UTILITIES: The Free Phone Call

Like subway turnstiles and slot machines, the telephone is a traditional target for those Americans with a yen for outwitting the machine age. Before science developed the foolproof pay phone, nearly every college boy knew how to make it disgorge a tinkling stream of nickels. Last week Illinois Bell Telephone Co. ruefully explained another game that costs it as much as $400,000 annually: the free call, in which by various stratagems thousands of callers in toll booths and at home use the phone company's wires without ever paying a cent. At Bell's urging, the Illinois State Commerce Commission last...

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