Did you know?
A third party company can take basic identity information that is is easily obtainable on the internet and subscribe you to a “tele” service without your consent and tack a monthly charge to your phone bill under “Miscellaneous Charges”.
Beware, this may be happening to you…
Today my accountant (my wife) checked our Verizon phone bill and immediately noticed a $19.98 increase in our monthly bill… After close examination I found that under “Miscellaneous Charges and Credits” a third party company called ILD Teleservices, Inc. was billing us for (2)-two separate $9.99 charges for (2)-two months of service provided by another company reflected on the bill as “USCREDIREPAIR” (later determined to be U.S. Credit Repair – www.uscreditrepair.com – SITE WENT DOWN). U.S. Credit Repair touts itself as a company that assists you with repairing your credit. I never subscribed to any credit repair services, or have any need to; and secondly I was totally unaware that 3rd party sources could piggyback charges onto my phone bill without my consent.
What to do…
I subsequently contacted ILD Teleservice, Inc. (800-433-4518) and the customer services rep proceeds to tell me that I subscribed for the monthly U.S . Credit Repair service on September 9th . The rep was able to recite back to me my phone number, address and a “fictitious” (false) email address that had my full name (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org). I informed them that I was reporting this matter and demanded they remove the charges immediately (credit my Verizon bill). Customer rep indicated it would take 60 to 90 days for the charges to be credited. I told the rep I can smell a scam a mile away and the charges to my phone bill better disappear.
Following the call to ILD Teleservices, I contacted Verizon. After approximately 5 minutes of going through the prompts I reached human being #1, who subsequently put me through to human being #2. I explained the situation to the customer rep and they advised I should contact ILD Teleservices to have the charges removed. I informed the rep that I had already did that and then they proceed to tell me, I can put a block on any “Miscellaneous Charges and Credits”. I could not believe what this customer rep was telling me AND it was at this point I began to wonder if my identity had been sold by Verizon. Why is there a section on my phone bill that is an open door to other companies to provide charges?
Click on the “Ripoff Report” and “Consumer Affairs” logo below to see a listing of consumer complaints about U.S. Credit Repair and ILD Teleservices tacking additional charges onto phone bills (i.e. Verizon, AT&T).
I subsequently visited the U. S. Credit Repair website (www.uscreditrepair.com – SITE WENT DOWN) and it specifically states on their website “12 Low Monthly Fees comfortably sent to your home phone carrier”. It also appears that sign up for the service simply just requires your name, address and phone number and an email address. This is all easily obtainable information on the internet… I also called a contact number that was available and I received a voice automated system telling me that if I wanted to cancel any services, I would have to provide my full name, phone number and an email address; which I did not do. While I was composing this article their website magically disappeared from the internet. I am now wondering if this site comes and goes. Also, under their “Terms and Agreements” you will find the following clause:
|4. PAYMENT OF MEMBERSHIP The payment of your Membership Fee (which includes any trial period fee, enrollment or processing fee and shipping and handling charges, as applicable) is made automatically by a direct charge(s) to your home phone number that was provided upon signing up for our services. If applicable, in the event that your billing source cannot process the Membership Fee due to disputing your phone bill, we may, at our discretion; we may cancel your Membership services until monthly payment is paid.|
There are (3)-three players in this rip-off and I am not going to publicly state who I think the main player is… I’ll let you be the judge. I just have to wonder how many people are paying these “add-on miscellaneous charges” and do not know they are paying for them OR they do not pursue the issue due to having to go through all of the red tape.
Call your telephone provider today; tell them you want to block any “miscellaneous charges” to your account.
You can read an update to this article by [CLICKING HERE]
Addendum (1/11/2009) - A reader of this post, who maintains the blog (“Cats Working”) , posted a similar article, “Keep the Garbage Off Your Phone Bill“, that I encourage you to also read. One thing that I am noticing is a great majority of these “bogus” third party services are originating out of Florida.