• Report: #563707

Complaint Review: Digital Vmail, Inc., MyIproduct Imail, Regional Commerce Svcs, Triple Three Inc, ESBI and OAN

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  • Submitted: Tue, February 02, 2010
  • Updated: Fri, March 26, 2010

  • Reported By: RippedOff — Denver North Carolina United States of America
Digital Vmail, Inc., MyIproduct Imail, Regional Commerce Svcs, Triple Three Inc, ESBI and OAN
Internet United States of America

Digital Vmail, Inc., MyIproduct Imail, Regional Commerce Svcs, Triple Three Inc, ESBI and OAN Enhanced Services Billing, Inc. The crammers billed us this month and last on our ATT bill (listed on a separate sheet. The operator who answered said she would cancel the "service" and I asked to speak to the supervisor. I was an Internet

*General Comment: Third Party Phone Cramming

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Charges for $14.95 plus tax ($16.15) were listed on a separate page on my ATT bill for this month and last.  I called ESBI and an operator said she would cancel the "service."  I asked to speak to a supervisor who tried to tell me I had "signed up" for this service on the internet.  I told her I did not buy ANYTHING on the internet, much less something I didn't need or want.  She tried to say my email was in my name (it isn't).  Where they got my name, I don't understand.  I never, never order anything on the internet, I do not pay bills on the internet, I merely use it to get news, do research and read a few things.  I don't even pay my telephone bill online, although my internet service is with ATT (but not in my name).  The supervisor did say she would remove the charges.  I've also filed a complaint (found on the ATT online pages) at scam.uce.gov for fraud.

Please examine your monthly phone bill thoroughly!


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/02/2010 05:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Digital-Vmail-Inc-MyIproduct-Imail-Regional-Commerce-Svcs-Triple-Three-Inc-ESBI-and-OAN/internet/Digital-Vmail-Inc-MyIproduct-Imail-Regional-Commerce-Svcs-Triple-Three-Inc-ESBI-and-563707. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 General Comment

Third Party Phone Cramming

AUTHOR: Alex - (U.S.A.)

I am writing to tell my story and to advise people who find themselves in a similar position and don't know what to do.  I agree with this author, check bills carefully and EVERY month.  Do it diligently.

Six months ago, I was scammed through third party billing which had been going on for approx 7 months.  That's how long it takes for the avg. consumer to find out. Our phone bill kept going up over the months and when it reached 2.5 x the norm mnthly charge, I investigated and found a multitude of small monthly recurring charges, mainly $14.95 a pop.  All of these were for ludicrous "services" or "products" I did not order, want or receive.  The third party billing companies were OAN Services, Hold Billing Services (HBS) and ESBI.  All claimed I had signed up over the internet but were ready to re-credit charges when I pressed them.  They couldn't even prove it was coming from my computer as I asked them for the IP address (which they couldn't supply).  One east coast customer did get that info but it wasn't even her computer nor an IP address in the U.S.!!

I then had several conversations with a supervisor at my phone company - Embarq, now CenturyLink, about this fraud and she admitted these type of complaints were common.  I asked if it was legal and she wasn't able to answer that one!  When I advised her that this was bordering on illegal activity if not downright a scam and they were enabling it to happen, the whole tune changed dramatically.  All I had to do was call each company in turn, mention BBB and FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and refuse to pay the third party charges.  Remarkably, I was credited OVER $300 in bogus charges which meant I had FREE phone service for the next 6 months!  Amazing how quickly they acted and reversed everything - almost like they admitted the scam but didn't want any trouble.

I am no lawyer, just an interested and knowledgeable consumer, but I believe the FTC has the power to investigate and shut down a business if enough complaints are received and a case is proven.  I did not have to go that far but it did "cost" me several days of my time and diligence to discover the fraud and correct it.

We have now switched phone companies altogether as this left a nasty taste in one's mouth and thereafter the phone carrier charged us $1 a month to block third party billing!  In other words, we enabled this to happen and now we'll charge to stop it because you took the time to find out.

Based on our experience, here's some tips on how not to get scammed on your phone bill:

1. Do not do ANY on-line surveys promising gift cards or anything else.  There's always a catch and you DO have to participate by buying a service or product.

2. If you buy anything on line, make sure it's with a known and reputable company and they have a SECURE site.  Check the logo for this on all reputable sites. You can also always Google a company to find info on them if they're legit.

3. If you pay bills on line, at the very least, you should carefully check EVERY section/item and if you see a discrepancy or unauthorised charge, report it immediately.  Make the time to do this with all your on-line bills - it may pay dividends and it will help you not getting ripped off.

4. NEVER pay bills on line using the AUTO PAY option.  This way is great for the company but you have NO CONTROL or little say in what you are paying.  It just gets paid, no matter what the bill amount is and it may go on for many months until you discover you have been paying bogus charges.  Really, you need to take the time to check your bills carefully; it's YOUR money, after all!  By all means pay bills on line but have them send you an email alert that yr statement is ready.  View and if it's OK, then set up a payment schedule.  YOU need to be in control, not the vendor!

My story had a happy ending because I took the time to make it right but a lot of folks feel intimidated or ashaned at being duped and don't know where to turn.  This is an excellent site and I hope this story helps others in a similar situation.

One thing I have noticed, however, is that these very same companies are STILL out there operating and doing their thing.  My incident was discovered in the summer of 2009 and I see that ESBI and others are still there doing the same old same old.  It's about time they were shut down as clearly, they seem to think that this type of behavior is OK.  It is not, it's one big SCAM!!! 

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