Cingular, Qwest: No More Free Calls For You

a free conference calling service based in Iowa which essentially follows the same free-calling-because-of-loopholes model used by so many other companies. The service was quite popular and undercut the big guy’s business so… yank.

Listen: the carriers are scared. If there was a loophole that could make them money, they’d be on it like off-white on an Ikea pine chair, to coin a phrase. The terms of service they’re citing also makes for a specious argument:

We may block access to certain categories of numbers (e.g. 976, 900 and certain international destinations) or certain web sites if, in our sole discretion, we are experiencing excessive billing, collection, fraud problems or other misuse of our network.

AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel said the company is blocking “certain numbers” for conferecing services, including’s, an action it feels appropriate under its wireless terms of service agreements. AT&T’s wireless service, he said, is for calls “between one person and another person, not between one person and many.”

The whole arbitrage scheme is pretty creepy, but until the laws and FCC regulations are changed, these services have a right to exist. Is this not capitalism? Are we not free?

Cingular, Qwest blocking ‘Free’ Calls [GigaOm]