Today, December 13th 2004, I received my Verizon telephone bill and noticed it was way too high. When I looked at the "Itemized Calls" section of my bill, there was a charge in the amount of $13.45, dated September 30th, 2004, billed from ESBI (Enhanced Services Billing, Inc.) on behalf of a company called SCG. I knew immediately that this was fraudulent. The reason I knew is because of the number on my Verizon bill that stated "called from".
The "called from" number is a line on my home phone that is meant for distinctive ring purposes only, and is not a functioning phone number at all. Anything that is to be billed to my phone number has to be billed through the main number. Verizon even verified that today when I spoke to them about this charge.
Speaking of Verizon, they were not helpful at all. They noted that I was disputing the charges and that I would not be paying it when I paid my bill this month. I was told to call ESBI's 888 number to get this straightened out. So, I did.
When I called the 888 number, I was connected with an automated phone system that informed me that if I was a "Verizon" customer that I would automatically be credited for the call. After the "tones" I had to leave my billing name and the phone number billed, and then was told "Congratulations, your credit has been approved. Your credit will be applied before you next billing cycle. If you want a written confirmation of the credit, please fax us in writing to 610-974-9377 or e-mail us at ESBIMY@aol.com.
So I chose to e-mail them because there was NO way I was going to fax anything to that number. Of course about 5 minutes after e-mailing my request to them for a written confirmation of the credit, I received an e-mail from AOL that stated that the e-mail address was "unknown" and there was no user connected to that address. Was I surprised? No.. but did have some flicker of hope.
If there is anyone that is going through this, or even knows what on earth "SCG" is (would love to know WHO is billing me), can you please let me know? I tried a reverse phone number lookup on the number and it is a New York, NY phone number that is registered through who else, Verizon.
In the meantime I did file an on-line complaint with the FCC and let them know what happened. I absolutely refuse to pay this charge, especially when the number isn't even billable.
Anyone have any suggestions?
Binghamton, New York