like many I got burned by a modem dialer scam, and received a $44 charge on my phone bill. Below is a recount of the story of how I am got my money back, so if any of you find familiar things in it, you can fix the situation. Some folks have had several charges, which means the software still resides on your computer....get it fixed. These people (Integretel) have been operating since the late 90's, possibly the whole time doing what happened to me, who knows; the records seem to indicate that such activity has been going on consistently.
Good Luck, J
The Beginning; I was online, and received a pop-up from Spy/AntiSpy software, saying my PC may be infected with spyware, and would I like to scan my PC ? I clicked the X box, not the yes or no responses, and it was obvious the pop-up window was rigged as it didn't delete correctly. I figured at that time I had gotten a virus, and logged off. I subsequently found that the virus had changed part of internet Explorer, specifically the links bar.
The Immediate Resolution; I run windows 98 because I can go in and do my own diagnostics, especially where viruses are concerned. I located the downloaded buggers, and deleted them. Thought I was done.
The Surprise: I received a telephone bill that said I owed $40 and then some for non-specific reasons from a company called Integretel. Called the phone company, who said to call Integretel. They said I dialled a 1-900 number and downloaded some software, they had all sorts of good answers.
The Research: I did some on-line research as I suspected a scam, came across this website (kudos to ripoffreport), and confirmed my suspicions. I found out about cramming, about the company Integretel (also Billing Concepts, OAN Services, ILD, HBS, FTT), about CERB, and had this information on hand when I called Integretel a second time.
The Confrontation: I called Integretel and got a male rep, and told him the general circumstances of my situation and that I had some questions. I asked whether there were more charges coming (no). I asked if he was in California (he was in Montana), then asked if he worked for Integretel (he responded someone else) to which I rattled off the names of the other companies that operate this gig, and where they are located. I then asked to have the current charge credited. He balked, said that the charges came from the 1-900 number being dialed from my phone, and that the best that he could do was to offer me a 50% reduction in the bill. I told him if he was going to bill me then I needed a RECEIPT for the software allegedly downloaded to my computer. He said that wasn't possible, they didn't give receipts, and the software wasn't that type of software. I asked "well then what is it ?", he responded it was a small program that dials the 1-900 number and retrieves a username and password. I asked him for my username and password, but he said he couldn't give that info out for privacy reasons; I asked what application the UN and PW were used for, again, he couldn't say.
The Clincher: I then asked him if he knew what cramming is, he replied no, and I asked if he would like me to inform him, "no, not really". Then he said that as a one-time courtesy he would eliminate the entire charge from the phone bill. I then asked him again if any more charges would be showing up on my phone bill, and confirmed a no. He asked if there was anything more he could do for me, I thanked him and told him he had been a great help.
Post Script: I never accused these guys of anything during the call, and while I sounded annoyed, I didn't get angry...you have to stay cool and put them (the bad guys) in the spotlight. I didn't ask the same dumb questions people ask, but instead put him off-guard by letting him know I knew what they were up to - gently. These are non-violent cr....al elements, they usually back down when confronted. It was clear that my rep was well aware of what was going on, as he didn't need much educating.
St. Petersburg, Florida
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Integretel