[VoiceOps] OT: Payment bureau

Alex Balashov abalashov at evaristesys.com
Thu Nov 19 05:13:08 EST 2009

I suppose one other obvious problem is that many potential 
participants would see this as the disclosure of valuable competitive 
information, especially consultants and other folks of that nature, as 
opposed to service providers that do a high volume of small 
transactions where the identities of the customers are generally more 
a matter of indifference.

It could be seen as a a way to mine potential customers as much as 
anything else.

I am not sure what a good solution to that problem would be.

Alex Balashov wrote:

> Greetings,
> 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:
>    http://www.paymentpractices.net/
> 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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