2 thoughts on “Check Your Phone Bill

  1. We’ve talked about this before recently. It seems our corporate friendly ‘Public’ Service Commissions agree with our Oligarch overlords that said companies deserve a certain amount of cash flow whether or not they actually provide any service.

  2. I had this happen and I pounced as soon as the phone bill arrived. One was for some sort of “411” information service (I have broadband and Google, thanks) and the other was for an “entertainment news membership website” (like the Internet is somehow short of entertainment news). The two together were $40 a month extra, until I raised holy hell and made an evening’s worth of 800-number calls to the providers in question. If you find yourself in this situation, tell your phone company to block all third-party billing.

    The regulatory rules that allow this were designed back in the days of competition for long distance services; the government determined (rightly) that people would not pay two telephone bills, one for long distance and the other for local service. This forced, say, Bell Atlantic (now Verizon) to include your bill from MCI on one invoice. That situation is no longer operative, but it’s a golden opportunity for grifters to steal your phone number and charge you for these services. In both cases, they got the home phone number from online game providers that my wife uses, and they faked the application for services by creating fake e-mail addresses like “shepatica@eudora.com.” (Both supposedly unrelated companies used the Eudora domain for this scam.) When the people behind these scams were resistant to refunding my money, I told them to bill their services to those fake e-mail addresses.

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