Since making my last blog entry about this ongoing problem between me, Verizon and a 3rd party vendor, some other things have come to light. Here is what I wrote on 5/26 This will help you keep up with what is going on now. An update is below this 5/26 entry:
A while back, I wrote about problems that I was having with Verizon. There have been several over the last year or so. The most recent one was that Verizon had allowed a 3rd party vendor to have their services put on my telephone bill without our knowledge or approval. This is what was listed on my telephone bill:
Billing on behalf of Residential Email
Miscellaneous Charges and Credits for (telephone number)
RESDNT1EMAIL MO FEE
This fee was $14.95 plus .75 or $15.70 a month
At the time that I called Verizon about this additional fee that I had been charged, I originally thought that it had just started to be applied to my bill. Upon further investigation, this "mystery" charge had been applied to my telephone bill since 12/22/08. After making a telephone call to Verizon, they passed me on to another company. Of course I had a tough time understanding her, which seems to be par for the course. According to the person I spoke to, she told me that I had signed up for something on the web by going to a web site called searchcactus.com I tried that web address while on the phone with this person and my Trend micro Internet Security blocked the site from me because it was a "bad" site...considered "dangerous" by my anti virus software. I told this person about the web site and having never gone there or signed up for anything. After the dust settled, she told me that she would be refunding me a total of $125.60, which would cover all of these so called "enhanced services" that had been added onto my telephone account since 12/08. I have learned my lesson well...always review every bill that you get very carefully because you don't know who might have attached themselves onto it. You might be paying for things that you never signed up for nor wanted.
I waited a couple of weeks for my check for $125.60 from ESBI to arrive here. This check was for a refund from this 3rd party telephone services vendor that had added their services to my Verizon account without my knowledge or authority. Well...wouldn't you know it...the check never arrived here..duhhhhhh...like I actually thought that it would. But I had to give it the 7-10 business days that the lady at ESBI told me it would take. So yesterday, I called ESBI again to find out what happened to my check. I believe that I was speaking to the same woman that I had spoke to the last time I called ESBI. This time she told me that a check for $31.40 was cut and mailed to me on 5/27. I asked her what happened to the $125.00check she was going to send me. She would not answer the question. All I could get out of her was that she was "sorry for the inconvenience" and that a check had been sent out to me. I told her that no check has arrived yet. She then told me that she would have another check made out to me for the amount of $31.40 and this would be the balance that they owed me for the 4 remaining months that the service had been on my Verizon telephone account. It was actually 5 months that the service was on my account but Verizon refunded one month to me already. Then I just had to ask the obvious question...if you folks are going to be cutting me a check, why would you make it out for only 2 of the months and not the complete 4 months total. That way we would have been squared away and the whole thing would be settled. Once again I received the usual "we are sorry for the inconvenience". I got to be honest here...I am so sick and tired of hearing that same old BS. It seems like every time I call some place, to take care of an issue, that they have created, I hear the same old song and dance routine. If they are really so sorry for inconveniencing me, then get your act together and treat me right. I never got a direct answer to any of my questions. This woman just kept repeating herself..that a check for the balance would be sent to me and that my concerns would be forwarded up to corporate offices. What corporate offices???? Like corporate is some far off magical building, where all things good and beautiful go flying out the doors and windows and land upon their relished customers laps. Actually corporate was the guy standing behind this woman while she was speaking to me, picking his nose and doing crosswords puzzles. Needless to say, I got absolutely no where with this woman and at the end of my telephone call, my poor rear end hurt like hell. I really hate it when I feel that I've got screwed. After pulling out my trusty donut to sit on, I then decided it was time to prepare for battle...I looked up ESBI on a google search. You could have knocked me over with a feather from a ducks armpit....there were reports all over the place about ESBI being nothing more than rip off business. There were lots of complaints on line. I then obtained info on the Virginia Attorney Generals Office and I was thinking about contacting channel 10 "On Your Side"....a local television station that checks into stuff like this and tries to take care of the situation on your behalf. But before I got that far, I decided to give Verizon one last ditch effort to help me out. After all, they did refund me for 1 month of the service that ESBI placed on my account. Now usually when I feel that I have been sufficiently lied to and jerked around, I get my verbal baseball bat out and load them bases up and I don't stop my verbal assault until I hit that grand slam. This morning I decided to take another approach. I would use my "silver tongue devil" approach and hit my home run by being soft spoken, direct and with a little kindness thrown in for good measure. Well this morning the stars must have been aligned just right because I actually made contact with a young man at Verizon, that actually seemed to care. After stating my case softly, I then told him directly what my expectations from Verizon were. Low and behold, this young man had enough pity on me to promptly give me a full refund for the remaining 4 months of the unauthorized service being put on my account. I was also told that the FCC mandates that all telephone companies must allow these 3rd party vendors to attach their services onto any ones account just by the 3rd party vendor saying that you signed up for their services. Whether you actually did or not, does not really matter. By doing a little research on line, ESBI also does business under several other names...USBI, ZPDI, OAN, HBS, EnaBill and Bill2Phone. Here is a link to one of their web sites.. ESBI
Once again, I strongly suggest that everyone review their telephone bill to see if any unusual charges appear on it. My unusual charge was under the heading of "Enhanced Services" on my Verizon paper statement...page #4. Don't take it for granted that a rise in your telephone bill comes from a general rate increase...which there are plenty of those. Call your telephone company and have a block put on your account against any and all 3rd party vendors. And lastly, if you do call your telephone company about an issue and you don't get the results you want, try again in a day or two because chances are that you will get a different person and that this person might care enough about your issue, to actually do something to help you out. Hopefully this will be my final blog entry regarding all matters relating to Verizon and 3rd party vendors. And if it isn't...until the next time....here's hoping that all of your dial tones are sharp and crisp.
This ends the public service portion of this blog entry. We now take you back to your original program.....