How To Have Callers Not Being Billed When In Waiting Queue ?

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In France, years ago, there was some discussions about a new regulation forcing some providers to not charge anything to callers while those are waiting for a call center agent to become available. Once caller and agent are on call with each other, nominal charging applies.

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No matter if those discussions ever did or didn’t change current regulation, I wonder which dialplan statements could technically comply this dual billing requirement ?

same = n,Progress()
same = n,Queue(whatever,…,macro-option, …)

To me, coupling Progress app with Queue’s macro or gosub option like above, would let a sysadmin answer a queued call. Doing so, time spent before connection with queue agent should not be billed to anyone (caller nor callee), while time spent after connection is billed normaly.

1. Should this work ? Am I missing something ?
2. Is there an alternative way to implement this ?
3. Comments ? Suggestions ?

in Germany, this kind of regulation is in effect for phone numbers which cost more than a normal landline call. The regulation states, that the waiting time must not be charged to the customer.

Most companies implemented this by simply switching their telephone numbers to those, which are charged per call (so there’s no difference in price between waiting for someone to pick up or being connected to someone) or they decided to use a normal landline phone number for which this regulation does not apply.

The second method was to not answer the call before really connected to a person on the queue and using Early Media as you mentioned. But: The maximum length of this Early Media stream is in most telephone networks limited to somewhat around 90 to 180 seconds, then the call gets disconnected by the network.

I’m not very familiar with regulations and numbering plans in France, but maybe there’s also something called “offline billing”. Using this, your call is not billed by the caller’s telephone company until you send them the amount of time that should be billed for a specific call.

Your best choice will be, that – if you ever get those regulations – you should rely on what your telephone number provider tells you to do