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Blocking directory assistance
 
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Old 08-02-2009, 02:48 AM
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Default Blocking directory assistance

Anybody have any good ways to block the ability for users to dial directory assistance via IT policy.

I've been testing with the "restrict outgoing cellular calls" policy in Firewall Policy Group (logical place for it, I know) by disallowing the following 411r;5551212r;2125551212r;12125551212r;+12125551212r;r5551212; but once the users figure out that they can dial a different area code (our home area code is 212) to bypass the restriction I may be back where I started. I'd rather not create a policy encompasing all area codes but I can't figure out how to get BES policy to use a lead off wildcard or something to the effect of "block any number ending with 555-1212"

Any ideas?
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:32 AM
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Unfortunately there really isn't an effective way to do this. I would recommend instead of trying to block everything do the following:
  1. Provide a free alternative such as GOOG-411 (1-800-GOOG-411: Find and connect with local businesses for free from your phone.) or 1-800-FREE-411 or ann app such as Beyond 411 (Beyond411 Local Search for the RIM Blackberry).
  2. Get approval for a corporate policy that anyone using paid 411 services after X day has to pay for it out of pocket. Any complaints that people provide about the inconvenience of GOOG-411 or the likes will most likely go away then, as they won't want to pay $1 + for each of those calls.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:02 AM
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Have you engaged the carrier(s) to see if they can disable it on their side? I believe this would be possible. I agree with Howie's second recommendation as well. In this current market, deflecting any fees possible, so long as it doesn't become more costly than the fees themselves, would be a good idea. Of course, this would likely be part of a larger scale effort, such as disabling text messaging, overage charge backs, etc.
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:17 PM
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Thanks for your quick responses. We've communicated to the user base multiple times about the costs of directory assistance along with the free alternatives. We've even pushed Beyond 411 via BES software configuration to all users, but the users are just lazy and continue to dial.

We've spoken with the carriers (T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint) and they don't haven't any method nor do they have any financial incentive to block these calls. Some have suggested Blackberry MVS as a way to redirect these calls to Goog411 or similiar but that is a big undertaking for a large user base and they still will be able to dial x11 calls. So I guess I'm stuck.

Thanks again and if anyone has any creative ideas, please post back.
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Old 08-02-2009, 07:07 PM
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Yeah ... implementing MVS would be a bit invasive for such an issue. If you can't get assistance from the carriers and the users aren't using the tools provided ... charge it back to them. Or, set another policy ... use it more than 2x in any billing cycle and you lose your device.

The issue is you've got a social problem and can't fix it with technology (at least in this case).
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Blackberry MVS
That's one hell of an investment/support headache to stop directory enquiries costs. I agree for this specific call type, MVS may offer cost reductions, but in other areas that's not necessarily the case; which is why RIM push MVS as a productivity enhancement rather than a cost saving product, as some call types will be cheaper from the device direct rather than forcing your PBX to make two outbound calls (one to mobile and one to the dialled number).
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