Chris Halsall Exposes Illegal Activities By Cable and Wireless


Imagine that you have just activated your new service, using one of the new competitive providers. You call everyone you know using your new phone, and gloat about how great it is…

But, strangely, some people start telling you that they cannot call you back on your brand new phone number… This becomes a serious issue — a phone which can’t be called is not much use.

… from Chris Halsall’s A funny thing happened on the way to the competition…

Cable & Wireless has enjoyed its virtual monopoly for many years, and now that things are changing C&W isn’t taking it too well. According to Chris Halsall, Cable and Wireless have programmed much of their equipment to prevent C&W clients from calling telephones installed by other companies!

Yes, our government should be all over this because we have laws about service and connectivity that govern the operations of communications companies.

Why isn’t the law being enforced?

Good question.

Head over to Chris Halsall’s Ideas 4 Lease blog and read all about it. Then pick up the phone, and – if you’re not blocked by Cable and Wireless – call the Fair Trading Commission at (246) 424-0260 and ask them if they are finished their lunch break yet. (That’s the time between 10am and 2pm, you know.)

When you’re finished listening to their pathetic excuses, try calling the Minister, George Hutson at 426-4452. Although Minister Hutson is probably still feeling his way around his new job, you can bet that a call from the Minister saying “What the HELL is going on with this phone situation?” might help. Minister Hutson probably won’t use those words exactly, but everyone will know that is what he means!

“Ideas4Lease” Blog Added To Our Links

Chris Halsall is the Ralph Nader of Barbados telecommunications business, law and technologies… and we mean that most respectfully. Perhaps we should say that Chris has all of Nader’s good qualities and none of his bad.

Its difficult anytime you compare people, but you get the message: Chris Halsall is out there fighting for the rights of Bajans who, as a nation, have historically been held for ransom by Cable & Wireless.

Halsall makes his points with no hyperbole or shouting – just stating simple facts and asking polite yet devastating questions.

His Ideas4Lease blog is well worth your time if you are 1/ Bajan and 2/ Use the telephone or the internet.

photo – “Lobster Telephone” by Salvador Dali (1936) – courtesy of the Tait Collection, London


Filed under Barbados, Business, Crime & Law

14 responses to “Chris Halsall Exposes Illegal Activities By Cable and Wireless

  1. asteriskman

    C+W’s boys in the “revenue protection” dept think up these practices, like blocking high volume sip @ aix traffic as has occured to me on a number of occassions which is contrary to the data protection act and supposed to be a criminal offence.

  2. A cause near and dear to my heart! Would, would, would that they were formally reprimanded for this. I would crow in glee, and apologise for my lack of ladylike behaviour afterwards.

  3. I did as Mr Halsall suggests and dialled 628 8192.

    Sure enough a polite (automated) voice read back to me my own number.

    I have a residential phone, not a PBX. I am not technical, but does this mean that normal residential phones are not involved with this problem, only businesses with a PBX switchboard?

  4. chalsall

    Thank you to BFP for their very kind words, and to everyone who has read my writing and run this test.

    Ms. Thomas is correct — this particular issue only involves people behind PBXs, which is why the article mentions “people in offices”. There is no harm in running the test from anywhere, of course, and can be used to determine what your calling number is.

    However, it is worth noting that C&W also have to reconfigure their “Central Office” (CO) switches for each new NXX for general calling. This is only a few switches, however, so tends to be done soon after a complaint is registered — but it does not appear to be done pro-actively (as per the LERG).

    Also, be aware this test has shown that a great many incoming international calls somehow have their Caller ID removed. This is not supposed to happen — a conveying carrier is not to modify the CID. I have a North American carrier investigating this from their perspective.

    Please keep any eye out for my next article, available this next Monday.

  5. Brutus

    Chris, I am sure that you have raised these issues with the relevant authorities and with Cable & Wireless. What is the response from the telecommunications unit (or other government authority), the FTC, and from C&W?

  6. FreeBajan

    It has certainly happened to me…you simply can’t get through from to certain lines from certain lines.
    It beggars belief and simply criminal.

  7. chalsall

    Hello Brutus and FreeBajan.

    Brutus: to speak to your questions: yes, I have raised this issue with everyone involved — many times. However, I don’t feel that I can share publicly the deflective responses from the various players, because of:

    1. the confidential nature of the forums within which they were raised; and, differently,

    2. the private nature of the e-mail exchanges.

    However, please all trust that I have a great deal of documentation on this (and many other) issues, and would be *thrilled* to receive a sapena from a court of law.

    FreeBajan: as a technologist, a touchstone of mine is that technology should *always* work. If it ever doesn’t, it is in the consumers’ best interest to ask why. Complain loudly. In many ways, the consumer will only receive the service quality they demand.

    For example, as a teaser for a future article: is it reasonable that Barbados 1-800 numbers can only be reached from C&W landlines and cell-phones?

    Perhaps readers can call 1-800-804-2994, and ask why this is so. Oh, wait — that number can’t be reached by a large number of Bajan telephony users. Try the actual (unpublished) number: 292-2273.

    Don’t mind the average thirty minute period on hold before you reach a representative — during that time enjoy the repeated song “Power to the people”… (C&W apparently do not understand irony…)

    Thank you all. And best regards.

  8. Consumer voice

    On the subject of ‘service’ generally…
    here is my
    Barbados Householder Tip of the Month!

    If you’re considering a landscaping/gardening service
    DO NOT consider NCC – Nat’l. Conservation Commission!

    The ‘service’ they provide is decidedly substandard.

    Get a real landscaping/gardening service
    – trust me on this one!

    I’ve experienced their crap “service” now
    for the last 9 months or so
    and it is not great.


    I’ve been fed up with cable and wireless’ bull***t for a while, so this is no surprise. I am always critical of the company, and have even sent multiple emails to BFP myself about their abuse as a monopoly.

    I first wised up to this particular problem with connectivity last week when a new friend of mine confirmed that he had tried to call my mobile several times from a Digicel phone, only to immediately receive voice mailbox.

    For someone who needs to keep in touch, and constantly making new acquaintances a mobile is a fine way of keeping the home number private while still being able to chat with others, this is completely atrocious behavior on cable and wireless’ part and I have had it up to here with their scandalous, shady behavior.

    I encourage EVERY Barbadian to switch their mobile service. This is absolute BULLOCKS.

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  11. Anonymous

    Loud and Ob.
    Yes, switch.

    but to who? to where?
    to DIGICEL?

    Digicel took away my perfectly good Nokia
    and gave me a CRAP Motorola HunkaJunk!

    DIGICEL is NO alternative to C&Wireless.

    Both would rip you off blind, my man!
    and do so cheerfully!

  12. Kadri

    compare these two links and tell me cable and wireless aint exploiting local and government websites via the caribbean, their prices are extremely too high. i chose the american one which is to some people expensive, their cost $6.95 US per month. compare theirs to C&W, compare the package. crooks like dem

  13. David

    “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.
    Chris I clearly understand your position on this matter with Cable and Wireless, I too have had this issue. I work in the IT department in my company and when we were faced with this issue I also was not satisfied. So i refered the situation to a friend overseas who is a certified Nortel Engineer and he comfirmed that the information received from C&W and explaned the cause.
    You see before they were other companies on the market C&W only used certain prefixes like 422, 431, 228, 419 etc. these were programmed into the PBX to allow callers to use the network. When new companies came in they started using 820, 822 etc. These were not in the system. My company had this issue rectified when we called C&W and a technician came and enteredall the new info into the system. Im sure this matter can be rectified simply by talking to C&W (If you can get through.)

  14. Cable & Wireless is absolutely a bully. I recently tried a new company TalkBajan. They have excellent customer service and great service all around and best of all, I save a ton. I was paying $800/Mos. with C & W. After I switched, my bill is now $340.00/Mos. Check them out, I highly recommend it.