July 23, 2008
Crammed on AT&T Bill
ESBI = Enhanced Services Billing, Inc. (1-888-288-3724)
This company was accused by the FTC in May of 2001 of illegally charging consumers phone bills, in violation of 1-900- rules. (http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2001/08/billing3.shtm) They settled. At that time, the company was owned by Platinum Equity, LLC. A search of Platinums website did not indicate it continues to hold the company today.
The website for ESBI is a shell with no information, address, or contacts. All that is there is a form to fill out. HA! Like Id fill THAT out after the trouble I had from them.
My latest AT&T phone bill was charged $47.86 from ESBI. A separate page delineated these charges against three other companies:
12335 Santa Monica Blvd. #339
Los Angeles, CA 90025
MYIPRODUCTS IMAIL, LLC (1-800-286-4455)
No address on the website
An address was found on complaintremover.com: (http://www.complaintremover.com/ripoff244109.html)
24078 Greenway Street, Forest Lake, MN 55025
From their site:
MyiProducts.com offers excellent products and support. These products are the new wave of communications technology and provide for a new and exciting experience. We provide trained professionals to assist you in any way possible enabling you to take full advantage of our offers. Our customers are billed through LEC billing (charges appear on your telephone bill) making it easy for anyone to purchase our products while leaving out the uncomfortable feeling of typing in their credit card number.
Now I have a new uncomfortable feeling - typing in my phone number!!
INTELICOM MESSAGING, LLC (1-800-681-6010)
8201 Peters Rd., Ste 1000
Plantation, FL 33324
There was actually a FOURTH charge on this bill, from ILD Teleservices, Inc. (1-800-433-4518). I found some contact info from another complaint site:
Fred Lloyd; email@example.com
5000 Sawgrass Village Cir. Ste 30
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
This was another $9.99 + $0.60 tax for some credit repair service that I did not order.
Further research on the web has produced numerous reports from victims of these and other companies. One bright spot for me, was the AT&T rep. He cheerfully noted on my account that this ripoff occurred, indicated hed block third party charges AFTER the credits promised by these companies above, and explained that I did NOT have to pay them on this bill. This is exemplary in my book and shows that they know this is happening, and happening A LOT. The rep. was even crammed himself by filling out some form to get free golf clubs!
Words to the wise: NEVER put your real phone number in ANY form on the internet. And call your local phone company to BLOCK third party billing before this happens to you.