My phone company is ripping me off Any advice?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by oldstudent, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2011

    I have had Verizon for many years with no problems, but since they are apparently not my long distance carrier, they passed on the billing responsibilities to Telecom USA.
    Telecom USA billed me $50 for collect phone calls ostensibly made to my number from out of state. These calls were made at 2AM. I had nothing to due with these calls.
    Verizon was unable( or unwilling) to give me Telecom USA's number. The number 800 I found online is no longer in service, and a new one is not listed.
    The local number has a recording that says to call back after December 31 since they are gone for New Years( yeah right!, after seven months), and they claim their e-mail box is full.

    I suspect I have been scammed out of $50.

    Any advice on whom to complain to, or how to get a refund? Thanks.
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jul 16, 2011

    Call the Public Service Commission for your state and file a complaint.
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Jul 16, 2011

    Hm. Did you tell Verizon why you wanted the number? And have you confirmed whether Verizon does in fact provide your long-distance service?
     
  5. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2011

    I am betting it has something to do with the fact the calls were collect.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Jul 16, 2011

    Don't you have to answer the phone and confirm that you are okay with paying for the collect call though?

    The last time I can remember that happening to me was years ago, so things might have changed, but it was a little message that came on and said "_____________ is trying to call you collect. Press 1 if you wish to accept this call." They can't really charge you/call you collect if you never agreed to pay for it.
     
  7. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2011

    That is what I thought.

    I rarely, if ever, make or recieve calls out of state, so I did not even know that verizon was not my long distance carrier, but apparently they are not.
    The verizon customer service rep said I needed to call telecom USA since the billing came from them. I asked her for their number and she said she did not have it.
    Telecom USA no longer has an 800 number.

    My bill says to contact the FCC at consumer complaints for unresolved issues, but I would rather try to get a hold of Telecom USA first.
    I will call the local number on Monday during thier business hours, but since their recording said to call back after December 31, I am not optimistic.
    If Verizon cannot work with me, I will cancel them and go with someone else.
    If anyone has had good luck with another provider, let me know.

    I also get a lifeline discount due to my low income( substitute teaching), so hopefully this can transfer to a new company if I switch.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2011

    If the bill says to contact the FCC for unresolved issues, and if you've been unable to resolve the issue, it seems clear that your next course of action is to call the FCC.

    If Verizon isn't your provider and isn't charging you for these calls, I don't see how it would be helpful to dump them and choose another provider. They aren't obligated to keep 800-numbers around for companies that aren't theirs.
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    Jul 16, 2011

    A very similar thing happened to me (possibly the exact same things) & Verizon & Telecom were the companies of my ordeal too. It's been so long, I forgot exactly what I did to get out of that mess. Let's see, I believe I called Telecom & said that I never authorized any long distance calls & they took it off. From what I recall, I didn't go through a lot of hassle. All I have (then & now)is the most basic phone service you can get (since I have access to another phone line in the house where I can get long distance).
     
  10. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2011

    Verizon is indirectly involved since my bill comes from them.

    I will probably not dump them, but I was hoping to get some advice from them. I was merely bothered by their "We don't have their number, but have a nice day" response.
     
  11. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2011

    This is what I am still hoping for, but since they

    a. cancelled their 800 number,
    b. local number recording says to call back after December 31, and
    c. recording then says e-box is full

    I am not opimistic about reaching them to request a refund.
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2011

    When I used to have a landline, the local and long distance were covered by two different companies. Although the bill was consolidated, the two companies were totally separate and neither one could do anything about an issue I was having with the other. In this case I think that Verizon is just the messenger.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2011

    So call the FCC. I'm not understanding why you're stressing about this when you have a very easy solution, one that's even printed directly on your bill.
     
  14. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2011

    It is more anger than stress.

    Also, the FCC has a LARGE responsibility, with bigger fish to fry than to worry about some guy who is out $50.

    Will they actually bother with the time and resources to get me my money, or just file a complaint on my behalf?

    Fifty dollars is significant for those of us on a low income.

    Nevertheless, I will do my best to make my point. I don't like to see myself, or anyone else getting ripped off.
     
  15. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2011

    The FCC is there to help you. It can't hurt to shoot them an email and see how they respond.
     
  16. oldstudent

    oldstudent Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2011

    That is my plan.

    However, even though I am not optimistic, I want to try calling Telecom USA during normal business hours first.

    I will know more on Monday.
     

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