OK, This has got to be the poster child for legalized fraud. I get a charge on my phone bill for messaging services from some noname company called ESBI that is billed by ILD on their behalf. My first instinct was to call the FCC or the PSC, maybe even the BBB. Already I'm suffering from dyslexia with all the letters flying around!
I try to get in touch with ESBI. I might as well grab a Ouji Board and try to contact my dead mother-in-law. She would be easier to reach and probably more interesting to speak with. Since I cannot get the ESBI clowns I call ILD Teleservices to speak with them about the charge.
In ILD's defense, I end up reaching someone! Only a short 22 minute wait also! The representative was evidently a Hispanic-American who skipped English class the full seven years she went to school. She's gruff, but I let that go because I'm sure she's handling irate calls like this from the moment she clocks in. She's more than happy to refund the current charges but I'm on the hook for the other 6 months. Actually, to quote the representative "J** weeel receive a credit for the current month but J** weeel half to pay de preeevious charges." Hey, Speedy Gonzalez, if you credit the current month isn't that an admission that the charges shouldn't be there? Why not credit the rest?
Ok, I'm sure this is a matter of escalation so I ask for the supervisor. This person sounds like a Hispanic Transvestite puzzled over why "she" has to use the mens room. Like a true company "man" (s)he gives me the same party line. I ask to speak with a manager and they transfer me.
Now I finally am making some progress! I've completely skipped the manager level and gone to the director level. Unfortunately it's a Mr. McDowell who is the Director of Software Development. He's about as squirmy as a greased weasel and cannot help me but was willing to give me the number to the billing services department that is located in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. Why am I talking to San Antonio when the people are in Florida? Neither of us know. He's pretty sure the Supervisor is a tranny though.
I call the Ft Lauderdale office and end up with Ms. Skidmore. She patiently listens to me go on about this charge and how I can only get the most recent charge credited. She sounds like she's munching on a two for one Potato Chip Special that Piggly Wiggly was running. When I finish she looks up ESBI on the phone and gives me the name and number of a person over there to contact! Excellent. Now I have a Name and a Direct Number! I've spent about as much time and money trying to get the credit at this point.
I call the number and the d**n thing rings busy. I made 4 calls an hour, every 15 minutes from 8 to 5 (lunch excluded) for two days. 64 calls, 64 busy signals. Now it becomes personal and I'm on a quest like Monty Python and the Holy Grail. And I hate that movie.
So I call ms. Skidmore back. It's now Thursday morning and I've been at it since Monday. Apparently the Piggly Wiggly special is still going on. It's 9:30 florida time and she's eating chips (or REALLY crunchy bagels). She apologizes and sends me to the V.P. of billing services, a Ms. Cathy McQuade. Ms. McQuade explained that they could credit the first month to me because they had not paid ESBI yet. The other months were the responsibility of ESBI and I had to negotiate directly to them. After asking her how the hell could I get that information when they won't answer the d**n phone she sounded all shook up. Guess what she does.....
One guess is all I'll give you and all you'll need.....
She refers me to another person at ESBI.
OK, it's early afternoon now because I've actually got a job as well. I decide to wait until Friday morning and catch this man, a Mr. Soo Park. Maybe I'll catch him in a good mood when he's looking forward to the weekend where he'll be spending the money they defrauded me of over the course of six months.
The irritation that turned into frustration followed by aggravation has now turned into pure unadulterated rage. The number has been disconnected. In a furious episode of incredible anger I call Ms. McQuade back and I'm completely out of control. She sends me to her boss. A Mr. Dennis Stoutenburgh, President of ILD. He's located in Dallas. How do all these people work together when they are all over the country? It must be incredible holding a department meeting. They probably use their "Rollcall" conferencing. I bet ESBI is involved in that scam as well. Multiple people on a call and no dial-tone.
I have to leave a message for Mr. S. and he returns it on Tuesday. He probably had to go to the restroom and since he's in Dallas and the Billing Services Restroom is apparently in San Antonio he had a long walk. Maybe he used ESBI's plane to get him there. I don't know and I'm rambling. Anyway, he's very calm, understands my frustration and, for the first time, explains ILD's role in all of this. Here it is:
ILD Billing Services was purchased from Worldcom (You know, the one with Bernie Ebbers the crook). They have arrangements with all of the phone companies to put charges on peoples bills. That costs a lot of money and many companies, let alone the fraudulent ones, cannot afford to negotiate those arrangements. They then come to ILD to put their bills on the local phone bills of their "customers". ILD, he says, tries very hard to ensure that the companies who bill through them are legitimate companies.
I explained that I have a credit coming for one month but the other six I'm still in limbo over. You can hear the calculator on his desk being punched and I swear I heard him take his shoe off and start counting toes while muttering "carry the one...."
Finally he said to make things right with me ILD will reimburse me the full 6 months. He said it would be handled personally by him and come out of his paycheck if necessary. What a guy! I tell him don't take it out of your check to which he responds that it's no problem. "My commission from the ESBI business will more than cover it!"
I slip the bullets in the cylinder not sure whether to use them on myself or Mr. Stoutenburgh. A week later the check came and it didn't even bounce.
Where are the lawyers at to go after this company?
U.S.A.Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on ILD Teleservices