Yes, I know, there isn’t much of meaning left behind certain words such as open, free, unlimited or flat. People including myself do and have to get used to it and look below the surface, i.e. the pages of fine print attached to a contract. The latest twist that I’ve recently come across thanks to a report on Teltarif is that a telephony flat to the national fixed network of one of the bigger resellers in Germany is actually not a flat at all, as over 4500 fixed net destinations with normal national destination codes (‘Vorwahlen’ in German) are excluded and billed per minute!
Those 4500 fixed net numbers belong to voice services, e.g. for conference call dial-ins and have a normal national destination code like for the cities of Frankfurt or Cologne. Yes, a normal NDC not a special NDC! In their fine print, the reseller gives a link to their 100 page long PDF of numbers that are excluded from their so called ‘flat’. I had a look and sure enough, the Webex conference call dial-in numbers I regularly use are on the list. I’m flabbergasted, now even a fixed network flat in mobile is no longer a flat, at least when you want to go on the cheap and sign a contract with a reseller!
Fortunately, most people use Webex services over the Internet today and dial in via ‘the web’. So be happy while net neutrality lasts, because otherwise who knows, maybe those bits transferred over the Internet to and from servers of such services are billed separately… Absurd? Yes, but seemingly acceptable in telephony networks. Food for thought.