[RC5] Dialup Connections Could Cost

Mikus Grinbergs mikus at bga.com
Thu May 14 13:53:17 EDT 1998

This message is _not_ about a problem with RC5.

The following incident was posted on another mailing list:
The computers at a service provider were down for more than 12 hours.
The user to whom this happened had left his own sytem unattended, but
an application decided to send something to the net.  His system
auto-dialed, reached the router rack at the provider, but was unable
to communicate further.  His system then hung up and re-dialed (and
kept repeating until it worked).  Unfortunately, his subscription was
for a metered telephone service, meaning he was charged "per call".

When the telephone bill came, the charges for that day were more than
$500.  As far as the telephone company was concerned, it had been asked
to make thousands of calls - each of which it had completed correctly.

Moral:  if your system performs automatic dialing, and you are on a
metered communications service, MAKE SURE that your hardware/software
enforces limits to keep the cost of that service from becoming ruinous.

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