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switchback

join:2012-10-29
Harriman, TN

1 recommendation

CAllcentric charges extra minutes on every call made

As I posted earlier, each time I make a call and then hang up Callcentric does not disconnect the line but continues to rack the minutes.

I have tried resetting and repowering my Linksys but the line is still held, (When I had my preferences set for making one call at a time I would get a recording about how I could not make but one call at a time after hanging up and getting a dial tone and dialing the new number.)

(For instance the last call I made today I was on for 8 minutes but Callcentric deducted 13 minutes worth from my funds) This has been happening for some time, I have several tickets on this issue, but they just want to blame it on my setup, Well my setup is exactly as they recommended and always has been. I have asked numerous times for my monies to be refunded but they never respond.

I would advise each one who has a Callcentric account to monitor you talk time against your charged times.

OmagicQ
Posting in a thread near you

join:2003-10-23
Bakersfield, CA
kudos:1
This happened to me a few times. Their network never received a "bye" from my ata and finally terminated the call after 5 minutes of no audio. I remember posting about it... I'll see if I can hunt down the post and put a link here.

edit: »Bizarre CallCentric SIP issue....

--
...Who, What, When, Where, How... Why? Why Not?

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to switchback

Re: Callcentric charges extra minutes on every call made

This has happened to me on rare occasion.

Curious, what type of Linksys ATA do you have, and what firmware version is running on it?

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
The ATA is not the problem. The problem is the server didn't receive the BYE packet. I don't know about other times, but right now it's most likely due to the DDOS.


CCMakesMeCry

@verizon.net
reply to switchback

Re: CAllcentric charges extra minutes on every call made

That sounds similar to a problem I had last winter. A few times, I would hang up the phone and pick it up later to make a call and find that I couldn't because the previous call hadn't really disconnected. To get it to disconnect, I had to unplug the ethernet cable from my phone and wait until the CC website showed my phone as unregistered before plugging back in. The CC techs suggested setting the "NAT / Keepalive interval (seconds)" parameter on my Snom phone to 30, and I haven't seen the problem since. Note that I had not had that problem previously, so maybe they changed something on their end that caused their systems to become sensitive to that parameter. Anyway, if you have a similar parameter on your Linksys you might try adjusting it.

switchback

join:2012-10-29
Harriman, TN
reply to PX Eliezer70

Re: Callcentric charges extra minutes on every call made

Product Name: PAP2T
Software Version: 5.1.6(LS)


VexorgTR

join:2012-08-27
Sheffield Lake, OH
kudos:1
reply to switchback

Re: CAllcentric charges extra minutes on every call made

There were some other ATA's that did this until you updated the firmware.... hmm.

PX Eliezer70
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
reply to switchback

Re: Callcentric charges extra minutes on every call made


Stewart

join:2005-07-13
kudos:25
reply to switchback

Re: CAllcentric charges extra minutes on every call made

said by switchback:

each time I make a call and then hang up Callcentric does not disconnect the line but continues to rack the minutes.

This seems very strange. Even if your system does not send BYE correctly, or if CC's server for some reason doesn't interpret it properly, billing should stop when the called party hangs up. If you called a live person, this will usually be within a few seconds of when you disconnect. When leaving voicemail, the remote system will generally disconnect after no more than 20 seconds of unanswered prompts.

There are of course some exceptions, e.g. you called a customer service line and hung up after hearing that your expected wait time was 20 minutes, or you called a friend who was driving and he didn't take the (usually unnecessary) distraction of ending the call.

Does this problem really happen on all your calls?

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL

1 recommendation

reply to switchback
I also opened a ticked about mysterious charges for a call hanged up before it picked up, but received 6 minutes charge and there might be another call like that.


brg

join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to switchback
This happened to me as well this past Monday.

I used the "click2call" feature from the dashboard of one CC account to ring my phone at a second CC account and to place a call to a 3rd party. (Why that rig-a-marole? To send the CID of the first CC account while assuring that the ring-back would be free).

Anyway, the "call me" part of the path was fine. The call was then placed to the 3rd party, but I got nothing but dead air. I repeated the process and everything worked fine.

Later, I noticed that I was charged for a 5 minute call for the uncompleted call. It was a call to an 800 number, so the cost to me was under 5 cents, and I chalked it all up to DDOS/Sandy issues. It's never happened before. My 5-cent contribution to CC's woes...

Iscream
Premium
join:2009-02-17
New York, NY
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
Callcentric always refunds/credits back any charges for incorrectly completed CDRs - just a ticket is sufficient (there is a specific "subject" for it - one may choose"billing", for example). While handling the ticket - support always explains _why_ this specific situation occurred.

About technical reasons:

In order to get a properly completed CDR (call detail record) a call must receive a disconnection supervision message (depending on media it's done be different protocols) - that means in SIP - a "BYE" message should be received from either customer's side or from "network" side. When one BYE arrives - billing stops.

There are many cases when a BYE from user device may not come on time or may get lost entirely (other posters may explain - why). There are RARE cases when a BYE from network side may get lost too (experts here may explain that too).

In order to avoid a situation when a call would be billed infinitely long - there a few special timers in place:

- one way audio timer - set 300 seconds;

- no way audio - set 300 seconds;

- absence of "keep-alive" messages (a few different protocols exists and implemented by Callcentric) - depends on a protocol chosen by user's side, varies from 120 to 300 seconds;

- of course, there is such a thing called "false answer supervision" or simply - FAS when a call was kept ringing on originating side (or sometimes - even providing some meaningful or meaningless music or voice messages), but never connected at a terminating end while it still was "answered" by a transit carrier - then it will be billed as usual (this is a reason of why Callcentric always investigates all "call billing" claims and promptly credits charges with associated measures and explanations. Unfortunately this part of telecom's life spans to time long before VoIP was introduced - it's just an inherent part of telecommunications;

- max. call duration - as set by a customer - if nothing else helped, the call will still be disconnected and stopped being billed after that timer expires (default is 2 hours in CC's control panel).

Thanks.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8

1 recommendation

Have you guys considered lowering the RTP timeout from 5 minutes to 1-2 minutes? if there's no RTP for that long there's no way the call is still going on, so no reason to wait 5 minutes.

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·localphone.com
reply to Iscream
When I requested a reimbursement it was denied- interestingly, that non existent call lasted 6 minutes( above mentioned 300 seconds). I solely tested the line with all the problems these days, making a call to my own cell phone and hanging up after one ring.

OmagicQ
Posting in a thread near you

join:2003-10-23
Bakersfield, CA
kudos:1

2 recommendations

reply to nitzan
said by nitzan:

Have you guys considered lowering the RTP timeout from 5 minutes to 1-2 minutes? if there's no RTP for that long there's no way the call is still going on, so no reason to wait 5 minutes.

That would be a good idea. However I have noticed that when a call is on hold, the audio stops so maybe the 5 minute timer is to prevent accidental disconnects of calls on hold.
--
...Who, What, When, Where, How... Why? Why Not?

IPfaxer

join:2010-10-24
reply to switchback
what? you don't want to be charged extra? just kidding

switchback

join:2012-10-29
Harriman, TN
reply to Iscream
said by Iscream:

Callcentric always refunds/credits back any charges for incorrectly completed CDRs - just a ticket is sufficient (there is a specific "subject" for it - one may choose"billing", for example).

I have asked several times for my account to be adjusted since I discovered what was happening but my request have more or less been ignored. (After repeated request this last time I got a message stating they were sending the complaint up the management line.)

The correct answer is "NO" CC does not adjust accounts appropriately.

DBOD

join:2012-10-17
reply to nitzan
Could silence suppression in the audio trigger a no RTP timeout?? If someone just puts the receiver on the desk and walks away to do a task in a quiet office? Or is there some minimum RTP packets that will be generated anyway??

u475700
Premium
join:2004-02-16
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·Comcast
reply to switchback
I reported this problem to Callcentric late last year after discovering that I was billed for calls made after I hung up a previous call. I finally changed the Dashboard preference for "Multiple outbound calls at the same time" to Disable to circumvent it. Occasionally now when I attempt to make another call, I received an error message that one call is still active.


brg

join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL
kudos:1
said by u475700:

I reported this problem to Callcentric late last year after discovering that I was billed for calls made after I hung up a previous call. I finally changed the Dashboard preference for "Multiple outbound calls at the same time" to Disable to circumvent it. Occasionally now when I attempt to make another call, I received an error message that one call is still active.

Would that setting prevent you from making a 3-way/conference call? I'd think so...


VexorgTR

join:2012-08-27
Sheffield Lake, OH
kudos:1
reply to switchback
Does whistling a 2600hz tone make it cut off? (Phreakers Joke)

Iscream
Premium
join:2009-02-17
New York, NY
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to cell14
This [call billing] issue is not Callcentric related, it's rather inherent to SIP protocol and devices used by customers.

These same issues normally happen on PSTN lines and wireless accounts the same way as with SIP, but they keep happening there already during last 130 years.

In all my respect to this forum - it's not a right place to discuss or suggest values for different timers because there are certain procedures and protocols established in industry as such.

I may say only that there are devices "behaving" and those which are not; there are also devices which may or may not "behave" depending on circumstances. There are also occasional and intentional cases of wrong signaling.

Also, I may only voice a policy officially used by the company to investigate and refund accordingly, each declared (via trouble-ticket) case of improper billing.

I'm not going to argue this matter here. I may only assure publicly that each case is always being investigated in all details and according to CDRs available as well as based on history of account and possibly related accounts and all details are always disclosed to a customer and refunds are issued appropriately.

Delays dealing with tickets - yes, there were large and painful delays during last 5 weeks because our personnel was overloaded much the same way as were our SBCs by garbage SIP traffic and by not always [talking now about our support] relevant or real issues.

The ticket queue will be processed as quickly as possible and all tickets will be answered.

I don't know and cannot talk about some specific accounts or cases. Thank you.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to OmagicQ
said by OmagicQ:

That would be a good idea. However I have noticed that when a call is on hold, the audio stops so maybe the 5 minute timer is to prevent accidental disconnects of calls on hold.

I don't know about CC's software, but at least on our setup the timeout for "regular" no-RTP and on-hold no RTP are different values. I would assume it's the same on CC but up to them to confirm.

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·localphone.com

1 recommendation

reply to Iscream
Upon second attempt they refunded the charge however without any indication why it happened, which is unfortunate, the few pennies for a 6 minute domestic call were never the issue. The fact that their system registered a call as connected for 6 minutes which was never connectd in the first place and the cell phone records do not show any record of a call connected is a mystery to me and IMHO has nothing to do with my ATA ( obi 2020). I know they are busy right now so i do not know whether to bug them on this issue but an answer would be important.

Iscream
Premium
join:2009-02-17
New York, NY
kudos:6

1 edit
If you're interested to know how it looks on our side - please PM to me your account number - I'll find out what happened there. Thank you.

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
I sent you the account number i hope you received it.

switchback

join:2012-10-29
Harriman, TN
Received Ticket info from CC today. This is the first time CC has given me a credit as I have had other tickets on this same problem.

I do admit that I did not write a ticket everytime the clock kept running after I hung up.

How could an offending carrier cause a problem?

I don't make a lot of calls but the last one I made the clock stopped when I hung up.

I give you thanks CC for handling the problem. I will be watching,

"Nov 13, 2012 10:39 AM : Customer service
Hello,

We have refunded for the 13 minute call from November 6th. We have removed an offending carrier which was causing problems and at this time we do not believe you should continue experiencing problems.

Please let us know if you have any further questions or comments."

u475700
Premium
join:2004-02-16
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·Comcast
reply to switchback

Re: Callcentric charges extra minutes on every call made

I believe the inherent problem is Callcentric doesn't consider a call complete even after you hang up unless it is "fully released." If for any reason Callcentric doesn't receive a disconnect supervision signal, you are still billed for the duation of their idle timeout period, which I believe is 300 seconds.

Iscream
Premium
join:2009-02-17
New York, NY
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
The above is not quite correct.

The time-out [of a variable length, depending on circumstances] is used to prevent call's billing up to MaxCallDuration time (configurable via Dash-panel) when NO disconnect signal (which is called "BYE" message in SIP) was received from either side of the call.

A situation when "BYE" is not received is totally not normal, but occurs when:

- user's device is buggy - therefore doesn't send "BYE" upon hangup (happens very often with many devices);

- user's network is crappy - therefore doesn't let "BYE" go out upon hangup (also happens often - we record the reason of why a call was disconnected - this is one very often encountered in our stats);

- user "forgot" to hangup (by leaving a handset "not on hook") while another side of the call hasn't sent "BYE" too (happen quite often);

- user's device rebooted while on call (happened often during DDOS and also happens in "normal" life when buggy firmware is loaded or power cycled, etc.);

- user's conversation was "dropped" in the middle due to one reason or another (phone's wire disconnected on either side of the call);

- one way audio happened while call was on hold (Internet cause);

- provider's network is "busy" doing something else thus missing "BYEs" from both sides - user device and another phone [this was an actual reason for a number of calls which might have been disconnected by _this_ timer during the DDOS attack - because the purpose of attack was to keep our CPUs 100% loaded thus not letting to communicate with customer devices]. Only ability to query another network for the call's in question Call Detail Records may in this case help find a correct billing time - this is where Callcentric's support looks into our Wholesale network' CDRs because the wholesale network is fully separated (this is _another_ network composed of its own switches, operating and billing software, etc.); Callcentric always promptly refunds any not properly billed calls once a customer opens a billing ticket providing a reference to the call in question;

- add your own made-up one here...

There are also some other timers, not as "visible" as this one. A 5 minute interval was "stabilized" there during many years of adjusting it in one side and another. No one wants their call to be disconnected when set on hold [for example] during CallWaiting or muted (no audio or one way audio) during conversation, after two minutes, doesn't it? No one also wants for their call to keep ticking if a handset was misplaced or a wire disconnected... Some compromises must have been done there. No one wants to have their network under DDOS either...

I hope that this question can now be closed. If people are interested about telephone billing - there are many technical books on this subject because the issue is 130 years old.

cell14

join:2012-01-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·localphone.com
reply to switchback

Re: CAllcentric charges extra minutes on every call made

said by switchback:

said by Iscream:

Callcentric always refunds/credits back any charges for incorrectly completed CDRs - just a ticket is sufficient (there is a specific "subject" for it - one may choose"billing", for example).

I have asked several times for my account to be adjusted since I discovered what was happening but my request have more or less been ignored. (After repeated request this last time I got a message stating they were sending the complaint up the management line.)

The correct answer is "NO" CC does not adjust accounts appropriately.

It seems to be a bit cumbersome indeed but it may have something to do with the situation in the recent weeks(DDOS, storm) I will withhold a statement on that until it happens again under more "normal" circumstances.