Tales of a Teleworker

I work out of a home office in a virtual office environment. This involves dialing into conference call #s on a daily basis to attend meetings. I don't enjoy all the meetings but it is the price that I pay for working from a home office.

This week my telephone service provider (& ISP) called to informed me that the numbers I was calling on a regular basis are considered business use and I am limited to 200 minutes a month with these numbers. I was baffled as my current phone plan includes unlimited long distance calling within North America and all the numbers that I dial are toll numbers. I even go the extra mile and not dial toll free numbers to save on costs.

After the warning about using these numbers, I was then given three options to remedy the situation.
1. Continue to use these numbers and if I exceed the 200 minutes, my phone service would be suspended for 24 hours.
2. Upgrade to a business phone package. (But I am not a business and can't justify the additional expense.)
3. Buy and use a calling card to dial into these numbers.

I am working on option #4. Change phone providers!

With the current state of the economy, more and more companies are forced to get creative with cutting costs and trimming expenses. Closing down offices and moving employees into home based offices appears to be a common practice and an easy way to quickly shed expenses. Now I am being penalized by my ISP which forces me to incur more expenses. It is a vicious circle.

If anyone has any creative thoughts or solutions, I would be happy to hear from you. I'm looking for advice on other phone companies that don't have this policy.
I would also welcome hearing from other Shaw customers who have been given the same "warning" and what you did to solve or work around your problem.
Also, has anyone else heard of this policy? I couldn't find it anywhere but then again, I'm no lawyer.

Until then, I will have a timer running during my next call. At least I will have a great excuse to drop off the call early.

2 comments Links to this post

Greg Gazin said...

I use Skype Out US$3/month. Works like a charm for me. I also use it to record my interviews for my Toastmasters Podcast. ToastCaster.com

Z said...

how about skype / other voip providers?

There is plenty of choice, and quality is great most of the time!