While in Amsterdam, in Jan. of this year, I had no choice but to place a credit card call to my bank in the US from a street pay phone, and got charged $95.65 by BBG. I've lived half my life in Europe, am no stranger to travel, overseas calls, and can see the difference between a reasonable charge and a scam.
BBG has an extensive history of fraudulent activity, and I'm disputing this charge. My bank contacted BBG when I first got charged, at which time the agents I spoke to played dumb and said it was too soon for them to retrieve any data pertaining to my credit card charge, and that I needed to wait a few more days, since the charges on my card were still pending anyway.
I sent a certified letter to BBG's Noemi Olmos. No reply, but I have proof my letter was signed for at BBG's office.
I filed a complaint with the San Diego Better Business Bureau. No response.
I wanted to call the number my bank, Bank of America, gives its customers as the number to call collect from abroad. In Holland, collect calls to the US can be placed only from a very small number of public phones; the ones located across from the Amsterdam Central station were my best bet.
I was able to place one collect call, but ended up having to place another one. I tried numerous times, and each time got an odd message, in American English stating that "my call had been denied." I've since then read online that this could be more than a coincidence.
I've spoken to Bank of A. at length about this. Collect calls are not just denied for no reason. BBG tricks consumers into having no other choice but to use credit cards to call from pay phones or hotel room/lobby phones while abroad. When a collect call isn't accepted, the caller can actually hear a live operator, not some automated service saying the charges have been denied. At no point did I get a live operator to provide an explanation.
Anyhow, I now had no choice but to place a credit card call so I entered my Visa number. At no point was I given tools or instructions to get a live operator or told how much I would be paying per minute, everything was automated, and the phone booth had no rates. At no point was BBG's name identified in the automated message I heard.
Legally, the fact I "chose" to place a credit card call without being aware of how much I would get charged doesn't entitle BBG to rip me off. I have asked BBG to reduce their ridiculous charge. Then again, apparently I got off lightly, some folks ended up getting charged 100's of dollars for short phone calls.
Originally, BBG sent 2 $20 authorizations on my card, as if there were planning to bill me for calls that didn't get through. I am guessing these were dropped because I had my bank call BBG as soon as my card got charged, so they probably figured it was best not to push their luck.