Since my $600 AT&T bill for modem use, I have become paranoid about local toll calls. Our reporting of AT&T to the California Public Utilities Commission is evidently getting somewhere; Rosie got a call from the office of the chairman at AT&T over it yesterday.
Anyway, while checking that my new BigZoo calling card access numbers really were local toll-free with SBC, I came up with a solution. When the local carrier is switching you to a toll number, it should play a recorded voice saying 'local toll' (or even better 'local toll 10 cents a minute').
You should be able to turn this off by explict request, but if the local telco did this BY DEFAULT, the chance of people accidentally running up huge dialup modem bills by mistake would be greatly reduced.
Of course, they make money from these mistakes, so it may require regulation to enforce this, but as local toll calls are now competitive, (which is why I was billed the $600 by AT&T, not SBC) SBC could do it to warn you that AT&T was about to bill you.
The real scandal of course is why InterLATA calls (over 17 notional miles within the area code) cost more than my calling card charges me to call the UK per minute.