Excessive Phone Charges

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
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Excessive Phone Charges

In 1998 I wrote more than one story about how you can be charged excessively -- in my opinion anyway, for calls you thought were local. Today I received this comment on that story: I hope this helps.


On 9/12/05 my mate called home collect from a hotel in Monticello, Arkansas. We talked 12 minutes.

On the October bill from Verizon was a third party billing labeled IntegreTel but with a second notice saying it was on behalf of OptiCom. The amount is $51.98.
I spent hours trying to get through to either of the two numbers I had on the bill. When I finally did reach a human they eventually offered to refund $18.19.
At this point I was hot! While they state that options for calling were offered before the call was placed, my husband says it was all pre recorded and only addressed making a collect call, no other options were mentioned and pricing was not addressed.
I answered a recording saying I had a call from my husband collect - press one to accept, which I did. NO human operator, no statement of charges offered.
I started researching this an am appalled at the amount of documentation that these two companies and many others owned by the same people are frauds, thieves, and cheats. They have been sued, fined, and marked as such but they keep changing their names and doing business.
This is why I am writing.
I found out that you can call your phone company and have the charges "RECOURSED" back to the billing company for direct billing from them. Tellthem you are going to dispute the charges directly with the billing party.
Your phone company can not refuse to "recourse" the charges legally.
This means you can then refuse to pay the third party without endangering your credit with the phone company.This removes the leverage the third party billers have over you and you can then refuse to pay or negotiate a more reasonable rate.
Hope that helps.

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