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    Third party billing scams!

    prisaz
      Anyone else get hit with third party billing from ESBI? Enhanced Services Billing, Inc. Charges they said were authorized by someone giving my phone number online. I asked the crooks if anyone that has my phone number can authorize charges and he said theoreticly yes. I was told that it could take two billing cycles for the credit, when the date of the charge was two days before my bill posted. What a scam! Well that stinks and there should be a way to put a block on your line to keep this from happening. I know this is not the best place to post this. Or is it? It should be illegal to allow a charge to someones line just because you have the number.
        • 1. Re: Third party billing scams!
          prisaz

          On line chat with Verizon. It was very helpfull today, and we shall see how it goes. I would advise all customers to put this block for Enhanced Service on their account. "free miscellaneous bill block "

           

          Welcome to Verizon Live Chat. You have selected to chat about:

           TN: 

           Subject: Current Bill

           Question: ESBI Charges should not be on my bill. I did not authorize them, and they said it will take months for the credit. I thought stuffing these charges on bills was illegal. I was told the person provided my phone number. Many people have that!

           17:40:56 A Verizon eCenter Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you.

           17:45:17 Agent Gary has joined.

           17:45:17 Gary : Chat ID for this session is .

          Miscellaneous Charges and Credits for xxx-xxx-xxxx

          Date Description

          Mar 21 WWWHELLOMAILMNTHLYFEE $14.95

          Fix this and block all future Enhanced Services from being stuffed on my bill

          Gary: Hello. Welcome to Verizon's chat service. I will be happy to help you today.

           

          Gary: For any type of credits on your bill you must call the inquiry center at (800) 331-4098 and they will assist you. I can add a miscellaneous bill block for you, but any charges already sent through to Verizon could appear on one more billing. In order to protect the privacy of your account records, we need to verify your 12-digit account number before we can provide you with information, place orders, or make any changes to your account. Once you provide this information, I will be happy to proceed with your request.

          The 12-digit account number is located at the top of your paper bill immediately following your phone number. In addition, you can also locate this information in your online bill by following these steps:

           1. Sign into your My Verizon account: http://www.verizon.com/myverizon

          2. Select the 'My Bill' Tab.

          3. Expand the 'Billing Address' section.

          MARK : Account Number:

          Gary: Hold on while I add that block for you.

          MARK : I did call the number and was told it could take two billing cycles for the credit. Should I just subtract this from my payment.

          Gary: Do you know the amount of the credit? If so, I can put a hold on your account so no late charges will generate for that amount...

          MARK : It was on my bill for the amount I just posted. $14.95 from ESBI.

          Gary: OK, hang on while I set that up also.

          Gary: Your order number for the free miscellaneous bill block is .

          MARK : I didn't know I needed to ask these things not to be added to my bill without my permission. The company said someone gave my phone number online and I think I should not need to block anything. He confirmed that anyone can give my number and do this. So it should be blocked now right?

          Gary: As of today it will be blocked, but anything already sent through could appear on one more billing.

          Gary: I have also added a claim for $14.95 for 3 months so you can subtract that amount until the credit posts.

          MARK : Thanks for your help.

          Gary: I have not heard from you for several moments. I will assume you have everything you need. Thank you for using Verizon's chat service. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

          See how customers are helping customers on our brand new Verizon Forums site located at: http://forums.verizon.com

          MARK : Yep I know all about that one. I am a CL in the forums. Thanks and have a good evening.

           Your session is now closed.

           Thank you. Have a nice day.

           

          • 2. Re: Third party billing scams!
            sharsul

            I was hit with a charge from ILD Teleservices who are a third party billing service...in this case, for YourProductBill Inc.  You only have to do a search for either of these companies to see the number of complaints...even making MSNBC news.  I called both companies and have had these "services" cancelled and was told I would be receiving a refund for the costs added to my Verizon bill.  In trying to contact Verizon, they're closed on weekends so will have to contact them during the "regular" work week to have the third party billing block put on my account.

             

            My complaint is that Verizon should NOT be a party to this type of "cramming" ... they should ONLY charge for services that they themselves provide.  In looking at all the complaints, the elderly are hit hardest as they aren't all computer savvy and believe that they must pay whatever appears on their bill or they will lose their phone service which, for many, is their lifeline.

             

            I am going to look into placing a complaint with the FCC.  These practices should and must stop.  Verizon...shame on you!

            • 3. Re: Third party billing scams!
              MoopMeep

              I had some company put charges on my verizon account. When I called verizon they implied that the government forces them to allow this.

               

              He basically said that since verizon is a public utility that they have to allow this.

               

              I'm not sure how true his information is.

              • 4. Re: Third party billing scams!
                prisaz

                MoopMeep wrote:

                I had some company put charges on my verizon account. When I called verizon they implied that the government forces them to allow this.

                 

                He basically said that since verizon is a public utility that they have to allow this.

                 

                I'm not sure how true his information is.


                 

                I do believe they are required by law to provide this service. But also required to block these types of transactions, if you ask them to block these on your account. It seems like a real scam to be required to ask not to be ripped off. The only recourse is going after the third party and asking Verizon not to allow these types of charges on your account.
                • 5. Re: Third party billing scams!
                  sharsul
                  I did e-mail Verizon through my account and asked them to block third-party billing.  I was assured that this would be done.  In response to my e-mail and my "shame on you, Verizon" they did not tell me that this was an issue forced on them by the Government.  However, I can also see where that might be the case...in which case, I guess we should complain to the FCC about this.  I do not believe we should be forced to "resign" from such a practice...most customers do not know that this practice is allowed until we are hit with third-party billing charges.  There should be some mechanism that, should a third party want to place charges on an account we currently have with a company like Verizon, that Verizon is required to notify us and ask if we agreed to this.  Frustrating...and I bet a multitude of senior citizens are ripped off on a regular basis through this mechanism.  I know my 90 year old aunt fell prey to many types of scams and she was a very literate, competent individual.  It just should not be allowed...period!
                  • 6. Re: Third party billing scams!
                    prisaz

                    I agree it should not be allowed. I do not know for sure that it is forced but I bet it was pushed as a feature. Like you can charge things to your phone bill. Just like a credit card. But you credit card number is not public information. I also pay a couple of dollars extra each month to have my phone number unpublished. Not listed in the directory or 411 information. Unpublished means that perhaps law inforcement can get it, but that is it. Still does not stop random dialers. But the national do not call registry should do that. I called them and had the block put on my account. I would need to be sure the service request to have the block put on was entered.

                     

                    Cramming. What a scam. Verizon did remove the charges and put the block on my account. The third party credited my account.

                    http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/Other/cramming/cramming.pdf

                     

                    It has been 10 years since this document and it still happens.

                    Message Edited by prisaz on 05-02-2009 10:24 AM
                    • 7. Re: Third party billing scams!
                      SMiller

                      Well, I've had this fraudulent charge on my bills every month for the past year! And dummy that I am, I just noticed them a few months ago. Silly me, I didn't think I needed to worry about charges to my phone bill that I didn't actually incur.

                      I attempted to contact Verizon through online customer service, but it appears they've disabled that feature for Virginia. No customer service online chat. Can't even email customer service anymore. Looks like I'll have to actually call to lodge a complaint and dispute these charges, which is, I'm sure, the way Verizon prefers to deal with complaints since customer service reps are the gatekeepers of everything.

                      I've contacted ESBI through that "company"'s web email form, informing them that their charges were unauthorized and fradulent and that I would be taking action if they did not remove current charges from my bill and make no further charges. Fingers crossed. But honestly, if Verizon can't keep third parties from making fraudulent charges to its customers' bills, what can the customers actually do? Call every month and dispute? Hope for the best?

                      I'm thinking: Cancel my Verizon service. If they can't protect their customers' accounts from even the most obvious of scams, then they don't deserve customers. I'm sure they'll shed many tears over the loss of one customer--not--but if this is what it takes to protect myself from getting scammed out of hundreds of dollars a year, then so be it.

                      • 8. Re: Third party billing scams!
                        mi4johns

                        if you notice these charges on your account, call the billing department on your bill, ask them to apply a 'bill block' on your account (stops any company 3rd party company other than collect calling, 411 or prison calls from charging to your bill) and ask the billing rep to put a claim on the last 3 months of charges. then call the companies that are charging, (most likely either ESBI, OAN or ILD) and tell them they are unauthorized charges, (the vast majority are scams since 99% of the customers i deal with say they never authorized the charges) and have the companies that charged your account credit back for the previous 3 months of charges.

                         

                        they should credit back for all the months worth of charges, but normally they won't do more than 3 months since they are under strict orders to keep credits down.

                        • 9. Re: Third party billing scams!
                          Brothergrim
                          I do not work for Verizon Landline. But a few years ago I use to work for sprint / embarq landline. The Fcc has several rules regarding certain things being allowed. Ie 3rd parties and such. Yes you can request to block it. And Slaming and Craming is illegal. However its the third parties that are doing it. So my recommendation would be to not yell at verizon about it (unless you ask them to block it and they didnt) but to file an Fcc complaint agaisnt the company that is doint the slamming.
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