post from May, 2002, inquiring if Roam ports are still used and what are they useful for. Opened: 05/17/2002 (no disposition required)

    Specific Issues in Detail: Current/Unresolved
    (from newest to oldest)

    Delays and Latency in Digital Cellular and Voice-over-IP (VoIP) Voice Calls which can make normal conversation awkward and less immediate. A comparison focusing on digital cellular voice service between GSM, which offers the least digital latency, and CDMA, which regularly has the worst (slowest) latency, and their respective implementation by US and Canadian carriers.

    Verizon's 1XRTT Data Express Network Service Dropping and Resetting Connections in the NY Metro Market: BAMS'S/Verizon's NY 00022 market's 1XRTT coverage is dropping active connections immediately north and south of I-287 in Westchester County, at the NJ side of the Outerbridge Crossing, and other areas. Additional posts on the Verizon 1XRTT/Express Network Mobile Data Service are located here. Opened 10/01/2002, no resolution as of yet.

    Bell Atlantic Mobile/Verizon Wireless overcharging Digital Choice customers in Hunterdon and other South Jersey areas as highly-priced roamer calls rather than correctly-billed home airtime; difficulty in their even acknowledging the issue. Opened 12/14/2001, No resolution as of yet.

    Bell Atlantic Mobile/Verizon Wireless overcharging Digital Choice customers in 5 Counties in Pennsylvania (ex-Alltel markets) surrounding the BAMS/Philly 00008 PA market. Opened 11/01/2000, No resolution as of yet.

    AT&T Wireless NY Billing Airtime and Long Distance for unanswered roaming and CF calls ATT Wireless's New York City 00025 seems to be billing customers who receive calls (but do not answer them) in Connecticut and have the calls answered by a number in NYC for airtime and long distance charges even though the phone was never used in Connecticut! Attempts to resolve the matter with customer service were met with utter incompetance. Also included are other AT&T Wireless NY market service problems. Opened 01/18/99, Last update: 2/16/99, Unresolved as of yet

    Cell One/Albany 00063 Billing Problems: Cell One Albany charging roamers for feature code use, call delivery control, and unanswered calls. Was made aware of the problem and has not as of yet corrected it. Opened 02/01/98, Unresolved as of yet

    Specific Issues in Detail: Old/Resolved
    (from newest to oldest)

    Verizon/BAMS CDPD and 1XRTT/Express Network experiencing very poor data connections and latency; specifically on 9/10/2002 as well as more general service problems with 1XRTT/Express Network at all times. Opened 09/10/2002, generally resolved by 09/19/2002.

    AT&T Wireless/Dobson Cellular CDPD Failure and Deceptive Coverage Information. An extensive update to the posts below regarding 'new' CDPD coverage in the Poughkeepsie and Kingston NY markets and how AT&T publicizes the service even though they are/should be well aware that their customers can not use their wiereless data services there. See also the following earlier posts on the matter which this post clarifies and updates as of 03/09/2001: AT&T Wireless starts CDPD Data (Pocketnet) service in the Poughkeepsie, NY martket (ex-American Cellular 00503), but does not allow its customers to use it, causing problems with interference with northern areas of the NY Metro Market. As problems persisted as of 10/14/2000, a further/additional post detailing even more areas where problems were ocurring and AT&TWS's lack of any response was added. Opened: 09/28/2000, RESOLVED, 04/08/2001, CDPD IS WORKING!!.

    Bell Atlantic Mobile/Verizon NY's Metro 00022 market is not honoring No Answer Transfer instructions when a phone is turned off or not able to be reached by the network, causing calls which should be answered by a receptionist, dispatch service, or alternate party instead being forced to voicemail. Opened 11/09/2000, resolved 11/19/2000.

    Nextel's Wireless Web Service Inoperative Nationwide for over three days: Nextel Wireless Web Customers can not access the Internet or send e-mail as the Nextel Wireless Web service is currently inoperative and Nextel customer service has no information as to when it will be working again. Opened 11/07/2000, Resolved 11/13/2000.

    Bell Atlantic/DC-Baltimore Overcharing New Analog Account in terms of off-peak unlimited airtime and local call toll charges. Opened: 02/03/2000, Resolved 03/25/2000

    AT&T Wireless Data/CDPD Pocketnet is incompetent at fixing a downed tower and takes over a week to try to resolve it and still fails. Overall, a very poor effort which does not reflect well on the AT&T Wireless Services Data Division. Opened: 02/26/2000, Resolved: 3/8/2000

    Continued Overcharges for New Hampshire (00428) Bell Atlantic Mobile customers for local calls (which should be free) in both the New Hampshire systems and in a number of Extended Home markets in New England. Overcharges continue to 3/2000 and onwards. Opened: 01/29/2000, Resolved: 03/21/2000.

    Bell Atlantic Mobile/Manchester, New Hampshire customers are incorrectly being billed for toll calls in free markets; also 3-way calling not operating properly for them. Opened: 12/22/99, Resolved: 03/21/2000

    Bell Atlantic/NY Metro abruptly gets rid of off-peak unlimited airtime for analog customers: Discussion of off peak analog plan and inferiority of Qualcomm's CDMA digital service used by Bell Atlantic as a replacement for stronger 3-watt analog phones; alternatives to BAMS discussed. Opened: 10/1/99 (no disposition required)

    BAMS SMS Messaging Problems and Fix As a result of an upgrade to their alpha messaging system, BAMS customers with Qualcomm or Sony 800 CDMA phones may have problems getting their messages. This post discusses the problem and solution which does not require the purchase of a newer phone. Last update: 1/28/99

    ATT Wireless in New York City has undercapacity problems in Hoboken? Tests during late January 1999 indicate extensive periods of no call completion in the Hoboken, NJ area of the ATWS/NY 00025 system. Last update: 1/27/99

    Bell Atlantic 00119 Connecticut and Western Mass stopped displaying caller ID outside of 00119 system as of April 3, 1998; also alpha messaging still not working in large parts of NYC. Status: Resolved, 2/99

    Bell Atlantic Philadelphia charging for Unlimited airtime: BAMS Digital Choice (and other?) customers in the Philadelphia market are being charged airtime for free/unlimited weekend and/or off-peak calls; BAMS is crediting manually. Status: Resolved, 6/99

    Misc. Issues and Articles
    (from most recent to oldest)

    Stop the unauthorized use of your voice print biometric fingerprint! Many banks, credit card issuers, other corporations, and some government agencies are, without much (or any) disclosure, gathering large databases of caller voiceprints, which are a biometric means, much like a fingerprint, to uniquely authenticate and identifiy you - and only you. While there may be some use of biometric voice prints in terms of transactional ease-of-use for callers to a given bank or corporation, the fact that once given, it can never be taken back is problematic, as you no longer have control of your unique biometric information, and banks/corporations/etc can sell, trade, or market your information to others, profiting off of you long after you have ended any business relationship with them, yet they are not required to pay anything to you for use of your biometric information. Even worse, if your information is compromised by a data breach, then your voice print is available to everyone forever, since unlike a PIN or account number which can be changed, your voice print can not, and once lost and in the public domain, there's no getting your information back. A sample letter to banks, credit card issuers and other entities is included which may be used to refuse and deny such entities with your voiceprint information, and makes them take notice of you since it sets up an agreement by which if they fail to do so, they will be obligating themselves to pay you, which seems to be the only way to get the attention of many corporate entities these days.

    Fix and Rebuild the Dunton Green Interchange: The Dunton Green interchange between the M25 and M26 Motorways in Sevenoaks, Kent, UK, is a vestige of ill-considered motorway cancellations, and the subsequent, poorly-built, sub-standard remedies to accommodate southeast UK motorway network definciencies. The Dunton Green M25/M26 junction/interchange needs a full rebuild to relieve traffic weaving and congestion, especially for non-motorway movements which currently require the use local roads, by exiting the motorway and entering Dunton Green, Sevenoaks, and Chevening on roads not designed for heavy traffic.

    Optimum Business Internet Releasing Private User Information (and how to have them stop it): Optimum Online has apparently been giving out private customer information and publishing customer data online for Business customers and/or customers with a static IP or IP range. If you have a business account, a range of IPs, and/or a static IP from Optimum, it is likely that over the past few years Optimum has been releasing and allowing for the publication of your name and address online, so that anyone who looks up your IP can find out your name and where you live and/or work. This means that if you visit a web site, that given site knows exactly who you are, and your precise street address. This is also true for most e-mail applications, social media activities, or most other activities conducted using an Optimum Online account with static IPs and/or a business account. After a protracted effort, and after a complaint posted on Trustpilot, Optimum finally responded and explained how to keep customers' information private.

    A 2019 update to a 2003 post about the inefficiency and distortive effect which results from road tolling: The unfortunate and increasing use of electronic tolling is discussed in terms of efficiency, privacy, enforcement and the resultant addition to the cumulative distrust that the imposition of new and unwanted tolls inculcates towards state and local government. The original 2003 post and response, which surprisingly seems even more relevant in 2019, as well as links in opposition to Connecticut's attempts to toll currently free roads are included as well.

    Keep our Interstates Free! - Stop the Tolling of Free Roads in Connecticut!: Send a free fax to Connecticut Legislators to stop any tolling of Connecticut's free roads - available to both CT residents and out-of-state motorists.

    Useless Traffic Light and Signal List: A list of traffic lights and signals which needlessly and unnecessarily stop/slow traffic, either intentionally or as a result of poor planning. The list details traffic signals which are apparently malfunctioning or are purposely designed to slow/stop traffic when there is no crossing traffic, or which needlessly favor a smaller local road over that of a main road, especially late at night or during off-peak hours. Often times these lights are intentionally set up to needlessly stop traffic, even where unwarranted by the dictates of prudent traffic planning and engineering, merely at the whim of some Holier-than-Thou town or locality (which of course benefits from ticket revenue and/or red-light camera revenue) which at the same time proudly boasts how "environmentally friendly" they are, while they are causing cars to spew out pollution stopping and starting at every light which motorists come to.

    Your Tolls At Work!: Photos and discussion of how the use of tolls is an inefficient, traffic-producing, and privacy-intrusive way to pay for roads, as compared to the much more equitable gas tax, and how states and localities are so addicted to toll revenue that it allows them to raid gas tax revenue for other projects (to keep elected officials in office claiming they have not riased taxes) while using the tolls to pay for roads (and in many cases for unrelated transit projects of questionable or no benefit to motorists) which the gas tax should be paying for.

    EZ-Pass Discount Confusion/Deception: How EZ-Pass and it's affiliated toll collection agencies seemingly deceive motorists into thinking they are receiving a toll discount by using EZ-Pass, when in fact, in most caeses, a given state or jurisdiction's EZ-Pass only provides for discounts on a limited number of local toll facilities, with full toll rates being charged for the remainder and for out-of-state EZ-Pass holders. This produces more revenue for EZ-Pass and the various states/toll jurisdictions as a result of (understandable) confusion by motorists and lack of awareness of EZ-Pass' convoluted policies and rates, as well as forcing more astute motorists to purchase multiple EZ-Pass devices, and in some cases pay additional monthly fees, just to receive the discount on all facilities a given motorist travels to.

    WMATA/Washington DC Metro's Horrid New 7000 Series Cars are designed more for cattle than people. After years of offering a more attractive transit experience than most rail systems, with padded seats, interior car dividers, and carpetted floors to reduce tunnel noise, the new 7000 series cars offer less comfort than an old 1960's era bus, with plastic seats, no windscreens/car dividers, and no floor carpets. This article details the retrenchment from a passenger comfort oriented experience and raison d'etre which DC's Metrorail started with in 1976, showing how passenger comforts were slowly degraded over the past 35+ years to the current culmination in the 7000 series cars. A link to a LobbyByFax alert to voice opposition to the 7000 series car interiors is also provided so readers may voice their opinions on this matter to WMATA/DC Metro, the DC City Council, and the Maryland and Virginia jurisdictions served by Metro. Posted 02/28/2013, last update: 05/05/2017

    Washington DC Metro/WMATA service and maintenance issues: A listing and photographic record of various observed issues and maintenance deficiencies with certain Metrorail stations in the DC Metro system. Posted/updated 02/28/2013.

    WBBM-TV2/Chicago 'Nobody Does It Better' (1977) news promo: Likely the best news promo ever produced; it, along with later variants (this one from 1980) promote local news qua news (as Cookie Monster would say!), without the fluff, silliness, popular music introductions to the morning news, gossip, a lineup of the given local station's primetime shows ("World Peace declared...but first, here's a lineup of today's -great- shows on CBS Primetime!"), mindless news "stories" about "what's trending", and in general, no rolling out of Sybil the Soothsayer and similar nonsense, and just, just the news, sports and weather. What a novel idea! These promos were made in an age when people watched news to get the news, and the promos give the image of and reflect the work ethic and esprit de corps of a news station which took those obligations seriously. We challenge readers to find a better set of news promos done since these which make viewers feel that they would be well-served watching the given local newscast. (In fact, the music packages used by many CBS O&O stations, as well and many others, can trace their way back to these WBBM promos, such as this audio-only version which sounds like what WCBS-TV used for many years.)

    And speaking of well done TV spots, consider these ads:

    Unlike today, where advertisers will do nearly anything to lure in viewers to pay attention (such as an Emu!! to peddle insurance) where the content of the ad is so far removed from what is being sold that most viewers likely remember the ad but not the product, the above ads not only were memorable, but they were done so well that it was nearly impossible to not associate the ad with the product, and were cleverly done so viewers would easily remember the words (and what they saw) and could immediately associate the ads with the product to build a strong brand awareness. The viewer was not shocked or appalled or deceptively lured into turning up the volume for these ads, but actively wanted to see them and didn't tune them out.

    Also note that lack of CGI animation, or camera tricks, or anything other than creative, well thought out, and pleasantly entertaining ads which inculcated a lasting and positive brand image as a result -- entirely preferable to the vapid and pandering ads which reek of the desperation of doing nearly anything to have the viewer pay attention in 2020!

    Even screaming Crazy Eddie! ads seem more genuine and honest than most of what is on TV these days...

    Tell Congress to vote NO on the Internet Sales Tax (S.743)/Marketplace Fairness Act! The US Senate delayed a vote on Friday, 4/27/2013, on the so-called Marketplace Fairness Act (S.743), commonly referred to as the Internet Sales Tax, an ill-conceived plan supported by some of the largest online retailers and the 50 State and DC tax agencies to ensure that consumers pay sales tax for all online purchases directly to online retailers. It also forces businesses to accept oversight from all 50 states (not just their own as they do now), and to report all online sales to each state and/or to large corporate "tax clearinghouses", which could potentially store and share the information on conusmer purchasers without the consent or even knowledge of the purchaser. Small busisness and small business owners would be forced to comply with paperwork requests from all 50 states, DC and US territories and could be subject to audits from states which the business owner has no connection (nexus) with but which, under the Marketplace Fairness Act, can compel any given business in any given state to file tax returns and divulge information without any effective recourse or oversight. Tell Congress to Vote NO on the Internet Sales Tax by sending a free fax to Congress now! (The full text of the Alert may be found here.)

    Post and URL links to LobbyByFax.Com to send Connecticut/CT. Governor Jodi Rell an immediate fax urging her to veto the proposed Cellular Phone ban prohibiting driving without a cumbersome headset. Posted 06/08/2005.

    Post and letter to NJ Gov. McGreevey in opposition to a handheld cellphone ban in that state. Please redistribute freely. You may also wish to mail/fax it to him; his office's fax # is: (609) 292-3454. A further response to subsequent posts is located here.

    New York State's Moronic Cell Phone Ban: A response to a post on rec.autos.driving and alt.cellular.verizon concerning cellphone use, driving, and NY's cellphone ban. Posted 09/29/2002.

    Pothole List: A list of potholes and other dangerous/negligent road conditions in the Northeast.

    Nextel's very poor coverage/dropped calls and at times horrid voice quality in their Northeast region markets. A response to a post on alt.cellular and other similar groups from 3/26/2002, regarding some very obvious instances of Nextel's inability to maintain a connection while driving on major Connecticut (CT) and New York City highways. Also a brief discussion of poor voice quality for long distance calls placed FROM a Nextel phone. Continuously updated.

    Stop Tolls on East River Bridges in New York City: A post and letter to the Governor and Legislature in Albany as well as the NY City Council urging lawmakers to resist pressure from the MTA to increase its road tolling monopoly and use its usual "financial crisis du jour" as a means to compel tolling of the currently free East River and Harlem River bridge facilities. (This letter can also be faxed to the above by clicking here; please make sure you select New York from the state selection menu.) Posted 03/23/2009.

    Stop Maryland's Use of Photo Radar: A post and letter to lawmakers in Annapolis to stop Maryland's use of photo radar statewide, as well as red light cameras specifically in Prince George's and Montgomery Counties. Automated speed, red light, and traffic "enforcement" are nothing more than revenue generation masquerading as safety measures and should be outlawed on a nationwide basis! By creating a civil penalty system with little if any due process by farming out ticketing to for-profit companies who have no interest in fairness or the veracity of their ticketing, Maryland has created a profit-center which, once started, will be hard for localities to stop using. To stop Maryland's use of photo radar, speed cameras, red light cameras, and other photo enforcement now, click here to immediately fax an letter to the Governor, County Executives and lawmakers in Annapolis telling them to end these deceptive and legally questionable practices! Posted 03/23/2009.

    Amtrak's Rewards Program and Overall Poor/Lacking Customer Service: Post from June 1st, 2003, detailing horrid Amtrak customer service and response to an issue/problem which they created. Also, an argument to get rid of/remove Amtrak and replace it with a more responsive and professional entity. Posted: 06/01/2003

    Discussion of problems with Amtrak's No Cell Phone/Quiet Car implementation, how their well-intentioned policy doesn't work, Amtrak's (unfortunate) overall administrative incompetence, etc. Posted 07/16/2002.

    Help Save Amtrak for FY2006 and beyond! Send an immediate, free fax to your Senators and Representative in Congress! (Provided via LobbyByFax.com(sm). Posted 06/12/2005

    New York City Congestion Pricing is just a pretext to toll the free bridges: A post to newsgroups regarding Mayor Bloomberg's June, 2007 plan to introduce "Congestion Pricing" forthose who drive into or through Mahattan and how it is a thinly veiled attempt at tolling the free bridges which currently connect Manhattan to the rest of the City of New York. A LobbyByFax.com free fax petition to the Mayor, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Governor, and NY State Senate and Assembly members is available here (select "New York" from the state selection drop-down list), and a similar fax alert is available to the US Congress to stop funding for such schemes and instead implement non-punative transportation alternatives here.

    Post to misc.transport.road in response to a post discussing tolling (currently) free Interstate highways. Posted 01/29/2003, updated 4/10/2019.

    Millburn, NJ Misposted Routes: Millburn, NJ has some of the worst road signage in New Jersey! A post reagrding completely inaccurate and missing signage for two signnificant routes through town - CTY-527 and CTY-577. Posted 04/05/2003.

    Feature Codes: Current 2003 list of commonly used feature codes (* codes) on Verizon. Posted 01/30/2003.

    AT&T Wireless introduces UNLIMITED Off-Peak with Unlimited Long Distance, post from 11/12/2001 about AT&T's new unlimited offering covering large regional calling areas and what, if anything, their competitors are doing to match this new offering. The plan is now unavailable as on Feb 2002, but you can strill pay extra to get unlimited AIRTIME but not unlimited Long Distance. Nextel still offers this if you can put up with all of their dropped calls, as does VoiceStream but on weekends only. Last update:3/25/2002

    Verizon Combined BA/GTE CDPD, post from 10/16/2000 about Verizon indicating on their Web site and CDPD coverage maps that the Bell Atlantic and GTE CDPD systems have been merged and that the Unlimited Plan(s) apply in all Verizon markets. Posted 10/15/2000.

    AT&T EasyReach 500/700 access via 0+ not working from New York City, post from 6/11/99. The problem was corrected on Sunday, 6/13/99.

    AT&T EasyReach 500 service problems: Why the service, although well-intentioned, is so crippled that is it generally too difficult and expensive for most customers/callers to use. 6/10/98.

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