Friday, March 16, 2018

Voice Mail Back Doors Closing?

Last year I got a phone call from a party who wanted all of the possible "Back Door" voice mail numbers, as if we were not showing all of them on our Back Door Voice Mail number list.  He mentioned a "bulk" use of these numbers.  I gave him nothing.  I realized he wanted to spam every number that was available through these Back Door numbers, and could easily do so with just the information on our web pages.  I found the method for this to happen and realized how it will go down. And go down it did.

Recently I was alerted that many of the remaining voice mail access numbers no longer offer the option, "To leave a message for another subscriber, enter their number." Fortunately, the function still works on some of the numbers regardless of the lack of the prompt. How long before the spammers cause the entire Back Door to close?

Many of these numbers were used for callers to contact a mobile customer who was roaming outside their home area...what an ancient concept. As a result, the wireless companies have been slowly retiring these numbers, with a few disappearing every few months. Then we would receive the wrath from those customers wanting to know why their number was published on our site.

This explains how spam messages appear in your voice mail box without hearing the phone ring. It's another technical function now used for evil instead of for good. We will keep the numbers posted until they have been reassigned.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Northwest Missouri Cellular Name Change

Northwest Missouri Cellular...whew, not a very snappy name, eh?  Well, 2 good things have happened.  They have shortened the name to NorthwestCell, bringing to mind green forests and rainy days.  But it's not Seattle, it's Missouri.

The other good news is that when a company goes to the trouble and expense of a name change, it means they are willing to invest in other parts of their operation as well.  NorthwestCell appears to have finally upgraded their entire network to 4G - LTE.  Otherwise, not much else seemed to have changed. They still maintain a large selection of plans that still seem to be a bit overpriced.  Fortunately, their coverage is excellent.

Bravado Wireless of rural Oklahoma changed their name last year and with the change came quite a few improvements in their plan structure.   Customers get excited at something new but if they eventually find the same old tired product, they may feel cheated.  And cheated customers rarely return.   We're hoping that NorthwestCell at least applies a nice new coat of paint to their stores...if they still have any.