Phone bills jump in cost for Rangenet customers

By Nick Wognum

Some Rangenet customers were shocked to see long distance charges on their telephone bills for calls made to internet service provider Rangenet.<BR><BR>“My long distance bill was $272 for March and it was all calls made to Rangenet,” said customer Henry Held.<BR><BR>Rangenet uses a system whereby customers dial a cell phone number to access the internet. The cell number redirects the call to Rangenet’s Virginia access area and long distance charges are avoided. <BR><BR>A glitch in the system caused Frontier to start billing for calls made to the 235 number, according to Rangenet. <BR><BR>“We found out about this a couple days ago. That had been a local number for a couple of years and it still is a local call,” said Tim Wilson with Rangenet.<BR><BR>“We talked to Frontier and they said they are trying to clear it up but it may take a couple of days,” said Wilson. <BR><BR>“We didn’t switch cell companies, we’re still with CellOne,” said Wilson. “We asked Frontier if a long distance call is where you have to dial a one and the area code and they said yes to that. You can directly call 235 numbers in Ely, it’s just that all of a sudden they started charging for them.” <BR><BR>Wilson said Rangenet has used the cell phone system to provide internet access in Ely for over a year now without any problems.<BR><BR>“Hopefully it will be cleared up and the bills will be resolved,” said Wilson. <BR><BR>Frontier Communication Director said the company was aware of the problem and would be investigating the situation. <BR><BR>“We are aware of the problem and we are trying to determine what happened and why,” said Miller. <BR><BR>Will customers be reimbursed or have the charges removed from their bills?<BR><BR>“We can’t answer that until we complete the investigation,” said Miller.