[VoiceOps] OT: Payment bureau

David Hiers hiersd at gmail.com
Thu Nov 19 09:37:35 EST 2009

What are the barriers to using the existing credit agencies?  I've
never personally looked into what it takes to report a customer's
performance to an agency, but  I'm sure someone in my company has got
it figured out.


On Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 2:13 AM, Alex Balashov
<abalashov at evaristesys.com> wrote:
> 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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