I used a pay phone located less than 1 mile from my home to place a collect call (my cell phone was locked in my car). Prior to placing the call I followed the instructions posted on a sticker at the pay phone to request a price quote on the collect call I was about to make. I told the operator I wanted the TOTAL cost for a collect call to the phone number to my home. The operator told me it would be $1.75 for unlimited use becasue it was a local call. I then hung up and placed my collect call. Later, when my bill arrived I had a charge for $20.75 for a collect call clocked at 5 minutes. The collect call I placed lasted no more than 1 minute. The operator had lied to me, the company lied about the number of minutes used, and when I called to negotiate with this company a supervisor named Fred Bell called me "mam" when I'm clearly a male with a deep voice. He then hung up on me while I was politely explaining the misbilling that had occured. When I called back he did not mention the hang up and did not apologize for doing so. He then told me that his company was fully within the FCC rules with regard to the billing. He claimed that the operator had no mandate to mention that in addition to the $1.75 (per minute) charge, there would be a connection fee, a routing fee and taxes added to the bill (even though I asked for the TOTAL cost of the collect call. He then offered to reduce my bill by 25%. I refused. He then offered to reduce my bill by 35%. I opted to take this compromise simply because investing any more of my time into this situation would not be worth my trouble.
Sierra Madre, California