[VoiceOps] OT: Payment bureau

Alex Balashov abalashov at evaristesys.com
Thu Nov 19 04:54:01 EST 2009


I'm not sure if this is within the purview of the list or not, but I 
would like to get everyone's thoughts on the creation of something
like a "credit bureau" specific to our industry.  I don't think we
currently have anything like that in the VoIP cottage industry, unless
I am mistaken.

Simply put, we should have a way of anonymously rating customers'
payment history and noting any especially egregious disputes.  Access
should be restricted only to verified companies legitimately engaged
in VoIP-related trade.

My interest in this is from a consulting and professional services
angle, since that's what Evariste Systems does.  However, I do not see
why this could not also accommodate payment information from the ITSP
and small carrier world.

There are lots of potential problems, of course:

1) Some customers would consider disclosure of any transactional
information a violation of standing NDAs;

2) The possibility of clutter from small/irrelevant transactions, like
$5 prepayments for O/T or calling cards;

3) Some need for moderation and standards enforcement;  there is a
very real possibility of abuse by members by leveraging such a tool in
frivolous business disputes, or business disputes in which their hands
are not clean any more than the customer's;  example:  I could fail to
deliver to a customer what I promised, and then report his refusal to
pay as a financial misdeed;

4) Large deals and transactions often already go through credit checks
with real credit bureaus and various ratings firms.

Nevertheless, I think there would be a lot of value as well.  And
while there is the possibility that the existence of such a tool could
be used to intimidate/threaten customers in business disputes, the
value of catching fraudsters who go around from VoIP company to VoIP
company ripping each one off and disappearing into a hole might
outweigh that.

My father does, among other things, some freelance translation.  In
that industry, there's a web site called:


It is upon seeing this that I wondered why we do not have something
like that in our world.

Eager to hear your thoughts,

-- Alex

Alex Balashov - Principal
Evariste Systems
Web     : http://www.evaristesys.com/
Tel     : (+1) (678) 954-0670
Direct  : (+1) (678) 954-0671

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