UK - Software Blamed for Cuttin Off Cellnet Users : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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August 5 2000 BUSINESS NEWS

Software gets blame for cutting off Cellnet users


BT CELLNET, the mobile phone company, is thought to have disconnected accidentally hundreds of customers because of over-zealous fraud detection software.

The company, which is becoming increasingly alarmed by fraudulent use of its pre-pay mobile phones, monitors all calls made on them to see if they fit a pattern of criminal use. This can involve running up unusually large bills, and using the phone heavily while abroad. If fraud is suspected, the phone is cut off.

Pre-pay phone fraud became an issue last year when it was discovered that criminals could put a special chip into their phones that stopped them running out of credit.

However, Steve Harris, a BT Cellnet customer from Kent who bought a BT Cellnet phone for his disabled father, says he is one of many genuine customers who have been cut off by the company. BT Cellnet yesterday admitted that some genuine customers had been disconnected.

Mr Harris says he was told by BT Cellnet that a software glitch had resulted in hundreds of customers suffering the same problem.

A spokesman for BT Cellnet said: "We have a [computer] program which detects what looks like fraudulent use. Occasionally, someone can trip that program. If they do trip it, they should be reconnected."

-- (, August 05, 2000

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