• Report: #192448

Complaint Review: Orbit Telecom & Qwest

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  • Submitted: Sat, May 20, 2006
  • Updated: Sat, June 17, 2006

  • Reported By:Mesa Arizona
Orbit Telecom & Qwest
8201 Peters Road, Ste.1000 Plantation, Florida U.S.A.

Orbit TelecomOrbit Telecom & Qwest Unauthorized billing via Quest for an unauthorized voice mail service Ripoff Plantation Florida

*Consumer Comment: Unwanted Switch

*Author of original report: Apology & Refund!

*Author of original report: Federal Trade Commission Referral

*Author of original report: Federal Trade Commission Referral

*Author of original report: Federal Trade Commission Referral

*Author of original report: Arizona Corporation Commission Rules & Reg.

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My recent Quest billing for telephone services contained an additonal charge located on the back of the last page for a "$12.95 installation charge" and "$14.95 for Orbit Voice Mail service."

I have sent several e-mail messages to Orbit Telecom informing them that I never authorized any services and/or charges. In fact, I had never heard of Orbit Telecom prior to seeing the charges on my phone bill. Orbit Telecom has not responded.

Also, I never authorized Quest to bill me for a voice mail service that I did not order or want.

I contacted Quest for an explaination and received the following:

"Qwest would not have been the ones to authorize the billing of these services to your account. The company in question referred to your telephone number which happens to be a Qwest local line. That is how it can appear on your billing with us. We are not contacted by them for final approval before charging your account."

Qwest appears to be contending that anyone who can read the "White Pages" can submit a charge for anything through Qwest and they will add it to my bill. Qwest appears to be cooperating with Orbit Telecom in a scam or fraudulent activity.

I have asked Quest to stop adding fraudelent charges to my phone bill and to refund all charges made regarding Orbit Telecom's "Voice Mail Service."

I have also sent a fraudulent practices complaint (regarding Qwest and Orbit Telecom)to the FCC, U.S. Department of Justice, and The Arizona Attorney General.

I do not consider the charges of $12.95 and $14.95 to be anything more than petty theft and fraud. However, if the practice is multiplied over thousands or even millions of Qwest customers then it becomes very significant.

A "Rip-Off" search produced 3 pages of similar complaints.

It is alo interesting to note that a search of the Internet produced an extensive track record of Qwest involvment in fraudulent practices.

The Qwest and Orbit Telecom con game appears to be "business as usual."

Neil
Mesa, Arizona
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/20/2006 10:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Orbit-Telecom-Qwest/Plantation-Florida-33324/Orbit-TelecomOrbit-Telecom-Qwest-Unauthorized-billing-via-Quest-for-an-unauthorized-voic-192448. 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.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Unwanted Switch

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

When I moved, I had been switched to Qwest.

Previously, I had PowerNet which uses the same code, used by my local carrier, as Qwest.

When I got my first bill, it was charged by Qwest and not Powernet as previously.

I was charged the default rate of 30 cents/min.

Qwest denied to re-rate the charges and Verizon, my local carrier, denied to solve this issue.

The Qwest bill is still outstanding.

What should I do in a case like this?
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#2 Author of original report

Apology & Refund!

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

I have received an apology from both Qwest and Orbit Telecom for attaching unauthorized charges to my phone bill.

Additionally, Orbit Telecom sent me a complete refund for all of the unautorized charges.

Thank you Qwest and Orbit Telecom!
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#3 Author of original report

Federal Trade Commission Referral

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

Re: FTC Ref. No. 8258093
Thank you for your recent letter. The Federal Trade Commission has been directed by Congress to act in the interest of all consumers to prevent deceptive or unfair practices and unfair methods of competition.

In determining whether to take enforcement or other action in any particular situation, the Commission may consider a number of factors, including the type of violation alleged; the nature and amount of consumer injury at issue and the number of consumers affected; and the likelihood of preventing future unlawful conduct and securing redress or other relief.

As a matter of policy, the Commission does not generally intervene in individual disputes. However, letters from consumers provide valuable information that is frequently used to develop or support Commission enforcement initiatives. Your letter will be reviewed according to the criteria set forth above.

The 900-Number Rule (now referred to as the Pay-Per-Call Rule) was enacted by the FTC in July 1993, to implement the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 (TDDRA), 15 U.S.C. Section 5701 et seq. TDDRA required both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and this Commission to prescribe regulations governing pay-per-call services, then limited to 900 numbers.

The Commission adopted its 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 308, on July 26, 1993, and it became effective November 1, 1993. A proposal approved by the FTC to revise its 900-Number Rule -- including provisions that will combat telephone bill cramming, extend the definition of "pay-per-call services" beyond 900 numbers, and ban international long distance charges for these kinds of services -- was approved by the Commission on October 22, 1998 and published in the Federal Register on October 30th.

In summary, the current Rule requires that advertisements for 900 numbers include certain disclosures, including information about the cost of the call. This information must also be included in an introductory message (preamble) at the beginning of a 900-number service. Anyone who calls a 900-number service must be given the opportunity to hang up, at the conclusion of the preamble, without incurring any charge for the call.

The 900-Number Rule also establishes procedures for resolving billing disputes for 900-number calls and other telephone-billed purchases. This section imposes certain obligations on entities that bill for and answer consumer inquiries about such services, such as investigating reports by consumers of "billing errors," a defined term in the Rule. It is important to note that your telephone service cannot be disconnected for failure to pay charges for a 900-number call. TDDRA, under which the original Rule was adopted, mandates that 900-number blocking be made available (under FCC rules), so that consumers can exercise meaningful control over access to 900-number services from their telephones.

The problem of "cramming" has been growing in the past year. "Cramming" refers to unexplained charges on a consumer's phone bill for services that were never authorized, ordered, received, or used. Sometimes a one-time charge for entertainment services will be crammed onto your phone bill; other times, monthly recurring charges are crammed onto the bill. These monthly recurring charges can involve club memberships (such as psychic, personal or travel clubs) or telecommunications products or service programs (such as voice mail, paging, and calling cards).

Most of these scams occur through the use of an 800 number or are initiated when a consumer fills out a contest or sweepstakes entry without reading the fine print. They are all deceptive and you should dispute the charges by calling or writing to the billing party listed on your phone bill. In the case of recurring monthly charges, the billing party often will cancel the charge or service if you complain.

It is also important that you report your complaint to your state consumer protection agency (such as your state attorney general), since several states recently have taken legal action against companies for cramming. You should include copies of your telephone bill and any correspondence you may have had regarding the problem.

I hope that you will find the above information helpful in addressing your problem. You should also know that more than 150 consumer and business education brochures and other materials are available online in the FTC Consumer Line and FTC Business Line sections of our Home Page, located at HTTP://WWW.FTC.GOV.

Sincerely yours,
Consumer Response Center
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#4 Author of original report

Federal Trade Commission Referral

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

Re: FTC Ref. No. 8258093
Thank you for your recent letter. The Federal Trade Commission has been directed by Congress to act in the interest of all consumers to prevent deceptive or unfair practices and unfair methods of competition.

In determining whether to take enforcement or other action in any particular situation, the Commission may consider a number of factors, including the type of violation alleged; the nature and amount of consumer injury at issue and the number of consumers affected; and the likelihood of preventing future unlawful conduct and securing redress or other relief.

As a matter of policy, the Commission does not generally intervene in individual disputes. However, letters from consumers provide valuable information that is frequently used to develop or support Commission enforcement initiatives. Your letter will be reviewed according to the criteria set forth above.

The 900-Number Rule (now referred to as the Pay-Per-Call Rule) was enacted by the FTC in July 1993, to implement the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 (TDDRA), 15 U.S.C. Section 5701 et seq. TDDRA required both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and this Commission to prescribe regulations governing pay-per-call services, then limited to 900 numbers.

The Commission adopted its 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 308, on July 26, 1993, and it became effective November 1, 1993. A proposal approved by the FTC to revise its 900-Number Rule -- including provisions that will combat telephone bill cramming, extend the definition of "pay-per-call services" beyond 900 numbers, and ban international long distance charges for these kinds of services -- was approved by the Commission on October 22, 1998 and published in the Federal Register on October 30th.

In summary, the current Rule requires that advertisements for 900 numbers include certain disclosures, including information about the cost of the call. This information must also be included in an introductory message (preamble) at the beginning of a 900-number service. Anyone who calls a 900-number service must be given the opportunity to hang up, at the conclusion of the preamble, without incurring any charge for the call.

The 900-Number Rule also establishes procedures for resolving billing disputes for 900-number calls and other telephone-billed purchases. This section imposes certain obligations on entities that bill for and answer consumer inquiries about such services, such as investigating reports by consumers of "billing errors," a defined term in the Rule. It is important to note that your telephone service cannot be disconnected for failure to pay charges for a 900-number call. TDDRA, under which the original Rule was adopted, mandates that 900-number blocking be made available (under FCC rules), so that consumers can exercise meaningful control over access to 900-number services from their telephones.

The problem of "cramming" has been growing in the past year. "Cramming" refers to unexplained charges on a consumer's phone bill for services that were never authorized, ordered, received, or used. Sometimes a one-time charge for entertainment services will be crammed onto your phone bill; other times, monthly recurring charges are crammed onto the bill. These monthly recurring charges can involve club memberships (such as psychic, personal or travel clubs) or telecommunications products or service programs (such as voice mail, paging, and calling cards).

Most of these scams occur through the use of an 800 number or are initiated when a consumer fills out a contest or sweepstakes entry without reading the fine print. They are all deceptive and you should dispute the charges by calling or writing to the billing party listed on your phone bill. In the case of recurring monthly charges, the billing party often will cancel the charge or service if you complain.

It is also important that you report your complaint to your state consumer protection agency (such as your state attorney general), since several states recently have taken legal action against companies for cramming. You should include copies of your telephone bill and any correspondence you may have had regarding the problem.

I hope that you will find the above information helpful in addressing your problem. You should also know that more than 150 consumer and business education brochures and other materials are available online in the FTC Consumer Line and FTC Business Line sections of our Home Page, located at HTTP://WWW.FTC.GOV.

Sincerely yours,
Consumer Response Center
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#5 Author of original report

Federal Trade Commission Referral

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

Re: FTC Ref. No. 8258093
Thank you for your recent letter. The Federal Trade Commission has been directed by Congress to act in the interest of all consumers to prevent deceptive or unfair practices and unfair methods of competition.

In determining whether to take enforcement or other action in any particular situation, the Commission may consider a number of factors, including the type of violation alleged; the nature and amount of consumer injury at issue and the number of consumers affected; and the likelihood of preventing future unlawful conduct and securing redress or other relief.

As a matter of policy, the Commission does not generally intervene in individual disputes. However, letters from consumers provide valuable information that is frequently used to develop or support Commission enforcement initiatives. Your letter will be reviewed according to the criteria set forth above.

The 900-Number Rule (now referred to as the Pay-Per-Call Rule) was enacted by the FTC in July 1993, to implement the Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 (TDDRA), 15 U.S.C. Section 5701 et seq. TDDRA required both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and this Commission to prescribe regulations governing pay-per-call services, then limited to 900 numbers.

The Commission adopted its 900-Number Rule, 16 C.F.R. Part 308, on July 26, 1993, and it became effective November 1, 1993. A proposal approved by the FTC to revise its 900-Number Rule -- including provisions that will combat telephone bill cramming, extend the definition of "pay-per-call services" beyond 900 numbers, and ban international long distance charges for these kinds of services -- was approved by the Commission on October 22, 1998 and published in the Federal Register on October 30th.

In summary, the current Rule requires that advertisements for 900 numbers include certain disclosures, including information about the cost of the call. This information must also be included in an introductory message (preamble) at the beginning of a 900-number service. Anyone who calls a 900-number service must be given the opportunity to hang up, at the conclusion of the preamble, without incurring any charge for the call.

The 900-Number Rule also establishes procedures for resolving billing disputes for 900-number calls and other telephone-billed purchases. This section imposes certain obligations on entities that bill for and answer consumer inquiries about such services, such as investigating reports by consumers of "billing errors," a defined term in the Rule. It is important to note that your telephone service cannot be disconnected for failure to pay charges for a 900-number call. TDDRA, under which the original Rule was adopted, mandates that 900-number blocking be made available (under FCC rules), so that consumers can exercise meaningful control over access to 900-number services from their telephones.

The problem of "cramming" has been growing in the past year. "Cramming" refers to unexplained charges on a consumer's phone bill for services that were never authorized, ordered, received, or used. Sometimes a one-time charge for entertainment services will be crammed onto your phone bill; other times, monthly recurring charges are crammed onto the bill. These monthly recurring charges can involve club memberships (such as psychic, personal or travel clubs) or telecommunications products or service programs (such as voice mail, paging, and calling cards).

Most of these scams occur through the use of an 800 number or are initiated when a consumer fills out a contest or sweepstakes entry without reading the fine print. They are all deceptive and you should dispute the charges by calling or writing to the billing party listed on your phone bill. In the case of recurring monthly charges, the billing party often will cancel the charge or service if you complain.

It is also important that you report your complaint to your state consumer protection agency (such as your state attorney general), since several states recently have taken legal action against companies for cramming. You should include copies of your telephone bill and any correspondence you may have had regarding the problem.

I hope that you will find the above information helpful in addressing your problem. You should also know that more than 150 consumer and business education brochures and other materials are available online in the FTC Consumer Line and FTC Business Line sections of our Home Page, located at HTTP://WWW.FTC.GOV.

Sincerely yours,
Consumer Response Center
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#6 Author of original report

Arizona Corporation Commission Rules & Reg.

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

Notice of Subscriber Rights
Important Information Concerning Unauthorized Changes in Your Telecommunications Company(s) and Unauthorized Charges on Your Telephone Bill. Please contact Qwest as soon as possible if you believe that your telecommunications company has been changed without proper authorization or if you believe that unauthorized charges are on your bill.

Pursuant to the rules of the Arizona Corporation Commission, a telecommunications company is prohibited from changing your service to another company without proper authorization.

A telecommunications company that has switched your telecommunications service without proper permission is required to pay all charges associated with returning you to your original telecommunications company as promptly as reasonable business practices permit, but no later than 30 business days from your request.
An unauthorized company shall absolve you of any unpaid charges that were incurred during the first 90 days of service provided by the unauthorized company, and if you incur charges for services that were provided during the first 90 days by the unauthorized company, that company shall forward the billing data to your original company, but your original company may not bill you for unauthorized service charges incurred during this first 90 days, although it may bill you for charges thereafter at its rates.

If you paid charges to an unauthorized company, that company must pay 100% of those charges to the original company, and the original company will apply that amount as a credit to your authorized charges.

If you believe that your telecommunications provider has been changed without your permission, you may contact the unauthorized company and request your service be changed back in accordance with the rules of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

You can request your local telecommunications company to put a freeze on your long-distance account to prevent unauthorized changes.
Pursuant to the rules of the Arizona Corporation Commission, a telecommunications company is prohibited from adding products and services to your account without proper authorization.

If an unauthorized charge is added to your account, the responsible telecommunications company is required to return your service to its original service provisions and cannot charge you for doing so.

A telecommunications company must provide you with a refund or credit, at your option, due to unauthorized charges. If not refunded or credited within two billing cycles, you are entitled to interest at the rate determined by the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Subscribers or customers may contact Qwest Corporation at:

QWEST
P. O. Box 29060
Phoenix, Arizona 85038-9060 Residential 1-800-244-1111
Business 1-800-603-6000

If you believe that your telecommunications company(s) has been changed without your permission, or that unauthorized charges have been added to your account, you can report these matters to the Arizona Corporation Commission at:

Arizona Corporation Commission
1200 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
http://www.cc.state.az.us/ ACC Phoenix Office
Toll Free 1-800-222-7000
ACC Tucson Office
Toll Free 1-800-535-0148
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