I received my first phone bill today for a renewed account on my home phone service through Verizon. Within that bill was a $23.95 charge processed through OAN Services, Inc. on behalf of Kool Telecom (aka KoolTel America).
I proceeded to call the company to state that we had never signed up for any internet phone service. They reportedly said that my husband had signed up for the service on a website called "Myfindajob.com". The CSR stated, "we advertise on a variety of sites".
I discovered during our conversation that his name was misspelled (badly). We have a VERY unique name, and it is not one that would be misspelled by someone with the name. The errors in spelling could NOT be attributed to missed keystrokes as the letters are nowhere near each other on a keyboard. The mistakes also extended to my husband's supposed email account which uses his last name as well.
The CSR proceeded to state that she would cancel the account, and we wouldn't be charged again. I stated that I was extremely concerned about the fact that we would still have to pay the monthly service fee. She stated she was sorry, but in the tone indicated there was nothing that could be done. She gave me a confirmation number of the cancellation of the account, and we ended the conversation at that point.
After completing that call I proceeded to do some investigating. After questioning my husband and children (all of whom denied signing up for this service, or anything of the sort) we looked at the calendar and realized we were out of town camping on the day my husband supposedly signed up, and we had no access to a phone, or the internet that whole week.
We proceeded to check my husband's email account and could find no verification of an account, or order confirmation or anything of the sort. (Not surprising since as I stated before his name was misspelled in their records, and also for his email address).
At that point we proceeded to visit the website they stated we had signed up through (URL is mentioned above). There are NO ads on that website whatsoever, and after the first page it asks one to enter personal information to obtain information on jobs. We obviously didn't enter anything into the fields on that site, so I am not aware of what the website looks like after you "signup".
Realizing that there was no way he had actually signed up for this service I called back KoolTel America (aka Kool Telecom). The CSR I spoke with the second time listened politely to my objections over these charges as I described above in this report. She stated that she would issue a "credit" to Verizon in regards to these charges (take them off our bill).
At that point she also informed me that they had issued a credit to Verizon on July 14, 2009 for this same service. I then realized that this was COMPLETELY impossible as we were without a phone and internet service from June till August, and our phone account (previously under my husband's name) was disconnected and the account closed. (In August I was able to pay off our old account, and reopen our account and retain our old phone number, but under my name).
I have to say that the Customer Service agent I spoke with the second time was flabbergasted as to how this could've happened considering we didn't even have access to the internet nor a phone account when the FIRST charge appeared and a credit issued. I have no idea how the credit was issued in the first place, but I assume it was because Verizon informed them that the account was closed?
I am at a loss as to how this happened. From KoolTel's website I see that they "employ" resellers for their services. That leads me to believe that perhaps one of their resellers is fabricating information to receive reimbursements from the company, or something of that nature.
While I have received a confirmation code for both the cancellation of service, and the credit that will be issued, I am worried that come next month we will again find this on our bill. It reminds of the fact that everyone should thoroughly inspect their phone bills every month for charges they are not responsible for. I know many people who open their bills and simply write a check without reviewing it. I can only imagine how many people have paid an extra $23.95 to this company due to not even realizing the charges were on their bill.
It is my personal feeling that someone needs to look into this. I see I am not the only one to report activity of this nature in regards to this company. It could be one of their resellers who is committing these fraudulent acts, or it could be the company itself, I am not in a position to know.
I will say though that the first CSR agent, and especially the second agent I spoke with were polite, and I did not have a problem when I called the second agent to get the charges removed.
Still, this is deeply troubling to me as to how someone obtained my husband's information, and how this company was able to charge our phone when there was absolutely no communication between the company and myself, nor my husband either by email or otherwise.