I received a bill from ALYON Technologies in the mail for $14.67 for "Premium Web Content".
This is the first email that I sent to Alyon: (The second one is toward the bottom of this page)
June 3, 2003
PO Box 923299
Norcross, Georgia 30010-3299
To Whom It May Concern,
I have reported your company to the Department of Justice, FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC). www.fbi.gov/
I received a bill from your company today stating that I was being charged $14.67 for "Premium Web Content", The bill also states that I agreed to have the modem on my computer dial the number 201-553-4707 and that I made a 3 minute call from my telephone to some place on the web.
I am the only one that uses this computer. I don't know who you are, but you have either made a mistake or your company is engaging in (censored) business practices. I have never requested or agreed to have my modem dial a phone number from the internet.
I RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING EMAIL BACK FROM MR. CARO:
From: Customer Support
Date: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 02:19:58 PM
Subject: RE: I'm Reporting Your Company
Thank you for your e-mail. The following provides details on the bill you received information on Alyon Technologies, Inc., as well as information regarding Alyon billing, connection and dispute processes. We also suggest that you visit the Customer Support section of Alyon corporate website (there is no charge for this information) at www.alyon.net to view information on the billing, connection and dispute processes.
Alyon Technologies is a call tracking and billing service provider for several premium Pay Per Use adult websites. Alyon does not provide content, rather, Alyon provides merchants of online information, content and consumer goods and services with an alternative method of billing and payment for those consumers who do not wish to use their credit card for the purpose of making such purchases over the Internet. Since Alyon is not a content provider, it does not use pop-up windows or solicit customers via email for advertising purposes. When a consumer receives a bill from Alyon for premium adult content, it is because someone at his or her location used a computer connected via modem to the phone line for the purpose of viewing adult content. The bill comes in the name of the Telephone Line Subscriber, that is, the person responsible for charges on the connecting phone line.
The connection process is designed so as to prevent connections made in error, specifically:
The user must select the Method of Payment (Credit Card vs. Direct Bill "No Credit Card") as well as the Method of Connection (Modem/ISDN, Cable/DSL/LAN/Web TV)
The user is then presented with the Terms and Conditions/Disclaimer, which specifies the method of connection, the rate per minute, the fact that a bill would be forthcoming from Alyon and requires the user to affirm, that they are over age 18 and are responsible for the phone line or have authorization to use and incur charges through the phone line.
Beneath the Terms and Conditions, two options are displayed: "I accept" and "I do not accept". IF AND ONLY IF THE USER CLICKS "I ACCEPT" DOES A "CONNECT" BUTTON APPEAR. If the user clicks "I Do Not Accept", an "Exit Now" button appears. If they do neither, and simply close the window, that is the end of the process. This step cannot be circumvented since the "Connect" button only appears AFTER the user clicks "I Accept"
Upon clicking "I Accept", then "Connect", dialer software is downloaded which disconnects the user from their ISP, and uses the modem to dial a domestic long distance number which is listed on the Alyon invoice (which will subsequently appear on the consumers telephone bill).
The actions of the User described in the last two bullet points above are the two levels of agreement required by the Federal Electronic Signatures Act that makes this document legally binding and enforceable. For all subsequent connections, the user must again accept the Terms and Conditions/Disclaimer by clicking "I Accept" and click "Connect" in order to reconnect.
The user is connected through Alyon's billing gateway in Union City, NJ. The Reference or # Dialed column on the 2nd page of the Alyon bill lists the 201 area code phone number of our switch site. Upon receiving the inbound connection, the originating number is identified (in a manner similar to caller ID) and matched against the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs)- that is, the phone company databases. These databases contain telephone line subscriber information and are supplied by all telephone service providers. Upon a successful match of originating phone number/telephone line subscriber information, the user is granted access to the premium content for up to 31 minutes per connection. The duration of the connection is tracked, and the bill is then calculated based on the per minute rate specified in the Terms and Conditions. At the end of each connection, the User is presented with a window that provides a link to Alyon website to view their bill online with an option to pay by credit card at that time. To access the online statement, the billing phone number used for the connection and a password is provided.
For further verification of the call and the connection from your phone number, refer to your long distance telephone bill for a call to Union City, NJ (area code 201) on the same date and time as the connection listed on Alyon bill. Our charge is an entertainment fee for access to the content only. As explained in the Terms and Conditions/Disclaimer, Alyon issues a credit of $0.10 per minute to cover the cost of the long distance charge.
The billing methods and practices utilized by Alyon Technologies are in accordance with the pertinent FTC and FCC regulations, the Federal Electronic Signatures Act and other associated regulatory agencies governing the operation of business or entertainment sites via the Internet.
Alyon provides Customer Support for all customers. Customers are invited to email, call or write our Customer Support Department with any concerns or questions regarding the Alyon account. However, accounts with balances of less than $50 are limited to E-customer support (email response or written response). We have a staff of professional customer support specialists waiting to assist our customers
All disputes must be submitted in written form via US Mail - emailed disputes are not accepted. In order to properly document and process your dispute, an affidavit form or a letter must accompany the evidence. The affidavit form is found on www.alyon.net, Customer Support, FAQ #17 (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader which is downloadable software for free at www.adobe.com). Print and complete the form and attach your supporting proof. Send all documentation to the address listed on the affidavit form and the invoice. Upon receipt of the completed affidavit and proof of dispute, we will review and handle the matter accordingly. All written disputes are responded to in writing with the amount of credit issued towards the bill and the remaining amount due, if any.
1. I didn't make the call. The consumer must send a copy of their long distance phone bill showing the phone number listed on the Alyon bill with detail of the long distance dates/times in question. NOTE: The times listed on the Alyon bill are Eastern Time. The consumer MUST ADJUST for their TIME ZONE. If the consumer does not include the information above, the dispute will be rejected, a letter will be sent stating why the dispute is being rejected and the account will go back to active status. Should you not receive detailed information on long distance calls (i.e., flat-rate billing), contact your long distance provider to discuss the connection detail listed on the 2nd page of the Alyon invoice.
2. This is not my phone number. In the event that the information from the Regional Bell Operating Companies or Competitive Local Exchange Carriers is incorrect or not updated in the case of a prior line disconnection, we ask the consumer to send an affidavit or a letter along with either the final bill for the telephone number in question, a copy of their new telephone bill, (front page will do - all we need to see is name, address, and the correct telephone number) or a letter from the telephone company stating the telephone number in question is no longer or has never assigned to this consumer. Alyon will investigate the matter with the database provider(s) and where appropriate, reverse the charge(s) and re-bill to the corrected party. Alyon does not pursue those to whom the telephone line does not pertain.
3. My friend or a guest in my house made the calls. The consumer, as the Telephone Line Subscriber is the responsible party for the phone line used to make the connection and as such, is responsible for the Alyon bill. Similarly, had the guest used the phone line to place a long distance or international call, the resulting charges would still be responsibility of the telephone line subscriber. The consumer needs to submit payment to Alyon and collect from the guest. Consumers are urged to do their part to supervise the use of their computer by others.
4. My minor child accessed the site.
None of our client websites are designed to entrap children. In fact, Alyon strongly supports the use of parental control software (www.NetNanny.com, www.CyberPatrol.com, www.CyberSitter.com) to protect children from receiving or being able to access inappropriate content. However, Alyon cannot make parents obtain and utilize parental control software, nor does Alyon contend that the parental control software is a suitable substitute for actual parental supervision. Ultimately, it is the parent or guardian's responsibility to supervise their child's use of the computer. No software available can replace the role of the parent, and the use of parental control software should never be considered a substitute for parental supervision.
Nevertheless, if a consumer wishes to dispute the charges based on the claim of usage by a minor, they may do so. Alyon will review your dispute, and determine if a credit is due, based solely on the merits of the dispute. No guarantees or minimum credits are offered. Please note that in order to properly document and process a legitimate dispute of access by a minor it must include verifiable proof that a minor child is living in the house i.e. copy of school ID or other state issued documentation that includes the minor's date of birth. An affidavit or letter explaining that a minor accessed these sites must accompany this.
A Word on PopUp Ads and Cookies
The very first adult site accessed on your computer may have stored a cookie (site info) making your computer susceptible to pop-up windows for advertising purposes. Pop-up blocker software such as Whack-a-Pop (http://www.whackapop.com) and others are available. Please note however, that if you go through the connection process and use the service, you have given Alyon consent to download content to your computer. Upon exiting our website, you may receive 2 or 4 pop-up ads. Nevertheless, whether through advertising or other adult sites, the ONLY way to receive a bill from Alyon is to complete the connection process, which indicates that the content is premium or pay per view in nature.
The above information and more can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions at www.alyon.net on our Customer Support page.
Alyon Customer Support Specialist
This is my second email to Mr. J.Caro:
Sent: Wed 6/4/2003 2:39 PM
To: Customer Support
Subject: I'm Reporting Your Company
You can send 500 pages of explanation concerning how your company deals with customer disputes and it won't be enough to explain away your (censored) business practices. Even though you do not "supply content", as you stated in your e-mail, you are an agent of the company and as such, are culpable for your client's actions. If I were a collection agency and I had a client that was drug dealer and my job was to call and collect money from people, because the drug dealer said these certain people were in the vicinity of where his drugs were kept, I guarantee you, a court would find the collection agency responsible, at least in part, in their role in the drug business.
You most certainly know how these charges happen and you and I both know, it's through deception and that is against the law. You can hide behind a barrage of words, explaining how your company works, but when it comes out in the wash, you are knowingly attempting to (censored)people. It's called a (censored), . People that run companies and work for companies such as yours usually pay a price in the end, both legally and spiritually. Since you have obviously decided to handle my e-mail in the manner you have, then I guess I'll have to handle this situation my way.
Mr. J.Caro sent one more email and stated, "Your position has been noted in our records".
I thought I was the only one that this (censored), had happened to. Even though I reported ALYON to the FBI, It still bothered me. I wanted to do more. I went online and enter "(censored), Alyon" and low and behold, there was RipoffReport.com. I was amazed with the site and that someone had taken the time to really go after these guys. I can't believe that this site is being sued by ALYON TECHNOLOGIES. I'm sending a check and if everyone that has had a problem with this company would send one dollar, then the guy running this site wouldn't have to worry. I was pleased that so many governmental agencies were getting involved in going after ALYON - Go USA. We might be having problems locating Bin Ladin and the Weapons of Mass Destruction but we know where ALYON is.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Alyon Technologies